Democracy took root in Japan nearly 70 years ago after the end of World War II. Who would have thought that someone could overturn it so easily? But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has done just that !
READ THE ARTICLES AND REPORTS BELOW TO SEE HOW THIS HAS COME ABOUT AND PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR FRIENDS . . .
An article by Lawrence Repeta in the Asia-Pacific Journal Japan Focus - July 22, 2013:
This is a critical moment in Japan's history. In parliamentary elections held on Sunday, July 21, the LDP gained thirty seats, giving the Party a total of 115 in the 242-seat Upper House. Following its sweeping victory in December 2012 Lower House elections, this means that together with its coalition partner Komeito, the Party holds secure majorities in both Houses of the Diet. Although the LDP does not control the two-thirds parliamentary majorities required to pass resolutions for constitutional change, it does control Japan's political agenda. Abe and his followers are in a good position to continue their push to revise the constitution.
Is it time to bring Japan's postwar experiment in liberal democracy to an end? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his followers seem to think so. In April 2012, the LDP published a clear blueprint for constitutional revision that would go a long way toward achieving this goal.
The Liberal Democratic Party has advocated fundamental revision of Japan's Constitution since its founding in 1955. Nearly seven decades after the end of World War II, LDP leaders remain humiliated by the thought that the country is governed under a constitution largely drafted by a team of foreign military officers. Abe is working hard to build a coalition with the power to rip the "imposed constitution" out by its philosophical roots. He and his followers, who dominate the LDP, envision an "autonomous constitution" (jishu kenpō) that would radically adjust the balance between government power and individual rights.
Under the present constitution, the Japanese people recovered from the unimaginable suffering of total war and have come to enjoy several generations of peace and prosperity. That constitution has acted as a powerful restraint on the nation’s rulers. It has never been amended. The constitution is the “supreme law” of the land. As we show below, the LDP seeks fundamental changes to that constitution that could have far-reaching and devastating effects.
What exactly do they have in mind? The LDP plan was spelled out in a comprehensive series of proposals (“nihon koku kenpō kaisei sōan” or “Draft Reform to Japan’s Constitution. Q & A”) published by the Party on April 28, 2012, a date selected to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Occupation. Six months later the Party published a pamphlet in user-friendly “Q&A” format to assist readers in working through the dry language of the revision proposals. All of this material is available on the LDP website.
The LDP revision plan would affect nearly all of the 103 articles of the 1947 Constitution. Most proposals are for minor changes in wording or technical adjustments that would not make a significant difference, but some LDP proposals could have a potentially devastating impact on individual rights protection in Japan.
Here are the Ten Most Dangerous Proposals:
1. Rejecting the universality of human rights.
2. Elevating "maintenance of public order" over all individual rights.
3. Eliminating free speech protection for activities "with the purpose of damaging the public.
interest or public order", or "associating with others for such purposes".
4. Deleting the comprehensive guarantee of all constitutional rights.
5. Attack on the "individual" as the focus of human rights.
6. New Duties for the People. Forced re-acceptance of Japan's wartime flag and national anthem and the enforced use of same in schools and the peoples' daily life.
7. Hindering freedom of the press and critics of government by prohibiting the "wrongful acquisition, possession and use of information relating to a person".
8. Granting the prime minister new power to declare "states of emergency" when the government [cabinet] can suspend ordinary constitutional processes.
9. Sweeping changes to Article Nine – "Japan's right to go to war".
10. Changing the requirements for making amendments to the Constitution.
THIS IS SHOCKING . . . Click here to read the LDP proposals in detail. Be sure to read the Appendix and the notes at the end for more information as well.
ED. NOTE: It was 80 years ago this year that Adolf Hitler and the NAZIS came to absolute power in Germany, and one of his first acts was to enact / impose legislation that would limit human rights and allow the Nazi Party to suppress those who opposed them and to run the country without the "government" in times they considered a crisis. Is history about to repeat itself?
