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Monday, July 10, 2006
Japan May Expand Notion of Self-Defense

Sometimes I read things that startle me. This is one of them.

Japanese officials seemed to be in no mood for appeasement. "We do not have an option of doing nothing until we suffer damage," the foreign minister, Taro Aso, was quoted as saying in Tokyo. A government official, Shinzo Abe, indicated that Japan might reverse its self-imposed non-military stance, launching a pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang. "There is the view that attacking the launch base of the guided missiles is within the constitutional right of self-defense," he said.

In New York, Japan's ambassador to the United Nations, Kenzo Oshima, was clearly frustrated with China's opposition to a strong, enforceable resolution.

Japan sees the launch of six missiles that could reach his country, as well as one that could travel as far as Russia or Alaska, as an international threat, Mr.Oshima said. "If the North Korean missiles were directed in a different direction, I wonder what would be the position of [Beijing's] government," he added.

If Japan is serious and launches this strike, this could provoke retaliation from North Korea against Seoul and the American troops, provoking an American-Japanese militaristic war against N. Korea (and China?). That would be bad for world security.