Japan's new security bill destabilizes Pacific

By Zhang Jingwei
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, April 5, 2016
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One step closer [By Jiao Haiyang/China.org.cn]

Japan's new security-related legislation took effect on March 29, after the Abe administration rammed through the bills in the parliament in September of last year. The bill incurred strong opposition from opposition parties and the public, and is still opposed today with occasional street protests.

The new security laws are tricky, in that they have blatantly violated Japan's post-WWII pacifist Constitution, and allow Japan to stop denouncing war, even though Japan's wars and peace are linked to its allies. The new laws permit Japan to walk out of U.S. protection and actively wage wars to assist the United States, a change which has inevitably reminded its neighbors of its militaristic past.

China and South Korea, Japan's two neighbors in northeast Asia, both showed strong opposition to Abe's attempts to turn the new security bill into law. In fact, China and South Korea would not mistrust Japan so much had Abe exhibited a correct attitude toward historical issues. However, Abe fails to view history correctly, and that has naturally led Beijing and Seoul to believe that he wishes to revive Japan's military.

China has territorial disputes over the Diaoyu Islands with Japan in the East Sea, and on other islands with Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea. China has been criticized by the United States, which, on the ground of its rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, explicitly intervenes with affairs in the western Pacific region. China is the primary target of the Japan-U.S. alliance, in its basket of island disputes in the west Pacific. Neither the United States nor Japan evades this issue; instead, criticizing and containing China serves as an important task for the two allies.

Japan's former security laws already covered the contingency for the Diaoyu Islands, and the new laws give the Self-Defense Force (SDF) more power to respond to any emergencies, meaning that the SDF can join its allies' wars anywhere in the world, an upgrade of its supportive role to provide logistical assistance in the Iraq War.

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