HERE'S THE LATEST AS OF AUGUST 15, 2013
This year - for the first time in 20 years, Japan's August Memorial Day denies history and offers no condolences. . .
Japan PM speech skips reference to WWII remorse - READ THIS ARTICLE
Memorial Day in Japan: reconciliation and diplomacy are of utmost importance - READ THIS ARTICLE
Previous articles below from the LDP's election in December 2012 leading up to the present situation. And this is the ally that the US is pledged to helping - pretty scary scenario for the future!
DARK DAYS AHEAD FOR JAPAN IN RELATIONS WITH ITS ASIAN NEIGHBOURS AND THE WORLD, AS IT SHOWS NO CHANGE IN ITS POLICIES TOWARD ITS WORLD WAR II ATROCITIES
DENIAL AND NON-APOLOGY POLICY RETURNS AFTER LDP RE-ELECTION
It seems that the re-election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan last December has once again ushered in another era of denial of former atrocities and the desire to alter the facts of history concerning the treatment of POWs - both military and civilian, the so-called "Comfort Women" aka Sex Slaves, and the millions of Asian people murdered, raped, tortured and countries plundered during WWII.
In the past few months since the election, statements made by returning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other ministers clearly indicate that a return to the LDP's previous extreme right wing policies of denial of the atrocities so well documented through historical records in countless archives worldwide, on the internet and from so many other sources, will once again form the government's stand on these critical international issues.
Despite several "personal" so-called apologies made by former prime ministers in the 1990's and a few efforts by the government - particularly in the past few years, to placate some of the former British, Australian and American POWs with visits to Japan as so-called attempts at reconciliation, the basic policies of the Japanese government have remained unchanged since WWII. The simple truth is that Japan has never made a formal and official acknowledgement and apology to the world for its actions and the atrocities it committed in the Second World War!
Also, the "private" apologies made to only specific groups of Allied POWs such as the Canadian Hong Kong Veterans, and a few American ex-POWs in private meetings and conventions, by no means constitutes an "official" apology for the atrocities committed all across Asia against tens of thousands of POWs and civilian internees and the Asian people.
In addition, the apology made in the Japanese Diet several years ago - and then only after it was proven by actual WWII records found in Japan that former LDP Prime Minister Aso's family had used POWs as slaves in their mine, and despite the numerous previously repeated denials by the then PM - was still not really an "official" government apology.
British Indian Army POWs murdered after surrendering at Singapore in February 1942
Now Abe and the LDP want to roll back even those supposedly "sincere" apologies made by well-meaning PM's in 1993 and 1995, signalling a falling back into the ways of Bushido and the whitewashing of the truth of history once again.
This also negates the attempts made over the past several years by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to try to reverse the former right wing policies and acknowledge Japan's past WWII history, come to terms with it and make overtures of reconciliation, with seemingly genuine efforts being made by the foreign ministry to make amends for the past. Now all this good will soon be undone when Abe and his new government have their way.
The following is an article published in the NEW YORK TIMES on January 2, 2013. It is only one of a number of worldwide media reports pertaining to this hot and very important subject of Japanese acknowledgement of their past war crimes and crimes against humanity which have never been properly and truly acknowledged and apologized for.
January 2, 2013 - EDITORIAL
"Few relationships are as important to stability in Asia as the one between Japan and South Korea. Yet Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, seems inclined to start his tenure with a serious mistake that would inflame tensions with South Korea and make co-operation harder. He has signalled that he might seek to revise Japan’s apologies for its World War II aggression, including one for using Koreans and other women as sex slaves.
In 1993, (click to see article) Japan finally acknowledged that the Japanese military had raped and enslaved thousands of Asian and European women in army brothels, and offered its first full apology for those atrocities. A broader apology by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 (click to see article) conceded that “through its colonial rule and invasion,” Japan had caused “tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.”
