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Shinzo Abe – Little Napoleon of neo-militaristic Japan

“History is a set of lies agreed upon,’’ is a gem from Napoleon Bonaparte’s treasure-chest of quotations.

The Prime Minister of Japan might take a shine to that saying from France’s greatest empire-builder.

Shinzo Abe is resolutely convinced that the staggering horrors of World War Two are falsehoods; the punishment meted out on defeated but beatific Japan – it had waged war only for good, kind reasons of `liberating’ Asia from colonialism – is `victor’s justice’.

Lies, damn lies: in the alternate universe inhabited by Abe and his right-wing cronies, Japan has done no wrong.

The in-your-face evidence of sexual slavery, forced labor, biological and chemical experiments on humans, “kill all, burn all, loot all’’ policy, etc, are – at best – inconvenient truths ( mere incidents,  such as the Nanjing Massacre, for one) to be cast into the dustbin of forgotten history.

Shinzo Abe doesn’t fall short of Napoleonic swagger either. He dreams big about restoring  Japan’s la gloire, and reviving its “original’’ culture, which one does not have to scratch far to find its continental roots.

Japan is back, he has trumpeted – and how far back, many wait anxiously to find out as he takes us down memory lane to Yasukuni, where nearly 1000 war criminals, including 14 Class-A convicts, are enshrined.

Since his comeback from political exile – something like Napoleon’s return from Elba before meeting his Waterloo – Shinzo Abe has wreaked calculated mischief.

He has outsourced his outrageous denial of the `comfort women’ issue in 2007 to fellow loonybins such as Katsuro Morii of  Japan’s national broadcaster and Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto.

Abe has moved on to other taunts that hint big of a Little Napoleon complex, conniving and petty.  His shtick includes a photo-op with a training jet numbered 731 (the biological unit that used thousands of war captives as live guinea pigs) and a cheap shot at fudging the definition of “aggression’’.

A body count in the millions and billions of damage during World War II still do not quite cut it as `aggression’ for Abe.

At Davos, the `hot economy, cold politics’ label on the China-Japan relationship is likened to a similar pre-1914 situation between England and Germany.

A closer parallel is the 1894/95 war when Japan attacked China after a decade of military build-up. Alarm bells from yore ring when Abe presses forward for offensive capabilities even as Japan continues baiting China over Diaoyutai/Senkakus.

His picnic trip to Yasukuni epitomizes Japanese recalcitrance over its war record. Abe gamely explains away his frolics with dead mass murderers by trying to equate the United States’ Arlington Cemetery – a secular resting place – with the Shinto-based war shrine in Tokyo.

Why aren’t we convinced?

An explanation from an article by Mindy Kotler in National Interest:

“But for Japan’s conservative leaders, Yasukuni has become a tacit political act. War is presented as a noble and glorious sacrifice preserving  Japan’s Imperial institution.  To this day, Yasukuni allows a Prime Minister to assert Japan’s independence and re-cast its past.’’

The lie is nailed to Abe’s hypocrisy about remembrance of souls and renouncing war.  There is probably nothing that Japan’s rightists would love more than a grudge match.

Unfortunately there are just as many hotheaded Chinese spoiling for a clincher round.

War talk is rising this year, the 120th anniversary of the disastrous Sino-Japanese war; 1894 and 2014 are both Jiawu/Wood Horse years.

The past is clearly unfinished business in East Asia. But patience is counselled. Guns at dawn over Diaoyutai are pointless if you burn your own butt as well.

The best revenge for China is to outclass Japan on every human index: cultural, economic, technology, etc. Another 20 or 30 years is just a blip on the 5000 year-old radar of Chinese civilization.

Eventually, Shinzo Abe and others of his stripe will be left on the wrong side of history.

(Update: Japan’s Foreign Ministry clarifies that the comparison of China and Japan with England and Germany before WWI was a mistake in translation by an interpreter).

