China Affirms Japan could be a ‘Geopolitical Thug’ Following Abe Shinzo Killing, References Pearl Harbor

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    Abe was giving a campaign speech on behalf of candidates of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Nara, Japan, on Friday afternoon when an individual who later was identified as Yamagami Tetsuya fired from behind, using what police later claimed to be a homemade firearm. Japanese media later declared Yamagami had told police there was no disagreement with Abe's views, however, he believed that he was connected to a “religious organization” that he claimed was responsible for the financial ruin of his mother.

    As the longest-serving premier in Japanese history, Abe was known for significantly enhancing Japan's defensive capabilities. Japan's constitution, which was drafted in the aftermath of World War II, does not permit the country to maintain any formal military. Instead, it has an organization called the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). The Chinese government often criticized Abe when he was in office because he did not sufficiently apologize for Imperial Japan's atrocities in the war against China and expressed a particular anger over Abe for his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, a landmark for Japanese veterans, which includes honors for Japanese war criminals.

    Near the end of his career, Abe—out of politics but still heavily involved in Japanese politics—was an active advocate of limiting Chinese aggression in the region and defending the rights of the nation of Taiwan to live peacefully. Taiwan is a sovereign, democratic, and independent nation situated near China which is a country that the Communist Party falsely insists is a “province” under Beijing. Abe related China's regular threats to attack Taiwan with Russia's choice to intensify conflict with Ukraine during February calling on the world to rally in support of Taiwan's cause.

    The Communist Party had so consistently railed against Abe that government-controlled Chinese social media lit up on Friday with posts cheering his death. Businesses were featured in photos across China having promotions and sales to commemorate the assassination.

    The legislative election on Sunday, which took place two days after the assassination, led to a decisive victory for the LDP that could help the current prime minister Kishida Fumio, who served as Abe’s foreign minister, to carry out Abe's desire to amend the Japanese constitution to allow for an army.

    “Many analysts believe the obstacles for Japan to change its pacifist Constitution have been basically cleared, and the possibility for constitutional amendments is more likely than ever before,” the Global Times, China's main official propaganda newspaper in English has stated in an editorial that was published on Tuesday. It stated that any constitutional amendment regarding the military “will send a dangerous signal to its neighbors and across Asia to deny the postwar history and the path of peaceful development.”

    The Global Times argued that the prohibition on an official military “restrains Japan's militaristic impulse” and is an unchangeable characteristic in the Japanese people. The Global Times warned that it sees the United States as feeding into this tendency in a manner which could threaten China.

    “Japan today is still concerned about Washington's views the most. Without the US’ permission, Japan would not be confident enough to alter their constitution” according to the Times. “The US, on one hand, wants to indulge Japan to play the role as a geopolitical thug, and on the other hand, is also on guard against Japan's right-lean tendency which may result to it getting rid of Washington's control.”

    The newspaper omitted from its criticism of America for encouraging Japanese violence, the reality that Americans working under the leadership of Supreme Allied Commander Douglas MacArthur wrote the “pacifist” Japanese constitution.

    A different Global Times article published on Monday suggested that Japan will repeat the horrors of the assault at Pearl Harbor if allowed to have a military.

    “The U.S. has made a serious mistake to think that Pearl Harbor was now history, and has forgotten that rearing a tiger is courting calamity,” the Global Times asserted, citing a Chinese government-approved “expert.”

    The report, written by anonymous Global Times “reporters,” claimed that Washington is trying to transform Japan into a “hatchet man” against China in its report, citing as proof the news that secretary of state Antony Blinken had personally visited the Prime Minister Kishida to express condolences on Abe's murder.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to the LDP victory on Sunday by displaying the usual moderation in relation to the rage of state media outlets.

    “Due to historical reasons, the issue of constitutional amendment by Japan receives close attention from the international community and Japan's Asian neighbors,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin informed reporters at a routine meeting on Monday. “We hope Japan will earnestly learn the lessons of history, stay committed to the path of peaceful development, and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.”

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