In an interview with the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, Mr. Abe, a right-wing nationalist, was quoted by Reuters on Monday as saying he wants to replace the 1995 apology with an unspecified “forward looking statement.” He said that his previous administration, in 2006-7, had found no evidence that the women who served as sex slaves to Japan’s wartime military had, in fact, been coerced. However, at a news conference last week, the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said that Mr. Abe would uphold the 1995 apology but hinted he may revise the 1993 statement.
It is not clear how Mr. Abe, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, might modify the apologies, but he has previously made no secret of his desire to rewrite his country’s wartime history. Any attempt to deny the crimes and dilute the apologies will outrage South Korea, as well as China and the Philippines, which suffered under Japan’s brutal wartime rule.
Mr. Abe’s shameful impulses could threaten critical co-operation in the region on issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Such revisionism is an embarrassment to a country that should be focused on improving its long-stagnant economy, not whitewashing the past." (End of article)
PM Abe seems to think that the US will always be Japan's ally no matter what, but observers are watching very carefully to see how the US will handle these latest outbursts of Japanese denial and alienation based on its treatment of WWII history and its failure to make a sincere and truthful apology for its actions in WWII. As well, its aggression in the region with its continued disputes with China, Taiwan, Korea and Russia over islands in the northeast Asia region and other issues, is something that the whole world needs to take note and also be very wary of. Abe, who is the grandson of former Class A War Criminal and later post-war prime minister Nobusuke Kishi, also wants to rescind the articles in the Japanese constitution that prohibit Japan's involvement as a world military power and also limit human rights in Japan.
Here is another closely related article on the Comfort Women recently published by the New York Times which clearly shows the opportunity that Japan has for possibly reversing its archaic stance and come clean on the issue of the Comfort Women and hopefully the POW abuse and other issues as well.
MORE . . . and this is SCARY!
From THE ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL: JAPAN FOCUS - DATED JANUARY 28, 2013, comes a horrifying look at Japan's new right wing cabinet.
PM Abe and other LDP members tended to present a moderate "economy first" face on television and during the recent election campaign, but this was just a cover up and deliberate smokescreen to deceive the Japanese people and get themselves elected so that they could pursue their REAL AGENDA!
In order to spread awareness of some of the extreme ideas held by key conservatives and the changes that they wish to make to Japanese education and ideas of citizenship, Japanese NGO Network 21 has prepared a list of the various Diet groups to which members of the current Abe Cabinet belong. Following the list is description and discussion of the Diet groups and their key positions on such issues as Constitutional Revision, the Yasukuni Shrine, war responsibility and war atrocities, the comfort women, North Korea, and citizenship that clarify the core political principles of the Abe administration. Here is the url link to the article - click on it, read it and remember this when you see things start to change in Japan in the very near future -
IT'S GETTING WORSE - JUST AS PREDICTED!
Here is an article published in the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR newspaper on April 25, 2013, which states that PM Shinzo Abe is clearly pursuing his extreme Right Wing policies much to the detriment of Japan and it's relations with its Asian neighbours and to peace and stability in the region.
Is Japan's Shinzo Abe finally acting on his true nationalist colors?
Japan's prime minister appears to be stepping up his campaign to re-interpret Japan's wartime history, aggravating China and South Korea at a time when the region should be uniting to deal with North Korea.
"This has always been the real Abe," says Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo. "He really believes this stuff, and when he is not under the control of his bureaucrats, like during this week's parliamentary session, he says what he thinks. And he doesn't seem to realize how much he is hurting Japan."
Read this latest article and stay tuned for more - http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0425/Is-Japan-s-Shinzo-Abe-finally-acting-on-his-true-nationalist-colors
Let us hope and pray that PM Abe and others in this new government will finally acknowledge that the world is still waiting for a sincere, official, government-sponsored apology with the legislation that goes along with it, and that Japan will finally "come clean" about its past and thus be able to take a meaningful place in today's world community as Germany has done.
Let's also hope that the leaders of the world's democracies and all good people will stand up and protest to Japan - perhaps even boycotting Japanese businesses and products, in the interest of righting so many horrendous wrongs!