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  1. ersim
    February 4th, 2014 at 05:35 | #1

    The thing is the U.S. is encouraging the right wing government in Japan in taking a hostile position against China. At what price?

  2. February 4th, 2014 at 10:03 | #2

    Firstly, I applaud you for writing a this article and agree with the position you have taken. However, I want to advice you that you have fallen trap into your English language training background. In the English language, Napoleon complex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_complex is used to describe “short people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives.” It is actually a myth and was actually used as English propaganda to slander Napoleon Bonaparte who is not short.

    Another example of slander in the English language is using the term Dutch for paying for oneself in a restaurant. It implies that the Dutch are stingy. Anyway, since you have used Napoleon as an example, I want to expand on that. As you can tell, in English perception, Napoleon is a power hungry, conniving little man. However, in the eyes of historian he is a brilliant general and politician of his time. Most French people would speak of him highly as he lead France’s army in a string of victories. As for being power hungry, the British would went on in the 18th and 19th century to build the largest European overseas empires. So it is obvious the slander was done to cloak one’s own ambition and action!

    In many ways, it is similar to why many Japanese consider Hirobumi Ito as a great statesman while considering his Korean assassin, Ahn Jung-Geun as a terrorist.

  3. N.M.Cheung
    February 4th, 2014 at 12:32 | #3

    Napoleon? I don’t think so. More like Amy Chua’s minority looking for its triple play package. Japan always has a inferior/superior complex toward China. With its cultural heritage borrowed/stolen/plundered from China, even included its Shinto religion. Japanese pirates has been raiding Chinese coast even before 15th century. With Commodore Perry forcing open Japan and Meiji Restoration Japan has been imitating West in attempting to catch up and be part of the master race. The only thing lacking is the impulse control. Looking at its geography and demographic Japan is rather hopeless unless it can trigger a war between U.S. and China, hence the bait of Diaoyu Islands as a trigger of U.S./Japanese defense treaty. Chinese students in U.S. has been demonstrating for Diaoyu Islands since 1970s, yet China has been underplaying it until Japan forced the issue recently. I think Chinese leadership is well versed in “The Art of War”, and essentially ignored Abe while concentrating on the economy and stood her ground on Diaoyu. Abe economic is already showing cracks and I doubt he’s much long for this world.

  4. February 4th, 2014 at 13:13 | #4

    I really like this post. I am probably one of those hotheads itching for a “clincher round” with Japan (love that term). But if I think it through, it doesn’t make much sense.

    China by no means possess the kind of military superiority over Japan as Japan did over China 100 or so years ago. So even in the best of scenario, a win by China will be limited. I mean, China is not going to be bombing Tokyo anytime soon without repercussion. This is not the type of “payback” worth fighting.

    If China does recapture superiority in every category, a war can be won without a fight. Future Japanese will criticize their wartime atrocities and today’s right wingers as Germans today criticize the Nazis. They will apologize to their neighbors even as their neighbors move beyond their history. Liuqiu will declare independence naturally. Etc., etc.

    A limited win is worth very little – it’s symbolic at best – but it does come with real downside risks for China on her road to development. A win-across-the-board win means a lot – and will almost inevitably come – if China is made of what she is made of.

    So … the solution to me is clear… Keep our eyes on the ball – on the China Dream. The rest is just dust in the wind…

  5. raffiaflower
    February 4th, 2014 at 21:40 | #5

    @ Ray: yes, the French have a much different view of Napoleon – he is their greatest empire builder (as I mention) and a statue dedicated to him still sits high above the Place Vendome in Paris. You can’t get taller than that, lol!
    Napoleon despised the English as ` a nation of shopkeepers’; the contempt was mutual, and had a long history. `Little Napoleon’ is a pejorative that could have come out from the English derision for Napoleon’s expansive ambitions, not his physical stature.
    “I love power,” said Napoleon. Pretty much the same thing, Japan’s sociopathic right-wing.

