Welcome Shinzo Abe

Posted by Patrice Neff Fri, 29 Sep 2006

Shinzo Abe is now the new prime minister of Japan. His first policy speech sounds reasonable enough though there is one thing that worries me. Abe wants to change the pacifist constitution and allow military operations in other countries. This started under Koizumi who sent self-defence forces to Iraq. Those similar to the Swiss troops in eastern Europe are only allowed to defend themselves – the Swiss troops are not even allowed to do that.
He said he wanted to move quickly towards a revision of the country’s pacifist constitution, and called again for reform of the education act to promote patriotism in the classroom.

On the other hand he seems to be going into the right directions in foreign policy. He wants to improve relations with both South Korea and China. His predecessor Junichiro Koizumi repeatedly offended those countries by visiting the Yasukuni shrine.

Though according to the BBC article Abe has not yet made a statement whether he plans to visit that shrine as well. Let’s hope he intends not to do that.

Japanese prime minister denies summit with China

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 01 Apr 2006

China's president Hu Jintao offered a summit with Japan under one condition. The condition was, that Japan's prime minister Junichiro Koizumi quits visiting the Yasukuni shrine (I posted about the shrine before here and here).

Koizumi even defended his visits a few days ago claiming "still cannot understand why China and South Korea protest his visits to Yasukuni". You really have to be blind, stupid and/or a liar to say such a thing. But let's face it: Koizumi is not really concerned about other countries in Asia. Has even made his visits to the shrine a part of the election propaganda, using it to show that he won't buckle down before other states.

I really hope that Koizumi's replacement will show more understanding. Though I don't have much hope.

And rest assured, I love Japan and I love the Japanese people. And I strongly dislike the Chinese government. But wrong is wrong and right is right. And honoring war criminals is wrong by just about any concept of ethics you can find in this world.