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775: The M-List
774: Compatriotic Spirit
773: The Naked Truth
770-71: It Ainít Easy Being Green
769: íTwas the Night Before Christmas in Japan
768: Japanese Lessons
766: Bad Credit
765: Chew on this
764: Red faced
763: Down and Out in Tokyo
761: Kicking the bucket
760: Thumbing It
759: Fixing the System
757: Smoke rings
756: Stalking the Predators
755: Banding Together
753: No Competition
752: Sex and This City
751: Letís Shogi
750: The Yasukuni Follies
748: Loud and Clear
747: Iíll be back
746: Raiders of the lost SMAP
744: Magical Mystery Tour
743: Murder in Lotus Land
742: Stereotypes íRí Us
740: The Mother of all Mothers
739: Crimes of Fashion
738: The Hafu Dad Brigade
737: The Green Team
736: Fight Club
735: The Paper Chase
734: The Wind-Up Writer Chronicle
733: Food For Thought?
732: Home and Away
731: The 2008 Nazi Olympics
730: The Two-Wheel Revolution
729: Gimme a Break
728: Power Play
727: Dying for a doctor
726: Footloose Revisited
725: Little Fish, Bigger Pond
724: Japanís Peace Monster
723: Language Abuse
722: Scumbusters ďRĒ Us
721: First Action Hiro
720: The Return of Asashoryu
718-719: A Time to Give
717: My Homelessness Dilemma
716: The 30 Percent Solution
715: Past Imperfect
714: Killing the Kimono
713: The trouble with Tibbets
712: Surfing the Shinto-net
711: Falling Stars
710: Macho Man
709: Bad Impressions
708: Bloodsport
707: Our Last Word
706: Anonymocracy
705: The Air Up There
704: Read the Signs
703: The sky should not be the limit
702: My Year Zero Proposal
701: The Joys of Freeganism
700: Prada for the People
699: The Parasite Country
698: Washed up in Tokyo
697: Birthingís Not for Babies
696: On the Handlebars of a Dilemma
695: My So-Called Poverty
694: Get Out the Vote
693: The Ishihara Mystery
691: Let it Flow
690: Cafť Culture
689: Oyaji Fashionistas
688: The Democracy of the Dysfunctional
687: Polite Disregard
686: Venting on Climate Change
685: Silent No Longer
684: To protect and serve?
683: Save the Sanshin building!
682: In the Realm of the Pond God
681: The Open Society and Its Enemies
680: Five-Ring Circus
679: Topic of Cancer
678: Pet Peeves
677: Why I am Banned in Japan
676: A long way to the top
675: Euro-vision
674: Childís play
673: Why I did it
672: I Love Japan
671: Running Crazy
670: Planet Apology
669: A peek behind the curtain
668: Opening Up
666: Pitching a fit
665: All wrapped up
664: Yule Rules
663: Field of Dreams
662: Save Lives, not Face
661: Why Do I Buy a Ticket?
660: Dying for a Nap
659: We, the jury
658: Grain of truth
657: Remembering The Maverick
656: A Rose by any Other Name
655: Heir today, gone tomorrow
654: Manhandled on the Metro
653: The bodyguards of the road
652: Separate but equal
651: Going for the gold
650: Being Audrey Hepburn
649: Not Sitting Pretty
648: Get Smart
647: Through foreign eyes
646: A failing grade in cute
644: Club Lands
643: Sayonara, Hide
642: The JET SET
641: What, me worry?
640: The Da Vinci Load
639: Making Waves
638: Final Cut
637: Resave the whales
636: Soccer Silliness
635: I, Smoker
634: The Ultimate Loss
633: Shoot the Messengers
632: The second sex
631: A Maverick Moves On
630: The curse of Baron Mitsui
629: Waiting for Heidi
628: Memoirs of a fake celebrant
627: Take it Outside
626: Wa? What wa?
625: A well-drawn life
624: St. Patrick the abducted
623: Bend over
622: The (Un)Late show
621: Oil spill
620: Ice Follies
619: Pride Goeth
618: Lost roles
617: Saying it with Cookies
616: Wrestling with foreigners
614-615: Blank Pages
613: Fretting Over Freeters
612: Farewell, Sensei
611: Sympathy for the wild ones
610: Back in Black
609: Out of many, one
608: Youth culture
607: The Russians are coming!
606: Meddle Detector
605: Tokyo, Mon amour
604: The Wailing Wall
603: Getting Abreast of Cancer
602: Willing Ally
601: New war,same story
600: The Big Chill
599: The Gray Zone
598: Jail break
597: Extremely Lost in Translation
596: Wounded Despot
595: History Lessons
594: Valhalla of the Imperial Army
592: Culture crash
591: Complaints Department
590: What lies beneath
589: Strange Games
588: Junk Science
587: The day the invaders came
586: The Test that Drove Me Crazy
585: Smile and say “lesbian”
584: Keep Article 9
583: The Great Divide
582: An ad for all seasons
581: Killing the Golden Goose
580: The other half
579: Give me back my bye-bye
578: Araki in Focus
577: Head out on the Highway
576: The hate that won't go away
575: Here's the beef
574: Yukking it up
573: Squatter’s rights and wrongs
572: The Trouble with Yokoso
571: Fire from the sky
570: Invasion of the gairaigo
569: Good company
568: Find Out What it Means To Me
567: Field of schemes
566: In the Name of Justice
565: Winner or Loser?
564: Staying Foreign
563: The Scare after Tomorrow
561-562: The Spirit of Things
560: War for remembrance
559: Storm damage
558: The Meaning of Godzilla
557: Who’s left to listen?
556: Paying respects
555: Gender Trouble
554: Coming clean at last
553: Go our own way
552: Hits of yesteryear
551: Heir apparel
550: Personal Reflections
549: Nuclear Reactions
548: Article of faith
547: Martyrs for the firm
546: A different anniversary
545: We, the jury
544: Wrongs & rights
543: Moore or less
542: Fair games
541: Developmentally challenged