  6. Zack
    February 5th, 2014 at 02:10 | #6

    @Allen
    this, couldn’t agree more;

    the reason why the Japanese nationalists like Abe and US Imperialists like Hilay Clinton want to provoke a war with China now is because they know that a war will potentially delay China’s development to becoming the most powerful single nation on earth across the board.
    No, all China has to do now is ignore the provocations but punish interlocutors and reward people they can do business with, time is on China’s side.

  7. Zack
    February 5th, 2014 at 02:12 | #7

    also, it appears even the filipino slaves like aquino have resorted to breakig Godwin’s law; that man is really pathetic, i hope the philipines remains the shithole he’s so proud of whilst the rest of ASEAN powers on ahead with a resurging China

  8. ersim
    February 5th, 2014 at 07:32 | #8

    @Zack
    Sadly the Phillipines became a “shithole” as soon as the U.S. set foot on it in 1898. Only the U.S. has the expertise in creating “shitholes”.

  9. February 5th, 2014 at 07:52 | #9

    @raffiaflower
    It is a British propaganda effort against Napoleon. They try to paint him as a little man with an inferiority complex but the British themselves were busy invading other countries too. The British and French fought over North America and India during the 1700s. However, historian has given Napoleon his proper place in history. He is now world famous but Arthur Wellesley is little known.

  10. February 5th, 2014 at 08:39 | #10

    I do not foresee an armed confrontation between China and Japan. As the author has stated, as soon as China approach human development index comparable to Japan the battle will be won. A Chinese consumer boycott would mean the end of Japan Inc. Not a single shot need to be fired. That’s how the US beat down Japan in the late 1980s.

    To be honest, I have great respect for Japan as a nation and people. Yes, they have severe flaws in some aspects but which culture doesn’t. Please bear in mind that the US has two and a half times the population of Japan and is around 25 times larger in land mass. There is no surprise in outcome during a brief confrontation between the two. China has ten times the population and is also around 25 times bigger and richer in territory and resources.

    So why is Japan antagonizing its three immediate neighbours China, Russia and Korea at the same time? Well, firstly it is mainly for their internal consumption due to their political system. The politicians need to show their voters they are upholding Japanese territorial integrity. However, they fell into selective amnesia. They refused to address how these territories are obtained the first placed! The Japanese view is that they got the Diaoyu and Dokdo in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894, the northern islands in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. What is being suppressed is after WWII, Japan lost control of those territories due to the Yalta agreement. Secondly, the US seems to be giving a very vague message to Japan that somehow the US will back them in those claim. US ambiguous position in regard to serving Japanese politicians visiting the Yasukuni Shrine embolden them.

    Frankly, I don’t think right wing politicians like Abe etc are conniving and calculating. In fact, they are playing a very stupid nationalistic game that antagonized all three neighbours which are all very powerful countries. If they are really crooked they would return settled two of those disputes and concentrate on dealing with one, but this will never happen due to their internal politics. So what will be the future outcome? It will simply drags on with people of those three countries distrusting Japan. Dokdo and the Northern islands are garrisoned by Korea and Russia. Japan would never launch an invasion. The easiest option seems to be the Diaoyu. However, what would they achieved if they occupied those islets? Chinese consumers worldwide would simply end Japan’s export economy!

    Is time on the side of the right wingers in Japan? Japanese industries are world leaders but they actually peaked around LATE 1990s. They have achieved a miracle but that’s as high as they can get. Today’s their industries are gradually being edged out by Korean and Chinese companies. It is actually natural as Japan is just roughly the size of Hubei, Hunan combined. Those two provinces which are richer in resources have only 1/8 the per capita GDP. The only thing China’s leadership need to do is improve the economy and the rest will come into place.

  11. Sleeper
    February 6th, 2014 at 01:36 | #11

    @Ray

    I think we should never over-estimate both Japanese and American politicians’ IQ.

