Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 20:49:45 -0600 (CST)
From: (Brian Hauk)
Subject: Tokyo Prepares For Military Interventions
Article: 52993
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Tokyo Prepares For Military Interventions

By Maurice Williams, The Militant, Vol.53 no.4, 1 February 1999

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Liberal Party in Japan agreed January 7 to revise a 1992 law that would permit the nation's military to participate in UN peacekeeping operations. Officials from the two capitalist parties said more legislation was necessary to activate a section of the law allowing the military to perform other actions that could result in armed confrontations.

The agreement clears an obstacle for Japanese prime minister Keizo Obuchi to form a coalition government with the Liberal Party, which is pressing for a revision of the constitution to give Tokyo more flexibility for military intervention. Following its victory in World War II, U.S. military occupation forces imposed a pacifist constitution on Japan, which Tokyo adopted in 1947 renouncing its right to launch a war.

Minister of Justice Shozaburo Nakamura told his staff January 4 that the Japanese people were writhing because they cannot revise a constitution imposed by Allied forces so that the country would not be allowed to wage war, defend itself or have an army. Nakamura criticized U.S. capitalism as the kind that sends nuclear bombs and missiles when others begin to win.

Pointing to trade frictions between Washington and Tokyo, Nakamura added, U.S. free market capitalism is not free. They threaten you with things like the Super 301 trade bill. He later apologized for his remarks.

Tokyo, with one of the top military budgets among the imperialist powers ($45 billion in 1996), has stepped up its belligerence following Pyongyang's August 31 launch of a satellite over Japan.

If north Korea dares to launch another ballistic missile, we will work closely with the United States and south Korea to take decisive action against the country, said Prime Minister Obuchi. Tokyo's forces frequently participate in U.S.-led military maneuvers in the region, such as last year's Rimpac 98 joint naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Japan is mired in its worst recession in more than 50 years. The crucial question in looking back on the Japanese economy in 1998 is whether it experienced a deflationary spiral that could trigger a depression, said the December 31 Japan Times. Japanese businesses and households lost a combined capital of $7.3 trillion between 1990 and 1996, according to a report released December 27 by Japan's Economic Planning Agency.