There have been a lot of crazy and just flat out false statements that have been said on both sides of this election season. However, Donald Trump said something today (like he does every day) that hits a nerve with me because it just shows the lack of knowledge he has when it comes to history and Japan. Let’s break it down.
Trump stated that if the United States were attacked they could sit at their homes and watch on Sony TV. Where do we begin? Well for one using the Sony TV is a direct jab at the Japanese company and its product. Why couldn’t he just say TV? Why add a Japanese company? We know it’s Japan so they will likely have their own TV…whatever, let’s move onto his statement that they would just sit back and watch. In the past, Trump has said that if NATO Allies were attacked, he would have second thoughts about backing them up if they had not paid their dues, showing his complete misunderstanding of history and how treaties with allies work. But let’s get back to Japan and this guys apparent lack of knowledge of why Japan is not roaming the world going to war. Let’s educate him.
At the end of World War II, Japan was being occupied by the USA and its Allies. Supreme Ally Commander in the Pacific Douglas MacArthur was in charge and the Japanese were forced to re-write their constitution as they had to comply to all of the demands made by the allies. Japan signed the new constitution into place on May 3rd, 1947 which included Article 9. Article 9 is a clause that prohibits the United States from engaging in combat as a means to settle international disputes that involve the state. It also stated that the Japanese may not maintain an army that could have the potential of war, instead they are allowed to maintain a Self-Defense Force. Now, the origins of who wrote and pushed for the Article 9 clause are disputed, but it was part of the re-writing of their constitution, making it part of their law and way of life. It was done because so many crimes and deaths had come at the hands of the Japanese military. Allies and the Asia community wanted to restrict their military to avoid this from ever happening again.
So did you get that? Japan wrote it into their constitution they could not have an army while under the US occupation after World War II. It’s their law and its how we wanted it. Now things have obviously have changed since then, but even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tried to expand on their limitations hovering over their armed forces, it has been met with a lot of anger.
Abe and the government have been moving forward over the past two years to increase their ability to deploy their military in support of their allies, but it has been met with a lot of anger. South Korea, China, other Asian countries and even most of the Japanese populous were against the expansion move and Japan has stated that it will not be so swift to put boots on the ground like they did back in 2003 in the invasion of Iraq. The new provisions in the law will allow them to provide more material support than before and now they can go to war, but it would be a very dramatic situation if they engaged in open war.
So let’s try to teach this guy a few things. For one, Japan has been bound by their law, overseen by the US, for years to keep their military as a peace force, not a military. It’s their law, we made it happen, so not on them for that issue. Now, they do have the capability to aid allies, but after the awful Iraq war, they are not going to jump into any war that the US is involved with. Most people in Japan do not want to go to war and most of the Asian countries do not want the Japanese military to be moving about, the memories of War War II and before are still fresh in many memories (even after all these years) To think that if a US ship or force was attacked they would not try to help is just insane. It appears that once again that Trump does not understand simple history, laws, and that foreign countries won’t drop everything because its not how they operate.