It is almost one month since the start of Abe government. His policies have become visible, which represent a typical hawkish and rightist character of Premier. A proposed defense budget for Fiscal 2013 was an increase by 100 billion Yen. His government has decided to set up panels of experts on the issues of education, national security and understanding modern history of Japan.
ABE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HIDE ARMOUR UNDER THE CLOTHES
Prime Minister Abe visited the Ise Shrine on the occasion of New Year, having a year-first press meeting on January 4 in Ise City. He stated to make a swift start to rebuild national economy. On January 8 a first meeting was held of the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, which the government regards as 'a control tower' of economic policy, and another gathering was made of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on the 9th after three-year absence.
Several Advisory Commissions to be Established
The Abe government has a scenario that it will spend the utmost energy in rehabilitating the national economy until July, when the Upper House election is scheduled, and then after the presumed victory in the election, that it will implement Abe-colored policies on the full-scale, that is, pledges of a rightist.
Premier Abe, proposing 'three rules in diplomacy and national security', is intended to organize a Japanese-version NSC, or National Security Council, so that the Premier's Office may directly involve in diplomatic and security issues. He also suggests exercising the right of collective security to attack an enemy on the ground that Japan might be hit, if the United States should be attacked. The new government plans to review the announcements by the former Premier Murayama and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono which admit Japan's mistakes committed in the course of modern history implying the Asian region.
These policies are characterized as an Abe color. Reportedly, his advisory panels are established soon in order to materialize his ideas. The proposals on NSC, the right of collective defense and the Education Rebuilding Council, through which Premier states to 'overcome the self-torturing view on the history' and 'enhance patriotic school education', mean confirmation of the first-round Abe government's policy from the more rightist stance and pose a new ambition.
Mr. Abe used to slam the views of ex-Premier Murayama and ex-Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono, by which the incumbent premier wants to annul 'the history of aggression against Asia'. His recent comments on the issue expressed Abe's position internally and externally, which was endorsed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide in the press meeting held late December, 2012.
The Kono Statement says that the police authorities and the ex-imperial army had committed in the forced mobilization of military 'comfort women', which was announced by the Miyazawa Government of the Liberal Democratic Party in August, 1993, though the statement was not approved by the Cabinet.
Abe Intends to Destroy Murayama Statement
In the first-round Abe administration a Cabinet meeting made a decision in 2007 to issue a written reply saying that 'no description had been found that directly indicated facts on forced mobilization of military comfort women'.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga recently told to set up a council of experts on perception on the history of Japan, adding that 'on the ground of the Cabinet decision it is favorable to examine research works of historians. I myself may ask directly about the issue to academicians'. This means that the Abe government will reexamine the Kono Statement, not endorsed by the Cabinet, taking advantage of the approved reply.
The Murayama Statement expresses 'deep remorse' and 'sincere apology' over the 'colonial rule and aggression wars', which was approved in 1995 by the Cabinet. The first-round Abe Government had followed the Murayama's position as a government decision. Cabinet Secretary Suga expresses continuation of the stance.
If the Abe government prepares a new-version 'statement', the Murayama Statement will be destroyed, replaced with another understanding of the history. That will certainly invoke harsh reactions from the Asian nations.
January 22, 2013