Sunday, September 14, 2014

Monday in Washington September 15, 2014

JAPANESE PERSPECTIVES ON CHINA, TAIWAN AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS.  9/15, 8:30-Noon. Sponsor: Freeman Chair in China Studies and Japan Chair, CSIS. Speakers: FUKUDA Madoka, Associate Professor of International Politics and China Studies, Hosei Universit; Mike Mochizuki, Japan-U.S. Relations Chair, the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington Universit; TAKAHARA Akio, Professor of Contemporary Chinese Politics, the Graduate School of Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo; Richard Bush, Senior Fellow, the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, and director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP), Brookings Institution; Bonnie Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia, Freeman Chair in China Studies, CSIS; HUANG Wei-Hsiu, Visiting Faculty, Taiwan Research Institute, Waseda University; David Brown, Adjunct Professor in China studies, SAIS; MATSUDA Yasuhiro, Professor of International Politics, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the University of Tokyo. 

SQUARING THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR CIRCLE: DEFINING URANIUM ENRICHMENT CAPACITY AND OTHER KEY ISSUES. 9/15, 9:30-11:00am. Sponsor: Arms Control Association. Speakers: Kelsey Davenport, Nonproliferation Analyst, Arms Control Association; James Walsh, Research Associate, Security Studies Program, MIT; Daryl G. Kimball, (moderator), Executive Director, Arms Control Association.

COOPERATION TO COUNTER 21ST CENTURY MARITIME DOMAIN CHALLENGES. 9/15, 9:30-10:30am. Sponsor: Europe Program, CSIS. Speakers: Admiral Michelle Howard, Vice Chief of Naval Operations; Vice Admiral Axel Schimpf, Chief German Navy; Rear Admiral Lars Saunes, Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy; Ms. Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic.

IRAN AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: NEGOTIATIONS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES. 9/15, 10:30pm-12:30pm. Sponsor: American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), Johns Hopkins University. Speakers: Dr. Cornelius Adebahr, Europe Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Dr. Vali Nasr, Dean SAIS; Dr. Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution.

AFTER THE SUMMIT: GENERAL PHILIP M. BREEDLOVE ON NATO'S PATH FORWARD. 9/15, 11:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Center on International Security, Atlantic Council. Speaker: General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander, US European Command; Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council.

DIRTY ENTANGLEMENTS: CORRUPTION, CRIME AND TERRORISM. 9/15, Noon-1:30pm, Arlington, VA. Sponsor: Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC), George Mason University. Speakers: Dr. Louise Shelley, Director, TraCCC GMU.

AMERICAN ISOLATIONISM: IS IT A MYTH OR REALITY? 9/15, 12:30-1:45pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speakers: Jill Dougherty, Public Policy Scholar, Former CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent; Ivo Daalder, President, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, former US Permanent Representative to NATO; Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO, Wilson Center, Bruce Jentleson, Global Fellow, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING: HISTORY, PROGRESS, CHALLENGES. 9/15, 12:30-5:00pm. Sponsor: Embassy of Kazakhstan. Speakers: Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy; Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Intl. Security; Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, U.S. Undersecretary of Energy and NNSA Administrator; Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

INTERNET GOVERNANCE: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR U.S.-JAPAN LEADERSHIP. 9/15, 12:30-2:00pm. Sponsor: Capitol Hill Asia Policy Dialogue Series, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. Speakers: Toshinori Kajiura, Chair of the Internet Economy Industry Forum’s Sub-committee on Information & Technology Policy, Japan Business Federation (Keidanren); Makoto Yokozawa, Head Professor, Market and Organization Informatics Systems, Kyoto University; and Richard Beaird, U.S. Department of State (retired). 

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule August 18-24, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
08:00 At holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout the morning (no visitors)

12:40 Depart from holiday home
12:49 Arrive at hot spring Fujiyama Onsen in Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture. Bathe
03:09 Depart from Fujiyama Onsen
03:19 Arrive at holiday home
04:52 Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho enters
05:36 Commence dinner meeting with Mr. Tanaka and secretaries
05:43 Cabinet Advisor Honda Etsuro joins
10:34 Dinner meeting ends
10:35 Mr. Honda leaves
10:47 Everyone leaves

The above is 2009 interview with Mr. Sasakawa Yohei who is reportedly a major benefactor to Prime Minister Abe. Yohei's father Ryohei was close to Abe's grandfather Kishi Nobusuke.

