Monday, January 09, 2006

The Global American Discourse in Japanese Politics

Birthday Statement

Today, I would like to articulate ideological position of this blog in Japanese politics mainly from the following perspectives: foreign policy, postwar regime change, and the constitution. As stated above, this blog is “hawkish and pro-American.” But the stance of this blog is quite different from mainstream Japanese conservatives. In foreign policy, defense, and the constitution, I am a hardliner. However, in postwar regime change, my viewpoints are completely different from those of Japanese conservatives. Rather, I am a “liberal” in Japanese political environment. Maybe, I can call myself a liberal internationalist conservative, or neo-conservative in Japanese context.

To begin with, I will talk about my perspectives on Japanese foreign and defense policy. As to this issue, my position is quite close to mainstream conservatives. I regard the US-Japanese alliance as the key to Japanese foreign policy. However, while some conservatives, like nationalists see the alliance simply from realist viewpoints, I think it a moral commitment for global stability and freedom. For nationalists, the alliance is important to contain Chinese expansionist ambition. They are not interested in global burden sharing. Mainstream conservatives share more or less the same point of view. Since I regard the US-Japanese alliance as the centerpiece of postwar regime change. 60 years have passed since the end of World War Ⅱ, and I believe Japan should make further contribution on the global stage. Hardly, any Japanese politicians and opinion leaders are willing to join the combat for global stability, and still dream of friendly and free-riding diplomacy. In this respect, this blog is more hawk than nationalists and mainstream conservatives.

Regarding Japan’s position in the world, I see this country a member of the Western democracy club, rather than Asia. Though mainstreamers are getting more Asia-oriented, I believe it is America and Europe that share common political values and manage the world with Japan. Asia is important to Japan, but it is a different civilization.

However, I feel skeptic to continual request for apology to Japan’s wartime misconduct by China and Korea. I suspect they try to establish supremacy over Japan and split the US-Japanese alliance to boast their Asian values on the global stage. This is a real threat to Japan. On this issue, I share some common views with nationalists, mainstream conservatives, and also, realists.

As for postwar regime change, I am completely at odds with mainstream conservatives and nationalists. They are critical to US lead regime change, and feel it necessary to revert some “imposed” reforms in the postwar era. For example, they insist that it is humiliation for Japan to continue to accept US-made constitution. Moreover, they dream of restoring some aspects of prewar Japanese political traditions, like submission to the emperor, self-sacrifice to the state, and Confucius value of obedience to social hierarchy. These values are utterly unacceptable for a Japan accomplished regime change. I am a wholehearted proponent of postwar regime change, and I believe Japan should play more active role to promote this regime change worldwide in the post Cold War era. In this respect, I am more liberal than conservative.

Finally, I would like to mention the constitution. The pacifist constitution must be abolished. However, unlike nationalists and mainstream conservatives, I understand that this constitution had an important role in postwar history. It is a necessary punishment for wartime fascism. But Japan has been a good citizen in the global community since the regime change, and it is over. No punishment is eternal. Nationalists regard it a dishonor to accept “imposed” constitution, and mainstreamers share this view to some extent. Though I agree with them to change postwar pacifist constitution, the fundamental ideas are completely different.

This blog has much in common with Japanese conservatives in foreign policy. But on postwar regime change, the Global American Discourse is absolutely in disagreement with nationalists and mainstreamers. As to the constitution, this blog agrees with most of Japanese conservatives in conclusion, but for different reasons.