Japan to get an army of its own
April 27, 2001 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Japan to get an army of its own We forced them to agree to no military after the war. They have only a police force but this force has a very large military budget. Now they want their own army...just in case. Maybe we need not spend so much of our tax bucks there from now on.
posted by Postroad (15 comments total)
Japan's had an army, a navy and an air force since the late 1940's. It's hardly "police". They're called the "Self Defense Force" and by law they're not permitted to operate outside of Japanese territory. Among others, Genda Minoru helped organize the Air force. (Genda was the genius who planned the details of the Pearl Harbor attack.)

But it's a formidable force nonetheless.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:17 PM on April 27, 2001

"it's one of the examples of a country where gun control works"

Excuse me, maybe I was snoozing and missed something, but doesn't Japan also have no concept of inalienable rights for the individual to speak of? I honestly hate guns, but if True Gun Control were attempted here in America, first you'd have a bunch of riot breakouts which would eventually be 'quieted' by Martial Law, then you'd have a 'peaceful' society swept with hate and spraywiped with despair. Or there'd be a full-scale revolution and the present government would cease to exist, with either organized crime or some extremist militant group eventually rising to power.

On this planet, where gun control is allegedly working, basic human freedoms are not allowed to thrive. But what the heck? Bring it on. One can't read the scribbling on the original copy of that old piece of parchment anymore anyway.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:56 AM on April 28, 2001

"On this planet, where gun control is allegedly working, basic human freedoms are not allowed to thrive."

... now I am interested how you would back up that one. I always knew somehow that the whole of Europe is some kind of dictatorship.
posted by vroom at 4:51 AM on April 28, 2001

I'd agree with zachsmind. japan is a great society, second best assimilators in the world (next to us) there "army" is fairly sized. as an offensive tool, the minnesota national guard has more teeth. Some say that japan is the most bigoted society in the world, ahhh, i am not sure. the treatment of people from there northern island is very bad from what i understand. Japan is playing it cool these days, someone, somewhere in the mid 90's set japan straight: "Business is war?" they said or in the movies they did. BUSINESS IS WAR.? right. 12 stealth bombers could take out 70% of japans economic base in 2.5 hrs. THATS FUCKING WAR KIDS, not this sun-tzu analogy grabbag college crap...ok praetors slap me. let them have an army, they can defend themselves.
posted by clavdivs at 7:06 AM on April 28, 2001

Zachsmind, I have to totally disagree with your comment that gun control and a free society are mutually disclusive.

There is no gun problem here in Finland and although people do own guns (mostly hunting rifles in rural areas), half the population isn't running around like beheaded chickens crying that the right to own guns is one of their inalienable rights as human beings.
posted by ilya at 7:54 AM on April 28, 2001

What most western people don't know about Japan is that during the early part of the 20th century, Japan absolutely terrorized its neighbors, mainly Korea and Taiwan. They actually forcibly colonized Korea, burned down its palaces, temples, museums, and libraries, stole precious Korean artifacts, defaced sacred tombs in Korea, Manchuria and China and rewrote history books in Korea. Over 120,000 women from Korea alone between the ages 12 and 35 were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese army, and Japan never admitted the atrocity to the full extent and refuses to own up to its warcrimes. Remember the Rape of Nanking? The Japanese army were so devastatingly brutal to the Chinese that even the Nazis were shocked and appalled at their savage behavior. To this day, Japanese schoolbooks don't have it written that they bombed Pearl Harbor, their students are growing up completely and totally ignorant of the crimes that Japan committed against its neighbors. Japan constantly sees itself as a victim and Americans let it, due to guilt left over form the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagazaki, little do they know the actually prejudice that actually exists in Japan against its neighbors. I think if Japan had an army now, it would only be a matter of time before it started invading its neighbors again. Even this year when Prime Minister Mori was giving a speech to the Japanese he referred to Taiwan and Korea as "subordinate colonies" and strongly inplied that it was the presence of immigrants fromthose countries that was bringing the Japanese economy down. People from the west believe only what they see and read and hear from the media. Japan has zen buddhism, the people are thin and hip and watch anime all the time, there's new technology from there. I lived in Japan for 2 years and travelled around Asia for four and if they were in Asia they would realize that the rest of Asia despises Japan, and Japan looks down on the rest of Asia. The only country that Japan really respects at all is the United States and that's only because we bombed them twice and we therefore have power. If you think that giving Japan an army now is a good idea, and that army would be weak, and easily controlled, you are sorely mistaken. The Japanese are one of the most proud and nationalistic countries in the world, and their army could become very strong in a very short period of time. Read your history books carefully.
posted by tishalulle at 8:30 AM on April 28, 2001

It was called “The Rape of Nanjing”, and this atrocity was discussed in January on MeFi.
posted by Danelope at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2001

You know, when gun control comes up everyone always points to the US (and points to the huge number of murders and armed robberies) and some nation with heavy gun control, and seems to think they're making some sort of point.

