Thursday, August 31, 2006

[far-east] the sun rises yet again

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe will succeed Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September.

Veterans of World War 2 are a vanishing breed and yet memories will be rekindled by current events.

The agenda will be ultra-conservative, nationalistic and with a pro-US foreign-policy agenda. Abe's policy goals also include promulgating a new constitution, forging a thinly veiled alliance of Asia-Pacific democracies to counter China, advocating a stronger alliance with Australia and India, authorizing the use of force for defense against aggression directed at Japan and authorizing more active participation in international peace-cooperation activities and the establishment of a permanent law to enable overseas deployment of SDF troops.

Japan has an army of about 240,000 troops and sustains one of the world's biggest defense expenditures, explaining that the SDF is not military. Nationalism is on the rise but the only way to officially run a military is through ‘collective defence’. As long as there is at least one other party and deployment is labelled ‘manoeuvres’, then it is deemed constitutional.

The presidential election is supposedly set for September 20.

based on the article by Hisane Masaki []

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