Saturday, September 5, 2009

戦後、日本とアメリカの関係 Post war relations between Japan and America

It is a little more than a week since Prime Minister to be Hatoyama Yukio's Democratic Party of Japan won a historic electoral victory in Japan. Yet, when I turn on the television news, I see many panicked American commentators forcefully saying that Japan cannot renegotiate agreements to pay to move US troops to Guam, or to build a new Marine Airbase in Nago. They are adamant that Japan continue refueling operations in the Indian ocean, even though it has no military purpose.


They are very worried that Japan might take a less America centered foreign policy.


These are people who are used to having every country in the world look to America as the single leader of the world. What they do not realize is that the world has shifted, things have changed. America is no longer the center of the world.


But let us look at a little history of Japanese and American relations since World War II. Before the war, Japan was deeply afraid of Communism as a revolutionary force, as was the United States. As I have written before, both countries collided into war over the question of who would dominate China, and came to war.


America defeated Japan and occupied Japan after the war with it's armed forces. At the end of World War II, the United States began to look on the Soviet Union with increased suspicion. Soviet forces planned amphibious landings in Hokkaido in August of 1945, and wished to have an occupation zone in Japan consisting of Tohoku and Hokkaido. Mac Arthur put a stop to that, and we did not have a divided Japan like what happened in Korea and Germany.


At this time, America felt that it should control Japan, and that Japan should not be allowed to have armed forces again. There was a strong racial and religious aspect to this concept. Western people at that time still believed in the moral superiority of the White race, and the moral superiority of the Christian religion.


As Japanese were neither White nor Christian, it was felt that Japan could not truly be a responsible country to be trusted with armed forces. American leaders felt that they would instead rule Japan indirectly, and help civilize Japan. This was the thinking at the time, and American society was deeply divided racially. In the armed forces, there were still separate units for Black and Asian Americans. Officers were White, it was almost impossible for a non person to be an officer.


This is the thinking behind the American written Constitution and the famous article Number 9, that Japan will never possess armed forces again.


In 1950, with the backing of the Soviet Union under Stalin, North Korea invaded South Korea. The North Koreans very nearly conquered all of South Korea, it was only the quick transfer of US troops in Japan that prevented a Communist victory.


However as Japan had no Army or Navy, moving all troops from Japan also left Japan vulnerable to attack. So Japanese armed forces, or "Self Defense Forces" were recreated. The intent was that they would not be used for aggressive purposes.


The Korean war ended with a return to roughly the same line as before the conflict, and the Cold War became the defining center of American foreign policy. To American thinking, a country was either pro Western, meaning pro American, or it was pro Communism, meaning leaning toward the Soviet Union or Communist China. Americans looked at the world in very clear black and white terms, with us or against us. Americans really had difficulty in imagining various differences in attitudes.


It was this type of thinking that got America into the Vietnam war. The forces that defeated French colonialism were Communist, so they had to be anti American. This was American thinking, they could not imagine that Ho Chi Minh was neither pro Soviet or pro Communist China, but that he choose Communism as the most powerful force to free his country from French domination. He actually admired American President Washington.

この様な考えで、アメリカはベトナム戦争に入りました。フランス植民地を壊した軍は共産主義軍でした。だから、アメリカ反対? これは、アメリカの考え方で、ホーチミン氏がソ連か中国の方へ向いているのではなく、自分の国をフランス支配から自由にする為に共産主義の一番強い政治勢力を選びました。実は、アメリカの初代大統領ワシントン氏を称賛しました。

So America fought a ten year war in Vietnam that ultimately proved futile. America attempted to create a carbon copy of American society in Vietnam. It failed totally.


During the Vietnam war, American military bases in Japan were very important in America's efforts to fight Communism in Asia.


Japanese governments at this time were very afraid of war with Communist powers in Asia. US forces in Japan were seen as protecting Japan. This became the main pillar of the Japanese American relationship, Japan would have America be responsible for defense from external threats, while America could use bases in Japan for it's own strategic goals.


However, since the Soviet Union never had significant amphibious forces, once the Japanese Self Defense Forces were established, a land invasion of Japan by the Soviet Union became impossible. Soviet submarines were numerous however, and a Soviet blockade of Japan was a real threat. This is why the emphasis of the Maritime Self Defense force has long been on anti submarine warfare.