Yohei Sasakawa: Indeed, it's very important, as you say, to educate the people. When we talk about education, we need political leaders, scholars, teachers and academicians to be involved, to really be aware of the seriousness of the situation we have on our hands. For each of the people in our lives, we need to be able to convey the correct information about the seriousness of the problem, to establish some sort of policy mechanism that we can spread to different countries.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
07:04 Depart from holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture
07:07 Arrive at golf course Fujizakura Country Club in Fujikawaguchiko Town, Yamanashi Prefecture. Play golf with wife Akie, Chairman of Fuji Television Network Hieda Hisashi, Cabinet Advisor Honda Etsuro, and MOF’s Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho

02:33 Depart from Fujizakura Country Club
02:36 Arrive at holiday home
05:49 Depart from holiday home
05:55 Arrive at Chairman of The Nippon Foundation Sasakawa Yohei’s holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner with former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi Toshimitsu; Senior Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Nishimura Yasuhiko; Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishi Nobuo; Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu; Special Advisor to President of the LDP Hagiuda Koichi; LDP Lower House member Yamamoto Yuji; Mr. Sasakawa; and Mr. Hieda
09:59 Depart from Mr. Sasakawa’s holiday home
10:05 Arrive at own holiday home

For an excellent analysis of this get together, see: Shisaku, August 21, 2014, "Golf is just another four letter word."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
07:22 Depart from holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture
07:26 Arrive at golf course Fujizakura Country Club in Fujikawaguchiko Town, Yamanashi Prefecture. Play golf with former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi Toshimitsu; Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishi Nobuo; Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu; Special Advisor to President of the LDP Hagiuda Koichi; LDP Lower House member Yamamoto Yuji; Chairman of Fuji Television Network Hieda Hisashi; and Chairman of The Nippon Foundation Sasakawa Yohei
09:19 Depart from Fujizakura Country Club
09:22 Arrive at holiday home
09:41 Depart from holiday home
10:59 Arrive at office
11:22 Meet with Minister of State for Disaster Management Furuya Keiji and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management Nishimura Yasuhiko at Crisis Management Center. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
11:23 Interview open to all media: When asked “What is the government’s reaction to Hiroshima City’s landslide disaster?” Mr. Abe answers “The government has come together to issue instructions, coordinating lifesaving aid.”
11:24 Interview ends

12:44 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
01:22 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
02:00 Depart from office
02:01 Arrive at official residence
05:19 Mr. Nishimura enters
05:44 Mr. Nishimura leaves
05:54 Depart from official residence
07:42 Arrive at holiday home

Thursday, August 21, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
08:00 At holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamansashi Prefecture (no morning visitors)
10:34 Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru enters
11:13 JR Tokai Honorary President Kasai Yoshiyuki joins

12:57 Mr. Kasai leaves
01:00 Mr. Kitamura leaves
01:40 Depart from holiday home
03:04 Arrive at official residence
03:15 Depart from official residence
03:17 Arrive at office
03:25 Meet with Minister of State from Disaster Management Furuya Keiji. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
04:02 End meeting with Mr. Furuya
04:03 Disaster Response Meeting among Relevant Ministries and Agencies for Torrential Rainfall
04:18 Meeting ends
05:06 Depart from office
05:32 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Friday, August 22, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:40 Depart from private residence
09:55 Arrive at office
10:08 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
10:29 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
11:04 Meet with former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shionoya Ryu
11:19 End meeting with Mr. Shionoya
11:30 Speak with Chairman of LDP Research Commission on Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership Eto Seishiro, Chairman of LDP Special Mission Committee on Territories Nukaga Fukushiro and colleagues
11:43 Finish speaking with Mr. Eto, Mr. Nukaga and colleagues

02:08 Meet with Cabinet Advisor Iijima Isao
02:38 End meeting with Mr. Iijima
03:02 Ministerial Council on Torrential Rain
03:18 Council meeting ends
03:32 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
04:02 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
05:40 Depart from office
05:41 Arrive at official residence

Saturday, August 23, 2014


12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
11:44 Depart from official residence
11:54 Arrive at Komyo-ji Temple in Toranomon, Tokyo. Attend memorial service for the late Ushio Haruko, wife of Chairman of Ushio electronics company Ushio Jiro

01:29 Depart from Komyo-ji Temple
01:47 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Sunday, August 24, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
10:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
Stay at private residence throughout the morning (no visitors)

Stay at private residence throughout the afternoon and evening (no visitors)

Provisional Translation by: Erin M. Jones

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Myths About Japan's Resistance to Collective Self-Defense

Hyuga - DDH 16 - Hyuga class helicopter destroyer

Reexamining "Myths" About Japan's Collective Self-Defense Change -- What critics (and the Japanese public) do understand about Japan's constitutional reinterpretation

By APP Member Bryce Wakefield, assistant professor of Japanese politics and international relations at Leiden University and Craig Martin, associate professor of law at Washburn University. The views expressed in this article are their own. 
First posted on Japan Focus, September 8, 2014

In a recent article in the Diplomat, Michael Green and Jeffrey Hornung claimed that critics of the Abe government’s “reinterpretation” of Japan’s constitution, to end the ban on the use of force for the purposes of collective self-defense, were “basing their opposition on myths about the change.” This allegation that resistance to the “reinterpretation” of Article 9 is based on nothing but “myths” is increasingly heard, and so it is worth examining their arguments, and the so-called myths that they purport to dismiss.

