Japan

Ruling LDP maintains two-thirds majority in Japanese election

By Ben McGrath, 23 October 2017

While the media is declaring Abe’s victory a mandate for his policies, the low turnout points to widespread alienation from the political establishment.

Japan’s Stalinists seek to head off anti-war movement ahead of election

By Ben McGrath, 21 October 2017

By blaming Pyongyang for the current crisis, the JCP is effectively lining up behind Japan’s ruling elite and the US in their confrontation with North Korea and China.

Japan’s new Party of Hope releases right-wing populist election platform

By Ben McGrath, 9 October 2017

The new party backs remilitarization along with constitutional changes to remove any restraints on military action in order to advance the interests of Japanese imperialism.

Japan’s Democrats found new party to posture as opponents of remilitarization

By Ben McGrath, 6 October 2017

The CDP is a regrouping of many of the same Democrats who imposed austerity measures and aligned with the US war drive against China while in office from 2009 to 2012.

Japan’s main opposition party dissolves itself ahead of general election

By Ben McGrath, 30 September 2017

The dissolution of the Democratic Party is the end product of the party's continuous shift to the right over two decades.

Japanese prime minister calls snap election

By Ben McGrath, 27 September 2017

Abe has called the poll to whip up a climate of fear and panic over North Korea so as to intensify his push for Japan’s remilitarization.

Japanese PM backs US “military option” against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2017

Abe’s conclusion that “dialogue will not work with North Korea” amounts to a menacing threat to deal with Pyongyang either through regime change or war.

India and Japan strengthen their anti-China “strategic partnership”

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 18 September 2017

The cementing of the Indo-Japanese alliance will further encourage US imperialism in its reckless, incendiary offensive against China

Amid high tensions, North Korea fires intermediate-range missile over Japan

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2017

US and South Korean military commanders reportedly agreed to an early, tough response, including “military measures,” to demonstrate “the alliance’s strong will.”

Japan increases beef tariff, hitting US exporters

By Gary Alvernia, 8 August 2017

The tariff hike on beef was announced in the lead-up to what are expected to be fraught trade negotiations between the US and Japan later this year.

Japan’s defense minister resigns in wake of scandal

By Ben McGrath, 29 July 2017

Inada’s resignation is an attempt to reverse the drastically falling support for the Abe government.

Indian-US-Japanese naval exercises in Indian Ocean target China

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 July 2017

India’s hosting of the Malabar exercises is part of its integration into the US military-strategic offensive against China.

EU and Japan sign largest-ever Free Trade Agreement

By Gary Alvernia, 12 July 2017

Despite being hyped as a victory over protectionism, the FTA signals the growth of competing trade blocs and the rising danger of conflict and war.

Japan using North Korea as pretext to acquire offensive weapons

By Ben McGrath, 8 July 2017

The Abe government is brushing aside Article 9 of the constitution that “renounces war” and declares that military forces will “never be maintained.”

Japan’s ruling party trounced in Tokyo regional election

By Ben McGrath, 7 July 2017

The election is regarded as a barometer of national political sentiment, showing falling support for the Abe government.

Japanese PM plans to submit constitutional revisions this year

By Ben McGrath, 5 July 2017

Prime Minister Abe’s plan has upset some within his party who feel the changes do not go far enough in removing restrictions on the military.

China, Japan take tentative steps to revive relations

By Kurt Brown, 14 June 2017

China’s top foreign policy official held three days of talks with senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japanese government pushes “anti-conspiracy” laws through lower house

By Gary Alvernia, 30 May 2017

Defying public opposition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing ahead with the bill that defines 277 types of crimes to which criminal conspiracy can apply.

Japanese government exploits Korean crisis to whip up war scares

By Gary Alvernia, 20 May 2017

Post-war Japanese governments have attempted for decades to find ways around the limitations on military force in the constitution.

Japanese PM plans to remove constitutional shackles on the military by 2020

By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2017

Abe is seeking to modify Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which nominally renounces war as a means of settling international disputes and vows never to maintain military forces.

