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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tokyo Sakura With Patriot Missiles (A Still Life)

It's cherry blossom season in Japan, and saber rattling season in North Korea. So the Japanese Government decided to deploy Patriot Missiles in the (not yet) dead middle of Tokyo. Beautiful photo ops for media from across the world: dark, bulky death machines with delicate, georgeous sakura patches in the background.

Of course, the message is not to KIM Jong-un ("we'll destroy your missile if it flies over Tokyo"*), but to Japan's die hard bureaucrats: "please keep our government afloat".

First, I don't think Japanese leaders flunked all geography exams. Tokyo lies near the East Coast, and if North Koreans really plan to fire over Japan, they certainly won't do it Westwards (unless they're looking for a record breaking range / a potential sepukku). So if Japans really wants to prevent the missile from entering its air space, it must shoot long before it flies over Tokyo.

Second, this photo op is pure political porn for the Japanese extreme right: a caricature celebrating the rebirth of the Empire as a military superpower, and the very negation of Japan as a peaceful nation.

If there were countless other ways for a democracy to show its resolve against provocations from Pyeongyang, Yoshihiko Noda couldn't have signed a better pledge of allegiance to the worst enemies of Japan**: the ones from within.

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* we recently mentioned the issue (see "NK and nukes: back to the (dolsot curling) stone age?"). KIM The Third wants to celebrate KIM The First's Centennial (KIM Il-sung was born on April 15th, 1912, but the pyrotechnic show could be planned for the 12th).

** see previous posts about this dangerous clique


  1. You are right on one count, at least. Patriot Advanced Capability - 3 (PAC-3) missiles are deadly. Against incoming ballistic missiles. Odd how you folk get worked up by purely defensive weapons. But, of course, there is very little reason in your responses.

  2. The very point is to pave the way for the revision of defense as a purely defensive tool in Japan, where the debate about the revival of militarism remains very touchy.

    The old guard wants to change the constitution that prohibits acts of war by the State. This can't be done as easily as they want, but they never miss an occasion to glorify military power and to justify its increase.

    Textbook revisionism also contributes to their movement (for instance when 'invasion' is reworded as 'advance' to qualify past aggressions).

  3. Japanese(esp. the right wing people) just try to remember memories of war victories in the past. They are required to learn how miserably the emperor's armies were defeated and what an enormously heavy toll Japanese cities(Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya) got.

    Even Japanese emperor said a couple of years ago that young people in Japan don't know how horrible the war is.

    During the World War 2, Japan experienced 2 military super power of the U.S. and Russia. Which didn't give them a sufficient lesson?

    The worst defeat happened in Manchuria, where 83,700 Japanese soldiers were killed and 640,000 soldiers became the war prisoners, whereas Russia lost 9,700 soldiers(Wikipedia), needless to say a flurry of Japanese defeats in the Pacific.


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