Chinese Aggression Spurs New Alliances for Japan

Bayard & Holmes

~ Jay Holmes

Chinese aggression in the South China Sea is causing Japan to strengthen its alliance with the US and build new and unlikely partnerships with some traditional enemies.

 

US Pres. Obama and Japanese Emperor Akihito Image by State Dept., public domain

US Pres. Obama and Japanese Emperor Akihito
Image by State Dept., public domain

 

Building a stronger defensive alliance with Japan is the least challenging foreign policy task faced by the Obama administration. It is also the easiest foreign relationship from the point of view of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.

Modern Japan and the US share similar political and social values, and both countries are strongly independent and democratic in structure and outlook. At times in the past, trade imbalances and the vast US presence in Okinawa have stressed the US-Japan relationship, but those issues never prevented strong military and diplomatic cooperation. The two countries have shared a consistently solid relationship since the founding of modern Japan in 1947.

To understand the US-Japan relationship, we should consider Japan’s geographic and political dilemmas.

Japan imports most of its fossil fuels and about sixty percent of its food. Free navigation of the seas is critical to Japan’s prosperity, and even to its very existence. To varying degrees Russia, China, and North Korea all pose serious threats to Japan’s national security. In a sense, Japan is the “Israel” of the Pacific. They have no allies in their region. Fortunately, this may be changing.

China remains bitter for the brutal invasion and occupation carried out by Imperial Japan during the first half of the twentieth century.

 

Japanese Soldiers with Broken Statue of Chinese Leader Dr. Sun Yat Sen. Image public domain.

Japanese Soldiers with Broken Statue of Chinese Leader Dr. Sun Yat Sen.
Image public domain.

 

China’s communist government has found it convenient for its political mythology to foment hatred toward Japan rather than seek reconciliation. Fifty years ago, Japan could afford to be less concerned with China’s hatred.

As the People’s Republic of China has begun to overcome its long history of inept and self-destructive government, it has been able to develop its massive population and considerable natural resources.

Having established a stronger economy and a stronger military, China has made itself more “relevant” in the Pacific. Unfortunately for them and for everyone else, they have chosen to seek “relevancy” and legitimacy through increased aggression toward their neighbors. As China’s military strength and aggressive attitude grows, so grows Japan’s concern for self-defense.

The one challenge that remains in US-Japan relations is Japan’s poor relationships with other US allies in the Pacific.

The US has had a close, though rather one-sided, relationship with South Korea since WWII. That relationship has been based on the US’s willingness to defend South Korea against its communist neighbors. While North Korea remains a menace and a constant nuisance to both South Korea and Japan, until recently that has not been enough motive to bring the two nations closer. Both South Koreans and North Koreans remain angry over the Japanese occupation prior to and during WWII.

However, there are now signs of a thaw in relations between South Korea and Japan.

To a degree, North Korea’s nuclear threats and China’s increasing aggression are motivating Japan and South Korea to cooperate more on issues of trade and defense. It may take several more decades for South Koreans to form a more favorable view of Japan, but if the Japanese exercise some diplomatic skill, they may eventually be able to change their image in South Korea. This would enable more effective military cooperation against the growing threats from the North Koreans and China.

A similar three-way dilemma exists between Japan, the Philippines, and the US.

For the same historic reasons, Japan remains unpopular in the Philippines while the US maintains close relations with both countries. As with South Korea and Japan, the US has long hoped for and attempted to promote closer relations between the Philippines and Japan.

In the case of the Philippines, there have been strong signs of growing cooperation with Japan.

Recently, a Japanese warship took part in naval exercises with the US and the Philippine navies. Even as recently as two years ago, the presence of a Japanese warship in Philippine coastal waters would have been completely unwelcome in the Philippines. In another clear sign that China’s aggression is forcing Japan and the Philippines together, Japan is selling jet trainer aircraft to the Philippines. This sale is a major event in Philippine-Japan relations.

