Monday, July 10, 2006

Tora, Tora, Tora

Yes, that sound you heard was shattering crockery as statesmen throughout the world spluttered in their morning coffee. This morning, the papers tell us that the Japanese government's chief cabinet secretary, Mr. Shinzo Abe, thinks that Japan needs to consider whether Article 9 of Japan's constitution would allow Japan to launch "pre-emptive" strikes on North Korean missile sites as an act of "self-defense."
Say, what ?
When the Japanese start talking about pre-emptive strikes, it is certainly best to listen, although history provides mixed guidance for Japan in this situation. They are 1/1 on pre-emptive strikes in modern times: Port Arthur working out pretty well, Pearl Harbor, not so well.
I'm having visions of Japanese embassies throughout Asia hiring slow clerk-typists.


louielouie said...

so glad you returned, and brought the wine stewards back, even more happy you brought the mistresses back with you.
this can get messy real quick.
i still believe beijing is calling the shots.
they are spoiling for a go at japan/taiwan.
china is still pissed about loosing those 4000 ships in the 1200s(?) when kublai khan attempted an ivasion(s) of mainland japan and gave japan their "devine wind".
it is pathetic to see how south korea plays no part in this, except behind the scenes of course. the younger socialist generation feel more akin to their brothers to the north.
your tora & slow typist references at this point are very amusing. however, we don't want to allow the militant side of japan to emerge, again, as they did after commodore perry sailed into tokyo bay(at the time) and blasted hell out of anything afloat.
china needs to be made aware that we won't play the "we'll stay out of NK if you stay out of taiwan" game much/any longer.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Don't know if I agree that Bejing is calling the shots: I expect that they wish they were ! But you're right about the Chinese not liking Japan much...ditto the Koreans (both North and South).

But I wonder if Bejing has thought this through ? By doing nothing, they are in effect forcing the Japanese to go nuclear. The Japanese are already well along to having a real navy: they have the submarine forces, and escorts for carrier groups, not to mention a naval air force -- last thing they need is a flight deck or two.

Supposedly, nobody in Asia wants that -- the only party that wants Japanese the United States.

Yeah, I hear what you're saying about the "militant side of Japan" but it has always been a good bet to emerge again, anyway. They import too much oil, and are too hated by all the neighbors. Not necessarily a bad thing from our point of view: we are unlikely to come into collision again with them, a militant Japan is more of a worry for China and Russia, and gives Taiwan some interesting diplo-cards to work with. We need China and Russia to have some worries, particularly since we have problems in Europe.

As for South Korea...yeah, that's pathetic, isn't it ? Kim Jong Il could probably be elected God-Emperor of all Korea if he slapped down the Japanese though. I suspect the ROK/USA alliance doesn't have long left to run, in any case. The ROK is a big trading partner, but strategically, it's a liability without benefits since the Cold War ended, always more for Japan's benefit than ours. The ROKs aren't going to like the alternatives to big brother America, much.