WHY THE COMING RETURN OF ABE SHINZO IS GOOD NEWS FOR JAPAN AND THE WEST
"The Liberal Democratic Party elected hawkish former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its new president Wednesday, pinning its hopes on him to guide the party back into power in the next general election. The race was especially important as recent polls suggest the LDP, the largest opposition party, could eclipse the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's majority in the next Lower House election, which must be held by summer 2013. Under that scenario, Abe, whose term as party president is three years, would become the nation's next leader. The former prime minister came from behind in a runoff to defeat ex-defense chief Shigeru Ishiba by a vote of 108-89. But despite his victory, strong internal and public criticism has stigmatized Abe, who quit as prime minister in 2007 while suffering from ulcerative colitis, which he insists is cured now. After the vote, Abe thanked LDP members for giving him another chance to lead the party after his abrupt exit five years ago.... At age 52, Abe became Japan's youngest leader in postwar history in 2006. Now, at 58, he is expected to push Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, 55, and the DPJ to dissolve the Lower House as soon as possible for a snap election. At a news conference later Wednesday, Abe said he was willing to negotiate with Noda to overcome the deadlock in the Diet. At the end of August, the LDP and several other opposition parties slapped Noda with a censure motion and refused to hold deliberations in the Diet, which recessed on Sept. 8. "The Upper House expressed its will and Prime Minister Noda should take it seriously. But at the same time, I don't intend to reject all discussions. . . . We are not a party that puts party politics first at any cost," Abe said. The new LDP president is intent on revising the Constitution and has vowed to protect Japanese territorial claims amid strains with neighboring China and South Korea over the sovereignty of disputed islands. Analysts and some LDP lawmakers, however, have expressed concerns that Abe's hawkish streak could worsen the disputes".Masami Ito, "Hawkish Abe wins LDP Presidency." The Japan Times. 26 September 2012, in www.japantimes.co.jp
BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- China was outraged by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's remarks to reporters at the UN General Assembly, and has urged Japan to cease immediately all actions that infringe China's territorial integrity and sovereignty. "China is strongly disappointed and sternly opposes the Japanese leader's obstinacy regarding his wrong position on the Diaoyu Islands issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a written statement on Thursday. Qin's remarks came following Noda's insistence when responding to reporter's questions at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the Diaoyu Islands "are an integral part" of Japan's territory in light of history and of international law. "China has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to prove the Diaoyu Islands have been an inseparable part of Chinese territory since ancient times," Qin said, citing the fact that the Qing court was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War in 1895 and forced to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki and cede to Japan "the island of Formosa (Taiwan)," together with all islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa including the Diaoyu Islands. After World War II, China took back all the territories that were invaded and occupied by Japan including Taiwan according to the international legal documents such as the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, Qin said, explaining that such a move indicates the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands were returned to China's sovereignty in terms of international law. "The Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation are among the most important anti-fascist achievements and a significant basis for the post-war international order, and were publicly accepted by Japan in the Japanese Instrument of Surrender," Qin noted. According to Qin, the Chinese government has voiced its stern opposition ever since the United States and Japan made backroom deals concerning the Diaoyu Islands, and never acknowledged such deals. "The Chinese people made a huge sacrifice and remarkable contribution to the victory in the World Antifascist War; however, a defeated country wants to illegally occupy the territory of a victorious nation," Qin pointed out. "Where is the justice?" he asked. Japan's position and acts regarding the Diaoyu Islands issue gravely trample on the principles of the UN Charter. Their essence shows an inability to engage in introspection and thoroughly repent and condemn Japanese militarism's history of invasion. They are a gross attempt to deny the outcomes of the victory of the World Antifascist War and a dangerous challenge to the post-war international order. These actions call for a high degree of vigilance from the international community, Qin warned. "The historical verdict can never be overturned. The disaster and sufferings brought about by World War II shall never be forgotten. The peace and security order maintained by the United Nations cannot be undermined, and generally acknowledged international truths and human conscience shall never be challenged," Qin stressed. He reiterated that Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands is totally illegal and invalid and will never change the historical facts of Japan's illegal occupation of Chinese territory, and therefore China's sovereignty over the islands"."China slams Japanese PM obstinacy regarding his wrong position on Diaoyu Islands." English Xianhuanet. 27 September 2012, in www.xianhuanet.com. The impending return to the premiership of Abe Shinzo, is something that the West has reason to be glad of. Grandson of a Premier and son of a Foreign Minister, Abe has the 'commanding heights' of Japanese politics in his blood stream from birth. Unlike (until recently) the current Cabinet in Tokyo, Abe and the LDP are much firmer in their positions on the dispute with the Peking over the Senkaku Islands 1. Something which the West has reason to applaud. As the rhetoric from Peking's official English-language mouthpiece shows above, only diplomatic firmness and if need be, the threat of brute force, by Japan cum the West will prevent Peking from running roughshod over international law and other countries territorial sovereignty. In that respect and in that respect only, does 'preventative diplomacy' by the Western powers, have a place in the current dispute between these two countries 2. Diplomatic myopia that seeks to convert the dispute into something which 'both sides' must make compromises is a dangerous delusion. Peking is still (to use an appropriately Maoist mot) a 'paper tiger', vis-`a-vis its neighbors and the allied Western powers. If however, Japan and the West allow current regime in Peking to become convinced that the language of force pays dividends, then there is no knowing what Peking may do next. In short, a Kennanesque policy of 'containment' `a la the 'long telegram', is absolutely the correct policy to follow towards the PRC for a long time to come 3. 1. Mure Dickie, "Abe returns to lead Japanese Opposition." The Financial Times. 26 September 2012, in www.ft.com. 2. For the concept of 'preventative diplomacy' employed in a thoroughly disfunctional fashion and thus contrary to how I am employing this term and concept, see: Sheila Smith, "A Deep Chill or a Heated Clash between Japan and China." The Council on Foreign Relations. 24 September 2012, in www.cfr.org. 3. For George F. Kennan's 'Long Telegram', see: George Kennan (Moskva) to State Department, 8 February 1946, in Foreign Relations of the United States: 1946, Volume VI, (1973), pp. 696-709. For the best analysis of what Kennan was trying to say in said telegram, see: John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, Revised Edition (2005), pp.18-21, 390-391 and passim. For a cogent argument along these lines, which appeared on the internet, after I penned most of this piece, see: Aaron Friedberg, "Bucking Beijing: An Alternative U.S. China Policy." Foreign Affairs. September / October 2012, in www.foreignaffairs.com. .