Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Is JapanGoing Nuclear?
Shinzo Abe could prove to be the wild card in Japanese politics that could reset Japan back to its pre-war, imperialist foreign policy. Friedman and LeBard observe that "Japanís need for physical security requires that it take control of its regional environment, the Northwest Pacific.Ö
by HOIM Staff
Japan is gearing up to open a massive nuclear reprocessing facility in Rokkasho, northern Honshu. Analysts are concerned about what the Japanese government will use it for, since it appears that it may be capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Japanese officials and nuclear-industry experts claim that the Rokkasho plant could produce an annual output of nine tons of weapons-usable plutonium-- enough to build up to 2,000 bombs -- within five months of opening, according to the Wall Street Journal (May 1).
The $21 billion-plus plant is "the worldís most expensive nuclear facility" (Asia Times, Sept. 9, 2005). Construction began 20 years ago. "Within Japanese ruling circlesÖthere has been a barely concealed ambition to have a nuclear arsenal," Global Research claims. "Japanís extensive nuclear industry was established in part to ensure that the country had the capacity to build such weapons" (May 7). Three of Japanís neighbors -- China, Russia and North Korea -- have nuclear weapons. In spite of its World War II history, it appears that it was just a matter of time before Japan proceeded to develop its own nuclear defensive capability.
"Japan is dependent on imports for almost all of its raw materials," George Friedman and Meredith LeBard write in The Coming War With Japan. "The more it produces, the more raw materials it needs to import.ÖIn order to import raw materials, Japan must have access to the country that supplies them, as well as secure sea-lanes for transporting the goods. Securing these resources and the sea-lanes is both a political and a military problem, one that Japan has depended on the U.S. to solve. The issue is whether Japan can continue to rely on the United States and if not, how it can go about securing these supplies itself."
Japanís conservative leader, Shinzo Abe, has worked for years to remove the pacifist clause in Japanís constitution and formalize the countryís right to a strong military. (This is largely symbolic, since Japanís military forces are already larger than Britainís.) During his first term as prime minister, Abe quickly elevated the Japanese Defense Agency to full ministerial status. Now, early in his second term, he continues a more aggressive, nationalistic -- even militaristic -- foreign policy than Japan has known since World War II. Domestically, activists say Abe is proposing widespread changes that would assault civil rights, muzzle Japanís media and swing the doors open for a return to authoritarianism. Yet he enjoys increasing support from Japanís ruling elite.
The Japan Atomic Energy Commission estimates that the Rokkasho plant could begin its reprocessing work as early as October. This raises the stakes considerably. Should Japan indicate further that it intends to build a nuclear arsenal, "it would trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. A nuclear-armed Japan would dramatically alter relations in Asia, as it would be less dependent on the U.S. militarily and more able to independently prosecute its economic and strategic interests" (Global Research, op. cit.).
Shinzo Abe could prove to be the wild card in Japanese politics that could reset Japan back to its pre-war, imperialist foreign policy. Friedman and LeBard observe that "Japanís need for physical security requires that it take control of its regional environment, the Northwest Pacific.ÖJapanís need for raw materials demands that it adopt a much broader policy, reaching far beyond the confines of the northwestern Pacific" (op. cit.; emphasis added). This is the conundrum that led industrialized Japan to become an imperial power before World War II.
In light of its foreign-policy imperatives and the "precarious" nature of continuing reliance on the U.S. as its protector, Friedman and LeBard observe that "Japan must return to history and live in the place assigned it on Earth, living by its own wits and its own powers.Ö"
What could a nuclear-armed alliance of Russia, China and Japan unleash on the world?
Be sure to read our article, Japan's Destiny -- Yet to Be Fulfilled!
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