What Abe Cabinet Wants

From: Qstheory.cn Updated: 2014-01-20 18:24
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In Dec.26, 2013, the Japanese Prime Minister Abe visted the Shrine. Such a behavior was then explained by Abe as a "respect to the death in the war" and "do not want to hurt the feelings of Chinese and Korean". However, such an explanation could not prevent criticisms all over the world. Even the U.S has expressed disappointment to Japan's behavior.

6 days later, in the New Year’s reflection, Shinzo Abe suggests that it is the time to revise the pacifist constitution, and aiming to build a “new Japan”. All these sound contradictory to his commitment to “proactive contribution to peace” in this reflection. It seems that Abe has gone too far in the right-wing militarism, which has a really negative impact on the stability of East Asia. Under this circumstance, it is of great necessity for us to explore the motivations behind all these aggressive policies by Japan.

To challenge the international order

Wang Shaopu, an expert on Japan from Shanghai Jiaotong University, suggests that Abe’s all the aggressive behaviors, such as amending Japan’s peace constitution and denial of Japanese aggression are towards the post-war international order in general. It is well known that the international order in the Asia-Pacific region following World War II was established on the basis of the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation. When Japan surrendered in August, 1945, it promised that the Emperor, the Japanese government, and their successors would earnestly implement the terms of Potsdam Proclamation. But in blind disregard for history and international law, Japan has since claimed that Japanese territory was legally defined by the San Francisco Peace Treaty. These statements clearly could be regarded as a sign that Japan tends to challenge the postwar international order. [details]

To affect the U.S policy towards China

Liu Yongjiang, a professor from Tsinghua University, believes that Abe actually tries to affect U.S’s foreign policy towards China. In recent years, U.S tries to actively engage in Asia-Pacific affairs, in order to rebalance Asia-Pacific power distribution. Under this circumstance, Japan tries to apply the U.S’s sensitivity of the raising power, specifically China, argued by Liu, to challenge the Sino-U.S relationship, and force U.S to take a side in the Sino-Japan bilateral relationship. By doing that Japan could take a more advantageous position in the Sino-Japan disputes, for instance the territory dispute on Diaoyu Island. [details]

To obtain the maritime hegemony in East Asia

Some researchers also believe that these aggressive policies serve for Japan’s seek of maritime hegemony in East Asia. Li Jiping argues that in recent years, along with the right-wing trend, Japan’s maritime strategies is changing from the initial “Free and Open space for development” to “Spaces that Japan holds the absolutely control”. Meanwhile, Li further suggests that Japan now regards China as a threat to Japan’s maritime interests and propagate China is negatively affecting the maritime order in East Asia. [details]

Conclusion: Turning back before it is too late

The grave right-wing tendencies of the Abe Cabinet have become the cause of widespread uneasiness among the people of Asia. The Abe Cabinet must face up to history. It must recognize that peaceful development is the trend of our times, and turn back before it is too late by showing respect for the post-war international order of peace and stability. If it should misjudge the situation, and insist on leading Japan back down the erroneous path of militarism, it will inevitably be punished by history, bringing misfortune down on itself and on others. [details]

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