Green and Hornung argued that the changes to be made through the “reinterpretation” were actually slight and that the immediate implications were far less problematic than alleged. There is a grain of truth to this as it relates to imminent strategic consequences, but it also misses the essential point. Yes, at least in the short term, changes to the roles and the missions of the nation’s Self Defense Forces resulting from “reinterpretation” will probably be modest; and yes, the changes will not likely lead to militarism, regional adventurism, or various other scenarios that the article examines and dismisses. But this focus on the intended policy shifts misses the far more significant issues raised both by the unconstitutional nature of the move and the possible longer-term and profound systemic ramifications of the “reinterpretation.”

It is precisely because the immediate strategic implications of the Abe Cabinet’s announcement will probably be relatively modest that the implications for constitutional practice in Japan should be the focus of the debate. Perhaps the changing strategic environment in Asia will require Japan to consider relaxing some of the constraints imposed by Article 9. However, so fundamental a change to the nation’s constitution should only come after broad debate and pursuant to formal amendment procedures as provided for in the constitution. As explained below, the so-called “reinterpretation” process has in fact weakened constitutionalism, the rule of law, and fundamental principles of democracy in Japan, an argument that Green and Hornung, and many other defenders of the “reinterpretation”, never seriously address. In short, the harm is to the Constitution, and so focus on strategy is no answer.

Let us re-examine some of the “myths” that Green and Hornung so quickly dismiss.

“Abe is gutting the spirit of Japan’s peace constitution”

Green and Hornung maintain that Abe’s announcement is not undermining the spirit of Article 9, because in reality it is not really changing the official interpretation at all. They claim that the Cabinet Legislation Bureau (CLB), a department within the Ministry of Justice that gives advice to the government and the Diet on the constitutionality of laws, has always acknowledged that Japan has a right to collective self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, but that “collective self-defense was deemed inappropriate because it did not meet the CLB’s definition of ‘minimal’ defense” necessary for the defense of Japan. What has changed now, according to Green and Hornung, is that because of the evolution of the strategic environment, collective self-defense should be understood as being within the “minimal necessary use of force” required for the defense of Japan itself. Thus, they argue, the shift in the “reinterpretation” is not inconsistent with the original CLB position, and is thus not really a new interpretation of Article 9.

This is both misleading in what it does argue, and entirely disregards more fundamental arguments about the harm that will be caused to Article 9. To begin with problems inherent in the narrow point they make, it is simply incorrect to say that the recognition of a right to collective self-defense would not constitute a fundamental change in the meaning of Article 9. Their claim appears to confuse the distinction between individual self-defense (ISD) and collective self-defense (CSD), as those concepts are understood in international law. ISD, of course, is the use of force in defense of the state in response to an armed attack on that state. ISD has been understood to be permitted by Article 9 since Japan reemerged as a sovereign state in the early 1950s, following the postwar Allied Occupation. CSD, on the other hand, is the use of force by one state in defense ofsome other state in response to an armed attack on that other state, for example the American use of force against Iraq in defense of Kuwait in 1991. Green and Hornung’s argument that Japan may use force to assist other countries in order to better ensure Japan’s own security conflates these two concepts. The use of force by Japan in a true exercise of CSD would, by definition, not be for the defense of Japan, even if at some stage in the future such an action might improve Japan’s strategic or defensive situation.

It is true that the CLB has acknowledged that Japan, like all nations, has the right to use force in the exercise of CSD as a matter of international law; but it has also stated, on more than one occasion, that it is prohibited as a matter of constitutional law. According to the bureau’s earlier statements, Article 9, which renounces war and prohibits the use of force as a means of settling international disputes, makes the exercise of that international law right “impermissible under the constitution.” All that is permitted is the minimum force necessary to defend against an armed attack on Japan itself – an exercise of ISD. By eliminating the requirement that there be a direct attack on Japan as a pre-condition for Japan to lawfully use force in self-defense, the Abe Cabinet has therefore made a clear break with, and is in direct opposition to, prior and consistent understandings of the constitution.

