Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Right-wing Japanese politicians have been using North Korea's own saber-rattling as an excuse to scrap Japan's post-war pacifist constitution, the very thing that has earned Japan considerable good will since the death of tens of millions and the massive destruction of World War II. 

North Korea's occasional habit of shooting missiles over Japanese soil and now Kim Jong-il's push to get nuclear weapons are fueling this drive by the Japanese right. (Note to self: Praise the Lord! We finally have a leader who can pronounce nuclear properly.)

Enter Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist who allegedly helped Iran and North Korea develop their nuclear programs, those very weapons programs being used by some Japanese politicos to justify a change in its own defense planning toward an aggressive outward approach (as opposed to a truly defense-oriented posture while under the protection of the United States security umbrella).

Well it turns out, according to the Japan Times, that the Khan had "visited Japan in 1984 and obtained key components essential to Pakistan's nuclear program." The JT's source, a friend of Khan, didn't say what types of components were bought during the trip.

A different source says another component, an "uninterruptible power supply," was purchased in Japan in 1977. At the time, US and European companies "had reportedly refused to sell such systems to Pakistan."

Japanese were not the only dupes; Khan dealt with people in thirty countries. I think this is noteworthy more so that Japanese helped put together the nuke program that is now being used by some Japanese to justify a more aggressive stance. 


I wish I had some nice little joke to end this with, but this isn't funny at all. I am a firm believer that the Pax Americana has brought peace and stability to Northeast Asia, and I do not welcome efforts to undermine or dismantle it, especially when there is so much lingering tension between the former belligerents. Some might say it is the United States presence itself that allows these players to remain belligerent, but such bellicosity and hostility predates heavy American involvement in the region. 

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