Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another Unintended Consequence

Japan has drawn the right conclusion from the new Congress and the ISG report.

After the horrors it inflicted - and suffered - in WW2, Japan developed a
unique military:
The Japanese military is severely limited by...the Japanese Constitution which states:
"The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes" and that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained."
Based on the Self-Defense Forces Law of 1954, the nation's defense establishment is organized to ensure civilian control of the armed forces.
In spite of which:
Japan's USD $45.8 billion/year budget makes it the fourth largest military spender in the world, after the United States,...China and Russia.
This powerful force just lost a slab of those constitutional limitations:
Japan's conservative government chipped away at the country's postwar pacifism yesterday by requiring schools to teach patriotism and upgrading the Defense Agency to a full ministry for the first time since World War II.

The measures, enacted in a vote by parliament's upper house, are key elements of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to bolster Japan's international military role, build up national pride and distance the country from its post-1945 war guilt.
This is just 58 days after Secretary Rice promised the Japanese full US protection against North Korean nukes.

The legendary politeness of the Japanese misled commentators to believe that she's put Japan back in its box. But there was no chance of that - with a Dem controlled Congress and the US looking to abandon a liberated ally, realistic Japan will look after itself.

Don't expect any highly publicized changes - the Japanese will just quietly build a complete and world-beating nuclear deterrent. And last time I looked they had enough enriched uranium and plutonium for 30,000 warheads.

Another victory for the Dems and Baker.