By quietly acting as a go-between, the US has been able to help Japan begin to build better relations with its Western Pacific neighbors.

In military terms, relations between Japan and the US are very good and getting better. Japan continues to allow the US to maintain considerable air and naval forces in Japanese territory, and the working relationship between US and Japanese forces is excellent. Senior military officers from both nations have a high degree of trust in each other’s ability and integrity. When the US and Japanese militaries make an agreement, both sides are confident that the agreement will be carried out.

Perhaps the single greatest impact thus far from China’s growing aggression in the South China Sea can be seen in Japan.

The Japanese constitution limits Japan to a relatively small self-defense force. While the Japanese self-defense force is small, it is high in quality. Whenever the Japanese government has committed to building ships for its maritime self-defense force, the ships have been well designed, well built, and delivered on time. Japanese politicians and voters are starting to consider expanding their military both in budgetary and doctrinal terms. In budgetary terms, Japan has made small increases in expenditures, and they are now developing their own stealth fighter. This new stealth fighter is in addition to Japan’s participation in the expensive US led F-35 program.

 

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Edwards Air Force Base Image public domain.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Edwards Air Force Base
Image public domain.

 

In doctrinal terms, Japan was willing to participate in naval exercises in the Philippines.

Until recently, the Japanese government and Japanese voters would have considered such a deployment unacceptable. The Japanese voters still have a deep aversion for involving themselves in another war of aggression, but they are beginning to accept that the security of the Philippines directly impacts their own national security.

Over eighty percent of Japan’s oil comes from the Mideast. Since the Fukushima nuclear power plant leak disaster in 2011, Japan’s oil import requirements have increased. Free navigation of the international waters of the South China/West Philippine Sea is even more critical to Japan than it is to the Philippines.

The US has announced that the linchpin for US strategy in the Pacific will be the Philippines.

In reality, that only appears to be the case because of how little Japan needs to improve its self-defense as compared to how desperately the Philippines needs to build a credible military. For diplomatic reasons, both the US and Japan prefer to publicly keep the focus on the Philippines.

The relationship between Japan and the US has evolved in to one of equality, shared values, and genuine mutual respect. Whatever problems might arise between the US and Japan, the relationship will remain strong.

The Japanese people have no desire to create a Japanese hegemony in the Pacific, but China’s expansionist agenda has forced them to accept a greater role in international affairs in the region.

In our next episode, we will consider the changing US-Malaysian relationship.

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7 comments on “Chinese Aggression Spurs New Alliances for Japan

  1. Doc' & CJ says:

    Jay,

    I don’t know where you’re going with this but, I contend that your analysis is deeply flawed. First; The Philippines is NOT willingly accepting Japanese Naval assistance, they do so only because it is being thrust upon them as part of the US military assistance they seek and depend upon to protect Philippine national security. There is no “new alliance” being formed between the Philippines and Japan. Period. I further contend the same is true regarding any other “new alliances” with any other Asian country. Each of the countries you mentioned as potential “new allies” with Japan have very deep and justifiable reasons not to trust Japan on any level, they are merely being forced to accept Japans temporary involvement until China’s rabid greed and aggression can be put to a well deserved end. This temporary forced acceptance of Japanese military involvement will not stand, nor should it. Much like the vast majority of the Philippine people, I am hopeful that the recent landslide election (2 days ago) of the new President Rodrigo Duterte will assure this, and permanently remove the Philippines from Chinese and Japanese exploitation forever.

    Massive corruption in the Philippines has led to their current weak military and political standing. Allow me to remind you, that level of crippling corruption has in very large part been caused by, and perpetuated by, both the Chinese and the Japanese who have long been deeply involved in the criminal exploitation of the Philippines. Examine that statement closely from a historical perspective, and you will begin to see that Japans eagerness (yes eagerness) to be involved militarily in the region is NOT done with hesitation nor lack of ill intent, it is instead simply a covert continuation of their long term and long range plans to expand and control the entire region by means of organized subversion supported by military incursion. In my opinion, Japan has been patiently waiting for a long time for this very situation to occur, and they will exploit it by any and all means possible, even if it means risking their so-called “alliance” with American military power. The Japanese have a very long record of doing so, and as is clearly evident by their current hostility, the same is true of the Chinese. And just like the Chinese, Japan is merely biding their time until they have obtained a tactical advantage, both politically and militarily.