Japan’s ruling party calls for military to have offensive weapons

By Peter Symonds, 1 April 2017

Using the North Korean “threat” as a pretext, the LDP defence policy committee proposed the armed forces acquire a “counter-attack” capability.

Scandal exposes Japanese government’s ultra-right ties

By Peter Symonds, 27 March 2017

The affair has drawn in other political figures close to Prime Minister Abe, providing a glimpse of the network of extreme nationalist organisations connected to his government.

Japanese imperialism rearms

By Peter Symonds, 24 March 2017

The acquisition of offensive weapons for the first time since the end of World War II would be another major step toward Japan’s rearmament.

US secretary of state ramps up pressure on China over North Korea

By Mike Head, 17 March 2017

Rex Tillerson’s trip highlights the Trump administration’s focus on using North Korean missile and nuclear programs as a pretext for targeting China.

Japan expands military operations in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 15 March 2017

While operating under the umbrella of its strategic alliance with the US, Tokyo is rearming militarily to pursue its own imperialist ambitions.

US sends drones, assassination squad to South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2017

The military build-up by the Trump administration takes place as the White House considers launching strikes on North Korean nuclear and military sites.

Trump’s lavish welcome for Japan’s prime minister

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2017

Despite Trump’s gushing praise for Abe, a question mark remains over the US-Japan alliance and the threat of punitive US trade measures continues.

US defence secretary backs Japan, threatens war against China over disputed islets

By Peter Symonds, 6 February 2017

Mattis’s remarks were precisely what Tokyo wanted to hear: a US commitment to wage war against China in the event of a conflict over the Senkakus.

Japan and Australia strengthen ties ahead of Trump’s inauguration

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2017

In pursuing aggressive “America First” trade measures, Trump threatens the economic interests not only of China but also of close allies such as Australia and Japan.

Japanese PM visits Pearl Harbor

By Peter Symonds, 28 December 2016

The ceremony was not about peace and goodwill, but was rather in preparation for new wars amid escalating tensions in the Asia Pacific with China.

Putin-Abe talks in Japan fail to resolve territorial dispute

By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2016

In the wake of Trump’s election and the prospect of better relations with the US, the Russian president no longer felt the need to make concessions to Japan.

India moves to enhance strategic ties with Japan and Israel

By Deepal Jayasekera, 28 November 2016

The Modi government is forging closer strategic ties with Japan and Israel to aggressively pursue the great power ambitions of India’s elite against China and Pakistan.

Japanese quakes highlight danger of new catastrophe

By Mike Head, 26 November 2016

The tremors point to the lack of remedial, planning and precautionary measures taken by successive Japanese governments since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Japanese prime minister meets President-elect Trump

By Nick Beams, 18 November 2016

There is a sense in Japanese ruling circles that the election of Donald Trump as US president is a political earthquake that has shattered the foundations of the post-war order.

Trump victory triggers uncertainty in Tokyo

By Mike Head, 14 November 2016

The initial conciliatory remarks between Trump and Abe cannot hide the heightened tensions between the two imperialist powers.

Japan scrambles fighter to intercept Chinese military aircraft

By Peter Symonds, 26 September 2016

While the Chinese planes were outside Japanese air space, the incident highlights the sharp tensions in North East Asia amid the ongoing US military build-up in the region.

Japan to conduct South China Sea patrols with US

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2016

Japan has no claims in the South China Sea but, like the US, is exploiting the territorial disputes to further its own interests in South East Asia.

US-South Korean war games inflame Asian tensions

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2016

While nominally aimed against North Korea, the exercises consolidate Washington’s military alliance with Seoul as it makes preparations for conflict with China.

Japan plans missile deployment in East China Sea

By Ben McGrath, 19 August 2016

Tokyo intends to design and construct its longest-range missile to cover the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, further risking clashes with Beijing.