    As to American politicians, children of Anglo-Saxon’s, would like to lever the world by all means that even forget justice and make deals with devils. Their antecessor, UK, did it with Hitler and finally even had their own consumed. During the cold war American politicians also co-operated with several devils but finally tasted the bitter of bitten back, and it seems that they still haven’t got enough lessons yet for they’re still able to afford.

    I think they will, at least partly loosen the chain on the beast named Japan for biting China and stupidly think that they can always have the conflict controlled. But this time the consequence will be much more than a “lesson”.

    While talking about Japanese politicians, I think most of them have their brains out of their cranium after the generation of Emperor Meiji. Therefore we should never image that Japan won’t do anything stupid. The tragedy of Pearl Harbor is a serious lesson to all of us.

    On the other hand, Japan still can’t have self-confidence without biting and humiliating China, for they would like to prove their cultures are unique but not original from China and their superiority among east and south-east Asia. It can explain why many of them so eagerly deny their dark and terrible history in WW2.

    In a word China should always prepare for the worst.

  12. Sleeper
    February 6th, 2014 at 04:14 | #12

    http://www.ribenxinwen.com/html/d/201402/05-19253.html

    Things are getting interesting.

    “Abe criticized Asahi News Agency for its attempt of subverting current government”——

    “Abe said, ‘I heard that Asahi is operating for the purpose of subverting Abe’s government. I agree with it.’ ”

    (P.S.: Asahi is one of the big three of Japanese mass media. The other two are Sankei and Yomiuri respectively)

    Wow, how dare a politician in the so-called “free world” declare war against one of the three mass media giants, even though he is backed by the other two?

  13. pug_ster
    February 6th, 2014 at 04:14 | #13

    @Sleeper

    I agree. It is true that China would probably not start a war with Japan. But who knows, some false flag, gulf of Tonkin incident will make an excuse for Japanese leaders to start bombing China and then dragging other nations (especially the US) in the process. That’s what happened in WWI. The alliances are there, but it only needs some incident to start a war.

  14. February 6th, 2014 at 11:56 | #14

    @Sleeper

    I’d really like to follow up on this story about Abe calling out on a major newspaper as being “subversive”, but I can’t find anything in English on this.

    Does anyone have any leads?

    Also I just read this on reuter. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/us-china-japan-idUSBREA1505Q20140206.

    China’s Foreign Ministry has criticized remarks by a board member of Japan’s state broadcaster who said a massacre carried out by Japanese troops in China’s then-capital of Nanjing in 1937 did not happen.

    China consistently reminds people of Japan’s historical brutality, such as the Nanjing Massacre in which China says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people.

    A post-war Allied tribunal put the death toll at 142,000, but some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place

    Naoki Hyakuta, a member of NHK’s board of governors who is also a novelist and commentator, was quoted by Japanese media this week as saying the Nanjing Massacre did not happen.

    In a later follow-up on Twitter, he said it was unclear how many people had been killed in Nanjing.

    Where did this 142,000 number came from?

    Linking from wikipedia entry on nanking massacre, the lowest number from any tribunal is allegedly this http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/PTO/IMTFE/IMTFE-8.html (The International Military Tribunal of the Far East) which put it at over 200,000.

    Estimates made at a later date indicate that the total number of civilians and prisoners of war murdered in Nanking and its vicinity during the first six weeks of the Japanese occupation was over 200,000. That these estimates are not exaggerated is borne out by the fact that burial societies and other organizations counted more than 155,000 bodies which they buried. They also reported that most of those were bound with their hands tied behind their backs. These figures do not take into account those persons whose bodies were destroyed by burning, or by throwing them into the Yangtze River, or otherwise disposed of by Japanese.

    Historians and witnesses (Western sources) generally estimates the number between 250,000 and 300,000 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/223038.stm).

    As for the common assertion that it is unclear how many exactly died – isn’t that a red herring? Do we know exactly how many died in the holocaust? Or how many native americans died? That doesn’t take away from the tragedy and the injustice, does it?

