スポンサーサイト

  • 2019.06.23 Sunday
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • by スポンサードリンク

一定期間更新がないため広告を表示しています


Japanese Clout

     On January 18th, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) released an opening letter to members which appeals to its members not to withdraw from the IWC. When the Abe Cabinet decided on December 25th that Japan would withdraw from the IWC, I was opposed to the decision. However, Japan’s withdrawal is greatly shaking the IWC. Currently, Japan cannot utilize its clout effectively, despite being an economic power. This may be an omen that Japan may be able to exercise its clout more effectively in the future.                                                                                Japan has and still is the largest contributor to the IWC, burdening 105,000 pounds (8.6%. about 138,000 US dollars), followed by the U.S. (

Exercising Justice

   Japan and South Korea are currently embroiled in two conflicts: one in which a Japanese company was ordered to pay restitution for forced labor, and a protest against claimed reckless behavior by the South Korean navy. Japan is confident of its positions. The Abe Cabinet should maintain a resolute position and never concede to the South Korean court or administration.                                                                               When Japan annexed Korea in 1910, Koreans were granted Japanese citizenship, but they were second-class citizens. During World War 2, Japanese men were drafted into the Japanese forces while some Korean men seeking opportunity joined the Japanese military. Most Korean men as well as Japanese women were forced to participate in the unpaid labor.                                                                             As a result of Japan’s defeat in World War 2, Korea became independent, and divided into North and South. Japan recognized South Korea as the sole legitimate nation on the Korean Peninsula and established a formal relationship in 1965. In accordance with the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, Japan paid 200 million US dollars and loaned additional 500 million US dollars to South Korea in exchange for South Korea forfeiting all future claims.                                                                               Nevertheless, October 2018, the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation to pay compensation of 400 million won (about 400,000 US dollars) to the Korean men forced to work for the company. Incumbent President Moon Jae-in supports the decision although all the precedent presidents followed the dictates of the treaty.                                                                               On December 20th, a South Korean destroyer locked a laser guided control system on a Japanese patrol aircraft off the coast of Japan’s Noto Peninsula. Japan’s Ministry of Defense condemned the reckless action. However, South Korea explained that it was using the laser system to search for a North Korean boat in distress because of bad weather, and did not apologized. In response, the Japanese ministry released a video on the Internet. The weather was fair and waves were calm. Still, South Korea did not apologize, and retorted that its destroyer did not target the Japanese aircraft with a laser. The Japanese ministry announced it has an evidence to back up its claim that South Korea used a laser.                                                                               Generally, I believe that Japan should bring conflicts with South Korea before the International Court of Justice without hesitation whether or not South Korea responds to it. And, Japan should announce internationally that Japan hopes to resolute conflicts fairly and peacefully.

Withdrawal from the IWC

 The Abe Cabinet is going to decide that Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) by the end of the coming June. However, other whaling countries, namely Norway and Iceland, will remain in the organization. In believe that Japan should not withdraw from the IWC.                                                                              IWC was set up in 1948 to manage whale stocks and regulate the whaling industry. Japan joined in 1951. Currently, 89 countries are members of the IWC, and Canada is an observer.                                                                              Among the 89 members, 41 countries such as Japan, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Denmark, South Korea and Guinea wish to allow commercial whaling whereas 48 countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, the U.S., the U.K. and the Netherlands are opposed to commercial whaling.                                                                              This September, Japan proposed partly resuming commercial whaling at IWC General Assembly in Brazil, but the proposal was rejected. Especially, Australia is dead set against any form of whaling, even for scientific research. Currently, there is no hope for the resumption of commercial whaling even though whale stocks have arguably recovered.                                                                              I believe that Japan is being unfairly held responsible for the depletion of whale stocks. The Abe Cabinet should point out that whales became endangered not due to Japan’s consumption of whale meat but instead because of the irresponsible actions of the U.S. and European countries who overfished whales in their unsustainable thirst for whale oil.                                                                              Moreover, Japan should actively condemn other countries’ evils. In 2007, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by an overwhelming majority. Only 4 countries were opposed to it: the U.S. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Except for Canada, the 3 anti-whaling countries ignore the rights of the indigenous peoples of whose lands they were deprived.                                                                              In addition, Australia has been massacring kangaroos even though Australians eat only a part of them. Most of the indigenous animals are killed pointlessly.                                                                             The U.S. frequently goes against the international consensus and withdraws from organizations of which it disapproves. Japan does not have an enough clout to follow the American example.                                                                              Norway and Iceland set up the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO) in 1992 with Greenland and Faroe self-government. And, under the NAMMCO, Norway and Iceland continue to whale under whaling quotas.                                                                              If Japan withdraws from the IWC, Japan cannot continue research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean any longer. I believe that Japan should remain in the IWC and tie up with Norway and Iceland to resume commercial whaling at least in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.    