    Make no mistake about it, Japan is NOT being dragged hesitantly into military assistance of the Philippines as you assert in this article, they are in fact doing what they have always done. Deviously developing and expanding their own self-serving interest throughout the region and the world. By hiding behind the skirt-tails of American military power, they are obviously attempting to counter ongoing Chinese efforts to beat them to the punch. China obviously believes they have at long last finally obtained enough military power to begin expanding their influence and control in the world, I have no doubt Japan would be doing exactly the same thing if they were not limited by the restrictions of their American imposed and drafted constitution after their destruction at the end of WWII. But you are correct about one thing, the Philippines is indeed the “linchpin” of SE Asia, exactly as it was when the Japanese attacked, invaded and occupied the Philippines in December of 1941. Seems to me, oil, and access to it, was also at the center of that little undertaking.

    “The relationship between Japan and the US has evolved in to one of equality, shared values, and genuine mutual respect.” “The Japanese people have no desire to create a Japanese hegemony in the Pacific, but China’s expansionist agenda has forced them to accept a greater role in international affairs in the region.”

    With the express consent and support of millions worldwide, I think not!

    No matter your intent when you published this, only a fool who would ignore the sacrifice of millions, and the hard lessons taught by history, would believe such ridiculous tripe. Forgive me for saying so my friend, but this article is far beneath you Jay, and is entirely unworthy of publication.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Doc. I will try to respond as succinctly as possible while addressing your numerous contentions.

      1) “The Philippines is NOT willingly accepting Japanese Naval assistance, they do so only because it is being thrust upon them as part of the US military assistance they seek and depend upon to protect Philippine national security. There is no ‘new alliance’ being formed between the Philippines and Japan. Period.”

      Japan is not delivering naval assistance to the Philippines. Japan was invited by the Philippine government to take part in naval exercises in Philippine waters. You are ignoring the fact that the Philippine government has made the choice to purchase jet trainers from Japan. Nothing in the US-Philippine standing agreements requires the Philippines to cooperate with Japan. If you have meaningful information concerning such agreements and conditions please share the evidence.

      2) “Massive corruption in the Philippines has led to their current weak military and political standing.”

      On this we agree.

      3) “Allow me to remind you, that level of crippling corruption has in very large part been caused by, and perpetuated by, both the Chinese and the Japanese”

      On this we strongly disagree. Corporations from just about any nation may be ready to take advantage of opportunities presented or enabled by corrupt government officials in any other nation. The Philippine people are responsible for the level of corruption that they tolerate, just as we in the USA are responsible for tolerating our own corrupt politicians. As long as you believe that China and Japan control your country’s destiny, you can not hope to contribute to improving your own nation. Perhaps I am more optimistic about the people of the Philippines than you are.

      4) “Make no mistake about it, Japan is NOT being dragged hesitantly into military assistance of the Philippines as you assert in this article, they are in fact doing what they have always done. Deviously developing and expanding their own self-serving interest throughout the region and the world.”

      You are ignoring all the evidence concerning modern Japanese society. The Japanese have been very clear about their foreign policy agenda since 1947.

      5) “No matter your intent when you published this, only a fool who would ignore the sacrifice of millions, and the hard lessons taught by history, would believe such ridiculous tripe. Forgive me for saying so my friend, but this article is far beneath you Jay, and is entirely unworthy of publication.”

      My intent is quite clear. Your ability to discern that or not is beyond my control. Bayard and Holmes has never ignored the sacrifice of millions. You might wish to review some of our previous articles. I assume that your personal anger has prevented you from offering your best possible response.

