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Huanqiu, China

US Will Light East Asia Powder Keg

By Dake Liu

This means that if the provision is eventually adopted and becomes effective, once conflict over the Senkaku Islands occurs between China and Japan, the U.S. will get involved and even directly intervene by force.

Translated By Stefanie Zhou

3 December 2012

Edited by Natalie Clager

China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)

The U.S. Senate recently decided to add a supplementary provision to the National Defense Authorization Act beginning next fiscal year. This provision clearly defines that the U.S. defense obligation to Japan, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, applies to the Diaoyu Islands [also known as the Senkaku Islands]. This means that if the provision is eventually adopted and becomes effective, once conflict over the Diaoyu Islands occurs between China and Japan, the U.S. will get involved and even directly intervene by force. Previously, the U.S. adopted an ambiguous attitude on the Diaoyu Islands issue. The U.S. National Defense Authorization Act usually defines the total defense budget for the next year and rarely mentions territorial sovereignty of third countries. Therefore, this addition of supplemental provision to the National Defense Authorization Act is very seldom seen.

Japan is very excited about this news; every major media outlet is reporting in succession. It is reasonable for Japan to be excited for having secured the U.S. as its moneybag, but this move by the U.S. threatens to ignite the powder keg of East Asia and then [they] will reap the consequences. After World War II the U.S., out of self-interest, did not thoroughly eradicate the Japanese militarist ideology; the ghost of militarism is constantly wandering in Japanese society. Due to the economic downturn in recent years, the proliferation of the Japanese right wing and the soaring voice of far right forces, politicians are getting more and more arrogant.

If the right wing of Japanese society only manifested itself in the spoken language of politicians, the issue wouldn’t be as serious. What is alarming is that the actions of the Japanese right wing are more dramatic. The most typical example is the recent increasingly strengthened Japanese diplomatic and defense areas. They are getting more and more aggressive toward neighboring countries and constantly provoking territorial disputes with neighboring countries such as Russia, South Korea and China with an insolent attitude. At the same time, Japan is speeding up the enhancement of its military power. On the surface, the Japanese Self-Defense Force is not large in scale, but Japan's potential military strength has been ranked second in the world, only inferior to the U.S. This is well known; the so-called peace constitution has long been an empty promise. Even so, many Japanese politicians are still demanding the abolition of the peace constitution, throwing away the last piece of fig leaf over naked military buildup.

Various signs show that Japan is currently repeating its pre-WWII trajectory. The right wing is becoming the mainstream in society and the soul of militarism resurrecting. If such trends continue without stop, Japan will become the powder keg in East Asia. Once it explodes, it will bring serious disaster to the people of Asia once again.

Looking at the current international situation, the only one who can prevent Japanese militarism from causing damage to East Asia is the U.S. However, what is causing people to worry is that the U.S. not only did not express a desire to prevent it, but continues to add fuel to the flame, repeatedly provoking Japanese right-wingers. If the current situation continues, sooner or later the powder keg of Japanese militarism will be lit by the U.S. In fact, once Japanese militarism wages war again, the U.S. will become the biggest victim, paying a heavy price for its indulgence of Japan today.



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