Japan prepares to expand military role abroad

By Ben McGrath, 17 August 2016

So-called humanitarian missions, as in South Sudan, are being exploited to further Tokyo’s remilitarization agenda.

Japanese emperor cautiously resists constitutional change

By Ben McGrath and Peter Symonds, 10 August 2016

Emperor Akihito suggested he be allowed to abdicate and indirectly implied opposition to remilitarization and constitutional revision.

Japan’s new cabinet line-up to promote remilitarisation

By Peter Symonds, 6 August 2016

The new defence minister Tomami Inada, a protégé of Abe, is well known for her extreme right-wing nationalist views and defence of Japan’s past war crimes.

Manufacturing slows in Europe and Japan

By our reporter, 2 August 2016

The continued slump in the real economy is in marked contrast to the ongoing and ultimately unsustainable speculative frenzy on international share markets.

Knife attack in Japan leaves 19 disabled people dead

By Peter Symonds, 27 July 2016

No serious attempt has been made in the Japanese or international media to probe any of the underlying social and political causes of the killing spree.

Japan exploits violence in South Sudan to dispatch military

By Ben McGrath, 16 July 2016

While portrayed as a rescue mission, the deployment of additional Japanese troops to Africa marks an expansion of Japan’s role on the continent.

Right-wing ruling coalition wins Japan’s upper house election

By Ben McGrath, 13 July 2016

The LDP’s victory gives Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the necessary numbers to revise the Japanese constitution in line with his push for re-militarization.

Uncertainty in Japan following Brexit vote

By Ben McGrath, 4 July 2016

Japanese vice foreign minister Sugiyama held high-level talks in Washington, London and Brussels, stressing the need for political, economic and security coordination.

Opposition grows to US military bases on Okinawa

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2016

While local politicians attempt to keep the protests limited in scale and scope, the widespread anger is bound up with opposition to Japanese remilitarization.

Abe sets date for Japan’s upper house election

By Ben McGrath, 18 June 2016

The Abe government’s push for remilitarization is driving political tensions in Japan.

US-China tensions rise amid major naval exercises

By Peter Symonds, 16 June 2016

The Malabar war games involving the US, Japanese and Indian navies are “complex, high-end, war-fighting exercises” aimed against China.

Korean survivors concerned about Obama’s visit to Hiroshima

By Ben McGrath, 31 May 2016

Victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fear they will continue to be ignored following the US president’s trip.

Obama in Hiroshima

By Bill Van Auken, 28 May 2016

The visit to Hiroshima displayed in full the hypocrisy for which the Nobel Prize-winning president is so well known, but in this case magnified through the lens of one of history’s greatest war crimes.

The decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Joseph Kishore, 27 May 2016

President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima today, but will make no apology for the US dropping of the atomic bomb on the city. The WSWS is republishing an essay that first appeared on the 60th anniversary of that horrible crime.

Obama and the bombing of Hiroshima

By Andre Damon, 13 May 2016

The American president will travel to Hiroshima not to apologize for past crimes, but to prepare new ones.

Earthquakes in Japan kill 42 people, injure 1,000

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2016

The response of the Japanese government has been a military one—despatching some 20,000 troops as part of rescue and relief operations.

CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2016

The Washington think tank’s proposed “federated defence” is nothing but a system of military alliances to prepare for war with China—akin to the alliances that preceded the previous two world wars.

Japan’s security laws: Another milestone in the drive to world war

By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2016

The implementation of the military legislation is a major step in the revival of Japanese militarism, encouraged by Washington as part of its war preparations against China.

Japanese economy continues to show signs of faltering

By Ben McGrath, 29 March 2016

A negative interest rate introduced in January by the Bank of Japan has done nothing to promote economic growth.

Central banks confront unintended consequences

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2016

Markets are awaiting decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Fed on monetary policies as concerns grow over negative interest rates.