A related argument that is often heard is that there has been a pattern of “reinterpretations” by government in the past with respect to defense posture and capabilities, and thus this “reinterpretation” is not unusual. As The Economist puts it, this was a “usual if rather shabby” process of constitutional change. But this too is entirely inaccurate. It is true that there have been incremental changes to Japan’s defense posture, but there has been a consistent understanding that such decisions on force adjustments fall within constitutional boundaries, precisely because they take into account the restraint embodied by the long standing interpretation that force may be used only for the direct defense of Japan. The government has never suggested that these defense posture adjustments constituted a “reinterpretation”, nor have they ever been understood to “reinterpret” Article 9. Government “reinterpretation” has simply never been recognized as a legitimate method of circumventing the legitimate amendment procedures and revising the longstanding interpretations of the constitution.

The difference in nature between past defense posture adjustments and the current “reinterpretation” becomes clearer upon a closer examination of those past shifts. The government has sought to reduce the restrictions on the deployment and use the military since the 1980s, and particularly after the Gulf War. However, many of these restrictions (such as the post-war ban on overseas dispatch of the SDF, rescinded in 1993) were established between the 1950s and the mid-1970s as political measures designed to deflate protest on the political left and to reassure the Japanese public sceptical after the war about military solutions to international problems. At the time they were conceived and often afterwards, the government was careful to note that such restrictions were not required by the constitution. Thus, the later dismantling of those restrictions, such as legislation eliminating the ban on overseas deployment of the SDF for involvement in UN peace keeping operations (PKO), did not constitute a “reinterpretation” of Article 9. The deployment of the SDF for PKO activity does not constitute a use of force under international law and did not implicate Article 9. Similarly, relatively recent overseas missions, such as anti-piracy operations, while they appear to political analysts as a type of CSD, in fact constitute no such thing, because they do not involve the use of force—a concept in international law that relates to relations between state actors. On the other hand, the deployment of the SDF to assist in the belligerent occupation of Iraq in 2003 may indeed have constituted a use of force, as the Nagoya High Court so held in a judgment in 2008—but that would be a violation of the Constitution, not an example of its “reinterpretation”.

Abe’s attempt at “reinterpretation”, shabby though it may be, is therefore far from usual. This point is often lost on historians, political scientists, and analysts interested in Japan’s defense policy, who focus less on the legal ramifications of change and more on the strategic or political implications. It is lost as well on some peace advocates and left-wing politicians in Japan, who have never fully accepted the 1954 interpretation that recognized the right to exercise ISD, or the legitimacy of an SDF as constituting the minimal “war potential” necessary for the defense of Japan. Seen from their perspectives, the current “reinterpretation” may seem to be simply a continuation of an incrementally more assertive (and possibly unconstitutional) defense policy. But from the perspective of the government’s own position on Article 9, this “reinterpretation” is unprecedented.

Green and Hornung also suggest that the current interpretation and understanding of Article 9 was itself based on a “reinterpretation”, and that, therefore, “if Abe’s decision was reached undemocratically, then the earlier interpretation being upheld by his opponents must be considered undemocratic as well.” But this too is misplaced. The CLB played an important role in developing the initial interpretation, it is true – but that was at the very outset of establishing the interpretation of a new constitution. While there was robust debate in the Diet as to what precisely Article 9 meant and exactly what it restricted, the government issued no clear and consistent opinion until the interpretation in 1954. That interpretation, as it related to the very limited right to use force for purposes of ISD, was reinforced by the Supreme Court, the branch of government with the constitutionally mandated authority to interpret the constitution, in the famous Sunagawa case in 1959. It has been further reinforced by more than six decades of consistent Diet testimony and policy precedent. Indeed, in 1991 there was enormous pressure upon Japan to contribute forces to the coalition engaging in collective self-defense in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and there was an acute sense that failure to do so would jeopardize Japan’s alliance with the U.S., but the CLB advised the Kaifu government that Article 9 prohibited any such move. The government, in compliance with that understanding of Article 9, therefore refused to participate in the military operations, and the no-use of force provision of Article 9 successfully operated to constrain government policy. There is no basis for arguing that the manner in which the original interpretation was established, shortly after the Constitution was promulgated and prior to any judicial consideration or serious policy development, is in any way similar to the “reinterpretation” by Cabinet fiat now at issue after six decades of entrenchment. It cannot be considered a serious comparison.

These rather technical arguments about the past CLB interpretation in any event miss the other ways in which the “reinterpretation” will potentially gut Article 9. In addition to now declaring that Article 9 no longer prohibits the use of force for purposes of CSD, key actors in the government and an “Advisory Panel” that Abe set up to “reconstruct the legal basis” for national security have suggested that Japan can and should use force in collective security operations authorized by the U.N. Security Council under Article 42 of the Charter. If that were to become the accepted interpretation of Article 9, which, it should be recalled, states in part that Japan “forever renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation, and the threat or use of force for the settling of international disputes”, then Article 9 will in fact no longer renounce any sovereign right relating to the making of war and the use of force, despite its explicit language to the contrary. The U.N. Charter prohibits the use of force by states, with three exceptions – or to put it another way, three sovereign rights – the use of force for ISD and CSD, and collective security measures authorized by the Security Council. Under the “reinterpretation” recommended by the panel, Japan would be permitted to engage in all three, and so Article 9 would not limit Japan from doing anything that international law does not already forbid. It is difficult to see that such a move would not be gutting the pacifist spirit and intent of Article 9.

