Japan

Obama affirms US backing for Japan in any conflict with China

By Peter Symonds, 24 April 2014

Obama’s unequivocal support for Japan will only further fuel tensions with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Japan to erect new radar base close to China

By John Watanabe, 23 April 2014

On the eve of Obama’s visit to Tokyo, the Japanese government announced the strengthening of its military posture in areas adjacent to China.

Obama’s tour to reinforce “pivot to Asia”

By Peter Symonds, 22 April 2014

Obama’s overriding aim is to signal his intention to press ahead with the “pivot to Asia,” which seeks to ensure US hegemony in the region.

Australia and Japan extend military ties

By Patrick O’Connor, 9 April 2014

The agreements underscore Japan and Australia’s active collaboration with Washington’s drive to militarily encircle and diplomatically isolate China.

Japan gives green light to shoot down North Korean missiles

By John Watanabe, 8 April 2014

Washington and Tokyo are hypocritically using North Korean missile drills as an excuse for the remilitarisation of Japan, directed against China and Russia.

US defense secretary threatens China during Japan visit

By James Cogan, 8 April 2014

Hagel publicly stressed that the Obama administration is prepared to go to war alongside Japan against China.

The Eternal Zero: Propaganda in the service of present day militarism

By John Watanabe, 2 April 2014

The film about Japanese kamikaze pilots during World War II is part of a concerted campaign to revive militarism and condition young people for new wars.

Provocative remarks by US Pacific fleet commander fuel disputes with China

By Nick Beams, 21 March 2014

A senior US admiral invokes the Crimea crisis to accuse China of expansionism.

Japanese government seeks to whitewash crimes against “comfort women”

By Ben McGrath, 13 March 2014

The Abe government has suggested it will revise the 1993 apology for the women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in the 1930s and 1940s.

Japanese government signals restart of nuclear power plants

By Will Morrow, 10 March 2014

Three years after the Fukushima disaster, the Abe government is riding roughshod over overwhelming popular opposition to the nuclear industry.

Japan’s diplomacy in shambles over Ukraine crisis

By Peter Symonds, 7 March 2014

Japanese support for the US confrontation with Russia is undermining Tokyo’s efforts over the past year to forge closer ties with Moscow.

US and Japanese troops train for war against China

By Peter Symonds, 28 February 2014

US imperialism, following its wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, is preparing for a new and more terrible conflict against China.

As growth slows, Bank of Japan “opens spigot” to the rich

By John Watanabe, 26 February 2014

Japan’s central bank decided to expand its massive monetary easing program.

Japan: New radioactive water leak at Fukushima

By Will Morrow, 24 February 2014

No faith can be placed in any of TEPCO’s claims about the extent of radioactive material that has reached the environment.

Toyota registers record profit through ruthless restructuring

By John Watanabe, 14 February 2014

The restructuring of Toyota’s operations, within Japan and internationally, is aimed at driving down wages and increasing exploitation.

Tokyo election reveals widespread political alienation

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2014

The turnout was just 46.1 percent, down from 62.6 percent in 2012, and the third lowest figure ever.

The revival of Japanese militarism

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2014

The denial of crimes such as the Rape of Nanking has only one meaning—it is the ideological preparation for new wars and new atrocities.

Japanese government promotes militarism in media and schools

By John Watanabe, 5 February 2014

The government stacked the NHK’s board with right-wing appointees to shift the public broadcaster’s political orientation.

US warns China over air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 4 February 2014

The Obama administration has seized on an insubstantial Asahi Shimbun article to stir up tensions with China over the South China Sea.

Japan: New political alignment emerges in Tokyo election

By John Watanabe, 31 January 2014

The election is being held amid growing public opposition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

Japanese PM strengthens economic-strategic ties with India

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 January 2014

Both Japan and India are concerned to counter the growth of China’s economic and strategic influence in Asia.

The danger of war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 29 January 2014

Asia in 2014 bears chilling resemblance to Europe in 1914.

Japanese Communist Party signals regroupment with bourgeois “left” parties

By John Watanabe, 20 January 2014

The JCP is seeking to channel popular discontent by forming a new alliance that would posture as the only viable opposition to the Abe government.

Japanese PM’s aggressive diplomatic push in Africa

By John Watanabe, 16 January 2014

The trip was aimed at expanding Japanese influence in Africa and curbing China’s presence in this strategically vital region.

France, Japan form alliance targeting Chinese influence in Africa

By Kumaran Ira, 13 January 2014

Japan’s foreign and defense ministers visited Paris for “two-plus-two” talks with their French counterparts last Thursday.

Japanese defence minister’s Indian visit strengthens military ties

By Deepal Jayasekera, 10 January 2014

Tokyo is seeking to integrate New Delhi into a US-led strategic alliance against China.

