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Commentary:Abe leading Japan to a dead end
2014/01/13

It seems that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has resolved to lead Japan into a dead end. The international community has recognized his intention to change Japan's role as a defeated country by stirring up right-wing sentiment and returning to the road of militarism. Abe's policies will not make Japan a stronger country but take it on the road to ruin.

Firstly, Abe's policies are alienating Japan from Asia and the rest of the world. Japan's aggression towards neighboring countries is a fact of history. The more Abe denies this history, the more the invaded countries will remember and become vigilant. The leadership of Japan has offended almost all the countries of East Asia, and this will gradually isolate Japan from its neighbors. Abe now plans to visit the islands of the South Pacific, paying homage to the Japanese soldiers who died there during the Second World War. It is doubtful that even the US, Japan's main backer, will approve of that spectacle.

Secondly, such policies are also likely to damage Japan's economy, which is highly dependent on overseas resources and markets. In recent years, with Japan's accelerating descent into right-wing extremism, the China-Japan and Korea-Japan relationships have become increasingly chilled. The economic integration of East Asia has been frustrated by Abe's misguided policies, and Japan will eventually carry the consequences.

Thirdly, militaristic expansion has nothing to offer. Japan is embroiled in the worst geo-political environment since the Meiji restoration. In the north, there is a territorial dispute with powerful Russia; on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea is a strong industrialized country; and across the sea, China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council with more room for maneuver than Japan. The Chinese leadership has made its position clear: "China will never compromise on its core interests with any other country."

Whoever goes against the tide of history will come to no good end. Worshiping the ghost of militarism will ultimately result in Abe being cast adrift.  (People's Daily)

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