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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 25 - May 8  > For whom did Abe say the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is ‘irreplaceable’?
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2007 April 25 - May 8 [POLITICS]
editorial 

For whom did Abe say the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is ‘irreplaceable’?

April 29, 2007
Akahata editorial

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visited Washington and held talks with U.S. President George W. Bush at Camp David on April 27. They met at a time when the U.S. Congress and media were increasingly critical of Abe’s remarks that “in a narrow sense” Japan had never coerced foreign women into wartime sex slavery.

Fending off the criticism by expressing an ambiguous apology, Abe reaffirmed “the irreplaceable Japan-U.S. alliance,” and pledged “to grow this stronger as an unshakable alliance.” Once again, the talks revealed the dangerous direction of the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. military alliance and Prime Minister Abe’s extraordinary subservience to the U.S.

Promising the U.S. to change constitutional interpretation

President Bush appreciated Abe’s repeated “apologies” over the sex slavery issue by stating that Abe’s statements were “very straightforward” as was the 1993 Kono Statement. With this appreciation, Bush, in fact, told Abe not to deviate from the Kono Statement that had acknowledged the Japanese military’s involvement in forcing women into sex slavery.

In a joint press conference with the president, however, the prime minister described the sex slave issue as a general human rights issue by stating, “The 20th century was a century that human rights were violated in many parts of the world.” Such remarks will only make the people of the world more resentful.

The prime minister also told the president that he will strive to “move Japan beyond the postwar regime.” Since Japan’s “postwar regime” was established on the peace principle of war renunciation based on remorse over the war of aggression, breaking away from this will establish nothing but a framework for waging wars.

In this connection, it is a serious problem that Abe reported to Bush that he launched “on the eve of this trip a blue-ribbon panel for the purpose of reshaping the legal foundation for national security.” With this, Abe officially committed himself to enabling Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense, which the government itself has long held to be unconstitutional, by changing interpretations on the Constitution while seeking the adverse revision of Article 9, the basis of Japan’s peace.

The Self-Defense Forces’ use of force to defend the U.S. forces while Japan is not under attack is not “self-defense” but preemptive attack.

Abe’s attitude towards the Iraq issue is servile and extraordinary. The U.S. Congress approved the supplementary budget that required the government to withdraw the U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of next March. However, Abe stated that Japan “understands and supports” the U.S. military operations in Iraq and “will be with the United States at all times.” Taking part in the U.S. war on Iraq and carrying out the missile defense program and the realignment of the U.S. forces to satisfy U.S. demands will only increase the risk for Japan to be involved in future wars.

Reneging on principle of postwar politics

After WWII, Japan started its reconstruction on the basis of remorse over its war of aggression and the determination to never wage war. Today, the growing opposition to the war on Iraq, the international efforts to solve the North Korean issue diplomatically and politically, and other actual political developments in the world are demonstrating the pioneering significance of Article 9.

The Japan-U.S. alliance may be “irreplaceable” for Abe who has been criticized for his remarks over the wartime sex slavery issue and for Bush who has been faced with the deadlock in the Iraq issue. However, it is this alliance that threatens the Japanese people and world people. - Akahata, April 29, 2007
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