Abe is tempting Japan to play with fire by threatening China: Global Times editorial
Published: Dec 02, 2021 12:31 AM Updated: Dec 02, 2021 09:58 PM
Shinzo Abe Photo: AFP

Shinzo Abe Photo: AFP

Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe blatantly clamored on Wednesday for Japan to not stand by if the Chinese mainland attacks the island of Taiwan. He said, "A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance." He further threatened that "a military adventure would be the path to economic suicide."

Abe may have wanted to say these evil words for quite a long time. But Japanese authorities by no means dare to roar like this against China. Abe could only flaunt such nonsense to please himself after leaving office - and this reflects his anxiety and sense of loss on his downward path. If Japan adopts such a policy regarding the island of Taiwan, it would be Japan's suicide, and not just an economic one.

Right-wing politicians in Japan should be aware that the balance of power between China and Japan has completely reversed. The old dream that Japan could colonize and bully China should be cut off. That era has gone for good. It is known that the Abes, as a political hereditary family in Japan, have a deep right-wing DNA dating back to at least Shinzo Abe's maternal grandfather. It is the magic code of the Japanese rightists to deceive the Japanese people with the "China threat theory" and incite confrontation between Japan and China.

Living on an island country, the Japanese nation has a special sense of crisis. Right-wing politicians like Abe have been sparing no efforts to take advantage of it. They have misled the Japanese people to believe that China's reunification will threaten the security of Japan's maritime channels as China will "forcibly capture" the Diaoyu Islands, Ryukyu Islands and others after the reunification. Manipulating the Taiwan question is the most eye-catching way for Abe to keep the residual of his influence. He still has the ambition to promote an amendment to the Japanese pacifist constitution and make it one of his remarkable achievements.

However, no matter how hard rightists such as Abe gnash their teeth, they cannot stop China from becoming stronger and stronger, nor can they hinder China's reunification process. China's power will strongly contain these politicians from turning their madness into actual political guidance of Japan. Abe said China's national defense budget is four times higher than Japan's. Thus, he should have a sober head: Japan's rash intervention when there is a "Taiwan emergency" will be like throwing toothpicks at the mountain - it will definitely invite a devastating response from China. 

Japanese militarism once brought catastrophe to the people of the country. We hope that memory can become a barrier to prevent Japanese society from following the rightists to take risks again. China is bound to reunify, so Japan's future cannot be tied to the situation across the Taiwan Straits. Japan needs to be prepared to get along with a reunified China.

Taiwan island should not count on the US for its future, nor can Japan look to the US to help it achieve its mighty position over China.  The Japan-US alliance is not a panacea, and Japan needs to live in harmony with China in accordance with common sense. Only when China and Japan respect each other and interact based on the principle of mutual benefit can the two countries achieve a win-win result. Allying with the US against China is an evil path for Japan as well as a strategic dead end.

History will prove that Abe and his likes, who have tried hard to create the opposition of public opinion between China and Japan, are new sinners in Japan. They have taken Japan into an extremely risky strategic direction.

On the one hand, they will create a new feud with China. On the other, they will become increasingly dependent on the US, discarding Japan's historic opportunity to set up room for a strategic maneuver between China and the US against the backdrop of China's rise. Japan's role will be further dwarfed and it will become more like an "accomplice." Japan's strategic autonomy is one of the worst in East Asia, even worse than that of some Southeast Asian countries.

Whether Japan can avoid being led by people like Abe on the wrong path against China will test the collective wisdom and emotional quotient of the entire Japanese society.