I still remember the days when imperial Japan and the Third Reich were still fresh memories, talked about frequently. Today, in the abandonment of such memories, we are returning to the past, in the sense that these countries are reviving from the ashes of their histories. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier just recently stated that the era of peace, from which the Germans have benefited greatly, is over: “Germany is not at war, but the years of the peace dividend from which we Germans have benefited so long and abundantly are over”. German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, declared that the task at hand is to make Germany’s military strong:
“These are not normal times, we have a war raging in Europe. Russia is waging a brutal war of annihilation on a sovereign country, on Ukraine … Our task is to make the Bundeswehr (armed forces) strong now, it is about deterrence, effectiveness and readiness. And it is about continuing to support Ukraine, also with material of the Bundeswehr”.
Notice the words being used: Russia wants to annihilate Ukraine, and the fact that he points to this to urge on the strengthening of the German military, implies the message that Germany must be ready to defend itself from an expansionist Russia. Such rhetoric presages a coming European war.
Events in Asia foreshadow a coming war in that part of the globe. A German publication called Perspektive, reported in January of 2023: “Japan continues to prepare for war with China. … Preparations for a possible war in East Asia continue.” The rise of Japan is inevitable. It is bound to happen because the Americans want it to happen, because they want to use Japan as a proxy against China. You can go as far back as the 1970s, and you will find the Americans talking about Japan boosting up its military in the future. There is a CIA document from May 24, 1972, entitled: “Anti-Military Sentiment in Japan: Implications for the US”. It discusses the anti-militarism movement within Japan and how its conflict with the nationalists will have consequences for US security ties with Japan:
“In any case, the clash between those who would speed up and those who would slow down Japan’s military programs will become more and more important politically as the decade wears on. Inevitably, it will have repercussions on US security ties with Japan.”
Today, the anti-war movement is being heavily eclipsed by those for military revitalization. The document does not say that if the militarist have their it will effect US Japanese ties, but it’s clear that this is also implied. The stronger the militarists become, the stronger the sentiment for a militarily independent Japan gets, which means shattering the fetters imposed upon Japan in the post-war order. For decades the Americans have known of this growing militarist and nationalist spirit within Japan. In the same document it speaks of a growing trend in Japan for restrengthening the military and the possession of nuclear weapons:
“At a minimum, the goal seems to be the development of a military capability sufficient to elicit world respect for Japan and to provide the beginning of a deterrent against conventional military probes by the USSR or China. It would seem that the trend in this direction will continue over the next several years, barring a serious deterioration in relations with the USSR or China, or a drastic loosening of security ties with the US. In either of these circumstances, the argument for an accelerated military effort — possibly including the acquisition of nuclear weapons — would become more compelling to those Japanese as yet unconvinced of the need or advisability.”
The trend in favor for strengthening the military has been gradually rising in Japan. In 2003, 48 percent of Japanese respondents to a poll either “supported” or “rather supported” the idea of Japan increasing its defensive capabilities. This number rose to 57% at the end of 2012, due to territorial disputes that were damaging Japan’s relations with China and South Korea. (The Japanese and South Koreans are in contention over the the Liancourt Rocks; while the Chinese and Japanese are in dispute over the Senkaku Islands). Now the number is at a record high of 64 percent in favor of boosting up Japan’s military. The Americans have always been aware of the reality that ties between the US and the Japanese are not definite and could actually break. In a CIA document from June 23, 1958, it poses the question:
“To what degree is there developing a desire, within the government and among the Japanese at large, for a more independent foreign policy? What are the principal causes of this desire? How would the Japanese define this “more independent” policy?”
The fact that the Americans entertained the possibility of an independent Japan tells us that the Americans have never seen their relationship with Japan as purely solid, and that they have known since the end of the war that the Japanese could one day rebel against the American empire. The US has always understood that Japan will pursue becoming a serious power in Asia, and always worked to keep Japan in line with the US. This is why the US has supported and backed Japan in its military, to keep the country connected to the US. The Americans have always been aware that a lack in support for Japan, or the perception that the US is unreliable, will only accelerate Japan’s pursuit to being independent. In a 1952 CIA document entitled, “The Probable Future Orientation of Japan,” it reads: “We believe that the basic national objectives of Japan will be to rebuild its national strength and to enhance its position in the Far East.” A little bit later in the same document it reads that ties between the US and Japan will greatly depend on America’s military support for the Japanese:
“The degree of Japanese cooperation with the US, in both the short and long term, will depend largely on the extent to which the Western alignment not only meets Japan’s needs for security and foreign trade opportunities but also satisfies its expectations for economic and military assistance and for treatment as a sovereign equal.”
Today the United States knows that if Japan and German perceive the US as unreliable security wise, they will pursue nuclear armament. In a report addressed to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate in 2008, entitled: Chain Reaction: Avoiding a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East, it says:
“In the cases of Germany and Japan, both countries can easily obtain nuclear weapons but have chosen not to because of their integration beneath a NATO (Germany) or an American (Japan) security umbrella. Today, all of these countries have the technical capacity to obtain nuclear weapons in a matter of months or a few short years. … If these countries ever begin to question the reliability of this security umbrella, they would almost certainly reassess past nuclear weapons decisions.”
So in the 1950s the US knew that Japan will seek to break ties with the US if there is a lack of security reliability. In the early 2000s, the US made it clear that Japan and Germany will go nuclear in the case of a perception of American unreliability. America’s increasing withdrawal from its position as the world’s police force, in conjunction with an expansionist Russia, means a rising Japan. A 2021 report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reads:
“The relative decrease in U.S. military strength in the region, especially compared with China’s burgeoning power, is forcing Japan to become a leading military power in the Asia-Pacific. This is inevitably causing alarm in Russia, which never signed a peace treaty with Japan at the end of World War II, and which has a long-running territorial dispute with its neighbor over the Kuril Islands.”
In 2021, when this report was written, Japan’s defense budget was $52 billion. In December of 2023, Al-Jazeera wrote that “Japan will boost its defence budget for 2023 to a record 6.8 trillion yen ($55bn), or a 20-percent increase, in the face of regional security concerns and threats posed by China and North Korea. … The new spending target follows the NATO standard and will eventually push Japan’s annual budget to about 10 trillion yen ($73bn), the world’s third biggest after the United States and China.”
As America gradually lets go of its global security umbrella, it is expected that the world will break down into blocs, with regional powers having their own spheres of power. Russia is already fighting for its own sphere. Turkey is rising as a power in the Near East; Germany In Europe and Japan in northeast Asia. With he going down of the American security umbrella, the rise of Germany and Japan is inevitable.