Five years after Japan’s nuclear disaster, TEPCO executives charged

By Ben McGrath, 10 March 2016

As it seeks to reopen the country’s nuclear plants, the government is opposing even the limited charges of negligence in connection with the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Economic problems mount in Japan and China

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2016

The latest statistics from the world’s second and third largest economies underscore the worsening world downturn.

Japanese PM pushes to remove constitutional constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2016

Far from backtracking from last year’s unconstitutional military laws, Abe is pressing forward with long-held plans for wholesale constitutional revision.

Japanese bond rate goes negative as bank shares tumble

By Nick Beams, 10 February 2016

All eyes in global financial markets will be on Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen as she delivers testimony to the US Congress Wednesday.

North Korea announces satellite launch

By Ben McGrath, 6 February 2016

The proposed launch has further raised tensions following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test and will undoubtedly be exploited by the US to justify its military buildup in Asia.

Japan moves to negative interest rates

By Nick Beams, 30 January 2016

A quarter of the world’s gross domestic product now emanates from countries with negative official interest rates, an unprecedented situation in the history of world capitalism.

Japan heightens its profile in the South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 22 January 2016

Japan, like the US, is exploiting the tensions in the disputed waters to advance its own economic and strategic interests in South East Asia.

North Korea conducts fourth nuclear test

By Peter Symonds, 7 January 2016

The test will heighten the tense situation in North East Asia generated by the Obama administration’s confrontational “pivot to Asia” against China.

Indonesian foreign policy tilts towards the US and its allies

By John Roberts, 31 December 2015

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, Indonesia has adopted a tougher approach to China, while at the same time seeking to avoid open confrontation.

Japan and South Korea reach agreement over comfort women

By Ben McGrath, 30 December 2015

The deal will be welcomed in Washington which has been pressing its two allies to mend their rift and collaborate more closely in the US “pivot to Asia” against China.

Australia, Japan “strongly support” US, amid rising tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2015

As Japanese and Australian leaders met in Tokyo, an American paper reported a US military intrusion into Chinese-claimed air space in the South China Sea.

Japanese premier forges ties with India to counter China

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 December 2015

While currently proceeding under the aegis of the US “pivot,” Abe’s push for a closer partnership with India is driven by Japanese imperialism’s own substantial military-strategic and economic ambitions.

Court case begins in Japan over Okinawa base relocation

By Ben McGrath, 10 December 2015

Extensive protests have taken place against the construction of a new US military base in Okinawa.

Bomb detonates at Japan’s war shrine

By Ben McGrath, 30 November 2015

No-one claimed responsibility for the blast, but given the Yasukuni Shrine’s role as a symbol for Japanese militarism, the bombing may have political motivations.

Japan enters “technical recession”

By Nick Beams, 18 November 2015

The deepening economic slump in Japan points to the failure of the program of “Abenomics” to provide any real economic boost.

Japan’s economic outlook worsening

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2015

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is hovering on the brink of recession as quantitative easing fails to provide a boost.

Leaders of Japan, China and South Korea meet in Seoul

By Ben McGrath, 2 November 2015

The lack of any reference by China to maritime disputes or Japan’s whitewashing of the crimes of its military in the 1930s and 1940s was a significant concession to Tokyo.

Massive US-Japanese display of naval force

By Peter Symonds, 20 October 2015

The triennial fleet review staged in seas near Tokyo on Sunday was part of the US-led military preparations for new provocations against China.

Sri Lankan and Japanese prime ministers declare “comprehensive partnership”

By K. Ratnayake, 15 October 2015

The Colombo government is enmeshing Sri Lanka in the geo-political interests of the US and its allies, including Japan, directed against China.

Abe reshuffles Japanese cabinet to try to boost economy

By Ben McGrath, 12 October 2015

After forcing through unpopular military legislation, Prime Minister Abe is seeking to press ahead with new pro-market restructuring and austerity measures.

The TPP: A step on the road to war

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2015

The foundation of the TPP is not free trade but an alliance between the US and Japan to weaken China and create the conditions for reducing it to semi-colonial status.