A Peace Treaty with Russia

 On November 14th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had talks with Russian Preasident Vladimir Putin in Singapore, and agreed to accelerate negotiations for a peace treaty. I desperately hope that the Abe Cabinet will never concede to Russia in terms of the complete restoration of the Northern Territory.                                                                              After President Putin visited Japan in December 2016, former islanders gained the right to fly to visit their family graves, and Japan started a researching ways to facilitate “economic co-operation.”                                                                               Prime Minister Abe and President Putin will have talks again on the 30th during the G20 Summit in Argentina, and the Japanese prime minister is going to visit Russia this January.                                                                              Japan and the Soviet Union signed The Co-Declaration in 1956, which agreed to return the Habamai Archipelago and Shikotan Island at the conclusion of a formal peace treaty. And, Japan and Russia agreed to resolve the territorial issue of the 4 islands and conclude a peace treaty in the Tokyo Declaration in 1993.                                                                              This September, President Putin brazenly floated the idea of a peace treaty without preconditions. Even though he feels the co-declaration of 1956 is reasonable, he stated that the declaration did not refer to the sovereignty of the islands. I don’t believe that he will in effect restore the 2 islands to Japan for the time being, much less all 4 islands.                                                                              President Putin had maintained his approval rating at 82% as of April. However, according to the Levada Center, the rate dropped to 66% after he hiked retirement ages in the pension reform. Russians generally have a positive view of Japan. However, they believe that the Soviet Union acquired the Northern Territory as a result of World War 2, and that Russia does not have to return the islands. If he returns even 2 islands, his approval rating will further nosedive.                                                                              At the end of World War 2, the Soviet Union invaded the Northern Territory, violating the Japan – Soviet Nonaggression Pact. And, the U.S. has denied the legal effectiveness of the Secret Yalta Agreement. I believe that Japan should unilaterally bring the territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice even though Russia will not respond to the lawsuit.                                                                              The oil price is stabling around 70 U.S. dollars par barrel, and it won’t surpass 100 dollars any time soon due to shale oil. The price of natural gas will similarly be kept low. In addition, Russia is suffering from western economic sanctions. There is a reasonable possibility that Russia will default again.                                                                              The Abe Cabinet should not be in a hurry to restore the Northern Territory. As time passes, Japan’s position will only grow stronger.

Ignorance is far from Bliss

 Many historical records have been released 50 years after World War 2. Intelligent people already know that then-President Franklin Roosevelt sacrificed Japan to join the European war. On the other hand, Japanese should be aware that Japanese diplomats and politicians were too incompetent, and still are today.                                 In 1995, Vitaly Pavlov, a former NKVD (precursor of KGB) agent, released his memoirs in a Moscow journal. In them,he claimed that the NKVD instigated the U.S. - Japan War and accomplished it through the help of Harry Dexter White. This was called "Operation Snow." In 2005, Bruce Craig published "Treasonable Doubt : The Hurry Dexter White Spy case." And, VENONA, the description of Soviet espionage in the U.S., documented the Soviet spy network in the American government at the time.                              In the FDR administration, there were many New Dealers, who were left-leaning or even Soviet-friendly. Harry Dexter White, an assistant secretary of the Treasury, was the key figure.                        In August 1941, the FDR cabinet imposed a complete oil embargo against Japan. Japan's then-Prime Minister Konoe asked for a meeting with then-President Roosevelt. However, Secretary of State Cordell Hull rejected it, and handed over the so-called "Hull Note" to Japanese Ambassador Nomura on November 26th, demanding unacceptable requests, which cornered Japan to attack Pearl harbor on the December 2nd.                        The Japanese government took the Hull Note as an ultimatum, but it was just a pretense. According to the U.S. Constitution, presidents do not have the authority to declare war, which can only be officially declaredby the Congress. In addition, in campaign promise, FDR pledged that the U.S. would not join the European war. At the time, an anti-war atmosphere prevailed among American citizens, and the majority of the congressmen were opposed to joining the war. Hence, if Japan had ignored the Hull Note,I believe that the U.S. would not have declared war against Japan. Neither Japanese politicians or diplomats were able to read FDR's true intention.                         However, the situation changed due to utterly incompetent Ambassador Nomura and his surbodinates. Amid tense circumstance, they emptied the Japanese Embassy to attend a farewell party. The Japanese government sent a declaration of war in code to the Embassy.When Ambassador Nomura handed over the declaration to Cordell Hull, Japanese fighters had already attacked Pearl Harbor.                          FDR propagated Japan's sneak attack. As a result, the atmosphere in the U.S. drastically changed to wage against Japan.                         Incidentally, international law does not require a declaration of war. In fact, the Nazi frequently attacked without declaration.                        The American citizens, even congressmen, did not know about the Hull Note. Hamilton Fish, a Lower House member, wrote a book, criticizing FDR's stragtegy in "Tragic Deception : FDR and America's Involvement in World War 2."                         Japan completely fell pray to FDR. However, if Japanese politicians and diplomats had been competent, Japan might have been able to avoid World War 2.   