    Besides, it is well known that “[a]n accurate estimation of the death toll in the massacre has not been achieved because most of the Japanese military records on the killings were deliberately destroyed or kept secret shortly after the surrender of Japan in 1945.”

    Is that the Japanese or the U.S.’s doing? Or both? Does that explain the current lack of sympathy – even cover up – of the Nanjing massacre? The dilution of human atrocities? If so – this means the current world order as we know it is very capable of committing such things again. WWII did not solve anything for the world. It’s not a just war. As far as the U.S. was concerned, it was a war of convenience. History will repeat.

    Truly very sad…

  15. Black Pheonix
    February 6th, 2014 at 12:41 | #15

    @Allen

    Yes, the whole “you can’t prove the number” excuse is just another indication that they are still engaging in cover up and pretense of ignorance, instead of facing up to the history.

    And they focus on the Nanjing Massacre as if it’s the ONLY massacre that happened, and using that to say, “well, if you cant’ prove 200,000 in Nanjing, you can’t prove Japan did any thing else wrong either.”

    Well, the bigger number? 14 million Chinese died during WWII Japanese occupation. (Not some “might have born infant, but wasn’t born” type statistics, but straight 14 million died).

    Well, I say, Japan needs to face up to that 14 million number and pay reparation. After that’s settled, THEN we can have all the time in the world to talk about how many died in Nanjing.

  16. February 9th, 2014 at 01:01 | #16

    Good post. A few scattered comments:

    1. The “West” has been remarkably retrained, if not totally understanding, about Japanese politicians visiting the Yasukuni. I wonder if similar tolerance will be afforded to a bunch of German parliamentarians attending a memorial service which includes Nazi war criminals.

    2. I believe China understands time is on its side, and is more than willing to be patient. The Japanese know that too. Japan is one of the most severely aging countries, and suicidally shut-off from vibrant immigration. Some Japanese might see this as the last chance to let off a final burst of hara-kiri energy before the country loses steam altogether, and is forever severed from its past militaristic fervour. I don’t think China can afford to entertain the wishful thinking that military conflict is avoidable through patience and tolerance.

    3. The US would be very happy if Asia can blow up and remain explosive like the Middle-East. So why won’t they add fuel to the fire behind the scene?

    4. On Comfort Woman, I have done a fictional piece based on the St. Stephen’s College Massacre. Some might find it discomforting. When researching and writing this short story, I certainly found that lending imagination to what the gang-rape victims must have gone through was a highly distressing experience.

    I’m often dumbfounded by Hong Kong people who express “understanding” to Japanese War Crimes because “Look, the Japanese are really disciplined, and line up well”. I suppose not everyone can retain a sense of proportion when life has become excessively comfy. I think a disciplined troop organising open gang-rape is not only unprecedented, but also extraordinarily creepy.

    Here’s my little tory (Chinese version also available as usual): Comfort Woman Eleanor (http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2014/02/comfort-woman-eleanor.html)

  17. Matchut
    February 10th, 2014 at 17:09 | #17

    Guo Du :
    1. The “West” has been remarkably retrained, if not totally understanding, about Japanese politicians visiting the Yasukuni. I wonder if similar tolerance will be afforded to a bunch of German parliamentarians attending a memorial service which includes Nazi war criminals.

    According to conspiracy, the “Jewish lobby” is extremely powerful in the West, so major German politicians wouldn’t even try that in the first place. Comments on HH past articles have discussed how people in the West are far more sensitive about discriminating or disrespecting the Jews than, e.g., the Chinese.

    Much of the current Japanese political establishment is of the same crowd as (and often biological descendants of) the Japanese political establishment before and during WWII. At the start of the Cold War, the western bloc needed strong anti-communist leaders, and the best candidates in Japan and South Korea turned out to be the recently-out-of-power imperialists. If their enemies are now China and North Korea, then they wouldn’t want to make their “allies” look bad.

