Edited by Mary Young
America has called for an end to Japan’s aggressive behavior. Japan dared to ignite chaos across East Asia, constantly provoking neighboring countries. This has continued mainly thanks to American support: Without backing from the United States, Japan alone could never have been involved in these confrontations. Recently, however, America has taken a new direction, demanding that Japan stop its behavior.
Shinzo Abe had originally planned to visit the United States before officially becoming prime minister. Surprisingly, the United States rejected his visit, citing Obama’s busy schedule. Besides refusing the visit, the United States has also given other warnings to Japan. Upon learning that Japan plans to modify the Kono Statement and the Murayama Danwa, the United States warned Shinzo Abe’s cabinet to carefully consider their decisions, as changing their positions on certain issues could easily cause serious damage to Japan’s relations with South Korea, China and other neighboring countries. The Kono Statement and the Murayama Danwa recognized and expressed remorse for the fact that the Japanese army had been aggressive and recruited “comfort women” by force during World War II. America warned that Japan should not attempt to alter the content of the statements.
Getting Carried Away with Arrogance
Japan never thought that the United States would give such a stern warning. In reality, this is not the first time that warnings like this have been given; toward the end of last year, the United States had made its intentions clear to several Japanese officials. Obama’s senior officials recently mentioned that if Japan revised the Kono Statement, the United States would have no choice but to take countermeasures. In addition to American government and political officials, the American media has also strongly condemned the Abe administration’s history of right-wing political views. They accuse him of attempting to deny his involvement in war crimes, an act that has inevitably angered South Korea, China, the Philippines and other countries that have been affected by Japan’s aggression, which has threatened security throughout East Asia.
Everyone occasionally fails to listen to others, but nobody dares ignore what America has to say. America warned Abe that he needed to restrain his arrogance and withdraw the attempted modification of the already established Kono Statement and the Murayama Danwa, urging the new Japanese government instead to look toward the future and examine its historical stances.
In recent years, the United States has constantly condoned Japan’s right-wing behavior, but it has tolerated its provocative behavior toward neighboring countries. Now there has been a sudden change, mostly because of America’s superior position to Japan. America’s strategy is to give Japan the role of the hired thug, striking for the United States but lacking a large amount of power, so that America does not lose control. Japan cannot have their own ideas about the situation; each of their moves has to reflect the goals of the United States. America plans for the situation in the Asia-Pacific to be tense but not for it to spin out of control. In the event that a war arises out of such a loss of control, the United States will inevitably be involved, which is a situation that the United States finds difficult to accept.
Recently, Japan has become carried away, forgetting their identity and veering closer and closer to right-wing politics. They have become more and more arrogant and have engaged in aggressive behavior, leading neighboring countries to find them nearly intolerable. If the United States does not order Japan to stop this behavior, eventually even the United States itself will not able to clean up such a mess.