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Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 12, 2005 / 5 Taamuz, 5765

Unleash Japan

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pacifism has never been so silly. In an East Asia that features both one of the world's most irrational states and a rising dictatorial power bent on changing the region's strategic balance, it is a crucial ally of the United States that labors under a constitution that could have been written by Quakers.

Of course, it was an American team put together by Douglas MacArthur after World War II that wrote the Japanese Constitution, imposing pacifism as state policy. That was understandable 50 years ago. Now the constraints of the Japanese Constitution — and the Japanese attitudes that have preserved them — are senseless anachronisms.

As part of her tour of Asia this week, Secretary of State Condi Rice visited a Japan that is slowly emerging from its shell. It is one of the diplomatic triumphs of the Bush administration that it has helped accelerate this process. The ideal should be to make Japan as reliable a partner of the U.S. in Asia as Britain is in Europe.

The alliance is a natural. Japan broadly shares our values. The U.S. is the world's No. 1 economy, and Japan is No. 2, a powerful combination. We want to check China, and Japan feels threatened by China. Japan provides the basing the U.S. needs at a time when we have lost our bases in the Philippines and our relationship with South Korea looks shaky.

It is the rough neighborhood that has helped turn Japan away from its old pieties. North Korea is enough to shake anyone's pacifism, and the Chinese have stupidly provoked Japan at every turn. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi took office in April 2001 determined to strengthen the U.S. alliance and loosen the more restrictive postwar constraints.

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is the main obstacle. The constitution — and the interpretations and policies arising from it — bans a standing army, collective self-defense and arms exports.

Japan has a military, but it's called a Self-Defense Force, and it's supposed to be limited to territorial defense.

Japan constantly has Talmudic debates about what defense capabilities are permitted. For a long time, it denied itself refueling capacity for its F-4 fighters, since that was considered too "offensive" in nature. The prohibition on collective self-defense means that Japan cannot come to the aid of an ally — i.e., the United States — when attacked. The interpretation of this prohibition has prevented even routine U.S.-Japanese cooperation.

But the restrictions have been loosening. After 9/11, legislation was passed authorizing the Self-Defense Force to stray beyond East Asia. Koizumi sent ships to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, where the Japanese supported the coalition efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he deployed 600 ground troops to relatively peaceful southern Iraq.

Notably, Chinese intermediate-range missiles have a range that means they would overshoot Taiwan. Whom could they be intended for?

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So, Japan is a convert on missile defense. The Japanese are pouring $1 billion a year into it in a cooperative effort with the U.S.

Japan enraged the Chinese earlier this year when it joined the U.S. in issuing a statement that included in a list of "common strategic objectives" the goal of a "peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait." To the extent that China has to worry about not just a U.S. defense, but a Japanese defense of Taiwan, it complicates China's planning and makes a military move marginally less likely. In general, a strong Japan creates a balance of power in East Asia — of the sort that once existed in Europe — that makes any Chinese hegemonic ambitions more difficult to achieve.

Of course, any more assertive Japanese moves will revive the boogeyman of Japanese militarism. Other Asian countries have nightmarish memories of the Japanese military.

But it is a new Japanese government, with new norms, in a new time. The traditional restraints on it only serve to hobble what should be one of the world's significant players on the side of decency and civilization. Unleash Japan.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate

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