      You are free to disagree with anything that I publish. In the future please be civil.

      Thank you for visiting.

      • Doc' & CJ says:

        BE ADVISED: THIS IS A LONG READ.

        Jay,

        First and foremost; I sincerely apologize for the seemingly harsh tone of my initial response. In review, I agree that I came off sounding “angry” although this was not my intent. I have always greatly enjoyed your articles in the past and I have come to admire and respect your considerable experience and talents. Please do accept my apology and know that I will refrain from such poorly presented comments in the future.

        In reality, I admittedly do have very strong opinions and beliefs related to Japan and their long history of exploitation and abuse in The Philippines, as well as throughout SE Asia and the entire world. While I fully understand that not all Japanese people are the same and there are surely many good and honorable citizens among the masses, (I know a few personally) I firmly assert that as a Nation or as a people in general, the Japanese are in fact quite despicable, arrogant, devious and untrustworthy. This is especially true of the Japanese government and culture, both historically and presently speaking. I base my beliefs on Japan’s own well documented history of organized corruption, immorality, dishonesty and crimes against humanity which spans a period of many centuries and continues to this very day. I also harbor the same thoughts and opinions toward all other Nations and people with similar records, none the least of which being China. If in the opinion of others this precludes the validity of my arguments, so be it. My opinions are well founded and I make no apologies. With that said, I will also admit that I do have a certain degree of respect for the Japanese based on their tenacious will to survive and willingness to work very hard towards their goals. Among other things, their ingenuity, cohesiveness, self-discipline and intelligence is remarkable and worthy of admiration. As is true of all peoples, the Japanese do of course have redeeming qualities that do not go unrecognized.

        At this point I think I should clarify something, I am not Filipino nor do I live in the Philippines. I am in fact an American, born and raised in Texas as were both sides of my family extending back to the early 1800’s. I am however married to a wonderful Filipina (the joy of my life) who was born, raised and educated in Mindanao. She received a BS from a Japanese University located in Mindanao. This in part is what compels my interest in all matters related to the Philippines, but that is not exclusive. I have held an interest in the Philippines since long before my marriage, primarily related to the history of WWII in the Pacific. Much of my research involves the factual political, economic and war related activities of Japan before, during and after WWII. Much of this stems from my long personal friendship with a man who was the 2nd longest held American POW of WWII in the Pacific. He was captured 2 months before the simultaneous attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. The horrific details of his imprisonment and torture by the Japanese have long weighed heavy on my mind and will forever remain in my memory. Although I may have very personal reasons for my investigations of Japanese activities, motives and involvement, I remain steadfastly impartial and strive to focus only on factual events rather than emotional responses and/or deliberate misleading information. As you well know, all that is presented as history is not always factual; it is with this realization that my studies, opinions and conclusions are based. I may be intense and opinionated, but the truth is what matters most to me in all things. As you also know, the truth is not a matter of opinion; it is purely derived from facts and does not change even if/when tampered with. Making the truth known is the primary motive of my following commentary.

        1.) “Japan is not delivering naval assistance to the Philippines. Japan was invited by the Philippine government to take part in naval exercises in Philippine waters. You are ignoring the fact that the Philippine government has made the choice to purchase jet trainers from Japan. Nothing in the US-Philippine standing agreements requires the Philippines to cooperate with Japan. If you have meaningful information concerning such agreements and conditions please share the evidence.”

        According to official Philippine government statements dated March 2016;

        “The reported joint naval exercises near the South China Sea, does not involve the Philippines in any way.”
        The Philippine government indicates that they seek only the enforcement of the current international rules-based order which is designed to maintain freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea. Philippine officials further claim that these naval exercises are being jointly conducted by the U.S., India and the newly added Japanese Navy as part of a pre-scheduled annual event code-named “Operation Malabar”.

        “The coming joint exercises are reportedly part of an annual event between the US and Indian naval forces since 2014 and have expanded to include Japan, which showed the closer cooperation between the three countries that also share concern about China’s growing military presence in the region.”

