Monday, May 04, 2015


Johan Galtung’s view from Europe: Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s Speech in US Congress–With Comments

With A9 [a clause in the National Constitution of Japan outlawing war as a means to settle international disputes], not DCG [The Defense Cooperation Guidelines], as a banner, Japan could build, with the two Chinas and the two Koreas, an East Asian Community with the contested islands as joint property, while at the same time keeping friendship and the San Francisco security treaty with the USA.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s Speech in US Congress–With Comments

4 May 2015

Johan Galtung, 4 May 2015 - TRANSCEND Media Service

Below are 15 selected points from the Abe Joint Session US Congress speech 30 Apr 2015, “Toward an Alliance of Hope,” with comments:

Pearl Harbor, Bataan, Coral Sea–

The battles engraved at the Memorial crossed my mind, and I reflected upon the lost dreams and lost futures of those young Americans.

With deep repentance in my heart, I stood there in deep prayer for some time.

My dear friends, on behalf of Japan and the Japanese people, I offer with profound respect my eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II.

Comment: No apology, repentance, and condolences as when somebody passes away, for a war wanted and provoked by Washington as worried by rising Japan as by rising China today. Stupid Japan fell into the trap; “repent” says it well. Such were the games states play and still play, above all the USA that Japan now is joining in a much tighter alliance.

How about the lost dreams and futures of young Japanese? The war, the problem, had two sides; not only Japan killing Americans.

Enemies that fought each other have become friends bonded in spirit (the Battle of Iwo Jima). No trauma seething underneath after Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the even worse bombing of Tokyo? No need for conciliation, beyond elements of veteran friendship?
-feelings of deep remorse over the war. Our actions brought suffering to the peoples in Asian countries.–I will uphold the views expressed by the previous prime ministers in this regard. This is better: China, Korea and SE Asia did not provoke Japan into attacking and even if Japan was above all fighting white men from faraway very many Asians were killed in all places.
–the post war economic system that the U/s.has fostered by opening up its own market and calling for a liberal world economy. When the biggest power does that, and decides the rules, it is to become even bigger. How about the “voluntary restraint” when Japanese cars became really competitive? How about paying by making Japan de facto occupied?
And prosperity is nothing less than the seabed for peace. The three most belligerent countries (number of wars over number of years of existence) USA, UK and Israel are rich. The “seabed” is equitable trade, unknown to al three.
We can spread our shared values around the world and have them take root: the rule of law, democracy, and freedom. That is exactly what TPP is all about. TPP is exactly the opposite: unknown rules made law without open debate–and no known freedom clause to opt out. Besides, one way “spreading” is imposition.
Japan’s agriculture has declined–corporate governance with global standards–we made it stronger. But agriculture is needed to make Japan less vulnerable in case of war or other calamities
To turn around our depopulation–we empower women so they can get more active in all walks of life But women in “all walks of life” have also postponed marriage and children, even indefinitely.
The peace and security of the post war world was not possible without American leadership. Are 70+ US military interventions and 50+ efforts to overturn leaders “peace and security”?
In the end, together with the U.S. and other like-minded democracies we won the Cold War. Abe lands on this right wing US formula where “nobody won, the Soviet Union imploded” is a more peace building formula.
–we support “rebalancing” by U.S to enhance the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region–first, last and throughout.

Japan will provide–$2.8 bill to help improve US bases in Guam.

We must make the seas stretching from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean seas of peace and freedom where all follow the rule of law.

we mst fortify the US-Japan alliance–our responsibility.

In Japan we are working hard to enhance the legislative foundations for our security.

-in place Japan will be much more able to provide seamless response to all levels of crisis. The Defense Cooperation Guidelines we agreed on is historic.

An alliance is based on mutual support, and readiness for war with an enemy–the USA makes many enemies and commits Japan.

Note who pays for whom.

A valid point, China overlooks the Law of the Sea recreating old sea lanes. Solution: negotiation and-or an East Asian Community.

This all adds up to “normalizing” Japan by abolishing A9, tying Japan to the most belligerent country in the world–instead of working for “A9 for all states”, normalizing having no army or at least no offensive capability.

We now hold up high a new banner that is “proactive contribution to peace based on the principle of international cooperation”. An alliance based on equality-not this one-may build peace within–and (threat of) war without. Translated as positive peace” in Japanese, the term I introduced in 1958 for cooperation and harmony across fault lines.
–an alliance that connects the biggest and the second biggest democratic powers in the free world working together. India is soon three times as big as the USA and Japan together, and as democratic in the sense of national fair and free elections.
Toward an Alliance of Hope. Hope that USA-Japan will come out on top of the Asia-Pacific?

Think of what Japan could have done if the so-called opposition had done their homework. With A9, not DCG, as a banner, Japan could build, with the two Chinas and the two Koreas, an East Asian Community with the contested islands as joint property, while at the same time keeping friendship and the San Francisco security treaty with the USA.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.

This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.


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