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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 5 - 11  > Only 4hrs after Trump’s Syria strike order, Abe expresses ‘support’
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2017 April 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Only 4hrs after Trump’s Syria strike order, Abe expresses ‘support’

April 8, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump in his statement published on the evening of April 6 said, “It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” This sounds as if he should be allowed to do anything as long as it is in the name of “U.S. interests”, a very naked “America First” hegemonism.

Supposing that Syria still possesses chemical weapons, the cooperation of the international community is the best way to proceed as in 2013 when international inspection teams investigated into the presence of the alleged chemical weapons in Syria and disposed the weapons found. Whatever the choice, a hot debate will inevitably take place in the world on the pros and cons of the U.S. action.

‘Support’ comes before anything

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on April 7, after a meeting with Cabinet ministers in the Council on National Security and Defense, issued a comment reading, “The Government of Japan supports the determination of the U.S. Government.” The comment also reads, “Japan highly values President Trump’s strong commitment to maintenance of the international order and to the peace and security of its allies and the world.” The Abe comment came only four hours after the Trump announcement of the cruise missile strike.

Japan after WWII has never opposed U.S.-launched wars, including the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, and other lawless wars of aggression. This time, almost immediately, the Abe government expressed its support for the U.S. strike on Syria. Japan’s subservient attitude which successive cabinets have taken toward the United States is now at an all-time high.

Caught in vicious cycle

PM Abe in the comment said, “[T]he threat of weapons of mass destructions has become increasingly serious in East Asia as well,” clearly pointing to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. He seems to imply that he should be allowed to opt for a military strike to defend Japan’s national security interest if needed.

North Korea, after witnessing the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, accelerated its nuclear weapons and missile development programs in order to defend itself against a first strike attack. Japan and the United States, by asserting that “all options” are open in regard to North Korea, only increase the risk of a vicious cycle of a military response to a military action.
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