Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has selected Nobuo Kishi as his minister of defense. Kishi is former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s younger brother, adopted by the Kishi family to maintain the line of control.
Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, had a long career as an infamous official in Imperial Japan’s colony of Manchukuo (Manchuria).
Nobusuke Kishi was a accused but never tried war criminal, released from prison to cooperate with the US Occupation at the beginning of the Cold War, he went on to become the prime minister who sacrificed his career to ram through the revised Japan-US Security Treaty in 1960.
The historical significance of Nobuo Kishi becoming Japan’s minister of defense has not been lost on the Chinese and Korean war victims.
Abe and other Japanese conservatives have never accepted the idea that Japanese shouldn’t pray for the war dead at a national shrine because “war criminals” are enshrined there, but the prohibition doesn’t apply to other nationalities?
Radhabinod Pal, an Indian judge appointed to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, wrote that the Tokyo Trials were a case of victor’s justice, a “sham employment of legal process for the satisfaction of a thirst for revenge.
Japan has been pacifist and democratic for 75 years and received nothing but abuse from Koreans and Chinese the entire time.
There has been no appreciation for not attacking anyone, not establishing a dictatorship, not sending troops to help the Americans butcher Vietnamese citizens (South Korean troops were renowned for their ferocity during the bloody Vietnam War).
Yet another is that negotiating from a position of weakness does not lead to the return of all Japanese citizens imprisoned by North Korea.
So Japan is turning itself into a “normal” country with ever larger and more sophisticated armed forces, and a wider range of situations in which they can be used.
Under Prime Minister Abe, Japan launched a sustained military buildup (including aircraft carriers) and stepped up defense cooperation with the United States, Southeast Asia, India, Australia and Europe.
Abe’s defense minister, Taro Kono, ditched plans to install America’s Aegis Ashore missile defense system in favor of a first-strike capability.
Global Firepower’s 2020 Military Strength Ranking puts Japan in 5th place after the United States, China, Russia and India. South Korea ranks 6th, France 7th and the UK 8th.
Korea is hopelessly outclassed, China has plenty to worry about, and Nobuo Kishi is the blast from the past that they have called down upon themselves.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2020.