Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 7-Mar-07
Japan and China in confrontation over comfort women

Web Log - March, 2007

Japan and China in confrontation over comfort women

Meanwhile, countries throughout region are increasingly anxious as China makes major new military announcements.

Scenes from China's National People's Congress and Premier Wen Jiabao's State of the Union speech <font size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Scenes from China's National People's Congress and Premier Wen Jiabao's State of the Union speech (Source: CNN)

China announced a major 17.8% increase in its military budget for 2007 in conjunction with the annual National People's Congress meeting in Beijing.

India expressed concern about the increase, the largest in almost ten years, not only because of the danger from China itself, but also because of China's military partnerships with Pakistan and other countries around India -- Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Seychelles and the like.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said that the increase will affect regional stability and peace, and demanded a credible explanation.

An editorial in a leading Taiwanese newspaper put it this way:

"News of double-digit growth in China's military spending is nothing new; after all, Beijing's military budget has been increasing more than 10 percent annually since 1993. But the curious thing is that China has no hostile neighbors and does not face any immediate threat, nor do there appear to be any potential ones. So what is Beijing's motivation for spending so much on military hardware when it faces a host of more pressing problems, such as declining health standards, inadequate education and social infrastructure. What is it pointing its guns at?

This is the real cause for concern.

China's military expansion is clearly not of a defensive nature, and Taiwan is planted firmly in its crosshairs. China already has more than 900 missiles aimed at Taiwan along its eastern seaboard and has established a legal pretext for using them -- along with other types of military force -- by passing the "Anti-Secession" Law in 2005."

The last sentence refers to the China's 2005 "Anti-secession law," which provoked massive anti-Chinese riots in Taiwan at that time.

The editorial continued:

"Japan should also be worried. Concomitant with next year's Beijing Olympics, Chinese nationalism is reaching a fever pitch and Japan is China's first target in its quest for supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region. This, compounded by competition for oil reserves and influence in Southeast Asia, as well as continuing friction over Japan's role in World War II, has allowed the Chinese Communist Party to portray Japan as a national enemy. China can't be top dog until it has forced Japan into submission."

Indeed, Japan IS very worried. In the past, Japan has called China a considerable military threat. And in January, Japan expressed great concern when China successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon

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Last week, new intelligence revealed that China is engaged in a major buildup of its submarine fleet, with new submarines capable of launching missiles at Japan or the United States.

Japan, which is trying to establish better relations with China, officially expressed muted concern. At a press conference, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said that China should be clearer militarily. "China needs to try harder to make its defense policy more transparent," he said.

The backdrop was a statement last week by Japanese president Shinzo Abe that the Japanese would no longer apologize for the use of "comfort women" during WW II. Some historians estimate that, during World War II, as many as 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also from China, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers.

Pregnant World War II comfort women
Pregnant World War II comfort women

On March 1, Abe said that that there was "no evidence" that the women were forced into prostitution, and that they participated voluntarily. Abe also said that he stands on a 1993 Japanese government apology for the use of comfort women.

This has caused outrage of surviving comfort women survivors of several countries. Several countries, including the United States, have urged the Japanese to accept full responsibility.

Abe's position is supported by 120 members of Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, who demand that the 1993 apology be reversed. The situation is further complicated that many of the women expressing outrage are demanding financial compensation for being victims of the comfort women program, which clouds everyone's motives in the matter.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there's no doubt that activities of these types occur in crisis wars. Voluntary prostitution is common in a crisis war, as is involuntary rape. What often happens is that the victors of a battle mass-murder the men and mass-rape the women. This is part of what makes us human -- the built-in mechanisms for the victor to demand that their sperm be used to create the next generation, and for women to be attracted to the male victors. All these things are part of the overall "survival of the fittest" mechanism, and if they didn't occur, the human race would not exist today. All of these activities are occurring today in Darfur, the only crisis war going on today.

The issue of comfort women is especially sensitive in relations between China and Japan. There is a major fault line between the two countries, and Generational Dynamics predicts that they will be at war with almost 100% certainty.

Japan became a pacifist nation following World War II, and remained so as long as the survivors of WW II remained in power in the government. But in the last few years, a new generation of leaders, born after WW II, has been taking power, with the result that Japan has been increasingly renouncing its postwar pacifism. In December, Japan upgraded its Defense Agency and passed legislation calling for increased patriotism, asking teachers to instill thinking among students "respecting tradition and culture and loving the nation and homeland."

The same generational change has occurred on both sides of the Sea of Japan. China and Korea are increasingly confrontational with Japan, and Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, born in 1954, who is considerably more hawkish than Junichiro Koizumi, the man he succeeded in September, 2006.

However, Abe has been openly seeking to improve relations with China, and there's still a bit of a honeymoon between the two countries, especially since they're united behind negotiations to get North Korea to reverse its development of nuclear weapons. Relations were extremely bad in early 2005, when there were massive anti-Japanese riots in Chinese cities.

At that time, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made extremely strong anti-Japanese remarks: "The core issue in China-Japan relations is that Japan needs to face up to history squarely. ... Only a country that respects history, takes responsibility for past history and wins over the trust of people in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibility in the international community."

Now Wen, who can be seen in the adjacent picture giving the "State of the Union" speech to China's National People's Congress earlier this week, will be visiting Japan in a few weeks. Wen did not mention the comfort women issue in his speech, but Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing gave a separate press conference on Tuesday, repeating Wen's 2005 warning, calling on Japan to face up to history and take responsibility for the comfort women.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, all the pieces are falling into place for the Asian and Pacific theatre of the Clash of Civilizations World War. China is becoming more of a military state almost daily; Japan, Taiwan and India feel increasingly targeted by China, especially as China allies militarily with numerous other nations in the region.

We're very close to the point where a miscalculation on almost anyone's part -- Japan's, Taiwan's, China's or America's -- will be the only thing necessary to create a situation that can quickly spiral out of control into a major regional war, and then a world war. (7-Mar-07) Permanent Link
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