DECEMBER 6, 2013 - The controversial "Designated Secrets Protection Bill" is rammed through parliament. The LDP's first step to limit human rights in Japan has been accomplished!
On December 6, 2013, Japan’s Diet (National Assembly) passed a controversial Designated Secrets Protection Bill - legislation that could seriously jeopardize democracy in Japan. The Abe Shinzo administration rammed the bill through the Diet in less than a month. Both the Liberal Democratic Party [LDP]-led administration that proposed the bill, and the LDP-dominated Diet brazenly disregarded many voices of opposition, expressed in the public comments collected by the government (77% against and 13% for the bill), public opinion polls showing twice as many respondents opposing the bill as those in favor, daily demonstrations in front of the Diet building, and statements by an array of professional organizations: lawyers, journalists, academics, writers, film directors and actors, religious leaders as well as human rights and civil rights advocates.
The law, promulgated December 13, 2013 and slated to take effect in a year’s time, gives the government potentially unchecked power to designate government information as special secrets, some for an indefinite time, and to punish leakers much more harshly than now. Critics of the law fear that it will further restrict citizens’ already limited access to government information and intimidate public officials, journalists, and citizens, thereby severely eroding the people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to know.
Although the bill has been passed, critics believe there is much work to be done: continuing to expose and criticize what is in the law and the process through which it was passed, attempting to prevent it from taking effect and, if that is not possible, monitoring and challenging its implementation so as to curb unbridled government power.
The [governing] Liberal Democratic Party [LDP] is seeking to revise the Constitution to make the emperor Head of State and severely limit the people’s freedom and rights. Now that the bill has become law, the people could completely lose control over the government even without constitutional revisions.
From - The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 51, No. 2, December 23, 2012.
NOW HERE THIS - THE LATEST MOVE BY THE JAPAN GOV'T TO LIMIT FREEDOMS - JAPAN TIMES - DECEMBER 22, 2013
Click on this link to read about the LDP moving forward with the second of their major new reform bills regarding the limiting of freedom of expression and assembly - the first was the recently enacted "State Secrets Law" -
MORE ---- MARCH 4, 2014
As Shinzo Abe plunges Japan deeper and deeper into isolation within the Pacific Region and also now with the United States - much to the dislike and despair of the Japanese people, read what these journalists, reporters have to say about the current state of affairs in Japan. CLICK ON THE LINK IN EACH ARTICLE TO READ THE FULL STORY. . .
The Asahi Shimbun
February 8, 2014
U.S. State Department calls remarks by NHK governor 'preposterous'
WASHINGTON--The U.S. State Department described as "preposterous" remarks by a governor for Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) who alleged the Tokyo war crimes trial was designed to cover up U.S. atrocities during World War II.
Hyakuta said the U.S. military committed "cruel massacres" by fire-bombing Tokyo and dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. He went on to say that the Nanking Massacre was brought up in the Tokyo tribunal because the U.S. military wanted to cancel out its own crimes.
He also claimed that the massacre never happened.
Note: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga defends Hyakuta's "right" to the fallacious claim as "protected by his constitutional right of freedom of speech" , while at the same time now limiting that very freedom for ordinary Japanese people and the media with their newly revised constitutional amendment - Ed)
The Asahi Shimbun
February 22, 2014
EDITORIAL: Abe’s diplomatic stance pushing Japan toward isolation
In his foreign policy agenda, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to rebuild Japan’s somewhat frayed ties with the United States.
But he himself is undermining the government’s efforts to achieve this top foreign policy goal.
With U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan approaching, the Abe administration should take the current situation very seriously.
The straining of Japan’s vital relations with the United States was set off by his visit to Yasukuni Shrine in December. The shrine dedicated to Japan's war dead also honors 14 Class-A war criminals.
The Japan Times – BE SURE TO READ THIS ONE – IT’S A TREASURE!
February 22, 2014
Abe’s culture wars boomerang against Japan
By Jeff Kingston
Japan’s culture wars are heating up to the detriment of the nation. The Financial Times is right to warn that the jingoism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and attempts to stifle public debate, are grave threats to Japan’s open society. Most Japanese don’t want to go where Abe is trying to drag them, but he is stomping ahead regardless.
