【PART 1】 Mystery of Okinawa: Military Bases and the Constitution

 

【8】 LDP used to have some good points in areas except the “policy of slavish obedience to the U.S.”

 

I had been involved previously in the publishing of a book about the LDP (Evil vs. Speech, by Takashi Tachibana, published by Bungeishunju Ltd.), so I knew very well that these issues related to U.S. military bases, or more precisely, the issue of slavish obedience to the U.S., was completely unresolvable. As the U.S. State Department admitted in 2006, the LDP — since its formation in 1955 — had been receiving large financial support from the CIA. At the same time, the CIA also funded the rightists in the Socialist Party of Japan to cause an internal division, after which the Democratic Socialist Party was formed. Such political maneuvering was intended to weaken leftist forces (Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968; vol.29, Part 2: Japan, United States Government Printing Office).

Let me put it plainly. In the East-West conflict structure known as “the Cold War,” the U.S. would deploy large forces in Japan as the “breakwater against communism,” while also applying many protections to foster economic growth as the “model case of the Free World.” The LDP was born in Japan as the U.S.’s partner for carrying out such global strategies. Therefore, regarding the U.S. military base issue, it would be pointless to demand that the LDP negotiate with the U.S. government to implement a solution not in the interest of the U.S.

Many Japanese people were vaguely aware of such behind-the-scenes circumstances, and it partly accounted for the change of government taking place. Admittedly, the LDP before the Mori or Koizumi administrations had some good points. Although the LDP completely adopted the “policy of slavish obedience to the U.S.” in terms of security and diplomacy, it produced a society that was affluent and relatively egalitarian. I think that this aspect of the LDP policy was widely appreciated by the Japanese.

However, this LDP policy reached its limit. Since it was impossible for the LDP to renounce the extreme obedience to the U.S., considering the circumstances under which it had been established, the only way to implement this painful reform was to look to another party. This was the train of thought that even the conservative Japanese people adopted. Consequently, Japan took the giant step of governmental change, at first hesitantly, but finally with courage.