        The U.S. has reportedly been “prodding” India, who was initially reluctant, into participation in these exercises. Contrarily, Japan warmly welcomed their invitation to participate and immediately joined without hesitation. US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris has proposed the inclusion of Australian Naval Forces to “amplify the message that we are united behind the international rules-based order.” Although negotiations are ongoing, Australia has thus far not committed to participation.

        Now we both know that the Philippines is fully aware that they will benefit from these naval exercises, as previously stated, the Philippines is indeed the “linchpin” of the entire region and is key in the application of US foreign policy in the region. The veiled truth is that the Philippines did in fact seek the direct intervention of their U.S. ally and thereby it’s nation members, but officially speaking the Philippine government is technically not involved nor will any Philippine Naval Forces be directly involved with the operation. In reality, the Philippines did not, and cannot “invite” Japanese participation in an operation that they themselves are not “in any way” involved with. Based on this information, my previous assertion is true and correct.

        SEE: Philippines: No Involvement in Joint Patrols in Disputed Seas
        http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/03/07/1560400/philippines-no-involvement-joint-patrols-disputed-seas

        Furthermore; the “choice to purchase” “jet aircraft” you alluded to is also incorrect. In reality, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe willingly provided a multi-million (USD$) Yen Loan to the Philippine government for the lease of five (5) retired TC-90 Patrol Training aircraft which are in fact not jets at all. They are small twin engine fixed-wing aircraft that will contain no armaments and only rudimentary navigational equipment. They will be used for aerial surveillance of Philippine coastal waters. Not only will Japan receive monetary re-payment plus interest for the lease of this all but worn out aircraft, the deal also required the signing of a VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) which allows Japan access to Philippine military bases. A very lucrative and convenient arrangement indeed for the Japanese. In my estimation, this is a calculated move on the part of Japan which with the aid of US alliance will soon evolve into more and more Japanese military presence in the Philippines and elsewhere. All of course under the guise of “financial and military assistance” for the security of the Philippines and the region. This marks the first time that leasing of Japan’s Self Defense Aircraft has been provided to another country and also required the removal of Japan’s long standing self-imposed weapons export ban. I further contend, this also marks the beginning of many such calculated changes yet to come. As I said before, Japan has long been patiently waiting for this set of circumstances to occur and they will take full advantage of it even if it means eventually risking their current military alliances. Calculated risks are, and always have been, an integral part of Japan’s long range plans and goals, exactly as they were when Japan entered WWII with their surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. Japanese philosophy and motives have not changed; they are simply better practiced, more capable and more devious in their attempts to disguise their true intent. As previously stated, they are in fact hiding behind the skirt-tails of American military power in order to perpetuate their own self-serving interests throughout the region and the world.

        SEE: Japan to Lease Trainer Aircraft to Philippine Navy
        http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/03/04/1559421/japan-lease-trainer-aircraft-philippine-navy

        2) ““Allow me to remind you, that level of crippling corruption has in very large part been caused by, and perpetuated by, both the Chinese and the Japanese”

        “On this we strongly disagree. Corporations from just about any nation may be ready to take advantage of opportunities presented or enabled by corrupt government officials in any other nation. The Philippine people are responsible for the level of corruption that they tolerate just as we in the USA are responsible for tolerating our own corrupt politicians. As long as you believe that China and Japan control your countries destiny you can not hope to contribute to improving your own nation. Perhaps I am more optimistic about the people of the Philippines than you are.”

        While I may agree with your posit related to the nature of corporate opportunists and corrupt government officials, I vehemently disagree with the notion that the Japanese and/or the Chinese did so strictly out of inevitability. You seem to be ignoring the fact that Japan was an invading force that brutally occupied the Philippines and forced the entire nation into a very long period of severe suffering and deprivation. Japan systematically plundered, destroyed, murdered, raped and enslaved millions in the Philippines until they were forcibly removed by American military forces in 1945.

