Saturday, May 14, 2005

Japan's Too Cool Fo' School
Just like my mom
With a couple of valiums
Inside of her palm

Strategy page and Instapundit salivate over the potential militarization of Japan.

Boy-o's, you have a credibility problem. Japan isn't going to militarize. Not now. Not in the forseeable future.

While it might be de rigeur in the US to think that all the American allies are going to go to town in the war on terror, it doesn't reflect the reality on the ground here.

For instance: People genuinely don't like Koizumi here. Why? Because he went along with Bush on Iraq. They hate Bush. They don't really like the US, either. Some Japanese still think of the US as a bigger threat than China and the NoKo combined..and they sometimes think that Okinawa is a potential launching pad against Japan, as opposed to anywhere else.

The people of Japan are also about as pacifist as possible. They don't hate their neighbours, and don't see an opportunity in crusades to the mainland (yes, it has happened before). But Japan is going through what might be considered a long peace period. After the unification of the Tokugawa, there was a similar period, where a unified country shut out foreign influence and simply co-existed on its own, without want nor care of the outside. While Japan has significantly opened up, it is intensely inward looking and extremely pro-peace. If China and NoKo are looking to scrap, Japan is looking into its drink and saying "I'm not looking for trouble guys".

....While it might be fun to believe that Japan is an ascendent military power for some wackos (Hey, remember the last time we had a militaristic Japan?), the truth is that there is no budget for such a militarization. Japan's new budget forecasts for the next 10 years state little if any increases for the army budgets.

Yes, Japan does have nuclear reactors, but the second you see Japan withdraw from the NPT will be the same day pigs strap on their flying helmuts.

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