February 25, 2014
U.S. congressional report worried about Abe's views on history
A U.S. congressional research body has expressed concern that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's views on World War II and related wartime history could harm bilateral relations.
A Feb. 20 report by the Congressional Research Service said that Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine not only worsened Japan's already strained ties with China and South Korea, but somewhat damaged mutual trust between Tokyo and Washington as well.
The Japan Times
February 27, 2014
Murayama raps Abe over sex slaves
Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on Thursday blasted Shinzo Abe for considering revising the 1993 Kono statement, the first official acknowledgment that the Imperial Japanese Army had forced women into sexual servitude at wartime brothels set up by the military.
“It was very clear that the Imperial Japanese Army thought the ‘comfort women’ system was necessary for the military’s operations in maintaining hygiene and security and preventing espionage,” Murayama told a news conference at the Japan National Press Club. He served as the only prime minister from the ex-Japan Socialist Party from 1994 to 1996.
“It is meaningless to try to parse whether the military had forced the women into prostitution,” he said.
THE NOOSE TIGHTENS ON JAPAN'S DEMOCRACY - MARCH 11, 2014 JAPAN'S NEW SECRECY LAW WILL GAG THE MEDIA AND LIMIT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. . .
Click HERE (or paste the following url into your browser) to read this Asia-Pacific Journal report -
Abe hijacks democracy, undermines the Constitution
JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE - JUNE 21, 2014
BY JEFF KINGSTON
SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
By short-circuiting the democratic process, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is abusing the trust put in him by the people. His initiative to reinterpret Article 9 of the Constitution to lift constraints on the Japanese military and permit collective self-defense is the most recent example of how Abe is trampling on Japanese democracy. He and his supporters both in Japan and the U.S. assert that Article 9 is outdated and it is essential that Japan take on a more assertive military role to deal with rising regional threats. These advocates of a more muscular Japanese security posture point out that Japan lives in a dangerous neighborhood and that the limits on Japan’s military actions will undermine the U.S. - Japan alliance. Thus in their view, there is an urgent need to allow Japan to participate in military action involving collective self-defense. Read the complete article...
NOW THE LATEST - HE'S DONE IT! --- Abe rescinds "no war" clause in the constitution!
On July 1, the Abe Cabinet approved a document that revises the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense - which really means that now Japan can 'legally' - as far as they are concerned - go to war again. It came merely six weeks after Abe said he was "considering" doing so. Looking back on the process, we have to say that the Abe administration has TOTALLY undermined the nation's democracy!
Incredible as it is for a law-abiding nation, Abe skipped the due process for revising the Constitution and forced his way after discussions by the ruling coalition parties that treated the policy shift as a foregone conclusion.
Click on this link - http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201407030035 to read how Abe has just changed the constitution without proper governmental procedures, and despite the protests of the Japanese people.
Japan is starting to resemble more and more NAZI Germany in 1933 - and Abe is becoming more like Adolf Hitler every day. Disregarding the constitution and the will and rights of the Japanese people, Abe and his Right Wing extremists have in the past year and a half undermined the very core of Japanese democracy by changing laws and restricting freedoms as they impose their totalitarian will on the country with complete disrespect for the people. It seems that 80 years later, and on the 70th anniversary of WWII peace, that things are coming full circle once again! Will history repeat itself - will we EVER learn? To the Japanese people we say once again "BEWARE OF THE RIGHT WING MILITARISTS" who ruined Japan in World War II - and by the way, where is Emperor Akihito in all of this - just a "supposed" powerless puppet once again?
On June 29, 2014 a man set himself on fire in Tokyo to protest PM Abe Shinzo’s bid to lift constitutional constraints on Japan’s military forces, and in subsequent days tens of thousands of citizens gathered outside the prime minister’s residence to loudly protest this initiative. Opinion polls, even those conducted by reliably rightwing news organizations, indicate widespread opposition to his 'renunciation of pacifism' and very little support for collective self-defense (CSD).
The mainstream media all but ignored this - the most extraordinary act of political protest in Japan in a quarter century. NHK news, the government broadcaster, didn’t even mention the event, apparently playing by Pyongyang rules: ignore any ugly truths that might discredit the powers that be. It looks like censorship of the media has already begun!
Abe has unshackled the so-called Japanese 'Self Defense Forces', and over 60 % of Japanese say that Japan is now more likely to get sucked into a war. He is getting his way by making a mockery of Japanese democracy in bypassing established procedures for amending the Constitution, doing it by the backdoor of 'edict' rather than the front door of 'revision' - as provided for in the Constitution.
Sabotaging Article 9 by decree bypasses established procedures for revising the Constitution that require two thirds approval in both chambers of the Diet and majority support in a national referendum. Reinterpretation is thus seen to be a dubious ploy to sidestep these procedures that flouts democratic principles. As such, Abe has acted like a thief in the night, stealing the heart and soul of Japan’s pacifist Constitution.
The conditions for engaging in so-called "Collective Self Defense" are so vaguely defined that they amount to a blank check for Japanese military action and waging war, and the bottom line is that many Japanese now believe that Abe is more of a threat to Japan than China or North Korea. Even with the threats from those two neighbouring countries, it appears that by a vast margin they fear Abe even more - and so they should!
Strangely and sadly, Washington has welcomed Abe finally achieving what it has been pressuring Japan to do for the past half century. There appears to be little concern to Americans that Abe’s underhanded methods discredit his constitutional coup and demean Japanese democratic principles; as usual, for America - the end justifies the means!
Isn't it also worthy of note how much the US Gov't. has changed in its stance towards Japan? Pres. Roosevelt - also a Democrat - said in two parts of his famous speech to Congress when referring to Japan's unprovoked and surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the other areas in Asia, "... always will our whole nation remember the character of this onslaught against us", and further on, "... we will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us". With the postwar formation of Japan's "formerly pacifist" constitution, that was assured - but not anymore!
Now it seems that Pres. Obama and the US gov't. are pleased that Japan is able to take up arms and go to war again, and it appears that the US has forgotten about that "onslaught against us", and has just opened the door so that Japan can once more "endanger those it does not like or agree with, or worse yet, engage in its territorial demands in the Pacific by military means and force". Japan's Right Wing extremist gov't hasn't really changed at all in their stance since WWII and Abe is seeking to bring even more of the old ways back again. How soon we forget the past - are we destined to repeat it? Now, just watch those islands disputed by Japan and China, Korea and Russia in the days to come!
July 1, 2014, the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the SDF, will go down in history as a watershed in postwar Japan, a 21st century "day of infamy" when Abe hijacked democracy by renouncing Article 9 and the nation’s pacifist postwar order in an unscrupulous manner, achieving by fiat what he didn’t dare try through established constitutional procedures. Apparently Abe fears the people as much as they fear him. Read the article by Jeff Kingston here...
The Act on Protection of Specified Secrets (Secrecy Law) passed in Japan on December 6, 2013 which would jail people for inquiring about so-called state secrets - including government policies and actions - even if those things had not been so identified, has been flagged by the UN Human Rights Council and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations as compromising the people’s right to know and undermining democracy. When it was passed in the middle of the night on December 6, 2013, about 40,000 protesters had been maintaining a vigil in front of the Diet. This Secrecy Law could turn Japan into a “police state” that did not require police to explain the reasons for one’s arrest “because it was secret” (Banchō, Dommune, Tokyo, July 30, 2014).
One lawyer in the Association of Young Lawyers for the Protection of Tomorrow’s Freedom has also highlighted the problematic nature of the Abe Cabinet’s re-interpretation of the Constitution without undergoing an amendment process, which would require a two-thirds majority in the Diet. He argued that the Right to Collective Self-Defense primarily enables overseas wars in co-operation with the United States rather than Japan’s self-defense, which is already constitutionally permitted (Tamura Yūsuke, Dommune, July 30, 2014).
