'Divine nation' and revivalism

Following is the translation of Part Four of Akahata's new series "Young pro-arms buildup lawmakers inclined towards bipartisanship in support of warlike security and diplomatic policy" on July 3.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe Shinzo was under fire for stating in a lecture in 2002 that "constitutionally, Japan can possess nuclear weapons." That was precisely when parliamentary discussions began on the contingency bills.

Praising the war of aggression

Abe asserted, "I've just introduced what former Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke had stated in the Diet that it is not appropriate to reject any form of constitutional interpretation of Japan's nuclear armament to the effect of ruling out the use of any types of nuclear weapons" (June 10, 2002, at the Lower House Special Committee meeting on Contingency Legislation).

Asked about his true intention in the above speech, Abe has often quoted what Kishi (Class-A war criminal) and his grandfather, stated in the Diet.

In prewar Japan, Kishi was the vice director of "Manchuria Country"'s Industries Division, a key position in the colonization of northern China. Later he became the Commerce and Industry Minister under Prime Minister Tojo Hideki's Cabinet which started the Pacific War. He played a central role in establishing a state control of industries in order to promote the war of aggression.

Abe always describes the era of his grandfather as an "era of glory in the run-up to the great war, an era in which Japan made a great leap forward".

Abe was the vice secretary general of the LDP's parliamentarian group set up to observe the 50th anniversary of the war's end. He was also a member of the history review committee that edited the book titled the "Review of the Great East Asia War" which was dedicated to praise Japan's wars of aggression.

In the "Review of the Great East Asia War", Abe wrote: "I believe that Japan's war was totally different from what Germany under the Nazis did at the time in terms of intention, content, and scale." In a book entitled the "Declaration of 'Conservative Revolution'", he stated: "What were behind the decisions those leaders made 50 or 60 years ago? ... They had their beliefs that could have been justified at the time."

After all, Abe's argument arises from his belief that Japan's war of aggression had been only for "self-reliance and self-defense." Arguments put forward by "young pro-arms buildup lawmakers" are more or less in common with Abe's. All these moves are in line with the forces campaigning in support of the war of aggression.

Former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro on May 15, 2000 stated: "Japan is a divine nation with the emperor at its center." He was speaking at a meeting of the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership, a group of parliamentarians who believe the imperial family should be at the center of Japanese society. Abe is the group's secretary general, and former and incumbent directors general of the Defense Agency Nakatani Gen and Ishiba Shigeru are its members.

Abe is also the secretary general of the "Association of Young Parliamentarians to Review Japan's Future and History Textbooks," which is deeply connected with the rightist "Association to Publish New History Textbooks." Later, the "Association of Suprapartisan Parliamentarians to Review History Textbooks" was formed by those from the Democratic, Liberal, and Conservative parties. In this association, Yoneda Kenzo, acting chief of the LDP National Defense Division at the time, and Defense Agency Director General Ishiba played key roles.

Explaining their ideological backgrounds, both Abe and Ishiba have said that they preferred reading the right-wing publications, including monthly magazine "Shokun (You)!"

Resisting historical tides

Japan's mass media call Abe, Ishiba and others as "neo-defense group" members and praise them to the skies. However, a glance at their real picture tells us that they can hardly be colored as "neo" but that they are actually working to "simplify" the conservative and reactionary policy lines in Japan.

In short, the "Young pro-arms buildup lawmakers" are incorporating themselves into their campaign to support U.S. preemptive attack strategy and praise Japan's war of aggression. No doubt, such an argument is completely alien to historical currents in Japan and elsewhere in the world. (end)

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