        This includes over 70,000 American, Filipino, British and Australian POWS who were forced to endure one of the most infamous, brutal and criminally malicious events of the entire war, the Bataan Death March.

        The ensuing carnage and decimation inflicted by the Japanese resulted in physical, societal, cultural and economic damages in the Philippines that still resonate to this day. This is by no means even remotely the same as the type of exploitation you referred to! I view that part of your rebuttal as not only wrong and weak, but also extremely insulting! Furthermore, to place blame on the victims of such horrific atrocities is beyond insulting and completely without justification. I am shocked that you have taken this stance on this particular subject Jay, please reconsider your position. Perhaps your “optimism about the people of the Philippines” is not as well placed as you imagined.

        Comparing the corruption found in America to that of a war torn country like the Philippines is simply ridiculous and clearly demonstrates your lack of understanding related to the root causes involved. Not only is there the obvious tragic effects created by war to consider, there is also the reality that Japan has perpetuated the continued exploitation of the Philippines since almost immediately after the war ended. With the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, Japan was officially stripped of its status as an “Imperial Power” and was ordered to pay war reparations to a host of victims and countries who were harmed by Japanese actions, including the Philippines. Without going into much greater detail, (which is readily available if you require it) factual historical records clearly demonstrate that not only did Japan immediately attempt to completely avoid responsibility of the ordered war reparation payments by claiming they were themselves a war torn nation who was financially unable to comply because of the destruction they brought upon themselves, they also went on to set up and implement an organized plan of evasions and half measures which were designed to seemingly satisfy the obligations of payment and aid placed upon them by the international community without actually doing so in a true and meaningful way.

        For example; the Philippines became a literal dumping ground for non-functional and useless equipment leftover from the war and other Japanese manufacturing and mining operations which supported the Japanese war machine. Without proper oversight from governmental agencies tasked with verifying their compliance, the Japanese found easy or low cost ways to side-step or out rightly avoid compliance all together. This deceptive practice would soon become widespread and routine extending to all sectors of the other legally ordered aid and compensation, including monetary payments. By shipping their useless junk to places like the Philippines, the Japanese not only falsely satisfied the obligations imposed upon them, they were also ridding themselves of millions of tons of trash created by the war. To the Japanese, this was considered to be perfectly legitimate and they often took pride in their ability to deceive officials and turn their “losses” into a “gain”. Japanese ingenuity at its best. To this day, remnants of the junk that was dumped in the Philippines can still be found. Rust covered trucks, forklifts, machining equipment and even sea going vessels still sit where they were left decades ago. Some of this equipment came directly from the debris field created by the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This is only one example of how Japan used deceptive and devious measures to avoid the responsibility of their own actions, the abuse goes much, much deeper and continues to this very day.

        At the risk of excluding many important and revealing details related to Japan’s despicable and treacherous behavior as well as their rapid and unprecedented reconstruction and expansion after the war; fast forward to current times. Over the decades and years, what originally began as desperate methods of avoiding the war reparations imposed upon them, has now become a highly refined science designed to create economic dominance and the covert expansion of Japanese power throughout the world. By means of deception, corruption, exploitation and abuse of power, combined with lots of hard work and legitimate investments, Japan has skillfully positioned themselves as the 3rd largest economy in the world which now by proxy, economically controls much of SE Asia and beyond. Through the use of taxpayer funded ODA (Official Development Assistance) programs and exploitation of many of their neighboring countries, (ie abundant cheap labor and real-estate in small third-world countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia) Japan has firmly established a vast network of investment based (95% in the form of interest bearing loans) production and manufacturing facilities which are cleverly designed to produce various products each according to their specific resources, skills or traits. Electronics and semi-conductors in Taiwan, machinery and tools in China, air conditioning units in Malaysia, and so on. This vast network is interconnected and centrally controlled by Japanese corporations which are directed and funded by the government issued ODA program. Money out, money in. From repayment of the ODA loans to the profits earned from the sale of each product, the cash flow is kept in-house and is only dispersed among the Japanese government and a small group of elite participants. Very little of this money is ever paid out to the “servant” countries or workers. This is known by the Japanese as “keiretsu”, it is a highly efficient business model which has led to extensive impact and forced acceptance in each host country. By the use of this method and programs, Japan has managed to rise from the ashes of nuclear destruction to become a superpower and have ensured their continued economic power and control throughout the region. I call that organized crime and forced labor, just a continuous repeat of what they have always done. Like a habitual criminal who has been caught and sentenced to jail, Japan felt the weight of the consequences when they heard the cell door slam shut. But immediately upon receiving parole, they quickly returned to the same criminal activity that got them punished in the first place. Let the record speak for itself.