Polls show that a majority of citizens oppose both the Secrecy Law and the Right to Collective Self-Defense, as they also oppose restarting nuclear reactors. An overwhelming majority of over three-quarters (75%) object to the way the Abe administration has passed these policies—without sufficient discussion in the Diet, or with the public in the former, and without any discussion at all in the latter. Many activists see these issues as symptomatic of a basic problem: an oligarchy that ignores the people’s will and exerts excessive control over available information. Many feel Japanese democracy is under threat. Hence, recent protests have addressed these issues.
Many organizations have joined together over the past months in protest of the way Abe and his regime are running the country. Many are calling him a “fascist” and calling for his resignation. However, like Adolph Hitler and the Nazis in the 1930’s, Abe and his Right Wing fascist party are not listening and continue to steam-roll ahead with their agendas. The government and the people seem powerless to stop this and it is scary to think what lies in store for Japan and its people.
Adapted from part of an article by Noriko Manabe in the Asia-pacific Journal - Aug. 11, 2014
On February 23rd 2015 Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito, son of the present Emperor Akihito, grandson of wartime Emperor Hirohito and heir to the Japanese throne, spoke out in stark contrast to the position that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his right wing extremists are taking in Japan today with regards to issues on WWII.
His speech has been widely praised on social media around the world and many Japanese see this as hope for better future relations between Japan and the rest of the world. However the majority of Japanese media did not cover the event very well in keeping with the present regime’s suppression and manipulation of freedom of the press now raging in that country.
It is wonderful to read the Crown Prince’s comments, and also the support for them by the public in the article published in Japan Today. It is hoped that Naruhito’s speech will embolden the Japanese people to take a stand against Abe and that it also may be a warning to Abe to back off from his present extremist and revisionist policies – time will tell. Here is the story -
Update: Two days after the following story appeared in the JAPAN TODAY newspaper and in its online edition it was pulled from the internet along with all links and references. Fortunately we downloaded and saved the article on the day of issue, so now you can still read it here for your information. This is just another example of the extreme Right Wing Gov't. of Shinzo Abe trying to control and limit the media to only that which they want the public to hear or read. It also shows that Abe and his gov't. have no respect for and totally disregard the emperor - who unfortunately and sadly has no real power or even influence in Japan today.
Crown prince warns of need to remember World War II 'correctly'
JAPAN TODAY - Feb. 23, 2015 - 04:00PM JST
Japan’s crown prince has warned of the need to remember World War II “correctly”, in a rare foray into an ideological debate as nationalist politicians seek to downplay the country’s historic crimes.
In an unusual intervention in the discussion, Naruhito’s mild-mannered broadside was being interpreted in some circles as a rebuke to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a key figure in the right-wing drive to minimise the institutionalised system of wartime sex slavery.
“Today when memories of war are set to fade, I believe it is important to look back at our past with modesty and pass down correctly the miserable experience and the historic path Japan took from the generation who knew the war to the generation who don’t,” Naruhito said.
The comments, released Monday on the prince’s 55th birthday, come as Abe’s controversial views on history roil relations with China and South Korea, and cause unease in Washington.
Abe has openly said he wants a more sympathetic telling of the history of the first half of the 20th century, a period marked by brutal expansionism in Asia and warring with China and the West.
The prime minister last week appointed a 16-member panel to advise him on a statement he is set to make later this year to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender.
Abe has said he will largely stand by Tokyo’s previous apologies, but amid growing anger in China and South Korea over the “comfort women” system, speculation is mounting that he will seek to downplay the issue.
While Japan’s newspapers remained staid in their coverage of Naruhito’s comments, social media users leapt on them. “This definitely contains a warning against Shinzo Abe, doesn’t it?” tweeted @Kirokuro.
