Saturday, February 07, 2004

The end of Japanese principled pacifism

My favorite headline of the week:

"Japan bans pork, alcohol for troops in Iraq, urges mustache growing"

Hearts and minds. The Japanese have taken the wise precaution of paying the local Iraqi tribal leaders not to shoot at their soldiers ('checkbook war'), an excellent idea the Americans should consider (although the Japanese are getting cold feet already). Japan really has no business being in Iraq, and sending troops marks the first time since WWII that Japanese troops have been sent to a country where combat is taking place. This is arguably a breach of the Japanese constitution, not popular with the majority of the Japanese people, an unfortunate example of the ongoing influence of the extreme right wing on Japanese politics (the right wing wants Japan to be able to take offensive military positions rather than the self-defense that the Japanese military is limited to now), and a sad end to the principled pacifism that made Japan unique in the world and was a justified source of pride for the Japanese. A protestor, Asahikawa University president Ryochi Yamauchi, said:

"By sending troops to Iraq, Japan is losing something extremely precious. Since the end of World War II, no Japanese soldier has shot or killed any human being. That is something for Japan to be truly proud of and it’s worth fighting to preserve."

Japanese pacifism is yet another good thing destroyed by the immoral war of Bush and Blair.