“The decision starts a slippery slope for revising the constitution and removing Article 9”

The next “myth” that Green, Hornung and others take aim at is the so-called slippery slope argument. Abe’s defenders argue that there is no such slippery slope, and this move cannot be taken as leading to further erosion of Article 9. In emphasizing the modesty of Abe’s “reinterpretation”, they point to the fact that the prime minister has stated that the constitution would continue to prohibit collective security measures authorized by the UN Security Council. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that this limitation is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the text of the Cabinet Resolution, the larger point is that the process of reinterpretation destroys any sense of durable and meaningful constitutional constraints, which undermines not only Article 9, but indeed the entire constitutional structure. So the Cabinet Resolution places various conditions upon the exercise of CSD, upon which defenders of the process place great store. But given the precedent this process has established, these limits too are only binding, if one can call it that, until the next Cabinet resolution. These are not constitutional provisions or principles, but mere whims of the Cabinet of the day. If they can supplant a constitutional provision today, a much broader and more insidious Cabinet Resolution may do so tomorrow. Thus, the prospect of the process comprising the beginning of a slippery slope cannot be dismissed as mere myth. This process of “reinterpretation” by cabinet fiat makes a mockery of the entire notion of a constitution comprising the highest law of the land, which serves to bind future generations to consistent principles and values, and imposes meaningful constraints on the exercise of government power.

The slippery slope argument is further strengthened by considerations of motive. It is hard to dismiss the violence that the Cabinet Resolution does to the constitution as “merely” the product of a government with an overzealous defense agenda prioritizing narrow policy goals over respect for constitutional provisions. Rather, undermining the constitution appears to be a central goal of key actors within the government. Abe has actually suggested that the idea that constitutions are intended to limit government power is “old-fashioned.” In the recent negotiations with Komeito over the exact language of the Cabinet Resolution, many members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wanted the resolution to have fewer limitations. Meanwhile, LDP Secretary General Ishiba Shigeru has noted that the government should “start with a limited scope” in its interpretation of CSD so that it can “widen later.” The Abe Cabinet’s “reinterpretation” leaves precisely that possibility intact by at once eliminating the constitutional prohibition on CSD, but also adding ambiguous limitations and conditions, so that any decision on expanding the roles of the SDF will be merely political, not legal. Moreover, it has established the precedent that any provision of the constitution—not just Article 9—is subject to arbitrary government “reinterpretation.” Scholars have also argued that this is just one step towards more wholesale amendment down the road—that by twisting the meaning of the constitution, Abe is trying to ensure that it will be easier to claim later that the actual language of its provisions no longer reflect reality, and must therefore be formally amended. Whether or not that is the case, with reinterpretation acting as a de factomechanism for change, arguments about actual amendment would be moot.

“The decision was made undemocratically without transparency”

In arguing that it is merely a “myth” that the “reinterpretation” was made undemocratically and without transparency, Green and Hornung emphasize that cabinet discussions on CSD, “were reported upon daily by Japan’s media, enabling voters to be fully aware of the discussions.” But that does not address whether the prime minister or the cabinet properly subjected the process to transparent and democratic scrutiny. Yes, there was media attention. Indeed, few issues rile the media in Japan like government action on security policy. But on its own, media coverage of government statements on CSD does not imply transparency or adherence to democratic principles.

In fact, in his push for “reinterpretation”, Abe has pointedly attempted to circumvent any real public or political debate (transparency), and even more seriously, circumvented the constitutionally mandated amendment procedure, which in and of itself constitutes a violation of fundamental principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law (democratic principles). This begins with the circumvention of the amendment procedure. Article 96 of the Constitution provides for precisely how the Constitution is to be amended. Amendments must be initiated by the Diet, approved by two thirds of each house of the Diet, and then approved by a majority of votes in a general referendum. Comparative research has shown that Japan’s amendment process is less difficult than that of a number of other constitutional democracies, including the U.S. Indeed, the LDP did in fact begin laying the foundation for formal amendment in the years following 9/11. But when Abe’s attempts to mobilize support for amending Article 9 ran into stiff headwinds, he attacked the amendment procedure itself, seeking to make the constitutional amendment process little more difficult for the Diet than the revision of common statutes. When that effort failed, due in large measure to the backlash from lawyers and constitutional scholars, he chose to circumvent the amendment procedure altogether, moving to “reinterpret” Article 9. To dress up this wholly illegitimate process, he resurrected his extra-constitutional “Advisory Panel” of so-called experts, with a mandate to examine how Article 9 should be reinterpreted in light of the changing security environment.

