As we saw earlier, in spite of his still strong approval ratings and comfortable majority, Japan's controversial PM cannot push his anti-democratic agenda as fast and far as he fancies. We've even seen hardliners in his own alliance criticizing him because he's too bold and wants to precipitate things, which might harm the cause. So Shinzo Abe tries to find less direct ways of undermining the pilars of Japan peaceful post-war democracy. If he can't modify the constitution right now, he starts by modifying its interpretation, and if he can't reject the 1993 Kono Statement right now, he starts by questioning its basis:
|"Would Germany ask holocaust survivors to testify again, cancel apologies? Japan doing that to sex slavery survivors, and never apologized! (twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/441353492561543168)|
Regardless of Shinzo Abe's personal future, the Japanese political system remains corrupted by Imperial Japan loyalists who make sure no government undertakes Japan's long overdue duty of memory regarding the nation's darkest era. Typically, the political debate or lack of focuses on nuclear issues instead of the very survival of democracy in Japan because few politicians dare to risk their own political careers.
So again, don't expect Japan's peaceful democracy to be saved from the top. And the changes we're witnessing at the citizens level clearly demonstrate where political inaction and the trivialization of extremism lead: revisionist ideas and extreme right-wing theories keep gaining ground among younger generations and women, reaching far beyond the usual extremist circles*.
More than ever, the future of Japan as a peaceful democracy lies in the hands of the Japanese people, and indecision is a choice against democracy.
I simply put on a basic decision tree the 7 boxes that sum up the situation:
- What's happening now (the 2 dominant trends):
- At the national level: your Prime Minister, the grandson of an untried war criminal, openly and deliberately denies war crimes, honors war criminals, promotes revisionism, pledges to end Japan's peaceful post-war constitution...
- At the international level: the international community supports advocates of peaceful Japan, strongly denounces this government's behavior, exposes its impostures, demands long overdue apologies for Imperial Japan atrocities, multiplies memorials for the victims...
- What you do now (the only 3 possible choices):
- You refuse to see Japan re-establish its darkest past, You express your disagreement, You make the voice of peaceful Japan heard internationally, You vote pro-democracy.
- You love what Imperial Japan did to your country and overseas, you want even more disgrace. You support this government. You vote in favor of fascism, and against peaceful Japan.
- You see nothing. You hear nothing. You say nothing. You do nothing. You don't vote. You don't care about politics. You don't care about Japan's past, present, and future.
- What happens tomorrow (the only 2 possible end results):
- Japan's democracy lives
- Japan's democracy dies
I'd like as many Japanese citizens as possible to say where they stand. I know, that's not a nice choice, but that's the one their government is proposing them right now: do you prefer post-war peaceful Japan, or do you prefer fascism and Imperial Japan? It's all about what country you want to live in, what image you want other nations to have of Japan, and Korea or China have nothing to do with it**.
Just ask yourself where you stand, and demand each of your politicians to be as clear as possible regarding where they stand themselves.
Dear Japan, it's up to you.
- See all posts related to Shinzo Abe on Seoul Village, for instance "The Elusive Independence Day - When will Japan officially proclaim its Independence from Imperial Japan?", or the old "Dear Japan, Please Say No To Abeignomics".
- See all tweets tagged #ABEIGNomics on Twitter.
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* e.g. this recent article "Drift rightward has been building for years" (Japan Times 20140214)
** and again, they have their own mess to face (see "With neighbors like these...")