PLA Daily: Be alert to revival of Japanese militarism

Source
China Military
Editor
Yao Jianing
Time
2017-03-29

BEIJING, March 29 (ChinaMil) -- If we still think that Japan’s warship “Izumo” is only to "make waves" in the South China Sea, we are underestimating the long years of efforts and "ambition" of the Abe administration and Japanese right-wing politicians.

Sometimes I cannot help but admire Japan's flexible application of Chinese culture and the Art of War.

The two largest military warships of the Japanese Maritime Self-defense Forces (JMSDF) - Kaga that was commissioned recently and Izumo that was commissioned two years ago - are actually shaped into light-duty aircraft carriers, but they are renovated into helicopter destroyers "in disguise".

The Kaga aircraft carrier and Izumo cruiser of the Japanese Navy carried a notorious record of bloody debts on them during the Japanese War of Aggression Against China and on the Pacific battlefield of the WWII, and they were sunk to the bottom of the ocean in the end. Today the Japanese government is "salvaging" the hideous ghost of war to name its new warships. Let's call this move a "revival".

In addition to the commissioning of Kaga and the news that Izumo is about to have a joint training and military exercise in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, another piece of news has also caught much attention. The Abe administration decided to pull back all its peacekeeping troops that were assigned to South Sudan five years ago. The timing of this decision is very significant and Japan's real purpose is to "make minor sacrifices to safeguard major interests".

Let's start from the beginning.

Abe and its cabinet members have been spouting about the South China Sea issue in the past two years either when paying foreign visits or meeting with foreign guests, demonstrating a "surprisingly firm determination" to do what's impossible.

But apart from stirring up trouble, Abe doesn't dare to be too aggressive in sending maritime forces to "engage in" the South China Sea. It's unknown yet how bold Izumo is this time and how many waves it can stir up. Anyway, the Chinese military will keep the closest watch on it.

But if we still think that Izumo is only to "make waves" in the South China Sea, we are underestimating the long years of efforts and "ambition" of the Abe administration and Japanese right-wing politicians.

The foreign media that reported on Izumo's upcoming tour to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean called it "Japan's largest display of maritime forces in the region since the WWII" and commented that "Japan has been challenging the peaceful constitution ever since Abe took office".

Indeed that's the paramount objective of the Japanese government. What the Abe administration and the right-wing Japanese politicians have been dreaming of amending is the peaceful constitution that prevents them from re-militarization.

Constitutional amendment is the top priority of the Abe government in 2017. The public opinions are infiltrated with rightist thoughts, those who are for the amendment take up the majority in the Diet, and Abe's support rating has remained high for many years. In the new year, the Abe administration has to finish the "last mile" of its constitutional amendment.

Only when we see through their "ambition" can we fully understand the essence of the above mentioned news.

Japan’s efforts of building two "quasi-aircraft carriers" that can have massive attack ability with minor modification to upgrading the JMSDF's combat force with four so-called "helicopter destroyers", sending troops abroad in the name of peacekeeping, and passing a bill to allow the JSDF to deploy military personnel overseas and trust them with relevant missions are conspicuous.

By taking these steps slowly but surely, the Abe administration is breaking the restriction of the peaceful constitution bit by bit and will achieve the ultimate goal of amendment once the timing is right.

It's true that the dispatch of Izumo and commissioning of Kaga can reflect the "inheritance of the Japanese navy" and remind the rightists more or less of the past "glory", but why is the hurry in withdrawing all the peacekeepers?

There is another story.

Abe has been mired by the "land price" scandal since February this year under the suspicion that he supported a right-wing elementary school in buying construction land at a low price, and he also claimed that he would resign if the JSDF assigned to South Sudan suffered any casualty.

But the situation in South Sudan is very unstable now. If something really happened, Abe wouldn't care so much about his face as about the "rightful reason" for amending the constitution. No wonder Japanese media all commented that pulling back the forces is "a wise decision".

The "ambition" of the Abe government and right-wing Japanese politicians poses an immense threat to regional security, peace and stability.

Countries that were winners in the WWII such as China, the U.S. and Russia have the obligation to preserve the achievements of the victory in the WWII and maintain global stability, and have the responsibility to put a stop to the "aggressive action" of Japanese rightist forces, force them to abide by the peaceful constitution, and kill the revival of the militarist ghost at the first sign.

The article is written in Chinese by Jun Sheng and published on the PLA Daily on March 29, 2017. It is translated by China Military.

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