Monday, November 22, 2004

Jittery Japan

Three pieces of news illustrate a nervous Japan.

The first news concerns a 19-year-old Tottori University student was arrested for posting terror threats on the Net under the name of bin Laden, threatening to blow up Tokyo Tower on September 11.

This chap must be bored with attending classes. But then again, I think the Japanese are really wary of the possibility of being attacked, albeit not by this guy.

While I do not wish it, I cannot imagine the mayhem if Shibuya subway is being bombed out during the early morning rush hour.

Next, the Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told U.S. President George Bush on Saturday that Japan will continue to support Iraq's reconstruction efforts, indicating Tokyo's readiness to extend the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces in the country beyond the Dec 14 deadline.

Was there any other option for Koizumi or Japan, when the choice was (a) Yes or (b) Yes?

Since Japan lost that war, she has been depending on the US to 'protect' her from external threats, terrorism included.

It will be interesting to observe how the imminent rise of China will affect this US-Japan arrangement in the near and far future.

And thirdly, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe expressed caution on Saturday over imposing economic sanctions against North Korea, saying the North might attack Japan with nuclear weapons.

Families of the Japanese people who were kidnapped by N. Korea decades ago are demanding the sanctions. By doing so, the families hope to force N. Korea to expedite the return of the victims.

I assume this man is contemplating on the overly 'bright' side for North Korea. I don't think North Korea has any capability of launching the N. bomb.

However, in the event that North Korea does have that capability and is foolish enough to hit Japan with it, she is as good as committing harakiri.

First and foremost, the US will certainly have no problems organizing a 'friendly coalition' to crush N. Korea to shreds.

And by doing so, she might even be able to regain some friendships lost in the current Iraq quagmire.