The Advisory Panel, which included very few lawyers and only one constitutional law scholar, engaged in little constitutional analysis. Rather, it developed a result-oriented argument, reasoning that because Japan needs to do more to ensure its security, Article 9 must therefore mean that Japan can do more to defend itself and others. On the basis of this Report, the Abe Cabinet developed its resolution that constitutes the “reinterpretation” of Article 9. There was no prior debate on the content of this resolution in the Diet, no vote in the Diet, no referendum, not even consultation with either the Diet or the public. As already discussed above, it was an executive fiat by the Cabinet that purported to change the meaning of a fundamental principle of the constitution, in a manner that was not only inconsistent with the long-established and entrenched interpretation of Article 9, but that was irreconcilable with the explicit language of the provision. As further evidence of the departure from democratic principles, Abe made a political appointment of the new Director of the CLB, presumably to ensure that the CLB would in due course provide a supportive interpretation of the Resolution and laws passed to implement it. This political appointment of someone external to the CLB and the Ministry of Justice was contrary to deeply entrenched convention, and provoked criticism from past CLB directors. The entire process not only usurped the superior constitutional claims of both the Supreme Court and the Diet to constitutional interpretation, but was likely designed to make any future contrary interpretation by the Supreme Court that much more difficult and politically risky.

This process of “reinterpretation” was not only a violation of the constitutional amendment procedure, but it makes a mockery of the idea that the constitution can constrain the exercise of government power. It flies in the face of the notions essential to the rule of law: that all law must be passed and amended through democratic process, and that government is both subject to the law, and must exercise its authority as defined by and in accordance with the law. Pundits argue that the Diet will still have its say when it comes time to pass legislation implementing the new interpretation. But to suggest that this post hoc debate will justify the prior unconstitutional “reinterpretation” is to reveal a perverse understanding of deliberative democracy and the respective roles of the legislature and the executive in a parliamentary system, especially one where the formalseparation of powers is so clearly defined in its constitution. And to suggest that all these ills were cured by the fact that there was robust discussion in the media is just absurd.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule August 11-17, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
08:00 At holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no morning visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout morning (no visitors)

01:31 Depart from holiday home
02:59 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
05:41 Depart from private residence
05:58 Arrive at Lower House 1st Diet Members’ Meeting Hall. Receive dental examination at dentist’s office inside hall
06:37 Depart from meeting hall
06:48 Arrive at yakiniku restaurant Ryugetsuen in Yotsuya, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Jiji Press Commentary Committee member Kato Kiyotaka, Kaetsu University professor Takahashi Yoichi, political journalist Suenobu Yoshimasa and his colleagues
08:57 Depart from restaurant
09:14 Arrive at private residence

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:04 Depart from private residence
08:38 Arrive at Haneda Airport
08:40 Speak with Director-General of LDP Election Strategy Committee Kawamura Takeo in Haneda Airport’s VIP room
08:50 Finish speaking with Mr. Kawamura
09:08 Depart from Haneda Airport on ANA Flight 631
10:22 Arrive at Iwakuni Airport, reception by Mayor of Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Iwakuni City Fukuda Yoshihiko
10:32 Speak with President of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Yanai Shungaku
10:45 Finish speaking with Mr. Yanai
10:46 Depart from airport
11:48 Arrive at former Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture, the late Yamamoto Shigetaro’s house in Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Perform condolence call. Mr. Yanai accompanies
11:57 Depart from the late Mr. Yamamoto’s house

12:22 Arrive at Kishi family gravesite in Tabuse Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Visit the grave of Mr. Abe’s grandfather and former Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke and others. Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishi Nobuo and LDP Upper House member Kitamura Tsuneo accompany
12:45 Depart from Kishi family gravesite
01:24 Arrive at restaurant Torian in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Lunch with President of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Mr. Yanai and Vice-President Hatahara Motonari
02:06 Depart from restaurant
03:04 Arrive at former President of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly, the late Shimada Akira’s house in Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Attend Mr. Shimada’s memorial service at nearby Zenshoji Temple
03:31 Depart from Zenshoji Temple
04:52 Visit authorized supporters’ groups and houses of supporters in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Make rounds to supporters
05:50 Finish making rounds
06:01 Arrive at Takenaka Dental Clinic in Shimonoseki City. Receive dental examination
06:16 Depart from Takenaka Dental Clinic
06:25 Arrive at personal residence in Shimonoseki City
07:46 Depart from personal residence
08:03 Arrive at Iminomiya Shrine in Shimonoseki City. Attend festival with wife Akie, parade
08:43 Depart from Iminomiya Shrine
09:04 Arrive at restaurant specializing in cooking using chicken Kinkei [鶏料理専門店「金鶏」]. Dinner with wife Akie, President of a supporters’ group Ito Akio and colleagues
09:50 Depart from restaurant
09:59 Arrive at personal residence

