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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 30 - July 6  > Independent diplomacy is pivotal to peace Akahata editorial
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2010 June 30 - July 6 [POLITICS]

Independent diplomacy is pivotal to peace
Akahata editorial

August 21, 2009
After the start of the House of Representatives general election campaign, Prime Minister Aso Taro’s hawkish stance has become conspicuous.

He says that North Korea is a manifest threat and that the primary task now is to defend the nation from the threat. He now emphasizes the urgent need to strengthen the military alliance with the United States to counter North Korea’s missile threat.

Such a military-oriented hawkish stance is extraordinary. It is clear that such a policy goes against the global efforts towards resolving the North Korean issue politically and diplomatically, and isolates Japan from the international community.

It is urgent to put an end to the Liberal Democratic-Komei government and to establish an independent diplomacy for peace in line with Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.

Putting party interests first

Commenting on Aso’s increasingly hawkish move in this general election campaign, mass media pointed out that Aso is making such remarks with the aim of gaining support from conservatives (Asahi Shimbun, August 19, 2009).

In order to maintain his support base by dodging public criticism, Aso is pushing ahead with the hawkish policy so he can avoid talking about other issues in the election. Such an attitude putting party interests first is blatantly dishonest.

It is ridiculous that Aso speaks about a possible North Korean invasion of Japan in the attempt to justify Japan’s militaristic posturing. Although North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are against what it pledged before the international community and is indeed outrageous, the international community is making political and diplomatic efforts through the U.N. and the Six-Party Talks to force North Korea to put an end to its lawless activities.

Under such circumstances, if Japan tries to respond militarily to what it calls the North Korean “threat”, it will make the issue difficult to resolve.

Aso is only calling for military responses, such as inspections of North Korean cargo ships by the Self-Defense Forces and the strengthening of the missile defense program with the U.S., without considering any effort to diplomatically resolve the issue through the international community. This only makes it more difficult to pursue a peaceful resolution of the North Korean issue and further increases tension.

On a TV debate program aired shortly before the start of the general election campaign, Aso called for the Constitution to be revised in order to enable Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense, which allows the SDF to engage if the U.S., Japan’s ally, has been attacked. The government has officially recognized the right as unconstitutional. The prime minister favors the interception of ballistic missiles heading to the U.S. and protecting U.S. vessels on international waters with force if needed. Attempting to turn Japan into a nation fighting in wars with the U.S. must not be allowed.

For a post LDP-Komei government

It is increasingly important to change the distorted policies of the Liberal Democratic Party that clings to the Japan-U.S. military alliance.

The general election debate has been focused on what kind of policies should be implemented by a post LDP-Komei government. While the Democratic Party of Japan calls for a tight and equal Japan-U.S. alliance, it sticks to the maintenance of the bilateral military alliance and avoids discussing security and diplomatic issues. The DPJ will not fundamentally change the LDP policies even if it is elected to power.

The Japanese Communist Party calls for an independent diplomacy for peace with Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. If the JCP makes progress in the election and fulfill its role as a constructive opposition party, the current distorted policies can be overturned. - Akahata, August 21, 2009
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