Japan scrambles fighters amid escalating tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 8 January 2014

In the midst of the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute with China, the Japanese government announced that it was registering another 280 remote islands as state property.

Japan: Okinawa governor approves new US Marine base

By Peter Symonds, 31 December 2013

US Defence Secretary Hagel hailed the decision as “the most significant milestone” in the realignment of US forces in the region.

Japanese PM revives militarist traditions

By Peter Symonds, 27 December 2013

Abe’s visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine to Japan’s war dead is part of his campaign to whitewash past war crimes in order to prepare for new ones.

Japanese government boosts defence budget

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2013

The military buildup is part of a strategic re-orientation of the Japanese armed forces to more aggressively confront China.

Japan’s new defence documents target China

By John Chan, 16 December 2013

The strategic documents outline a drive to strengthen the US-Japan alliance and expand Japan’s military buildup.

Japan steps up campaign against Chinese air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 10 December 2013

The Japanese government is intensifying the pressure on China by soliciting support in South East Asia to oppose Beijing’s ADIZ and convene an international meeting on the issue.

State secrets law pushed through in Japan

By Ben McGrath, 10 December 2013

The secrecy law is a crucial part of Abe’s efforts to remilitarise Japan and strengthen US-Japan alliance against China.

US vice president backs Japan over China’s air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 4 December 2013

The US seized on the Chinese ADIZ to strengthen its alliances with Japan and South Korea, as part of its “pivot” to Asia.

US vice-president to lay down law to China

By Peter Symonds, 3 December 2013

The prime responsibility for last week’s flare-up of tensions in the East China Sea lies with Obama’s “pivot to Asia” aimed at undermining China economically and militarily.

Chinese fighters shadow US/Japanese warplanes in disputed ADIZ

By Peter Symonds, 30 November 2013

The incident—the first time China has scrambled fighters in response to a US or Japanese incursion—underscores the danger of a clash.

Tensions escalate over Chinese air defence zone

By John Chan, 29 November 2013

Miscalculations in the current situation could quickly lead to a clash involving Chinese warplanes with those from Japan, the US or South Korea.

Japan: Fuel removal begins at stricken nuclear plant

By John Watanabe, 26 November 2013

TEPCO has started the hazardous task of transferring nuclear fuel rods from the unstable reactor 4 building at its Fukushima Daiichi plant.

China announces “air defence identification zone” in East China Sea

By John Chan, 25 November 2013

The Obama administration criticised the Chinese air defence zone and reiterated that the US-Japan Security Treaty will apply if war breaks out between China and Japan over the disputed Senkaku islands.

Japan’s new state secrecy law

By John Watanabe, 16 November 2013

The bill will expand the range of secret government information, paving the way for closer involvement in the US military build-up against China.

China and Japan hold rival military exercises

By John Chan, 6 November 2013

Massive exercises, staged not far from the disputed Diaoyu/Senkakus islands, have become the focal point for a war of words between Tokyo and Beijing.

Japanese PM foreshadows tougher action over disputed islets

By Peter Symonds, 29 October 2013

Abe’s stance on the Senkaku islands is part of a broader strategy to reassert Japanese imperialism’s interests throughout the region.

US-Japan talks escalate war preparations against China

By Peter Symonds, 5 October 2013

The talks announced deployments of hi-tech US weaponry to Japan and a green light for Japanese remilitarisation, in the framework of “a more robust alliance”.

US-Japan ministerial meeting strengthens military stance against China

By John Chan, 4 October 2013

The US Secretary of State and Defence Secretary yesterday sent a strong message that the American military build-up in Asia would continue.

Japanese defence ministry calls for substantial budget increase

By John Watanabe, 25 September 2013

The increased spending is in line with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s turn to the remilitarisation of Japan.

Sino-Japanese tensions flare over disputed islands

By John Chan, 16 September 2013

Both Japan and China engaged in risky military manoeuvres on the anniversary of Tokyo’s nationalisation of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

Divisions in Japanese government over consumption tax hikes

By John Watanabe, 7 September 2013

Financial markets demand the scheduled doubling of Japan’s consumption tax, but sections of the ruling elite fear social unrest and the negative impact on economic growth.

Fukushima leaks’ radioactivity 18 times higher than previously reported

By John Marion, 4 September 2013

Water leaking from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor is so radioactive that exposure to it for four hours would be deadly.

TEPCO reports new leaks at Fukushima reactor

By John Marion, 28 August 2013

This latest threat to public health comes after revelations that radioactive water from underground storage tanks and groundwater has leaked into the ocean.

Japanese PM drops pledge to renounce war

By John Chan, 17 August 2013

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked Thursday’s anniversary of Japan’s wartime surrender by again indicating his determination to revive Japanese militarism.

