Can mass protests defy Abe’s militarism?

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-1 0:18:01

About 120,000 Japanese people rallied in front of the National Diet in Tokyo on Sunday and a further 1 million people held demonstrations across Japan. All of them were protesting against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's security bills that would allow Japanese military to fight overseas to become law.

Such large-scale demonstrations have not been seen in Japan for years, but recently, Japanese society launched waves of protests against the security bills. Five former prime ministers have explicitly shown their opposition to the bills. However, the Abe administration and the Liberal Democratic Party have turned a cold shoulder toward the protests and believe the bills will still pass in the senate.

Japan is at a critical crossroads and Abe's right-wing tendencies are worrying. His path has brought a deep sense of crisis to Japanese society and forced the Japanese public to make reluctant choice.

In the short term, the security bills are aimed at China. But from a long-term perspective, China forms only one part of Japan's strategies.

The security bills, together with the lifting of the ban on collective self-defense and the new Japan-US defense guidelines, are all aimed at enhancing the Japan-US alliance. A Japan that turns away from its pacifist constitution is not only trouble for China, but also may pose challenges to wider regions.

China cannot stop Japan passing the new security bills, but can only build up its own capabilities. China should be able to launch counter-attacks against any provocations from Japan, and respond to aggressiveness from the Japan-US alliance.

If the security bills pass, it will change the destiny of Japan in the first place. The Abe government has been dedicated to turning Japan into a "normal state." It means to extricate itself from US deployment on its soil and shake off the burden of the US-Japan alliance. By hyping the "China threat," Japan and the US have launched a race with each other. The US is confident about manipulating Japan, and Japan is an insidious opponent who can bear any bitterness in order to win.

Besides economic interests, China has few other interests in Japan. Therefore, China stresses more on historical issues. As for the US, it is trying to use Japan as its puppet to serve for its global strategies. Their alliance is based on utilitarianism.

Abe and his administration are trying to achieve their strategic goals through the new security bills. For China, it is better to become powerful enough to cope with Japan's various tricks.

From historical issues to security bills, the outside world can hardly communicate with Japan. Many believe Japan only converses with the more powerful party. Unfortunately, their recent actions prove the truth of this.

Posted in: Editorial

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