Calling Their Bluffs:Donald trump

 

 On April 6th, the U.S. launched a military strike against the Asad regime. Different from Barack Obama, Donald Trump is resolute and decisive. The next target will be North Korea. Kim Jong-un must be trembling now.   

                                                           

 On the 4th, at least 80 people were killed by an attack in a province controlled by an alliance of rebel groups in northern Syria. Autopsy results have reportedly revealed that chemical weapons were used in the attack in violation of international law. President Trump ordered measured Tomahawk missile strikes on a Syrian airbase in response to the chemical weapons massacre.   

                                                           

 During the 4th Middle East War in 1973, North Korea sent troops to Syria. Since then, the two nations have strengthened their military relationship. North Korea has sold missiles and other weapons to Syria. In 2007, Israel conducted a surprise attack on nuclear facilities in northern Syria which were reportedly constructed with North Korean assistance for the purpose of obtaining material to a nuclear bomb.   

                                                           

 North Korea has repeatedly launched missiles to demonstrate its military capability. However, it is unlikely to be a deterrent to the Trump administration. On the contrary, such provocation will infuriate Donald Trump.   

                                                           

 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson commented, “North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.” And, President Trump declared that he would be willing to go it alone to restrain North Korea’s nuclear weapons program should China fail to alleviate the situation.  

                                                           

 The Abe cabinet re-stationed its ambassador to South Korea after having been called back in January over “Comfort Women” statue. Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine already met with Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, on how to cope with North Korea. There are around 20,000 Japanese citizens in South Korea. I am happy Prime Minister Abe has established a firm relationship with President Trump.  

                                                           

 I don't believe that the abducted Japanese will be brought home until North Korea collapses. I believe the same is true for other abductees from foreign countries. The U.S.’s Tomahawks can strike targets with pinpoint accuracy using advanced guidance system. I hope that the abductees won’t be injured and all of them will be returned to their homelands.

 

 


Clinton’s Blunder, Trump’s Remedy

 

 President Donald Trump has been criticized not only in the U.S. but also globally. However, if you read “Crouching TigerWhat China’s Militarism Means for the World” written by Peter Navarro, you will understand his trade policy, at least toward China.  

                                                           

 Although former President Bill Clinton did help bring the U.S. out of recessions and spurred the American economy in the short term, in reality, he is to blame for having devastated the U.S. in the long term, and fostered the Chinese regime to become a military threat to Asia.  

                                                           

 Then-President Clinton helped nominate China to become a full member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, giving up the U.S.’s leverage of “most favored nation trade status”. And, during 2002, China’s trade increased by 22%. China’s economic development itself was very good, especially for Chinese citizens. And, China has grown into a significant economy, which has helped fuel the global economy at large.  

                                                           

 However, Clinton’s supporters started to relocate their production to China. As a result, as many as 70,000 factories were closed in the U.S. The number of unemployed and underemployed workers numbered more than 25 million. The U.S.’s trade deficit surged to yearly 300 billion dollars.  

                                                           

 At first, the world expected China to follow global rules, and that more prosperous China would develop into a peaceful democratic nation. As you can see now, it was an illusion. On the contrary, China developed into a military menace with economic power.  

