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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 27 - October 3  > Snowden’s speech gives clues to Abe’s excessive subservience to US
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2017 September 27 - October 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

Snowden’s speech gives clues to Abe’s excessive subservience to US

October 3, 2017

Akahata ‘current’ column

The U.S. government categorizes Japan as a “third-rate” member among its allies and friendly nations. This is according to Edward Snowden, a prominent whistleblower who revealed the U.S. intelligence agency’s mass surveillance of electronic data. His online speech at a meeting held in Tokyo on October 1 was full of insights.

In sharing classified information, the U.S. intelligence authorities use a three-tier categorization. The top tier includes domestic organizations, the second incorporates Britain, Canada, and two other English-speaking countries, and the bottom tier consists of Japan and other allies and friendly nations. Snowden said that the U.S. government provides information almost fully to second-tier countries by concluding agreements, but only partially to the third tier nations.

It should be not surprising to hear that the U.S. and four other English-speaking countries form the “Anglo-Saxon” alliance. What is interesting is a “difference” in treatments between the second and the third tier groups.

Snowden explained that the U.S. government is not quite convinced that the existing friendly relationships with the third-tier countries would last for another 10 to 30 years, which means that the U.S. does not genuinely trust those countries. He added that Washington feels a sense of superiority by concealing information from the bottom group countries. Snowden also noted that there are inequalities in responsibilities that the U.S. and its allies are expected to shoulder. Snowden said that under this unequal relation, although Japan tries to do its best at any risk, the U.S. has no intent to do the same.

Snowden’s remarks provide an important clue as to the motive behind Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s move to turn Japan into a war-fighting country, including the enactment of the state secrets protection law and war laws, the lifting of the ban on arms exports, and the proposal to revise Article 9 of the Constitution. These moves are in order to meet U.S. demands for Japan to become a “normal” nation. Still, PM Abe is not sure if the U.S. will defend Japan wholeheartedly in the event of an emergency. This doubt is driving PM Abe to implement even more reckless policies as a sign of loyalty and become further subordinated to the U.S.

PM Abe called the Japan-U.S. alliance “an alliance of hope”. It is the general public that are to suffer hardships. The word “hope” is in the name of the Tokyo governor’s political party which supports constitutional revisions and the war laws. Both Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and the Hope Party are unqualified to promote peace and equality for Japan’s future.
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