Presently, peace in which no one dies isn’t called peace. The duality of collective defense
July 16th, the security guarantee bill (below, security bill) passed the lower house of the National Diet by majority vote by both the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Komeito Party. However, there are still demonstrations of people in the tens of thousands and there is still confrontation between the administration and the opposition.
To begin with, the right to collective self defense is the right to support another country (by protecting, attacking together, etc.) in the event that that country has been attacked. However, why and when to implement the right to collective self defense is a very difficult problem.
Currently, Japanese people must choose between three different futures.
Firstly, let’s consider the present state of affairs. Presently, although there are wars and conflicts in the world, and although compared to the early post war period they are numerous, since the end of the Cold War, war and conflicts have declined in frequency.
* The transition of war and conflict. Recently, the influence of radical Islam has been increasing.
Also, instead of battles between nations, now battles are between terrorists and civilians. As mutual action is required between the military and police, it is being called a “hybrid war.”
* Transition of number of casualties due to terrorism
The growth of the Chinese Communist Party’s military and America’s curtailment of military expense are often said to be the basis of the right to collective self defense.
* China’s military expenditure is growing year by year.
* The military expenditure of America, which carries the burden as the world’s police, is declining. America’s economy is becoming financially unstable.
* Still, America’s military expense is overwhelmingly large.
The right to collective self defense is thought to be necessary by some only because it is thought that the Chinese Communist Party and radical Islam cannot be dealt with without military strength and that if Japan does not protect other countries then there will be a bad impact on Japan as well. It is also an important point in question whether military expenditure can be covered by tax revenue.
To summarize, the question of whether or not there is a need for the right to collective self defense is the question of whether or not there is a country we wish to protect and whether or not Japan has the spare capacity to protect that country. This presents three options as follows:
1. To cooperate militarily with a country or not. (To use and/or to be able to use the right to collective self defense.)
2. To think only of one’s own country. (To not use and/or to not be able to use the right to collective self defense.)
3. To continue exploring new options for security.
* While considering that the bill can only pass via Prime Minister Abe and the LDP’s interpretation of the constitution with them as ruling party, for the moment let’s focus on the right to collective self defense itself.
* Terrorist organizations are not nations and as such, although they can be dealt with according to interpretation of the constitution, we must take into account that it affects the security of each country.
1. To cooperate militarily with other countries
To put it simply, this would be to increase military expenditure and the strength of Self-Defense Forces personnel, and by displaying the military strength of Japan, do things such as protect countries’ territories that China might like to seize and protect countries that are attacked by terrorists.
Regarding specific reforms,
・As it is difficult to overcome the problem of a decreasing birthrate and aging population, mass producing drones employing artificial intelligence and gaining control of the information war in cyberspace and outer space
・For that reason, making learning programming at school mandatory
・In order to increase the number of people in the Self-Defense Forces, the creation of Self-Defense Force movies, anime, and documentaries
・As the draft is unpopular, encouraging corporations in private enterprise as military contractors
・In order to encourage patriotism, creating television programs showing foreigners respecting Japanese, making people feel “happy to be Japanese”
・In order to deal with an enemy without hesitation when the time comes, to routinely show the maliciousness of hostile people
Not only the direct improvement of soldiers and weapons but,
・In order to maintain resources for military expenditure, there is a need to increase the income of the people. Industry should be advanced.
・In order to improve weapons, there is a need to advance scientific technique. Subsidies and funding of research, etc.
・In order to strengthen international foreign relations, requiring multilingual study, creating time for studying other countries’ religions, and achieving success in competition over resources
* Since the Tohoku earthquake disaster, applications to the Japan Self-Defense Forces have increased.
* Cyber attacks are increasing in frequency.
* Expand the drone market going forward.
On the other hand, it cannot be denied that keeping adversaries in check by military threat may in fact provoke conflict or war.
In spite of that it is difficult to judge whether or not a state of peace is due to the power of deterrence. If war were to occur due to military strength, it seems that it would be impossible to view the right to collective self defense as a very good thing.
* examples of ever collective defense
* There are many examples of wars caused by use of the right to collective self defense.
* America used a lot of money in the war in Afghanistan.
Please consider the following second choice.
2. To consider only one’s own country
To put it simply, in getting involved in war and conflict, the probability of many of one’s own country’s people dying increases, a lot of money is expended, and it would be better if peace could be achieved through other means than military force. Even when other countries are in war or conflict, it is important to aim for the stability of one’s own country.
Regarding specific reforms,
・Diminish the reliance on imports of manufactured goods. Keep emergency reserves.
・Only rely on imported goods that would cause problems if not imported.
・Develop alternatives to petroleum and natural gas.
・Develop food self-sufficiency.
・Use money gained by export for domestic purposes.
・If other countries are dependent on Japan’s exports then Japan will be regarded with priority.
・Improve Japan’s strength to the minimum for it to be able to defend itself even if other countries would not come to its aid.
・Ameliorate the conditions of other countries which may lead to war or conflict (for example, reducing insufficiencies).
* A Japan that has invested in peace overseas
* Increasing local production for local consumption
* There is also the possibility of using the freshwater flagellate for energy.
On the other hand, if a country with close ties to Japan were to be attacked, it would have a large influence on Japan (for example, increasing price of petroleum, etc.). Additionally, thanks to it’s alliance with America, Japan was able to focus on its economy and welfare prior to the current tendency of America’s weakening military strength.
Also, having lost those things that our own country focused on until now in the so-called “lost decades” period of 20 years, social security reforms have also struggled to achieve success. It might have been better to cooperate more with other countries.
* Imports that Japan relies on
* The self sufficiency of Japan’s calorie base is 39%.
* Japan’s energy self sufficiency is considerably low.
* Japan import many resources of energy. Japan should protect these countries.
* There are naval routes that should be protected.
* The number of Japanese tourists is increasing.
* As Japan’s economic relationship with China is strong, perhaps there would not be a war with China?
3. However, after 70 years of seeking new security guarantees, have there been new defense strategies created by the people who say that dialogue is important? No there haven’t.
The goal of those in favor of the right to collective self defense is “deterrence” and “to protect other countries”, while the goal of the opposition is “to achieve peace via other methods than armed force (do not kill, do not be killed)” and “focus on Japan’s economy and welfare.”
If it were a choice between these three and one were really pressed for a solution, although dialogue should be pursued, there is nothing but to participate in the current demonstrations to preserve the constitution. For aggressors in foreign lands, Japan’s constitution is not of concern.
I think that the right to collective self defense could perhaps be used as is. Until now, demonstrations have not had much influence on political policy because with the LDP’s majority in both houses of the National Diet, they control the government.
On the other hand, as it has become easy to control the administration by the results of the people’s election, it is more important than ever to harbor an interest in politics and rationally choose our politicians.
How the right to collective self defense will be used will depend on the people.