“It is a regular recognition (of history), but these comments by the crown prince stand out because Prime Minister Abe’s views on the constitution and history are outrageous,” said @kazu_w50
Asked about his views on war and peace, Naruhito told reporters: “It was very painful that many precious lives were lost, many people suffered and felt deep sorrow in the world including in Japan. It is important that we never forget people who died in the war… (and we must) deepen our appreciation for our past so as not to repeat the horrors of war and to foster a love of peace,” he said.
Abe is having his people begging American textbook companies to whitewash the sex slavery issue and meanwhile the Crown Prince is saying those actions must not be forgotten by today’s generation.
Hopefully the Prince can blunt the fascist efforts by Abe to turn Japan into the country his grandfather created. And we all know how that turned out.
ABE IS AT IT AGAIN - DESPITE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL OPPOSITION TO HIS POLICIES
Despite critical meetings held in the Diet and conferences with Japan's top constitutional experts and myriads of lawyers in early June, all of whom rule his actions unconstitutional and un-democratic, and with complete disregard for the will of the Japanese people, Shinzo Abe and his Right Wing extremists are still trying to make changes illegally to Japan's constitution and in particular Article 9 which prohibits Japan from being a military power. All too sadly this also has huge support and backing from the US Government.
For the latest in this saga check out Lawrence Repeta's timely article in the Asia-Pacific Journal at the following link: http://japanfocus.org/-Lawrence-Repeta/4335/article.html . One wonders where this will all end, but as of now it certainly looks like Japan and its people are headed for a future run by a "dangerous ultranationalist dictator unrestrained by the law".
IN CONCLUSION - FOR NOW. . . . .
Friends, it seems that as of the middle of 2016, that not much is being reported about the Abe government and it's efforts to undermine Japan's constitution and limit many of the basic freedoms that the Japanese people have enjoyed over the past 70 years. American President Obama has re-visited Japan and on the surface things seem to be well between the two countries. However things are far from "well" with Japan and its Asian neighbours.
Sadly, in Japan itself, it seems that despite all the previous protests and the fact that 75% of the Japanese people disapprove of the way the government is doing things, that they seem to be resolved to what has taken place and that it cannot be changed. As other issues arise such as the controversial nuclear power plants projects and the future of US military bases in Okinawa, what has taken place over the past four years is now being taken for granted. This too is very scary as people become complacent and do nothing - which just gives these leaders who want to undermine the constitution and revert back to the old fascist ways of World War II, the opportunity to carry on with their schemes with little or no opposition.
The people of Japan - and all of us, need to continue to be informed and aware of what is happening in Japan today lest all of what you have read above comes to pass, and WHEN - not IF it does, I will be the first to say to all "I told you so. . ."
Retaking Japan: The Abe Administration’s Campaign to Overturn the Postwar Constitution
This is a copy of a keynote speech delivered by Mr. Muto Ichiyo at a peace conference held in Hiroshima Aug. 4-5, 2015, marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the war. The conference sought to shed new light on the war responsibility of Imperial Japan and the US responsibility for the atomic bombings.
The article appeared in the Asia-Pacific Journal issue of July 1, 2016. It is a long one which delves into Emperor Hirohito's responsibility for the war, the postwar history of Japan and its constitution, and how Shinzo Abe and his Right Wing extremist gov't. are trying to undermine all that and restore Japan to its wartime glory.
The speech was made during a summer of intense public protests in Japan over security legislation then being debated in the Japanese Diet. Despite opinion polls that showed the legislation to be exceedingly unpopular - and unconstitutional, the laws were rammed through the Diet on September 19, 2015. These contentious issues have now entered a new stage, with the drive to revise Japan's peace constitution at the center of the Upper House election scheduled for July 10, 2016. Muto's speech analyzes the issues that lie behind the present contest in light of the complex dynamics of Japan's postwar politics.
Many surprising and shocking truths are revealed in the article CLICK HERE to read it in full.
Mr. Muto Ichiyo is a writer on political and social affairs, and an activist engaged in the anti-war movement and other social movements since the 1950s. He is an authority on Japanese history and the author of many books.