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Japan's ending 60 years of pacifist foreign policy. Why now?

Japan's Ending 60 Years Of Pacifist Foreign Policy. Why Now?

Japan's prime minister says his country will no longer stick to the passive foreign policy it's followed since the end of WWII. (Via Flickr / World Economic Forum)

Instead, Japan is ending its self-imposed ban on aiding an ally under attack or helping in a United Nations peacekeeping effort. (Via ITN)

And its increasingly unfriendly relationship with a burgeoning China is likely the cause.

See, for 60 years, Japan has kept a fighting force specifically banned from fighting abroad. Essentially, it's been meant only for self defense. (Via YouTube / Andy Cruise)

That's thanks to the U.S. and General Douglas MacArthur, who totally demilitarized Japan post-WWII, even banning martial arts in the country. (Via U.S. National Archives)

And in all global conflicts since, even in coalition efforts from its ally America, Japan has made a habit of staying out of it. (Via CNN)

Which was fine, as long as Japan's economy was surging and it was the clear regional power in east Asia - but it no longer is. China has become more assertive in the Pacific by the day.

And Japanese PM Shinzo Abe says he won't sit back any longer.

ABE: "We need to develop legislation that ensures security, creates peace and protects people's livelihoods." (Via Euronews)

Although Abe has the approval of Japan's parliament, there are still legal barriers to clear. And the nation would still restrict itself from starting foreign wars. But it could theoretically help the U.S. or another ally.

The policy shift has drawn a harsh response from China's government, who accused Japan of "fabricating the China threat to promote its domestic political agenda." (Via CCTV)

But the Obama White House is likely pleased with Japan's decision. The U.S. has long encouraged the nation to take a more active role in the Pacific. Now, it's doing just that.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
MIKEY'S SCREEN July 02 2014 at 4:10 AM

Can't blame Japan as it probably sees Obama and Company as an ally they can no longer trust to protect them

Flag Reply +25 rate up
4 replies
CORINNE July 02 2014 at 1:17 AM

I like it! They held to their promise for 60 years. No one can dominate the world alone. Welcome to the club Japan. At least you'll be on the right side this time.

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1 reply
kytan CORINNE July 02 2014 at 4:46 PM

Are you sure Japan is on the right side or on it's own side? Don't forget Pear Harbor....

Flag Reply 0 rate up
barbphen60 July 02 2014 at 12:42 AM

Does this mean we can take our troops home now and post them on the border?

Flag Reply +19 rate up
3 replies
Jay July 02 2014 at 8:58 AM

The reason Japan is quitting pacifism is because it has been proved by Obama that the USA cannot any longer be trusted to defend Japan against China.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
2 replies
hensteeth Jay July 02 2014 at 9:46 AM

The US's militaristic right wing -- our chest-thumping gorillas -- would love to see a president committing our forces everywhere, even -- most unwisely -- against China.

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nanzbh July 02 2014 at 7:56 AM

Japan, like everyone else in the world, cannot trust Obama to live up to the treaties the United States has made throughout the world.
The worst president the US has ever had.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
1 reply
ERIC nanzbh July 02 2014 at 1:45 PM

*sigh* Please name just one treaty that the U.S. has ever broken? ...and don't say the one with Ukraine because contrary to what a lot of idiots think we never broke that. The treaty we signed with them specified that we would never violate their borders and never attack them unless in self-defense. We have abided by the deal. It said absolutely nothing about having to punish anyone else (Russia) who happen to break the treaty. Only country that broke the treaty was Russia. Period.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Welcome Justin ERIC July 02 2014 at 3:33 PM

By that criteria we did break the treaty then. We supported a radical group (Right Sector) to overthrow the democratically elected gov. How is that not violating their borders ?

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Judy Bishop July 02 2014 at 5:16 AM

Good for Japan ... and hopefully, us as well.

I think we should GIVE Japan one of our aircraft carriers recently out of service - with US advisers ...

We might also do the same with Taiwan and maybe the Philippines as well ..

Form an alliance to offset the Chinese and their aircraft carrier(s) and their manipulation of our dollar.

And that goes for the Russians as well. Give them something to think about on their opposite Coast.

And Since China has been messing with Vietnam, maybe we could "sell" them an old escort carrier for their Navy and include them in our new Pacific partnership counterpart to NATO.

On the home front - if we made things in Mexico and South and Central America, maybe this hemisphere would be prosperous and it might keep some of the floods of poor immigrants back home in their countries ... actually giving them a decent job and keeping some of the money out of China's hands and keeping it in our neck of the woods.

That's better foreign policy than Mr. Os.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
5 replies
bigred8690 July 02 2014 at 1:19 AM

The Chinese had better remember how they got their butts kicked by the Japanese in 1895 and 1937, then got their butts kicked by the US Marines in 1950, then got their butts kicked by Vietnam in 1979, and they still don't have the capability to invade that little postage stamp formerly known as Formosa. Considering all that, just think what the United States and Japan combined would do to China in one afternoon of naval combat. It would make Trafalgar look like an even fight.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
8 replies
kaib51 July 02 2014 at 7:44 AM

I applaud Japan's and Germany's assumption of their rightful places in the world. These are two huge powerhouses of energy, economic activity, and wealth. Burying the hatchet is long overdue. The US needs to recognize that its sole leadership role has diminished and we can't look to the weakened Brits or has-been French only for support of our agenda.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
wwchak kaib51 July 02 2014 at 9:27 AM

Germany passed laws to prevent the rise of nazi and military, Germany apologized and paid compensations to victims, you don't see that about japan. Germany move on as an honorable great country, japan is not.

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1 reply
explorerruss wwchak July 02 2014 at 2:05 PM

Better read up on your history.

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john July 02 2014 at 12:29 AM

wtf no coments from the liberals ???

Flag Reply +6 rate up
6 replies
kentblackdog July 02 2014 at 11:34 AM

Second reason after
China----------they no longer believe the US has thier back--------reason---one word------OBAMA

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