                                                           

 Boeing, Caterpillar, General Electric, General Motors, etc. offered dual-use technologies to China in exchange for business licenses in China. Such technologies were diverted to improve the Chinese military. French, British and German corporations also exported military products to China under the guise of commercial use. Now, Chinese submarines and frigates are equipped with German diesel engines.  

                                                           

 In the 1990s during the Clinton administration, China stole American missile secrets. China already has intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach the U.S. Lenin said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope which we will hang them.”  

                                                           

 The Japanese government is also to blame for its Official Development Assistance (ODA) of 3.655 trillion yen (about 33 billion USD) to China since 1979. Such generous assistance must have contributed to China’s military expansion. 

                                                           

 Peter Navarro insists on decreasing dependence on Chinese products in order to decelerate China’s military expansion. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies can revive economic growth and increase their relative power.  

                                                           

 The most important alliance is the one between the U.S. and Japan. Therefore, President Trump heartily welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. And, the Abe Cabinet steadily takes steps to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, such as establishing a system to detain suspected terrorists before they have an opportunity to carry out an attack. 

                                                           

 I hope that the Trump-Abe alliance will deter China from encroaching into the East and South China Seas, and guarantee the free navigation there.  

 


Spring has come to Japan

 

 The world is on the edge. In particular, North Korea might launch nuclear-tipped missiles at any time. On the other hand, Japan is internally enjoying a hopeful spring. I do appreciate the Abe Cabinet.   

                                                           

 In Japan, students enter schools in April, and graduate in March. 90.6% of collage graduates have landed a job as of the end of January. This is the highest rate since 2000. The rate dropped to 77.4% in 2011, but has consecutively improved for 6 years. Also, 94.0% of high-school graduates have landed a job. The rate has improved for 7 consecutive years. Some industries and many small and mid-sized companies are suffering from labor shortages. The Japanese economy has completely recovered from the recession triggered by the Lehman Shock.   

                                                           

 Japan’s national Police Agency released on the 16th that the number of yakuza members has shrunk to about 18,100 as of the end of the last year, a decrease of some 2,000 from the previous year. This is the smallest number since 1958 when the statistics were launched. Because the Abe Cabinet legally squeezed yakuza syndicates, they became unable to earn enough money to continue their operations. Also, companies and private sectors can now take a square stance toward them in accordance with the law. In terms of the crime rate, Japan is the safest nation in the world. I believe that Japan’s public safety will improve further.   

                                                           

 In South Korea, the presidential election will probably take place on May 9th. Its most promising candidate Moon Jae-in insists on nullifying the 2015 agreement on comfort women in which Japan’s government consented to compensate South Korean victims whereas South Korea agreed to demand no more compensation after the treaty. However, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Japan and held a press conference on the 16th, stating, “We encourage both sides to approach that agreement in honest, and sincere efforts to bring this to a conclusion.” Japan has already fulfilled its duty. Whoever becomes the next South Korean president, he will have to honor the agreement.

                                                           

 Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Japan and articulated, “ the Senkaku islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall with the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.” This month, Mr. Tillerson also reaffirmed that the islands are covered by article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, which obliges the United States to defend Japanese territories. With the support from the U.S., China won’t be able to invade the Senkaku Islands.   

                                                           

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set up a firm relationship with the Trump administration. It’s a sad reality that Japan cannot safeguard its citizens and territory by itself. Mr. Abe realizes the fact and hence he is trying to rebuild Japan as a real “independent” nation. I will continue to support the Abe Cabinet.                          


Catch 22:Donald Trump

 

 President Donald Trump has been criticizing China for its currency manipulation. However, China is currently interfering with the foreign exchange market not to depreciate the renminbi to fuel exports but to appreciate the renminbi’s value. And, Donald Trump might have to yield to China as the former Obama administration did.   

                                                           

 China’ s renminbi has been weakening since August 2015 due to the deceleration of the Chinese economy. Since then, U.S. dollar-based insurance in Hong Kong has caught on among Chinese who worry about the stability of the renminbi. Chinese are now buying up real estate in Western countries and Japan, artwork, premium wines, etc., converting Chinese yuan to valuable items.    

                                                           

 In order to curb the outflow of the renminbi, the Chinese government only allows Chinese citizens to hold 50,000 U.S. dollars per person. Nonetheless, the outflow has not decelerated. Despite China’s foreign exchange intervention, the exchange rate of the renminbi to the U.S. dollar has depreciated by 6.6% during 2016, the largest loss since 1994. And, China’s foreign currency reserves plummeted from 4 trillion dollars in June 2014 to 3 trillion dollars as the end of January this year, a plunge of 1 trillion dollars in a little over 2 and half years.   