  18. ersim
    February 10th, 2014 at 20:39 | #18

    Sometimes I wonder if the reason the West has been “tolerant” towards the Japanese has anything to do with the First Sino-Japanese War (1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1905) that earned the Japanese the “respect” of the West.

  19. Zack
    February 11th, 2014 at 06:43 | #19

    the ‘West’ is only tolerant of Japan’s militarism and neofascism because they believe in realpolitik above even their own ideology-or the bedrock of their own legitimacy: being the victors of WW2. EVer read say the NYT or the WaPo or the LAT when it comes to Abe’s fascist undertakings or the stupidity coming out of the Jap broadcaster trying to say that NAnjing Massacre didn’t ‘kill as many people’ or someshit.
    Japan had better get their shit in order, kick out these mafia cronies in Tokyo and restore the good sense of the Japanese people and their relations with the rest of Asia.

    THe enablers of this japanese militarism, ie the Pentagon and neocons in Washington will certainly have a lot to answer for. i can only ask why there aren’t more people like Stephen Harner in the Beltway these days:
    http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/why-brookings-is-wrong-about-the-pivot-to-asia/

  20. ersim
    February 11th, 2014 at 07:20 | #20

    @Zack
    Maybe the Japanese elites are “brainwashed” by Western influence after 1868 ” Meiji Restoration” believing in being “honorary whites”. Might explain how “gullible” they are in how the U.S. uses them and manipulate them. The end of WWII is not that long ago. Still bruised egos going on. I doubt they have learned any lessons.

  21. Machiavellianism
    February 11th, 2014 at 08:24 | #21
  22. N.M.Cheung
    February 11th, 2014 at 18:01 | #22

    One thing I find puzzling about Japan is that although its culture is derived from China, it is much more patriarchic. Maybe due to its geography, its transition to modernity seems to stop on sexual equality. I do not mean just its treatment on the issue of comfort women. On paper women may be equal, but Japanese men treats women as disposable, on Geisha, pornography, and even indifference toward prostitution for occupying Americans. I think the militaristic thinking has a lot to do with this attitude.
    As an aside I am glad the anti-corruption drive in China has now spread south to sexual trades there. Some may criticize it as overdoing or Maoist puritanical retreat, but I think all corruptions are linked, and some corrective is by no means bad.

  23. Zack
    February 11th, 2014 at 22:11 | #23

    @N.M.Cheung
    psychologically, i see it as the ‘little China’ syndrome observed amongst nationalists of certain Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Mongolia or Vietnam ie people whose countries’ cultures owed so much to Chinese culture and yet hated the fact that they were only a copy, rather than the originator of east asian civilisation. Therefore this inferiority complex manifests in internationalism, and xenophobia and racism against Chinese culture and peoples.
    That’s why its fitting that Japan’s conduct and atrocities in China during the 30s-40s can only be described as oedipal

  24. February 12th, 2014 at 01:19 | #24

    Yesterday, I came across an interesting piece at globaltimes about political challenges facing China today.

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/841596.shtml

    I don’t necessarily agree with everything the interviewee has to say, but I do like the tone – and it does sets in train many ideas I think that are insightful and perhaps even constructive. I may write a piece in response to the interview.

    There is a section in the interview about China-Japanese relations.

    GT: How do you see the spat between China and Japan?

    Kirby: The Chinese are obsessed with getting a sincere apology from the Japanese, while the Japanese are obsessed with not giving it. That’s the problem.

    The Germans have apologized many times. The Japanese have actually apologized many times too. The difference, perhaps, is that the Germans eventually meant it, whereas many people, be they Korean, Chinese or Myanmese, don’t think Japanese have apologized sincerely.

    And if you want to be sincere, the last thing you should do is to go to the Yasukuni Shrine. But that’s not what motivates Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It’s unbelievably stupid.

    But China should not overreact. Great nations should not make small matters the center of their attention. And Japan is not the only country that has challenges facing its history.

    Sino-Japanese relations have thousands of years of history, and even in the last 100 years there have been, and there remain, important areas of cooperation.