Japan’s new naval carrier heightens regional tensions

By John Chan, 12 August 2013

The Izumo is the latest attempt to circumvent the pacifist clause in the country’s constitution that nominally bans offensive weapons.

Contaminated water leaks into sea from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant

By Peter Symonds, 7 August 2013

Japan’s nuclear regulatory authority has offered no solution to what it has declared as an emergency.

The revival of Japanese militarism

By Peter Symonds, 3 August 2013

Japanese militarism has been deliberately encouraged by the Obama administration as part of its “pivot to Asia”, aimed at encircling China militarily.

Constitutional amendments prepare authoritarian rule in Japan

By John Watanabe, 31 July 2013

The draft constitution prepared by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party scraps fundamental democratic rights.

Japan seeks pre-emptive military strike capabilities

By John Chan, 29 July 2013

The report is in line with Prime Minister Abe’s calls for a “strong Japan” and a “strong military."

Japan scrambles fighters against Chinese plane in East China Sea

By John Chan, 26 July 2013

Japan scrambled fighter jets on Wednesday after a Chinese military aircraft flew between the main island of Okinawa Prefecture and Miyako Island, south of Japan.

Ruling LDP wins Japanese upper house election

By Peter Symonds, 22 July 2013

Prime Minister Abe will use his control of both parliamentary houses to advance his right-wing agenda of militarism and austerity.

The re-emergence of Japanese militarism

By John Chan, 13 July 2013

The defence white paper adopts a belligerent tone toward China and emphasises expanding Japan’s military capacities and ties with Washington.

Japanese PM seeks election win to advance his right-wing agenda

By Peter Symonds, 9 July 2013

The main reason for the LDP’s lead is the collapse of support for the opposition DPJ, which came to power in 2009 and reneged on its election promises.

Japan moves to boost influence in Asia

By Ben McGrath, 18 June 2013

Prime Minister Abe visited Burma and met with the Indian prime minister last month as part of his “strategic diplomacy” to rebuild Japan as a major power.

Visiting Europe, Chinese premier demands Japan return “stolen” territories

By John Chan, 29 May 2013

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang used the Potsdam Declaration to challenge Japanese sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.

Japanese share sell-off a sign of growing financial instability

By Nick Beams, 27 May 2013

A key element in the Japanese stock market was the fear of a crisis if the Fed cuts back its “quantitative easing” program

Japanese officials secretly visit North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 25 May 2013

The secret trip to North Korea by an advisor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has raised questions concerning Japan’s intentions in the Korean Peninsula.

Global stock markets fall after 7 percent collapse in Japan’s Nikkei index

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2013

The one-day 7.3 percent drop in Japan’s Nikkei stock index came amid signs of a growing global slump and demands for attacks on the working class in Japan.

Far-right Japan Restoration Party defends wartime abuse of “comfort women”

By John Chan, 23 May 2013

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto recently declared that the Japanese army’s policy of keeping thousands of women as sex slaves during World War II was necessary.

China challenges Japanese sovereignty over Okinawa

By John Chan, 18 May 2013

China’s state-owned People’s Daily published a provocative article last week implicitly asserting Chinese claims over Okinawa.

Japanese government promotes “Sovereignty Restoration Day”

By John Watanabe, 16 May 2013

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commemorated the anniversary of the end of the US occupation by reviving symbols of Imperial Japan.

US concerns about Japanese nuclear reprocessing

By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2013

Japan is preparing to open a huge plutonium reprocessing plant that can manufacture fuel not only for power reactors, but for nuclear weapons.

Japanese retail giant introduces Third World wages

By John Watanabe, 6 May 2013

Japan’s richest man declared that workers must accept wages at the level of developing countries.

Australian warship to join US fleet off Korean peninsula

By Mark Church and James Cogan, 3 May 2013

The deployment of the HMAS Sydney is part of preparations by the Australian military for participation in larger US operations to contain China.

South Korea protests against Japanese shrine visits

By Ben McGrath, 3 May 2013

Behind the growing tensions between Japan and South Korea are not just disputes over past history, but present-day economic and geo-political rivalry.

Japanese ministers visit notorious war shrine

By Peter Symonds, 23 April 2013

The decision to visit the Yasukuni Shrine is another sign of the militarist agenda being pursued by the Abe government.

Japan’s monetary boost to escalate currency wars

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2013

The Bank of Japan’s “quantitative easing” policy will both fuel the deepening global economic crisis and stimulate further attacks on the Japanese working class.

Japan’s Fukushima plant leaking radioactive water

By John Watanabe, 11 April 2013

TEPCO and the government are, as always, trying to downplay the significance of the leakages.