Japan creates new agency to boost arms exports

By Ben McGrath, 5 October 2015

The government regards the sale of weapons both as the means to enhance Japan’s strategic influence globally and increase the profits of its arms industry.

Japanese government pushes military bills through upper house

By Ben McGrath, 21 September 2015

Despite widespread protests, the Abe government has now passed laws that will allow the Japanese military to engage in US-led wars abroad.

Japan’s credit rating cut as economy contracts

By Ben McGrath, 18 September 2015

The S&P move is a signal to Japan that the financial markets demand further measures to shift the economic burden onto the backs of the working class.

Japanese demonstrators denounce government ahead of vote on military legislation

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 September 2015

While opposition to the bills and war is widespread, there is no genuine anti-war alternative among the protest organisations.

Japanese protest organisations promote illusions in opposition parties

By our reporters, 17 September 2015

A WSWS reporting team conducted discussions and interviews with participants in last weekend’s protests against the Abe government’s military legislation.

Japan: Continuing protests against Abe government’s security bills

By Ben McGrath, 7 September 2015

The government is pressing to pass the deeply unpopular bills before the current parliamentary session ends on September 27.

Abe accelerates the remilitarisation of Japan

By Peter Symonds, 2 September 2015

The latest defence budget increase, to fund the purchase of sophisticated new hardware and the expansion of bases, will push Japanese military spending to record levels.

Mass protests in Japan oppose “collective self-defence” laws

By Ben McGrath, 31 August 2015

The widespread hostility to the new security laws reflects the deep-rooted anti-war sentiment in Japan, especially in the working class.

Japanese PM snubs China’s World War II victory ceremony

By Peter Symonds, 26 August 2015

Abe’s presence at Chinese ceremonies to mark the end of the “War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression” would have been unacceptable to the extreme right in Japan.

World capitalism “toboggans toward catastrophe”

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2015

Seven years after the Wall Street crash, fears are growing within ruling circles internationally that the world capitalist economy is descending into depression.

Japan contracts as world economy lurches toward depression

By Barry Grey, 18 August 2015

The Japanese report followed a wave of negative data pointing to sharply slower growth in China and last week’s surprise devaluation of the renminbi.

Japanese PM’s speech on World War II riddled with duplicity

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2015

Abe’s speech maintained a veneer of pacifism and contrition even as his government expands Japan’s military forces and prepares for new wars.

Canada-US frictions flare over Trans Pacific Partnership

By Roger Jordan, 13 August 2015

Canada’s government and business elite are livid over a US-Japanese deal that would undermine its privileged access to the US auto market.

Protesters denounce military legislation as Japan marks anniversary of nuclear bombings

By Ben McGrath, 11 August 2015

A Nagasaki survivor recounted the horrors of the blast and denounced Prime Minister Abe’s moves to amend Japan’s post-World War II constitution.

International scholars call on Japanese PM to issue apology

By Ben McGrath, 7 August 2015

The historians’ statement comes just over two weeks before Abe’s scheduled speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima

By Peter Symonds, 6 August 2015

Washington’s use of the atomic weapons was aimed at terrorising not just the Japanese regime, but above all the Soviet Union, and ensuring post-war American global dominance.

US has spied on Japanese government for a decade

By Ben McGrath, 4 August 2015

WikiLeaks documents show that NSA surveillance not only covered top government figures but also major Japanese corporations.

Amid ongoing protests, Japan’s upper house to discuss military bills

By Ben McGrath, 27 July 2015

According to opinion polls, more than 60 percent of the population opposes security legislation that allows Japan to take part in US-led wars.

Japanese government ramps up tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 23 July 2015

By demanding a halt to China’s oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea, Tokyo is adding another potential flashpoint for conflict with Beijing.

Japan competes with China over port investment in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 22 July 2015

In line with the US “pivot,” Japan hopes that its Bangladesh investments will boost its political weight in South Asia and undercut Chinese influence.