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The Case FOR Rearming Japan

I imagine that a lot of folks are wondering just how tense the situation with North Korea is. It is however becoming increasingly evident that the tension could not be cut with a laser beam the width of an old Buick.
There is no question that the South Koreans are on edge;
they even fear that Japan have ratcheted tensions in the matter with THEIR grave concerns. THIS from a country that is now working on cruise missile technology, perhaps as a result of their OWN experiences since the Korean Conflict of the early 1950s.
Considering that
last week's failed launch of a long-range Taepodong 2 missile landed in the Sea of Japan, it is clearly evident that Japan have EVERY reason to worry about a North Korean missile strike, even if America were the intended target.
And America are not the only folks concerned about the Taepodong's impact:
A North Korean missile strike could just as readily hit western Canada. As it stands the failed Taepodong missile could have easily hit any of the following communities on central Honshu island, where the bulk of Japan's population are concentrated:
Kanazawa, Fukui, Otsu, Maebashi, Gifu, Kobe, Tottori, Matsue, Niigata, Utsunomiya, Fukushima, Nagano (site of the 1998 Winter Olympics), or even Kyoto (site of the failed 1997 international environmental arrangement). And to top that all off both Kyoto and Kobe are major industrial and business centres, each every bit nearly as important as Tokyo, even if not as large in population.
We must also remember that the Japanese are more tightly concentrated than Americans or Canadians are. Picture a country with the landspace of California or Manitoba, but with about quadruple the populace of California or 120 times that of Manitoba, and then subtract areas used for national parks, national forests, and of course sacred Buddhist and
Shinto sites.
Then you take out land used for agriculture and you begin to see how tightly compacted the Japanese truly are, when houses are about half the size of American houses if not smaller, and you also begin to further understand how little land they have for industrial production, such that in many cases they have had to send much of their production to foreign countries, most notably the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. It has even gotten to the point where the Japanese now produce MORE cars OVERSEAS than they do in Japan.
As much as some folks are inclined to fear a rearmed Japan---memories of Hirohito's brutal empire of the 1930s and 1940s still haunt a number of east Asians, most notably in China and Korea,
even to the point where they STILL rake current prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and even some Japanese parliament members for visiting a war shrine.
I have reason to believe that the Japanese have learned a lot of lessons from their imperial past and that the Japanese government of today is definitely NOT the same imperial government of 65 and 70 years ago that aligned themselves with the Nazis of Adolf Hitler, and that reason is more than enough to warrant some level of defencive armament.
And whilst I abhor the idea that we should embrace war I think that in rare instances it may be necessary, however tough a solution it is to reach, and I think if such war is necessary, God forbid, but if it comes down to having to go to war with the Pyongyang regime, then it is imperative that we support the effort to eliminate the regime of Kim Jong Il and bring down a dictator who has left his people so grossly destitute that they are forced to subsist on food aid---some of which comes from neighbour South Korea
which have now suspended food aid to the North, and not without good reason either. It has gotten to the point where President Bush---already under fire for the current War On Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq---is now taking direct aim at North Korea by demanding a united front against the Il regime, even urging cooperation from Russia and China in efforts that even involved the six-way talks which Il refuses to attend to anymore. As it stands, neither of the other five nations involved in those talks wanted North Korea to fire any of those seven rockets.
Some will question what they see as the United States' supposed need to disarm other countries. I think that there is no doubt that those who have TRULY abused power have no business with such powerful weapons. America have a reputation for acquiring a lot of power but abusing it relatively little in comparison to that which other countries have achieved. If anything America have a track record of liberation---the Philippines in 1944, Europe in 1945, Grenada in 1983, Kuwait in 1991, Afghanistan in 2002, Iraq in 2003, and that is just a short list. It is that SAME America that for better or for worse gives a lot of freedom---A LOT OF FREEDOM---and in today's terms far more than what would have been permitted even 50 years ago---to criticise the United States government's policies, wartime policies included.
If it takes that same United States to rearm Japan, so be it: Japan are clearly at reasonable enough risk that some level of rearmament is apporpriate, especially given the recent landing of the Taepodong missile off the shore of Japan on America's Independence Day. Therefore it may be time to arm Japan once again.


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