Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fascism On The Rise, #Japan Chapter #NoWarNoAbe

In Hiroshima this week, 7,000 people gathered
 to send an antiwar message to Prime Minister Abe
 of the warmongering Liberal Democratic Party
I've written before about the unique suffering of the Japanese people under the last reign of fascists. Others have written about President Obama's "pivot to Asia" and what that was likely to mean for the nation most colonized by U.S. military and corporate presence since WWII. Think General Electric and all those nuclear reactors. Think Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, more commonly known as the TPP. Think Fukushima and Hiroshima in the same sentence.

Now that the pivot's warhawks are coming home to roost, the nation with the constitutional ban on military aggression encoded in Article 9 is experiencing what some have called a coup d'etat.

This staged act of violence at the podium of Japan's parliament involved, not opposition parties as was reported in the corporate press, but underlings of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its allies. Its purpose was to ram through a law rescinding Article 9 without debate or a roll call vote. Mission accomplished!

Commentary by Japanese American Rachel Clark:
TV Japan’s report: ”members of the ruling and the opposition parties are running to the chairman’s desk.” “They are trying to stop the decision by physical force.” The TV Japan’s “Wake Up Plus” report is wrong and problematic; the reality was totally opposite of what they have reported. 
The Chairman Konoike sat down, followed by Fukuyama board member, Sato (State Minister of Defense), and Mr. A.board member coming toward him in order to have a briefing of the question. That moment, about ten members of the ruling parties rushed to the chairman. This video captured that particular moment. As a result, Sato remained by the chairman’s desk, other two board members were pushed away from the center, and the chairman was completely surrounded by the members of ruling parties only.  
Hence the reality was “the chairman’s desk was violently occupied by the ruling parties and the meeting was continued without their voice heard by any other representatives in the hall.” In other words, it was the first bill in Japan’s political history, which was steamrolled through by force [emphasis mine].
Protesters opposed to the legislation in the hundreds of thousands have turned out in the streets of Tokyo and other cities around the nation. 

"Thousands get behind Article 9 in last-ditch rally at prime minister's office" Japan Times 
Sarah Lazare reported on the public's response to the legislation in Common Dreams:
The package is widely unpopular in Japan. According to polling information released Monday by Japanese publication The Asahi Shimbun, 68 percent of voters in the country hold that the security legislation in the current parliamentary session is unnecessary and 54 percent oppose to the bills.
Since Japan already passed a hugely unpopular state secrets act last December effectively muzzling whistleblowers and the press, the road to fascism is well-paved and ready for the tanks to roll.

As indicated by the photo at the head of this post, Japanese citizens are unlikely to lay down and let the tank of re-militarization roll over them. And, they are not alone. International activists convened in Kyoto this summer and issued this comprehensive statement:

Final Declaration from the Kyoto International Conference

 on Space and Peace (August 2, 2015)

The United Nations was established in 1946 after the Second World War to “Save the

succeeding generations from the scourge of wars, which twice in our life time has

brought untold sorrow to humankind”. The UN visualized establishing a New

International Order. But the US and the erstwhile European colonial countries have

joined together and instead of a New International Order, they have brought a “New

International Disorder”.

The entire 20th Century witnessed wars, aggressions, and assassinations in Asia, Africa

and Latin America. The imperialist countries formed the NATO military alliance which is

being used to indulge in attacks on sovereign nations and committing war crimes which

go unpunished. Even the UN is being side tracked as NATO expands its mission as the

primary resource extraction service for corporate globalization.

Instead of allowing an alternative social order to capitalism to be developed the US

engaged the USSR in a nuclear arms race. US has established approximately 1,000

military bases throughout the world. It was largely responsible for boosting global

military expenditures to more than 1.75 Trillion US Dollars. Along with allies like Saudi

Arabia and other Arab monarchies the US has over the years fostered the growth of

Taliban, Al-Qaida and terrorism throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of


Missile defense systems, key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning, have

been deployed around Russia and China which has helped deal a death blow to hopes

for global nuclear disarmament as both those nations have repeatedly warned that they

cannot afford to reduce their nuclear retaliatory capability at the same time the US

deploys the ‘shield’ on their doorstep.

At the beginning of the 21st Century the United Nations made another attempt to herald

a “New International Order” by adopting the “Millennium Declaration” and the Millennium

Development Goals. All UN members have accepted to eschew violence and follow

peaceful co-existence ushering disarmament and development. But again the US and

many European partners have created a “New International Disorder”.

Lies have been spoken in the governments of US & Britain and also in the UN Security

Council about the non-existent nuclear weapons in Iraq. War in Afghanistan, invasion of

Iraq, attacks on Libya, and drones attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other nations have

led to the killing of many innocent people.

Having directed a coup d’état in Ukraine the US has helped create a deadly civil war on

Russia’s border that appears designed to destabilize the government in Moscow.

NATO has been extended up to the borders of Russia violating post-Cold War promises

to the former Soviet Union that the western military alliance would not move ‘one inch’

eastward. The US-NATO are today sending troops and heavy military hardware to

NATO members Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Georgia all along or near the

Russian border.  These provocative developments could be the trigger for WW III.

US refusal to negotiate a ban on weapons in space at the UN has left the door open for

continued development of offensive and destabilizing space technologies like the

military space plane and Prompt Global Strike systems.  US military satellites offer

global surveillance to the Pentagon and allow for targeting of virtually any place on


The recently announced Obama ‘pivot’ of US forces into the Asia-Pacific is intended to

give the Pentagon the capability to contain and control China.  More airfields, barracks,

and ports-of-call are needed for US military operations in the region thus we see

expansion of existing bases, or construction of new bases, in places like South Korea,

Okinawa, Guam, Philippines, Australia and more.  We stand in solidarity with those local

and national movements that resist these US base expansions.

Particularly as we meet in Kyoto, Japan we declare our strong opposition to the US

deployment of a “missile defense” X-Band radar system in the local prefecture that is

provocatively aimed at China.

This Kyoto Conference declares our opposition to the dangerous spread of global

militarization which cannot be allowed to continue as we see the coming ravages of

climate change and growing global poverty.  We must all work to realize the UN ideal to

“save the succeeding generations from the scourge of wars”. This can only happen with

a powerful and unified global movement for peace, justice and environmental sanity.

We call for the conversion of the global war machine so that all life on our spaceship

Earth may live and flourish in the years to come.  We recognize the need for bold and

determined action now to ensure that another world may in fact be possible.

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