    China’s modern history was shaped in many positive ways by Japan – terms from gongchanzhuyi (communism) to shehuizhuyi (socialism) and minzhuzhuyi (democracy), are Japanese translations of Western terms. The first generation of anti-Qing revolutionaries was educated in Japan.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, Sino-Japanese relations were actually very good. The same issues were there, but people chose to look to the future, not to the past.

    Young people today in China who’ve never met a Japanese person sometimes seem more anti-Japanese than their parents or grandparents, which doesn’t make sense.

    When a Japanese Prime Minister visits the Yasukuni Shrine, China should absolutely complain and protest, but then get over it. Japan did terrible things in a war that it fought – and lost. But should this history truly be at the center of contemporary Sino-Japanese relations?

    GT: Can China lead Asia despite the tensions in current geopolitical environment?

    Kirby: Of course. China is inevitably a great player. If you look at the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the centrality of power in the Chinese mainland was the dominant story, in trade and in military power. That’s the historical setting.

    The unnatural set of affairs was the 19th century, when the Qing came apart from the twin evils of neiluan waihuan (internal rebellion and external aggression).

    The challenge today is for China to be not only the major power, but also the leader in a positive sense. China is the big brother.

    It can give other regional players support. It need not contest every islet in the sea.

    This doesn’t mean Beijing has to agree with its neighbors on everything. China is powerful, but it is not as self-confident as one thinks it should be.

    Yet Beijing has shown it can deal with thorny regional issues in an increasingly sophisticated way. Take the Taiwan question.

    I give Beijing and Taipei enormous credit for the way they have handled cross-Strait relations since 2008, very carefully, not emotionally. Beijing is becoming much more sophisticated in dealing with Taiwan.

  25. February 12th, 2014 at 05:27 | #25

    Most of Japan’s ruling class elites are descendants of Samurais converted to politicians and business managers during the Meiji Restoration. During the past couple of decades, Japan has been struggling futilely against a perpetual economic downturn, while it’s population ages more rapidly than any other country’s. The Fukshima fiasco, though well kept under the blanket by the mainstream media, is MANY times more serious than most people have been led to believe. But there’s only so much one can do to keep radiation covered.

    Though Japan still hides behind a mysterious language barrier, decades of “Western worship” has greatly emasculated the Bushido spirit in the younger generation, diluting it with Western liberalism. What will Japan become in 30 year’s time? I see a very desperate bunch of Samurai leftovers scratching their heads. When they are desperate, their hara-kiri DNA might just remerge. Japan, after all, has a bizarrely romantic notion about suicide.

  26. ersim
    February 12th, 2014 at 08:31 | #26

    @Guo Du
    At the rate these right-wing militarists like Abe are going, they are going to drag the rest of the world with them with their version of hara-kiri.

  27. pug_ster
    February 13th, 2014 at 17:07 | #27

    Abe wants to be a history revisionist for Japan and the most dangerous. This is what he thinks about comfort women.

    http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1997272_1997273_1997286,00.html

    First he believes that sex slaves weren’t forced.

    He also considered that Japanese occupations in many Asian countries were not “invasions.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0425/Is-Japan-s-Shinzo-Abe-finally-acting-on-his-true-nationalist-colors

    And Abe even believes that the Class A war criminals in Japan were “not war criminals under the laws of Japan.” IE, his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was jailed for 3 years for being a Class A criminal.

    http://japandailypress.com/pm-abe-says-wwii-war-crime-trials-were-just-victors-justice-1525189/

    And now little Abe wants to go back to the “Land of the Rising Sun” days and scrap Article 9 and repeat the same mistakes as those Imperial Japan thugs did. Truly sad.

  28. pug_ster
    February 13th, 2014 at 23:45 | #28

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/1213/Japanese-push-back-hard-against-state-secrets-law

    It seems that Abe’s Japan has copied US’ state secrets law. Journalists and politicans are punished for leaking “state secrets.”

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