                                                           

 If China stops intervening in the currency exchange markets, the renmnbi will weaken further, which will fuel China’s exports.   

                                                           

 If China continues to sell U.S. bonds to intervene in the currency exchange market, the prices of American bonds will decrease and interest rates will rise in the U.S. Then, investment money will flood into the U.S. and the U.S. dollar will strengthen, which hinder American exports.   

                                                           

 President Trump plans large-scale infrastructure investment and tax cuts. In order to implement his policies, the U.S. has to issue a large number of U.S. bonds. Who will buy those bonds?  

                                                           

 After the Lehman Shock in 2009, the Obama Cabinet issued national bonds to implement a large-scale stimulus package. Then-Treasury Secretary Geitner visited China and asked then-President Hu Jintao to continue to purchase U.S. bonds, ignoring China’s currency manipulation.   

                                                           

 As of the end of last year, China owned 1.058 trillion dollars of U.S. bonds following Japan at 1.098 trillion dollars. Without Japan and China, the U.S. cannot sustain its finances. In fact, the U.S. was on the verge of default in October 2013. China has been utilizing its economic power as an economic weapon against the U.S.  

                                                           

 It is well known that Japan depends on the U.S. in terms of defense. On the other hand, the U.S. depends on Japan financially. The Abe Cabinet should consider whether or not it should continue to purchase U.S. bonds.   

                                    

 


U.S. Troops from Okinawa to Taiwan

 

 On January 17th, John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote a contributing article in The Wall Street Journal arguing that the U.S. troops could move its troops stationed in Okinawa to Taiwan as a response to protests in Japan and to Chinese “belligerence.” I’m all for his idea. I hope that the U.S. forces deployed in Okinawa will not be partially but rather completely relocated to Taiwan.   

                                   

 There have been protests against U.S. forces in Okinawa, by local Okinawans, left-leaning Japanese citizens, and resident-Koreans and Chinese. It’s a fact that the marines frequently commit atrocious crimes such as rape. However, I believe that the majority of the protestors are pro-Chinese and acting in sympathy with China. Unfortunately for them, the move to Taiwan would be pressure to China.   

                                   

 On the other hand, most Okinawans are aware of the need of the U.S. forces. Fishermen often have to refrain from going fishing in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands because Chinese vessels encroach on Japanese territory. Many Okinawans are employed at U.S. bases. The landowners can earn rent because the U.S. bases are stationed on their land. And, the local governments can acquire subsidies from the Japanese government because U.S. troops are deployed in Okinawa. In reality, many of them “protest” against U.S. forces as a negotiation tactic to receive more support from the Japanese government.   

                                                           

 The Japanese government offers Okinawa subsidies (in reality, a slush-fund) of over 300 billion yen (around 3 billion USD). In addition, Japan indirectly contributes to salaries of the Okinawans employed in the U.S. bases even though they are not required to do so in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.   

                                                           

 If the U.S. forces are completely relocated to Taiwan, Japan can save a lot of money. There would be no more marines in Okinawa who commit crimes. Okinawa residents won’t be bothered by the fighter jets any more. The landowners will get back their land but won’t earn rent. The Okinawan employees at the U.S. bases will be fired. And, the local governments wouldn’t be offered hefty amounts of subsidies any more.   

                                                           

 On February 3rd, the new Defense Secretary James Mattis met Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo, and confirmed that the Senkaku Islands fall under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Even if U.S. forces completely move to Taiwan, I believe that Japan should shoulder some of the financial burden of deploying U.S. troops in Taiwan. The U.S. forces are required as a deterrent to Chinese aggression not only for the Senkaku Islands but also the peaceful navigation in the South China Sea.   

                                                           

 Moreover, Japan should split the relocation costs to Taiwan. The move from Okinawa is very beneficial for Japan. As a taxpayer, I hope that the U.S. troops will completely be relocated from Okinawa to Taiwan as soon as possible.   


calendar
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     
<< September 2019 >>
sponsored links
selected entries
categories
archives
recent comment
recommend
links
profile
search this site.
others
mobile
qrcode
powered
無料ブログ作成サービス JUGEM