Japan announces “new dimension” in quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2013

The Bank of Japan has unveiled a government bond-buying program of unprecedented proportions.

Japan to sign up to US-led Asia-Pacific trade pact

By Peter Symonds, 18 March 2013

While dressed up as “free trade”, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is in reality a trade war measure.

Two years after earthquake

North eastern Japan still a disaster zone

By Peter Symonds, 11 March 2013

More than 300,000 evacuees are living in temporary accommodation and reconstruction has barely begun.

Japanese PM prepares for war

By Peter Symonds, 5 March 2013

Abe’s remarks are an unmistakeable declaration that he will, if necessary, go to war with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Japanese PM calls for a “strong Japan”

By Peter Symonds, 2 March 2013

Abe compared his stance in the island dispute with China with that of Margaret Thatcher during the Falklands war between Britain and Argentina.

Former top Obama official warns of “powder keg” in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 27 February 2013

Ex-assistant secretary of state Kurt Campbell described the escalating tensions between China and Japan as the most difficult situation he had faced.

Japanese premier signals military buildup during US visit

By Alex Lantier, 26 February 2013

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo pledged the closest collaboration with the US as Obama pursues his aggressive “pivot to Asia” against China.

Tokyo accuses Chinese navy of “locking onto” Japanese targets

By Peter Symonds, 7 February 2013

The latest Japanese claims come on top of months of escalating friction between the two countries following Tokyo’s “nationalisation” of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

Japan’s currency war

By Peter Symonds, 26 January 2013

The new Abe government is pursuing an aggressive nationalist program on two fronts: remilitarisation and a unilateralist monetary policy.

Japan’s finance minister: Old people should “hurry up and die”

By Peter Symonds, 25 January 2013

Aso is seeking to cultivate a political constituency for a far-reaching assault on the most vulnerable sections of the working class.

US inflames island dispute between Japan and China

By Peter Symonds, 22 January 2013

Clinton’s comments were a thinly-disguised warning that the US could intervene if China continued to challenge Japanese control over the contested islands.

Japanese government boosts military spending

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2013

With Washington’s encouragement, Japan’s new government is pursuing an aggressive diplomatic and military strategy against China.

Japan, Philippines boost ties as tensions with China escalate

By Joseph Santolan, 12 January 2013

The meeting was calculated to defuse long-standing historical objections to Japanese expansionism throughout the South East Asian region.

Island dispute continues to fuel China-Japan tensions

By Peter Symonds, 8 January 2013

While the latest incidents have not escalated into a dangerous diplomatic row, each had the potential to do so.

New right-wing Japanese government installed

By Peter Symonds, 27 December 2012

Prime Minister Abe has not resiled from the aggressive nationalist policies that he promoted during the election campaign.

New Japanese government marks dangerous turn to militarism

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2012

The right-wing nationalism that pervaded the election campaign signals the determination of the Japanese ruling class to reassert its interests by every means, including military force.

Right-wing LDP government to take office in Japan

By Peter Symonds, 17 December 2012

The election outcome was not a positive vote for the LDP, but an overwhelming rejection of the ruling DPJ.

Air incident escalates Japan/China tensions over disputed islands

By Peter Symonds, 15 December 2012

Both countries have exploited the issue to stir up nationalism to divert attention from a worsening economic and social crisis at home.

Japanese election mired in nationalism and militarism

By Peter Symonds, 8 December 2012

The rightward shift in Japanese politics is a warning of the dangers facing the working class as a consequence of the worsening breakdown of global capitalism.

Japan: At least nine dead in tunnel collapse

By Oliver Campbell, 4 December 2012

Questions have been raised about the tunnel operator’s safety inspections.

New Japanese party formed to capitalise on anti-nuclear sentiment

By Peter Symonds, 30 November 2012

The establishment of the Japan Future Party is another sign of deepening political crisis in the lead up to the December 16 election.

Japan’s election dominated by right-wing nationalism

By Peter Symonds, 24 November 2012

The election campaign is rapidly becoming a contest with each of the parties seeking to outbid each other as proponents of nationalism and militarism.

Japanese prime minister calls snap election

By Peter Symonds, 16 November 2012

The ruling DPJ appears to be headed for defeat just three years after coming to power.

Deepening economic crisis in Japan

By Nick Beams, 15 November 2012

Japan faces the prospect of entering its fifth recession in the past 15 years.

Island dispute between Japan and China grows more tense

By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2012

By encouraging Japan to aggressively assert its interests, the Obama administration is responsible for the current tensions with China.

Economic fallout of Japan-China island dispute widens

By John Chan, 17 October 2012

The escalating diplomatic row between China and Japan led to a boycott of IMF/World Bank talks in Tokyo by top Chinese financial officials.