From WEEKLY MDS No.883, April 15, 2005 issue logo

Warfare Nation Buildup Accelerating / Fight Back Koizumi's Xenophobic Drive

Asia furious at Japan's xenophobia

The Koizumi cabinet's xenophobic foreign policy is infuriating Asians.

On March 23, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged the Japanese government to offer a genuine apology and soul-searching as well as investigation into the real damages caused under Japan's colonial rule. This marked a diversion from the previous policy toward Japan not to place the issue of history interpretation on the diplomatic agenda. Meanwhile in China, a signature campaign on the Internet has collected 10 million or more signatures against Japan's attempt to obtain a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

On March 16, over the territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan concerning Takeshima, or Tokdo in Korean, the Shimane Prefectural Assembly approved an ordinance for setting up "Takeshima Day." This ordinance reminds us of Japan's Feb. 22/1905 declaration of its territorial jurisdiction over the island, one critical step into the invasion of Korea. The Koizumi cabinet is virtually promoting the territoriality establishment movement by not interfering with this prefectural move. Japan is also having an intensifying territorial dispute with China over Uotsuri Island, or Diaoyutai Island in Chinese, of the Senkaku island chain. On February 9 this year, the Japanese government placed under state control a lighthouse on the "Uotsuri" Island that was built by a Japanese right-wing organization in 1988 against all objections. This government's decision justifies and acknowledges the act of right-wing elements.

It is not just these territorial issues that are enraging Korean and Chinese people. They are expressing their anger at the Japanese government's series of tenacious xenophobic moves aimed to justify Japan's history of invasions, which are represented by Prime Minister KOIZUMI Junichiro's visits to Yasukuni Shirine where class-A war criminals are enshrined and the issue of history-whitewashing textbooks.

Rushing to build a warfare nation

The Koizumi cabinet has its own reason to enhance xenophobic policies.

It is the urgent demand of global capitalists for formation of a national warfare system. The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) released an opinion statement, "Report of the Research Group for Iraq Issues," in November 2004, demanding protection of private companies engaged in "reconstruction assistance in Iraq" by the Self-Defense Forces (Japanese troops) and lawmaking to legalize troops dispatch to zones of military action. The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry released "Opinion on Revision of the Constitution" in December 2004, and the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) released "Looking to Japan's Future" in January 2005," both suggesting revision of Article 9 of Japan's Constitution so that troops can be dispatched anywhere anytime. In order to hasten the warfare nation building effort in response to these demands of global capitalists, the Koizumi cabinet is intentionally creating tensions with neighboring countries while fanning xenophobia at home.

On February 19, the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (the "2 plus 2" meeting) set out "the common strategic goals" aimed to expand the US-Japan military alliance to a global scale. Furthermore, under the pretext of "stability around the Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Strait," the "2 plus 2" joint statement for the first time defined Continent China as a "potential enemy." Meantime, the Japan's Diet has had sessions on corrupting the Constitution, followed by submission of reports from the Research Commission on the Constitution in each of the Upper and Lower Houses. Also discussion is scheduled later in April among the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito and Democratic Party of Japan on a draft of a proposed referendum law, looking to have the Constitution revised. Thus, the move to build up a national warfare system is accelerating.

Counter with international solidarity and Non-Defended Localities movement

The power to block war resides nowhere but in international solidarity. Develop solidarity with Asian people that are accusing Japan of its wartime and postwar responsibilities. Enhance solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance in the midst of struggles for the withdrawal of occupation forces and for the democratic reconstruction of Iraq.

The Non-Defended Localities movement is where we can nurture peace power that can counter the warfare nation buildup. On March 25, the Cabinet approved the "Basic Guidelines on People Protection" nominally in order to provide for evacuation and relief measures for civilian residents under armed attacks. Respective prefectural governments are to draw up their own "resident protection" manuals during fiscal year 2005 based on the model plan released on March 28 by the Fire Defense Agency of the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications. War-game drills are being planned and local-level warfare system development is promoted that would urge residents to cooperate for war. In 2005, we are at the crucial point. Join the Non-Defended Localities movement from your own community and spread it all over Japan.

Unite the campaign for solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance and the Non-Defended Localities Movement into a single struggle of ours. (April 2)

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