Saturday, April 09, 2005


Oriental Action

Mass anti-Japanese protests erupted in Beijing on Saturday against the latest round of Japanese history textbook revisions and Japan’s attempt to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Says the NYT (emphasis mine):

“Several hundred protesters tried to storm the residence of the Japanese ambassador in Beijing, hurling bottles and rocks into the walled compound before riot police broke up the confrontation, witnesses said.”

These protests happened because the Chinese government let (or made?) them happen. It’s a convenient way of putting strong and indirect pressure on the Japanese government.

True, Japan’s attitude has always contrasted with that of Germany concerning World War II behavior, and other Asian nations have not forgotten this. Every sign of resurgent Japanese nationalism or militarism is met with protest on various levels.

But there’s more than meets the eye here. Since Japan now has more trade with China than with the crumbling US (which will soon sink to quasi-Third World status), it’s not at all in Japan’s interest to irritate China. Or to irritate other next-door neighbors, the Koreans, with the Takeshima issue.

So, who benefits, if not Japan? Why, the US of course. The Americans are no doubt hoping that by whipping up a Japan-China military conflict, they can indirectly take the wind out of China’s sails. Getting Japan to rewrite its constitution and rearm big-time requires that Japanese public opinion be softened to let this happen. Friction with Asian neighbors will put a scare into the Japanese public, and make it amenable to constitutional changes and military buildup. So it’s a safe bet that behind Japan’s recent self-defeating actions, you’ll find the Americans and their plan for global domination.

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