By 1970, the growing power of South Korea and the continuing decline of North Korea meant that a repeat of the 1950 Northern invasion became impossible.


In 1991, The Soviet Union collapsed, and all at once the major military threat to Japan vanished. The Soviets simply junked most of their submarines.


Today, Russia bases a submarines force equal in numbers to the Japanese Navy in the Pacific, however, I would say that in general Japanese subs are of better quality. Add the Japanese surface Navy, even without US forces, it is no contest.


However, the important point here is that despite ongoing territorial problems with the Northern Territories, Russia is no longer an enemy. Also, relations with China have improved, and China can no longer be regarded as an enemy.


The North Korean military, including it's missile forces, are a joke. Personally, I do not believe that North Korea has a useable nuclear weapon.


Yet, in the 20 some years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the main focus of the Japanese American relationship has been defense. American forces in Japan are still set to combat a Cold War threat that no longer exists.


In the previous Bush administration, America, using Japanese bases, started two disastrous wars in the Middle East. There was absolutely no reason to invade Iraq, this is an American crime, and the result has been total disaster.


While it is true that the Taliban government of Afghanistan did host the Al Qaeda terrorist group which attacked America, thusly the initial invasion of Afghanistan is understandable. However, America then attempted to create a pro American society in Afghanistan. The results so far have been even more disastrous than Vietnam. America will never change Afghan society, the war there is impossible. And there is no longer serious danger from Al Qaeda terrorists.


The truth is, Al Qaeda is gone. It was primarily destroyed by international police investigations into it's world wide finances. No money, no terror operations. Other than the initial invasion of Afghanistan, which was done by US Special Forces leading local troops supported by US Air Power nothing else was necessary. The present deployment of large infantry forces has only created problems, not solutions.


However, to many countries in the world, Japan is seen as supporting these wars, since America uses bases in Japan to conduct them. Also, Japan sent troops to Iraq, even if they did not do much. Many countries in the world look upon Japan as an American puppy.


If we look at American wars since WWII, other than the Korean war, they have almost all been disasters.


Finally in America, we have a new government in the United States with President Obama. And now, in Japan, we have a new government in incoming Prime Minister Hatoyama.


There are many Americans who cannot understand a world without some war to fight some where. These are the people who we can see criticizing Prime Minister to be Hatoyama.


I also think that in general, the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party could not understand the changes that have happened since 1950. Yes, it is true that in 1950 Japan was in danger of being taken over by Communist forces, both from inside and from outside Japan.


In 1950, it was only five years since Japan's defeat in WWII. At that time Japanese military forces were very weak. It was America that fought in Korea, and saved Japan. To many Liberal Democratic Party leaders, they see Japan as militarily weak, and America as Japan's saviour.


In their mindsets, they depend on America to be the Big Brother to always save Japan. But the truth is Japan is not at all weak. The Japanese military is ranked something like Number 8 among world militaries. OK, I would like to double the number of submarines from 20 to 40, I would like to increase the Parachute brigade in Narashino to a division, and train it to be more of a Special Forces unit, able to send Japanese soldiers on such small unit type of missions. But Japanese forces are quite capable.


I think it is time for Japan's leaders to have a policy different that simple dependence on America.


However, one of my Interesting Sources in Washington tells me that in the private phone call between Prime Minister to be Hatoyama and President Obama, one of the subjects of conversation was on how Japan and America can cooperate on problems like Climate Change and Clean Energy.


Japan has many small and middle companies that have some really great technology concerning Climate Change.


I think it is high time to put the Cold War behind us. The future conflict of our age will be how to survive the coming climatic and social changes that are rapidly occurring.


Perhaps if I may dare say so, Japan and America might be a good choice to begin rallying countries in an international scientific effort to combat Climate Change.


Carbon copy  完璧コーピーする事です。

Climate Change  温暖化は英語でGlobal Warmingと言う意味です。しかし私は英語で書く時に、Climate Changeを利用します。何故か、温暖化で天気はだんだん極端に成っています。勿論、この意味で、冬の嵐はもっと強いです。しかし、”Warming"と言う単語を使うと冬の強い嵐が来ると雪がいっぱい降って、数多くのアメリカ人が”寒いです!温暖化は嘘だ!”この単純なアメリカ人の為に、私は英語でClimate Changeを使います。

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