Transforming Japan-U.S. alliance only increases tension in Asia -- Akahata editorial, February 12 (excerpts)

Japan-U.S. security is entering a critical stage. At the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting later this month, foreign and defense ministers from Japan and state and defense secretaries from the U.S. will discuss Japan's new role in the implementation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the joint use of U.S. bases in Japan in accordance with the U.S. Bush administration's defense posture review plan.

To get the Self-Defense Forces prepared to take part in U.S. preemptive wars anywhere in the world will arouse fear among Asian people who remember falling victim to Japan's war of aggression and will increase military tension in Asia.

What must be watched?

The National Defense Program Outline adopted last December stated that North Korea is an "unstable factor" and that China is a country that needs the SDF's close attention because of its military activities, treating both as hypothetical enemies. This is a serious matter because the Koizumi government is making overseas dispatches as the SDF's main mission and attempting to have the SDF participate in U.S. preemptive strikes.

If Japan-U.S. SCC treats China in the same way as Japan's National Defense Program Outline in setting a common security strategy goal, it will only help to increase regional tension.

As stated by DA chief Ohno Yoshinori, the National Defense Program Outline constitutes two sides of the same coin along with the U.S. defense rebalancing plan. The "Outline" advocates that Japan will push ahead with SDF dispatches to Afghanistan and Iraq because it is Japan's contribution for international peace.

Such an assertion will make it easier for the SDF to be deployed in war zones in Asia, wherever the U.S. launches invasions using "weapons of mass destruction" or "connection with terrorism" as a pretext.

If Japan, with its war-renouncing Constitution, commits itself to directly supporting a U.S. invasion of Asia, it will naturally increase Asian people's anxieties.

It is wrong to view the Asian situation as one that needs to be dealt with by military force. The task is for Japan to work in favor of the tide promoting peace in Asia.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which prohibits the use of force and calls for the peaceful resolution of difference and conflicts, attracted seven more signatories, including Japan, China, South Korea, and Russia, in addition to the ten ASEAN member countries.

Japan, as part of Asia, must gear its diplomatic efforts toward making the current of peace steadier and not go against this. Japan must give up carrying hostility to specific Asian countries. It must immediately stop pursuing the SDF buildup under the Japan-U.S. alliance plan.

Away from 'Pro-westernism apart from Asia'

Ignoring itself as a member of Asia, Japan's Meiji government decided to westernize itself. Consequently, it colonized Korea and Taiwan (Formosa), and invaded the whole of Asia, beginning with China. If the government continues subservience to the U.S., it will mean committing the same serious mistake again. The Japanese government must act as a non-belligerent member of Asia. (end)

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