Friday, April 20, 2007

Japan: It's Official, Japan Now Has a Basic Act on the Oceans. So, How Often Do You See the DPJ and the JCP Agree on Anything?

The Diet passed the Basic Act on the Oceans (my translation) today. The ruling LDP and Komeito, the main opposition party DPJ, the Japan Communist Party, and the People's New Party (led by LDP castaway Shizuka Kamei) all voted for the bill. (One wonders what the rump Socialist Party objected to.) This should serve to dispel in a way I had not anticipated the myth of the rising right-wing nationalism that people like Steven Clemons and Francis Fukushima perpetuate, courtesy of the English-language mainstream media.

The driving force here is, of course, China and South Korea's aggression, real or imagined (I have no time to do the research), in the area. It seems everybody is nationalist when it comes to the near abroad and in between. But then, anybody who knows squat about post-war Japan will remember that the right and left made common cause against the mainstream middle in 1960, as they joined forces to oppose, unsuccessfully, the upgrading of the Japan-US Mutual Security Treaty. The people who ignore history condemn us to see them write about it.

South Korea, China, the US; throw a stone, and you will hit a nationalist, and Japan is no exception. Perhaps it is time for the MSM to retire that old cliché they trot out every time China or South Korea takes offense, or when a loser on the fringes of the dwindling ultra right wing acts out his rage on a politician he resents.

I have a lot more to say on the decline of the so-called right wing and its implications. But I need time to work on it.

Stay tuned.

No comments: