The New Hegemony by US-Japan and
the peace of Asia-Pacific region
Seung-Kuk Kim (Korea)
The new hegemony, double headed by US and Japan is the capital cooperation and the military alliance of the US and Japanese governments, supported by the axis of the supra-national fund and the US army and Japanese self-defense army. “An Axis of Evil” is thought to indicate the North Korea, but what Mr. Bush meant in his words was in fact, China: He feigned to recognize the North Korea as an enemy, but the truth was that he feels uncomfortable with the fast growth of China, and wants to recognize it as a new threat to the US. This is the US government’s new diplomacy toward East Asia.
The new diplomacy of US government is to constrain Japan and Korea via the Missile Defense (MD) centered in US. This MD system, however, has intrigued an atmosphere of resistance in North Korea, China and Russia, and is now forming even a new circumstance of war threat in Asia, to which Asians eventually become to embody this neo-cold war climates to their everyday lives.
A. The neo-liberalism and capital cooperation of US and Japan
Depending on this neo-cold war situation in Asia, The co-capitalism of US and Japan has tried to find out the survival way to keep economic profits through construction of a new cooperative system between US and Japan. These two countries have experienced such an awful Trade War in between, after their common “enemy” USSR had collapsed. Therefore, they needed a new system that would render them a new way of making profits from the world’s market as much as they have gained before the USSR collapse.
As indicated in metaphor of “the relationship between a crocodile and a crocodile-bird,” the capitalism and the communism were actually in the relationship of commensalism. Thus, the collapse of USSR means the end of this balance. The break of the balance between the two groups puts the US into a dilemma to find out another new “enemy” (it is called as a dilemma since their out-expressed of such actions are for the world peace), so that the US can continue the supranational capitalism and guarantee the maximum profits that it has kept so far. The US government began to strengthen the standardization of the capitalism and to progress many small wars to support the new strategies of the neocapitalism or the neoliberalism.
The neocapitalism or neoliberalism brought IMF typhoon in Asia, which resulted in a mass unemployment, the 10:90 society, driving Asians into the center of a vicious circle, accelerating a structural violence of the up-dog suppress the down-dog phenomena in many societies. The result was the deprivation of Asians’ “rights of survival in peaceful way.”
While the grassroots are suffering under the neo-liberal attack of transnational capitalism based on US location, the 9.11 attack has occurred in the heart of the US, as if it was to warn the US government to self-reflect its foreign policy. Of certain, US did not miss this chance to reflect its oppressive international policies. Because it provided a good reason for the US government to start a war with the terrorism.
US attacked Afghanistan. Further, USA forced the world to acknowledge the legality of the attack and to join the US government in taking action in a support of the anti-terrorism. Asia was not excused from joining the war, and had to share the cost of the war with the US government. This enabled the US to overcome not only the economical crisis by profiting from the war cost share, but also put the world again under its political dominancy. They encouraged the racists by relating some specific races to the terrorism and defining some countries as Rogue States (since they have been bothersome to the US government for a long time) in search of good grounds of expanding the Afghanistan war to other regions. In European countries, the United Kingdom is actively supporting US government and, in Asia, Japan is trying to take an advantage of this chance to expand their own economic and military hegemony over the Asian countries.
B. Solidification of the US and Japan military cooperation
1) The USA security strategy toward Asia
The main cores of the US government’s security strategy in protection of the neo-liberal means of transnational capitalism are:
Place 100,000 US soldiers in Asia
Solidify the US-Japan-Korea military cooperation, especially by strengthening the US-Japan relationship as much as that of US-UK
Substitute the threat of USSR with that of North Korea
Encircle China by emphasizing the unknown threat from China
The new military strategies of Mr. Bush are planning security strategies focused on “Encirclement of China and containment of North Korea” through the shift of the strongpoint of world strategy from Europe to Asia. A new security strategy of the Bush administration is to construct the MD system and to abolish the Win-Win strategy. The purpose of them is to renovate and empower the US army as the world’s police. For this, they set the Revolution of military affairs (RMA). Win-Win strategy was to lead the two ‘big wars’ in the Middle East and in the Korean peninsula, by designating the North Korea as a Rogue State as they did to Afghanistan. However, the threat from North Korea is too small compared to that from USSR, and wasn’t enough for them to keep as many armies as they want in the Korean peninsula. Therefore, the entrance of Chinese threaten was inevitable.
2) The rise of Chinese threat opinion
The Chinese threat is asymmetrical-which means Chinese fast economical growth, long-distance missile batch etc., compared to the USSR’s symmetrial threat. The US government understood such phenomena as threats, and concluded to cut the threats before they become the real threats to US government.
The Republic of China provided a new military strategy called “Shin Hae Yang Strategy” in January 2000, which is to expand the Chinese defense line from G line (Green line: Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands-Taiwan-Borneo) to B line (Blue line: the Kuriles-Mariana archipelago-Papua New Guinea). After the Shin Hae Yang announcement, many reports of the new military strategies of US government including the one from the Rand Institute emphasize how to confront the change of Chinese defense line, because B line overlaps with the US-Japan sea lane(sea transport line): this is expected to call up an acute-sharp conflicts among the nations. And this is the real threat to the peace in Asia.
The rise of China threat opinion is related the malfunction of Twin Strategy of Rogue State theory and Win-Win strategy. The Bush administration’s new plan is to abolish the ragged Win-Win strategy and to construct MD through ‘China threat treatise-accompanying of new security strategy.’ The missile defense (MD) created by the US-Japan military cooperation will cover the skies of China and the North Korea. In this spot, there is expectation for ‘conflicts between US-Japan military community and China.’ There are already more than 100 thousands US soldiers in Asia to confront the threat from China and from the North Korea.
3) Level-upping of Japan’s position
US alone cannot take over the political hegemony of Asia without the military and economic support from Japan. This is why the US government makes a petition to the world to allow the emergency army system of Japan. The plan by Mr. Bush is to share powers with Japan in Asian-Pacific region. For its purpose, the US government included, in its Armitage Report, that Japanese government should be allowed to exert the right of collective defense by amending the Peace Constitution.
The Armitage Report is inspiring of Japanese military ambition for the superpowerful nation of military-politic area. The aim of this report is the abolition of the 9th clause of the Peace Constitution(of Japan) that prohibits the right of collective defense and engagement into war of the Japanese army.
4) Why does the law of Japanese military operation in case of military attack emerge?
The extreme nationalists of Japan welcome the Armitage report saying, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces should have a wider arena (Asia) to protect the globalized Japanese capitals. Because it was one of the criminal nations of the World War II, such proposal make many Asians doubtful whether it is a reveal of Japanese another ambition of the world conquest. The new Asian diplomacy of the Bush government, in this respect, is a golden chance for the Japanese government to raise their military power over the Asia, and be free from the constraints of the Peace Constitution. It is getting concrete with a request of the capital, army, and policy. First, the capital part acquires the necessity of Japanese independent army to secure and expand the Sea lane of the transportation. They insist that it is no longer safe to entrust the US army to secure the safety of the Japanese capitals. Second, the military part supports it because this will eventually allow the Japanese government to have a pathway to participate in a military activity without getting involved in an issue of violence of the Peace Constitution. From the political point of view, such an independency of the Japanese army will empower the Japanese capitals and government. Thus, the Japanese government is trying to pass the law of Japanese army independency while prime minister Junichiro Koizumi is still loved by most Japanese people.
This is the real threat to the rest of the Asia people. Because they are afraid of the revival of Japanese militarism-nationalism. Therefore, the cooperation of the US and Japanese governments, not the North Korea and China, is the threat to the Asia and this must be impeded.
C. Suggestions for the Peace in Asia
Now we know that the Chinese-North Korean threat scenario written by the US government is bullshit. Instead, the military and economic cooperation of the US and Japanese governments is the real threat to Asia. For Asia to get out of the political and economical war-power of the US and Japanese governments and build up the real peace of Asia, it needs to seek a peace making system and accomplish the US intervention free zone.
1) Monitoring and Checking of the US-Japanese capitals
It is necessary to have a monitoring system that watches the US-Japanese capitals. It will also play an important role in resisting the multilateral agreement of Investments. For this, Asians need to pay for the Tobin Tax so that a grassroots capital becomes available. Also to build up a government that agrees with the importance of taking the Tobin tax, we have to make a solidarity union that supports a veto to the governments that accept the neoliberalism.
2) Making Asia as the US army free, war-threat free and atomic bomb free zone
To make Asia as the US army, war-threat and nucleic arms free zone, there need to establish 3 alternatives.
First, we have to request the US army to leave the Asian countries so that we can make Asia as the US Army free zone. Since US army is making the basic part of the system that takes orders from the US government, the threats from the new military cooperation of the US and Japanese government would not disappear without the leave of US army. Because the US army (or the US government from which it takes the orders) is the only currently existing authority that can control the Japanese army, the leave of US army will also discourage the US-Japanese military cooperation.
Second, we need to make an agreement on the necessity of the liquidation of the nucleic arms in Asia and make an announcement of Asia as Nuke MD free zone. There are already the Rarotonga treaty and the South East Asia Atomic Bomb Free Agreement, but they have been interrupted by the US and France governments. To enhance the strength of the two agreements, we need to hurry up the liquidation of the atomic bombs from the Asian countries. The success of such an action will discourage the US government’s ambition of taking a control over Asia via Atomic bombs. This requires the China and Russia to abolish the use of atomic bombs as soon as possible. The Nuke-MD free zone of Asia is the green light of the fulfillment of the world’s denuclearization.
The denuclearization of Asia will be added to the anti-nuclear treaty in Latin America (Tlateloco treaty) and the African agreement of the denuclearization, and make the entire Southern hemisphere free from the nucleic bombs. This will also encourage the Northern hemisphere to join the denuclearization movement and eventually fulfill the world’s denuclearization.
Third, we need to make Asia as a war threat free zone. This requires us to break the US and Japanese army cooperation bond. The tension surrounding the Korean peninsula is getting tighter as the US government tries to expand the Afghanistan war to the North Korea and Philippines regions. The expansion of the US army in these areas means that it will put the South East and East Asia into the continuing war threats. As the gorge between the US and the North Korea gets deeper, the possibility of Japanese army to intrude into the Korean peninsula increases. Therefore, it should be sought to break the cooperation of military productions between the US and Japanese governments.
3) Making a standing organization for the Asian Peace
The newly established Asian Peace organization should provide an ability of managing the conflicts between the US-Japan and Chinese governments, and a controlling power of suppression of the neoliberalism and war. This new organization should focus on the Conflict transformation rather than on the Conflict resolution, grow up as the center of the human security, and focus on the prescription of the war rather than post-war cure. In a short term, it also needs to prevent the American’s anti-terrorism war toward the North Korea.
As learned from the Afghanistan war, the actual victims of such war are women, children and the weak. This has been more obvious from many disputes in the Indonesia and other regions. To secure the right of life and living of those people, the making of a new peace organization as a Peace making institute is unavoidable.
Therefore, we encourage not only the NGOs but also the international organizations like UN, to consider and support the idea of the establishment of an Asia Peace making institute.
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002