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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8  > Abe gov't sells national sovereignty piece by piece
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2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8 [POLITICS]

Abe gov't sells national sovereignty piece by piece

January 3, 2019

"Bring back Japan." Exclaiming this during the general election campaign in December 2012, Abe Shinzo managed to make his comeback to power. However, he is giving in to major powers and is hawking national sovereignty to such countries as the United States and Russia, accentuating his servile attitude. Prime Minister Abe has travelled abroad many times during the more than six years since assuming office, on the pretext of "diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map". He has been conducting "top-level sales" to promote nuclear plant exports to other countries but these sales have reached an impasse now, with no achievement to show. Now is the time to bring Japan back from the hands of the people in the Abe regime.

Subservience to U.S.

"The core of Japan's diplomacy has been and will be the Japan-U.S. alliance," PM Abe stated last year. He met with U.S. President Donald Trump nine times and talked with him over the phone at least 27 times. The number of "summit diplomacy" between Abe and Trump is outstanding compared to past prime ministers.

Abe is afraid of being abandoned by Trump whose belittling attitude toward Japan has been pointed out, which makes Abe obediently meet U.S. demands.

Under the excuse of "eliminating the trade deficit with Japan", the Trump administration has been pushing Japan to buy U.S. arms. In response, the Abe government, according to its National Defense Program Guidelines revised late last year, is planning to purchase a large quantity of U.S.-made weapons, including 105 F-35 stealth fighters. The Japanese government allocated a record high of 701.3 billion yen into the FY2019 budget draft to procure arms from the United States under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

Japan-U.S. trade talks will start this month. At present, the Japanese government is denying that it will be a start of negotiations on a "Japan-U.S. free-trade agreement (FTA)" that very likely will lead Tokyo to voluntarily give up its economic sovereignty to Washington. However, what the Japan-U.S. joint statement called for last September is the targeting of farm products as well as a wide range of services.

In response to U.S. demands, the Abe government has been pushing ahead with the new U.S. base construction project in Henoko in Okinawa's Nago City in complete disregard of the wishes of Okinawans and has also refused to sign the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Such extreme subservience to the United States has now come under fire from many quarters. Most importantly, this government must be replaced in the Upper House election which will be held in the upcoming summer.

Territorial issue

PM Abe on January 21 will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss mainly the territorial issue. Abe has stated that he will put "an end" to negotiations on the signing of a peace treaty with Russia in order to first resolve the territorial issue. He hopes to pull off a "historic achievement". In contrast, President Putin has mentioned the "conclusion of a peace treaty without any preconditions". Japanese governments have long laid claim to the "four islands". However, Putin is now thinking of refusing to sign a peace treaty on the precondition that the four islands would be returned to Japan, maintaining a hardline stance.

Under such circumstances, Japan may sign a treaty on condition of getting back only the "two islands" of Habomai and Shikotan. However, the Russian side has hinted at placing "sovereignty" of these two islands on the negotiation agenda. Depending on how the bilateral talks go, Japan may virtually lose its claim to all the islands. The Abe government should not rush into reaching a conclusion.

Japan-ROK relations

The Japanese Defense Ministry on December 20 of last year announced that a South Korean Navy warship was engaged in fire control radar which locked on onto a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force P-1 patrol aircraft within Japan's exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in waters off the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. The news shocked the country. However, there are discrepancies in the assertions of both countries over the facts surrounding this incident. Both sides sent off the old year, remaining far apart on the issue.

The South Korean Supreme Court, after October last year, ordered Japanese firms to compensate former Korean forced laborers, recognizing that the individual's right to claim wartime damages is still valid even under the 1965 Japan-South Korea agreement on the settlement of problems concerning property and claims. Immediately, PM Abe stated, "In light of international law, the judgement is not appropriate," and lodged a protest with the Korean side.

However, in response to Japanese Communist Party representative Kokuta Keiji in the Diet, Foreign Minister Kono Taro answered, "The individual's right to claim is not invalid because of the Japan-South Korea agreement," (Nov.14, Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee). This has brought puzzled reactions from both at home and abroad. Only by engaging in consultations with Seoul based on this Diet response can Tokyo lead the way to a settlement of the issue.
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