This week, my younger friend temporarily located in D. C. and engaged in renewal of the Japan-US relationship, sent me a message to tell me what Mr. Shigeru Ishiba, Secretary-General of the Japanese LDP, said in his speech there:
“Secretary-General Ishiba referred to his request to the U.S. to withdraw its troops from Okinawa, as soon as Japan will admit her right of collective self-defense. The majority of the American audience was astonished to hear that and asked me to check what he exactly said.”
Since Obama had successfully completed his mission during hits visit to Tokyo to clearly show to the public that the USG doesn’t support the Abe administration any more, a power struggle in Japan just restarted. The point is whom the U.S. will take seriously. While Secretary-General Ishiba, known as great fan of plastic model, has sufficient knowledge and experience on this mechanism beyond the Pacific, he just tried to carry out a preemptive strike verbally. Now, the U. S. side must be considering how far he is serious to take over the power from Mr. Shinzo Abe, current Prime Minister in Japan.
Just before I’ve got the mail from D. C., I met a Japanese professional in the INTEL world. Based on his deep and vast human network and experience as a “shadow man”, he told me how he sees Secretary-General Ishiba. With laughter, he said:
“As you must know, Mr. Harada, Ishiba is too honest to hide he’s nervous. That’s why he has always failed at the very last stage.”
Hmmm… His comment seems to reflect what the INTEL world now thinks of Secretary-General Ishiba, I believe. While hearing that, I spontaneously remembered Shintaro Ishihara, former Mayor of Tokyo, also gave a dramatic speech on how to say “NO” to the U.S. in the 1980s, when he actually sought permission from the American side to become the Japanese Prime Minister. It’s all the same rule the politicians obey here in Japan.
However, this rule has been gradually changed without prior notification to the public. As far as I know, those who are aware of this on both sides beyond the Pacific, have begun to adapt themselves to the emerging, new rule since 2003 or 2004. To prepare for the next decades, I’ll let you know it as follows:
– Every Japanese on the street believes Japan has been occupied by the U. S., since she was defeated in the W. W. II. The historical truth is Japan forced his American counterpart to stay there even after the occupation period originally planned by the G. H. Q.
– The hard core of Japans true power has successfully made use of the presense of the U. S. troops after the war. Whenever something unpopular happened in Japan, the Japanese called the American to account.
– Not the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the Ministry of Finance in Japan has been in charge of maintaining this mechanism beyond the Pacific. There are some tools for the MOF to do so. The one is financial support towards welfare benefits and allowances of U. S. forces stationed in Japan (Omoiyari-yosan).
–The second is control of exchange rate between USD and JPY. Standing in very close relation with its counterpart, the US Treasury, the MOF has always tried to offset excess of profit and loss of the Japanese national economy. For example, the US economy could try to show its “recovery” even after the economic downturn precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, while the Japanese MOF admitted the sudden and massive appreciation of JPY afterwards.
-This mechanism can theoretically work as long as the MOF can somehow balance income and expenditure of the GOJ. However, the time has gone by and the ministry apparently decided to head for its “PLAN B” beyond the current mechanism. That automatically means the end of this historical game with US. The hard core of the Japanese power will let its proxy, the MOF, move forward to de facto declaration of default, while it will simultaneously lead to the automatic default of the USG. The sea change will come between 2016 and 2017.
– In the next game afterwards, Japan will try to balance its economy not only with US but with the rest of the world as a whole. To make it possible, Japan needs to take over the current role of UK (Tokyo replaces the City of London). That’s why the United Kingdom will collapse soon after the referendum on Scottish independence dated on September 18 in this year.
In his famous novel, Heinrich Boell, German eminent story writer, wrote Katharina Blum as tragic and innocent heroine. But how dou you feel, if this heroine was in fact the very person who secretly planned to change the world and debauched others to do so? To begin the historical change to Pax Japonica, the ends justify the means.