H. Ross Kawamura is an advocacy activist of the New Global Initiatives with America (www.newglobal-america.org).

THE WORLD STANDS AT A CROSSROADS THESE days, and Japan’s position in the arena of global security needs to be reconsidered. The country must start acting like a winner of the Cold War, not a loser of World War II. Regrettably, many people in Japan and overseas are traumatized by the experience of the Second World War, which makes a considerable difference to the country’s reputation. As a winner of the Cold War, Japan has earned the right to fight for global freedom and to manage the world as one of the most reliable allies of the United States. Japan has defeated authoritarian communists alongside Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. However, Japanese leaders, including politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, academics, journalists, and civil activists, act as if the country is a loser. This has seriously negative consequences.

Throughout the postwar era, Japan had to behave like a loser of World War II. While Japanese leaders have been apologizing for their colonial rule and the war damage they inflicted on their Asian neighbors, they have been hesitant to take a leading role in the struggle for global peace and stability. This is a shameful reality for a key member of the Western alliance. People who have been traumatized by the bitter outcome of the war use it to excuse Japan’s insufficient performance on the world stage. Such an attitude is too apologetic, too isolationist, too free-riding, and too backward-looking. I hope Japanese military presence in Iraq will be the first step toward changing this attitude.

Most seriously, a foreign policy based on negative thinking deters Japanese leadership in global affairs as a special partner to the US. In view of the rise of China as a global power, such an attitude endangers Japan’s position as a leader in its own backyard. The United States, as a result, may consider a strategic deal with China on issues such as global terrorism without consulting Japan. Enemies like North Korea will continue to treat Japan with contempt. They send spies and continue to deceive Japanese delegates in negotiations. Only left-wingers, who impose this negative thinking on the public, would be overjoyed to see these negative effects.

Winner Japan is completely different from this sort of miserable Japan. It can boast of its mission for global freedom triumphantly, like Reagan and Thatcher did, because it has stood firm against communists and terrorists with its allies. As a Cold War winner, Japan must no longer feel obligated to apologize for its criminal behavior in the past.

Viewing itself as a winner, Japan will be able to pursue its own version of a neo-conservative, or liberal imperialist, foreign policy. The country can take bold steps on behalf of global public interest and national security. The pacifist constitution, a serious constraint to such courageous endeavor, does not apply to contemporary international realities. Terrorists roam all over the world. China and North Korea pose a serious military threat to Japan. Russia still keeps the Northern Islands. Even South Korea, a key Western ally in Asia, is suspected of having developed a nuclear weapon. Therefore, Japan should act without regard to this lame-duck legal limit. Egg-headed legalists might not understand the priority, but people know that global and national security is much more important than such a useless law.

Just a few steps toward a bold approach would enable Japan to act with pride, dignity, and confidence to resolve global challenges. Winner Japan would be very forward-looking and no longer traumatized by its war experience of 60 to 70 years ago.

Understanding Japan as a winner of the Cold War instead of a loser of World War II will yield positive results and lead the country down a new diplomatic path. It will undoubtedly help reinforce Japan’s special relationship with the United States, and expand Japan’s global influence. It is very advantageous for Japan to win the rivalry for regional leadership against China and Russia, and a new attitude will result in improved relations with Japan’s Asian neighbors as well. Many of these countries were able to defeat authoritarian communism in the Cold War with the help of their Western allies and Japan. Therefore, Japan doesn’t need to continue to apologize for its past colonial rule. Instead, as America’s most reliable partner, Japan should lead its Asian friends in the fight for global freedom.

Standing at a crossroads, Japanese people must change their negative thinking and take a brave step toward the future. With a positive outlook, the country will strengthen its special relationship with America to manage the world, and confront evil in a resolute manner.

New Global America welcomes responses to this article: info@newglobal-america.org M

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.