Let's talk about Switzerland, shall we? In Switzerland, every adult male is required to own a rifle and required to know how to shoot it, and required to fire a certain number of rounds out of it every year. (Not that it takes much urging; marksmanship is a national passion in Switzerland.)

The reason for this is that the adult male population of Switzerland is the "well armed militia", and in time of war they serve in the military to defend their nation, using the rifles they already own (which by law use standard ammunition). In other words, these laws are not intended to make the Swiss good hunters. It's intended to make them effective killers of men.

It works, too. In WWII, Switzerland wasn't invaded. The idea of fighting seven divisions made up entirely of snipers, in terrain where armor couldn't be used and artillery and air power were useless, was too much for the Axis. Switzerland was surrounded for six years, but never attacked.

Now, what is the murder rate in Switzerland? How much crime is there?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:03 AM on April 28, 2001

Exactly. That's because everyone knows how to USE those guns. America is very much the opposite. Then again, there's gun owners like myself who keep their weapons very carefully locked up, unloaded, cleaned, and ready to go to the rifle/pistol range. Of course, if there was an intruder in the house I could have a pistol out of its safe and loaded in under 30 seconds (I've practiced), but I highly doubt I'll ever have to use that.

God, the gene pool over here needs some chlorine. Very strong chlorine. Start with the politicians.
posted by SpecialK at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2001

we should leave the Swiss out of it. If Hitler wanted switzerland, we would have taken it. If he secured yugoslavia, switzerland whould be a pastry shop. converge the alpine corp, skorzenys boys with a par-assult, then line five divisions with kubel wagens, bikes and horses. sure youd have sniper fire but when heinrich has little gretas head next to a luger, things change. sorry, not enough land to hide in. Besides Who would supply the chocolate, keep the cash, Plus you have a nice place to send tour spies too, why attack the swiss. Its the dutch we gotta watch. (Just kidding)
posted by clavdivs at 11:57 PM on April 28, 2001

notice the he versus we syntax, perhaps a right-wing slip??? hehehe
posted by clavdivs at 11:59 PM on April 28, 2001

I've read an interesting book about Switzerland in WWII, which analyzes the situation carefully, and it concludes that an invasion of Switzerland was impractical and would have been extremely expensive. It could have been done, but the price would have been too high. The plan by the Swiss commander was to abandon all the lowland areas (including several major cities) and to defend the mountains. The kinds of units available to him and their training, with the right kind of tactics, would have represented an ungodly force multiplier and the casualties to any attacker would have been immense. Mechanized forces would have been useless in much of that terrain and infantry would have been butchered by accurate rifle fire.

Regardless, that's not the point. The point is that every man in Switzerland owns a rifle, and yet the crime rate, especially violent crime, is not particularly noteworthy. Those who claim that "crime in America will decline if we decrease the number of guns" have some explaining to do.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:30 AM on April 29, 2001

Here in Norway too, every second household or so owns a rifle or two for hunting. Yet we see very, very few crimes committed with them -- if any. Gun owners are generally among the most peaceful, law-abiding citizens we've got here.

Also worth noting, if we're going to go down the road of gun control discussion yet again, is the virtual explosion of gun-related violent crimes in the U.K. after their ban on guns was enacted (post-Dunblane). Shows you how much gun control works...
posted by frednorman at 6:31 AM on April 29, 2001

I know I should be like most western people and not know anything about Japan...

Anyway, the Treaty of San Fransico is what laid out the rules for Japan. As far as why they are not allowed an army:
Esman recalls an incident in which Richard Poole, disturbed by the provisions of Article 9, discussed the matter with Colonel Charles Kades, who headed the twenty-four member drafting team. "Isn't it," Poole asked, "a bit impractical to send Japan out into the world with a constitution that does not even allow it the right to maintain a military to defend itself from aggression?" Kades' response was simple and direct: "Do you know where the idea came from?" Poole: "MacArthur." Kades: "That's right." End of conversation."
Japanese women owe a lot to one woman, Beate Sirota Gordon. She is responsible for a lot of their new freedom that they might still be struggling for.
posted by john at 1:36 PM on April 29, 2001

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