        In effect, Japan has ultimately “won the war”; it just took longer than they expected and they went about it in a different more devious way. It’s no wonder that some describe their actions after WWII as “the second Japanese invasion”. The question now becomes; what was Japan’s true motivation when they entered WWII in 1941? And what is their intent now that they have obtained far more than they would have had they won WWII?

        3) “Make no mistake about it, Japan is NOT being dragged hesitantly into military assistance of the Philippines as you assert in this article, they are in fact doing what they have always done. Deviously developing and expanding their own self-serving interest throughout the region and the world.”

        “You are ignoring all the evidence concerning modern Japanese society. The Japanese have been very clear about their foreign policy agenda since 1947.”

        As you can see by the above paragraphs, nothing could be further from the truth. I have in fact been paying very close attention to the “foreign policy agenda” of Japan with specific interest in the time period beginning in 1941 to the present day. “Modern Japanese society” is really not much different from what it was all along, the main differences are that they have greatly refined their political and military methods and practices, they no longer have a state sponsored religion, and they now conduct extensive revisionist’s efforts to rewrite history portraying themselves as innocent victims of Western aggression. Well, that and they are no longer a smoldering pile of radioactive debris. Correction: Ironically enough, they do still have one smoldering pile of radioactive debris located at Fukushima.

        4) “My intent is quite clear. Your ability to discern that or not is beyond my control. Bayard and Holmes has never ignored the sacrifice of millions. You might wish to review some of our previous articles. I assume that your personal anger has prevented you from offering your best possible response.
        You are free to disagree with anything that I publish. In the future please be civil.
        Thank you for visiting.”

        Again, based on the above paragraphs and many years of experience, I am doubtful that my “ability to discern intent” is in question. I actually have a pretty solid record of doing that very thing with a high degree of accuracy, especially when intent is being deliberately obscured. In truth, it was more a matter of being pressed for time that prevented me from offering “my best possible response”. But as you can see, I have overcome that obstacle. Also, as stated in the opening paragraph of this commentary; I have often greatly enjoyed many of your previous articles and I sincerely hope to continue doing so. We may at times disagree on a great many things, but I hope that does not preclude our continued exchange and mutual respect. As noted above, please do accept my apology as I am admittedly a bit of a hard-ass who does not often parse words. Your ability to discern that or not is beyond my control. 😉

        Many Thanks for Your Time, Consideration and Efforts My Friend.

  2. Don Royster says:

    This is a case of your enemy of your enemy could be on your side.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Don. That does seem to be the central them in the Pacific region today. I think it will remain so for the foreseeable future.

  3. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Those from the Philippines that we know ( there a lot in the medical community here) are very wary of Japan. Both China and Japan are carefully watching and evaluating so that things will come out to benefit them. Cagey.
    Japan has reason to be concerned over China’s progress – talk about being able to reach out and touch someone easily.
    Complex situations

    • Jay Holmes. says:

      Hi Philosophermouse. I think that Japan is undergoing a fundamental foreign policy shift and will seek more political engagement with the ASEAN nations. Not everyone in Japan wants to take that path. They will have to decide that internally over the next few years.

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