Japan mulls tax hikes for militarization: PM Kishida and America
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida adores nothing more than listening to the Japanese national anthem when visiting dignitaries visit this country. Naturally, images of him in military aircraft fighters or on America’s naval ships equally suffice. Hence, no surprise that he picked a former US ambassador (Kenichiro Sasae) to hoodwink the Japanese electorate about Kishida’s plan to militarize.
Apart from the geopolitical angle concerning Okinawa (Ryukyu) and Hokkaido – these territories only came under full Japanese jurisdiction after the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) – no major power (China and the Russian Federation) is focused on resource-poor Japan. The real issue is that America utilizes the territory of Japan to contain China and the Russian Federation.
In the past, America killed millions of different Asian ethnic groups during the Korean War and the Vietnam War by utilizing the land of Japan. America even dropped Agent Orange on Cambodia and Laos despite being at war with Vietnam. However, Japanese political leaders in this period turned a blind eye to the role of Okinawa. Instead, Japanese companies – and other nations – literally made an economic killing from the suffering of the Vietnamese. This concerns business contracts with America related to the Vietnam War.
Concerning the Vietnam War, The Asia Pacific Journal reports, “The Pentagon had used Okinawa to stage the 1950-53 Korean War but it was during the Vietnam War that its military build-up truly bore fruit. The first combat troops to be dispatched to South Vietnam – including members of the 3rd Marine Division – came from Okinawa and, over the following years, hundreds of thousands more Americans transited through Okinawa. Tragically, many of those killed in action also passed back through the island, which hosted some of the military’s mortuary services.”
The Asia Pacific Journal continues, “Kadena Air Base served as the Pentagon’s key transport hub. During the war, it racked up one million flights making it one of the busiest airports on the planet; starting in 1968, B-52’s also took off from the base to bomb Southeast Asia. In Okinawa’s capital, Naha Port processed 75% of all supplies for the conflict – including fuel, food and ammunition. Moreover, the port handled surplus and damaged material from the war zone. A section of nearby Makiminato Service Area, for example, earned the nickname “The Bone Yard”, due to its piles of jeeps and trucks – many covered in blood and bullet holes – which had arrived for repair from Vietnam.5 So vital was the island for the Pentagon that, in 1965, the Commander of U.S. Pacific Forces declared, “Without Okinawa, we couldn’t continue fighting the Vietnam war.”
Thus, Kishida turned to the former US ambassador (Kenichiro Sasae) to submit a report on the need to implement militarization and support America’s containment policies of China and the Russian Federation by stealth.
NHK reports, “A Japanese government panel of experts on the country’s defense capabilities has called for the early deployment of missiles with counterattack capabilities. It also suggested tax hikes would be the preferred way to finance the increase in defense capabilities.”
DEBT, STATIC WAGES, AND JAPANESE PEOPLE GETTING POORER
Japan is the holder of the highest ratio of debt of any developed nation in the world. At the same time, stock holdings purchased by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) are extremely high compared with other major capitalist nations in the G7. Therefore, it isn’t a shock that the Bank of Japan holds approximately 50 percent of all long-term Japanese government bonds – and that Japan is now buying the Yen to stabilize the Yen to Dollar rate.
Kishida – another political family elite in the cogs of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – doesn’t understand the world of ordinary people. Thus two decades of static wages were met by the increasing need to hike consumption tax because of the LDP-generated debt mountain. The upshot was more economic woes for ordinary working people at the bottom of the ladder.
The impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis – and the rising costs of utilities, foodstuffs, everyday housing needs, and so forth related to sanctions on the Russian Federation – is further putting strains on the economy and the working poor. However, Kishida still wants to double the military budget – even if this entails tax increases or generating more debt-laden bonds to add to the horrendous debt mountain.
Recent wage increases in Japan (connected to Kishida’s sanctions on the Russian Federation and inflation) are a mirage because basic foodstuffs, utilities, and so forth have all increased at a higher rate.
NHK says, “The average real wage, taking inflation into consideration, dropped in September by 1.3 percent from a year earlier. That was the sixth straight month of decrease.”
Even the coronavirus policies need curtailing. Kyodo News recently reported, “A panel of experts on Monday proposed that the Japanese government end the free rollout of COVID-19 vaccines administered as a special measure, citing concerns over a further deterioration of its fiscal health, already considered one of the worst among major economies.”
Kishida’s focus on doubling the military budget and endless statements condemning China and the Russian Federation are double follies that only benefit America.
Japan must re-engage with all Northeast Asian nations culturally, economically, and politically where possible. China and the Russian Federation are open to Japan in all the above areas. North Korea will remain problematic. However, stronger ties with China and the Russian Federation – will lead to the dampening of distrust in all directions.
Japan needs to focus fully on the economic woes that it faces. Major military upgrades should be debated once the economy rebounds and in response to the prevailing conditions of Northeast Asia – and outside the containment policies of America aimed at China and the Russian Federation.
The nation of Japan must put the people of the country first. Hence, the entanglement policies of America, Australia, the European Union, and the United Kingdom are detrimental to Asia. Therefore, Japan should put Northeast Asia and the nations of ASEAN first.
Kishida is America-centric to the point of turning Japan into “a pet poodle.” This is detrimental to the people of Japan. Therefore, a new approach is needed to put Japan back on the economic and geopolitical path.
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