Japan in the Modern World
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
By Tanish Jain & Dhruv Mohan
The following article has been written for the Business and Economics fest, Arthanomic's Event Journalism in Jeopardy," wherein each participating team was given a country to represent, as an ally of the US or China. Spanning over three rounds, teams had to represent the most influencial media house of thier nation and demonstrate their stance using tactics used by the media, like propaganda and sensationalism, in a fun, engaging way. The winning piece of the event was by Tanish Jain & Dhruv Mohan representing Japan.
A popular Japanese proverb says, “We learn little from victory, much from defeat”. The
greatest nations in the world today understand the importance of learning from the past and striving forward in unison to engineer a better future. The great nation of Japan shares this vision and has pledged to contribute substantially to global development, since participating regrettably in the horrors of World War II. The practice of global alliance and dialogue is essential for small island nations such as ours to excel and experience world diplomacy. Through our technological and human resource advancement, we aim to aid various other nations. The dynamic leadership of the Abe government has further strengthened this idea.
US – China stalemate
Japan’s great allies across the pacific have taken unkindly towards the unfair trade practices of China. The United States of America and China have been engaged in a problematic and
intense trade war since 2018, as the US imposed tariffs on Chinese products summing up to
$550 Billion dollars, with China retorting with tariffs on American products worth $130
Billion. As of January 15th, 2020, phase one of the trade settlements between the two nations
culminated with good progress from both sides. China agreed to increase purchases of
American products and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years and committed to reducing its intellectual property laws. The US in-turn agreed to reduce tariffs on certain products to just 7.5%. Due to this fight for greater economic power, Japan and many other nations have been adversely affected, especially monitoring the devastating Covid-19 global pandemic.
China’s dangerous expansion
China has periodically tried to establish its dominance in the world forum and has tried to
monopolize global economics. Strategies such as gradually penetrating Australia’s education system and its markets, developing its dangerous One-Road One-Belt Initiative in the middle east, Asia and Africa under the China 2050 vision and exploiting the ASEAN political conundrum are clear attempts made by Xi Jing Ping to gain autonomy of the Asian region. China’s suspicious and illicit undertakings in the South China sea of constructing artificial island infrastructure for military stronghold has been condemned by the Japanese government and globally. Yet, the Communist Party of China shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, Beijing maintains close relations with terror-funding state Pakistan, while simultaneously mistreating its neighbors.
The emergence of the coronavirus only provided the Chinese with opportunity. The fatal virus has unfortunately caused disturbance across the globe, and Japan extends sympathy towards those affected. However, despite the first case of the disease being reported in November 2019, the WHO only declared it a pandemic in March 2020. During the global shutdown of businesses, Chinese companies purchased massive shares in companies around the world. Beijing portrayed an image of a friendly nation by providing medical aid to about 130 countries, but unconventionally rejected $100 million offered by the US as medical aid.
The narrative of a modern Japan
As our nation surrendered in August 1945, the allies needed confirmation and trust on the
promise made by the Japanese to never incite violence again. As a consequence of this promise, article 9 of the newly formed Japanese constitution prohibited the state from maintaining an offensive army. Instead, the US agreed to settle a legion of its soldiers on Japanese soil to safeguard our borders. However, there has been widespread public debate since 2000 about the possibility of reducing or deleting Article 9 from our constitution, since it can be interpreted to mean that armed forces can be legitimately established primarily for self-defense in Japan. promise made by the Japanese to never incite violence again.
As a consequence of this promise, article 9 of the newly formed Japanese constitution prohibited the state from maintaining an offensive army. Instead, the US agreed to settle a legion of its soldiers on Japanese soil to safeguard our borders. However, there has been widespread public debate since 2000 about the possibility of reducing or deleting Article 9 from our constitution, since it can be interpreted to mean that armed forces can be legitimately established primarily for self-defense in Japan. Forces (JSDF), formed primarily for defense, have increased significantly. The JSDF now has the fifth largest budget in the world.
For instance, in 2003, PAC-3 ABM defense systems were set up to increase security. In 2019, our western allies USA confirmed the sale of 105 F35 stealth aircrafts costing around $10.5 Billion, further strengthening our skies. Additionally, understanding the conflicts over the Senkaku Islands, the great nation of Japan began creating the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade in 2016. Such measures have been adopted by the Abe government to counter aggressive nations such as China and DPRK threatening peace. The fourth biggest economy in the world deserves to safeguard the interests of its people.
Addressing claims against Japan
Many nations and third-party media have regularly criticized Japan of being unapologetic of its past actions. However, Tokyo has repeatedly apologized for Japanese invasions during
WW2 on several occasions. In January 2015, Japan made a donation of 1 Billion Yen to South
Korea as an act of remuneration for abducting South Korean Women as comfort women during the war. Japan has also repeatedly apologized to Indonesia, Myanmar and even China for the infamous Nanking Massacre, though the contents of which have been exaggerated enormously by various sources. Nevertheless, Japan understands its responsibility and will continue to aid.
Another criticism the Abe government receives is its vulnerability to be bullied by the US government. In 2017, President Japan insisted Japan increase its budget to fund the US army situated in Japan. However, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada stated Japan paid about ¥191 billion in 2015 to fund the US Army in Japan, about 86.4 percent of the total cost, the rest of which is provided by the US itself. Furthermore, the Japanese government denied any increase in US Army funding recently and therefore proved to that it is under no pressure. Lastly, several reports have emerged of the US army in Japan mistreating locals and abusing power. Delving deep into the issue, it was found that no such environment ever existed, and both parties were in complete harmony.