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


12:00 At personal residence (no visitors)
08:00 At personal residence in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture (no morning visitors)
09:02 Depart from personal residence
09:10 Arrive at former Shimonoseki City Manager’s house in Shimonoseki City, perform condolence call
09:20 Depart from former Shimonoseki City Manager’s house
09:28 Perform condolence calls at former President of Shimonoseki City Council, the late Ohama Toshiaki’s house and his supporters’ houses
11:42 Finish condolence calls
11:44 Arrive at Chofu shopping street in Shimonoseki City. Take commemorative photo with local residents
11:57 Arrive at okonomiyaki restaurant Hirata in Shimonoseki City on foot. Lunch with secretaries

12:26 Depart from restaurant on foot
12:27 Walk along Chofu shopping street
12:42 Finish walking along the street
12:43 Depart from Chofu shopping street
12:44 Arrive at Keiyuen Chofu Seisakusho Memorial Hall in Shimonoseki City. Reception by Chofu Seisakusho’s Chairman Kawakami Yasuo and President Hashimoto Kazuhiro. Browse Keiyuen Chofu Seisakusho Memorial Hall
01:12 Interview open to all media: When asked about “the GDP of the past 4-6 month periods having gone down in annual rate by 6.8% from the previous period” Mr. Abe answers “While calmly performing economic assessments, I want to firmly deal with the situation, and be absolutely sure of a return to a trajectory of economic growth.”
01:14 Interview ends
01:24 Depart from Keiyuen Chofu Seisakusho Memorial Hall
01:50 Perform condolence calls to the houses of supporters and others in Shimonoseki City
02:54 Finish performing condolence calls
02:58 Visit Sumiyoshi Shrine in Shimonoseki City and take a commemorative photo with supporters
03:14 Finish shrine visit
03:15 Depart from Sumiyoshi Shrine
03:30 Arrive at a supporter’s house in Shimonoseki City and perform condolence call
03:42 Depart from supporter’s house
03:49 Arrive at President of a supporters’ group Ito Akio’s house. Informal talk with Mr. Ito
04:13 Depart from Mr. Ito’s house
04:22 Arrive at former Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly member, the late Ito Hiroshi’s house. Perform condolence call
04:36 Depart from the late Ito Hiroshi’s house
04:46 Arrive at the house of person associated with supporters’ group. Perform condolence call
04:52 Depart from associated person’s house
04:54 Arrive at a supporter from Shimonoseki City’s house. Perform condolence call
05:33 Depart from supporter’s house
05:52 Arrive at personal residence
06:34 Depart from personal residence
06:45 Arrive at Yamagin Archive in Shimonoseki City. Reception by President of Yamaguchi Bank, Ltd. Fukuda Koichi. Browse archive with wife Akie
07:09 Depart from Yamagin Archive
07:11 Arrive at Kanmon Straits fireworks display grounds, deliver address. Admire fireworks display with wife Akie
08:17 Depart from fireworks display grounds
08:20 Arrive at restaurant Wine Bar NARROW in Shimonoseki City
08:26 Depart from restaurant
08:40 Arrive at yakiniku restaurant Ariran in Shimonoseki City. Dinner with Akie, friends and secretaries
09:40 Depart from yakiniku restaurant
10:00 Arrive at personal residence

Thursday, August 14, 2014


12:00 At personal residence (no visitors)
08:00 At personal residence in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture (no morning visitors)
09:28 Depart from personal residence
09:38 Perform condolence calls to houses of Mr. Abe’s office staff and supporters
11:06 Finish performing condolence calls
11:27 Arrive at personal residence

12:17 Speak with Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly member Kasamoto Toshiya
12:20 Finish speaking with Mr. Kasamoto
12:21 Depart from personal residence
01:31 Arrive at a supporter’s house in Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, perform condolence call
01:46 Depart from supporter’s house
02:01 Perform condolence call at house of former Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Member and supporter, the late Saiki Toshihiko
04:13 Finish condolence call
04:15 Arrive at Abe family gravesite in Nagato City. Visit the graves of Mr. Abe’s father and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Abe Shintaro and others with wife Akie
04:26 Depart from Abe family gravesite
06:04 Arrive at Yamaguchi Ube Airport
06:25 Meet with Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture Muraoka Tsugumasa in a special room of the airport
06:57 End meeting with Mr. Muraoka
07:18 Depart from airport with wife Akie on JAL Flight 1648
08:40 Arrive at Haneda Airport
08:52 Depart from airport
09:20 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Friday, August 15, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:30 Depart from private residence
48 seconds and he's done
08:46 Arrive at office
08:51 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
09:21 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
09:40 Meet with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi Toshimitsu and Commissioner of Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Ueda Takayuki
10:00 End meeting with Mr. Motegi and Mr. Ueda
10:03 Cabinet Meeting begins
10:24 Cabinet Meeting ends
What must they be thinking
10:28 Meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Ihara Junichi
10:48 End meeting with Mr. Kishida and Mr. Ihara
10:49 Speak with Special Advisor to President of the LDP Hagiuda Koichi
10:50 Finish speaking with Mr. Hagiuda
10:51 Speak with LDP Toyama Prefecture Branch children’s writing contest top contestants Kuwana Akinori and others
11:00 Finish speaking with writing contest’s top contestants
11:01 Receive courtesy call from Japan’s representative team in ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest
11:10 Courtesy call ends
11:17 Depart from office
11:24 Arrive at Chidorigafuchi Cemetery for war dead in Sanban-cho, Tokyo. Offer flowers
11:28 Depart from Chidorigafuchi Cemetery
11:33 Arrive at Nippon Budokan (Japan Martial Arts Hall) in Kitanomaru Park, Tokyo
11:51 Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead

12:52 Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead ends
12:54 Depart from Nippon Budokan
01:02 Arrive at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Nagata-cho, Tokyo. Dinner with secretaries at restaurant ORIGAMI inside hotel
01:57 Depart from hotel
02:13 Arrive at private residence
02:43 Depart from private residence
04:11 Arrive at holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture
06:02 Depart from holiday home
06:11 Arrive at Chinese restaurant Ren in Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner with mother Kishi Yoko and secretaries
07:58 Depart from restaurant
08:07 Arrive at holiday home

Saturday, August 16, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
08:00 At holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no morning visitors)
09:16 Depart from holiday home
09:43 Arrive at Fuji Course golf course in Yamanakako Village, Yamanashi Prefecture. Play golf with secretaries

04:38 Depart from golf course
05:03 Arrive at holiday home
06:04 Depart from holiday home
06:41 Arrive at membership Hotel XIV Yamanakako Sanctuary Villa in Yamanakako Village, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner at hotel’s restaurant Il Colone with wife Akie and mother Kishi Yoko
09:11 Depart from hotel
09:43 Arrive at holiday home

Sunday, August 17, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
07:51 Depart from holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture
07:55 Arrive at golf course Fujizakura Country Club. Play golf with Chairman of Keidanren (Federation of Economic Organizations) Sakakibara Sadayuki, Chairman and CEO of Canon Mitarai Fujio, and Honorary Executive Consultant of JX Holdings Watari Fumiaki

03:49 Depart from Fujizakura Country Club
03:52 Arrive at holiday home
05:37 Depart from holiday home
05:59 Arrive at Hotel Mt. Fuji in Yamanakako Village, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner with Chairman of Fuji Television Network Hieda Hisashi and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu in banquet hall Menuet. Wife Akie also attends
08:31 Depart from hotel
08:54 Arrive at holiday home

Provisional Translation by: Erin M. Jones

Monday in Washington, September 8,2014

KOREA, TURKEY, AND EURASIAN CONTINENTALISM. 9/8, 9:00am-4:00pm. Sponsor: Reischauer Center, SAIS. Speakers: TBA.

DEATH, HEALTH, POVERTY AND TOBACCO TAXES. 9/8, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Center for Global Development. Speakers: Prabhat Jha, Centre for Global Health Research, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto; Bill Savedoff, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development.

WOMEN AND FOREIGN WORKERS: NEW STAKEHOLDERS OF ABENOMICS? 9/8, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: US-Japan Research Institute. Speakers: Keiji Nakatsuji, Operating Advisor , USJI / Professor, Ritsumeikan University; Junya Tsutsui, Professor, Ritsumeikan University; Apichai W. Shipper, Adjunct Associate Professor, Asia Studies Program, School of Foreign Services, Georgetown University; Linda Hasunuma, Assistant Professor, Franklin and Marshall College.

AFTER THE SUMMIT: GENERAL PHILIP M. BREEDLOVE ON NATO'S PATH FORWARD. 9/15, 11:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council. Speaker: General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander, US European Command; Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council.

WHY KOREA WAS DIFFERENT: LESSONS LEARNED FROM FOREIGN AID DURING KOREA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. 9/8, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: Korea Economic Institute of America. Speakers: Lee Kye Woo, Korea Development Institution School of Public Policy and Management.

CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND OTHER DANGEROUS IDEAS. 9/8, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: The National Archives. Speaker: Author Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School.

HOW MUCH IS THE INTERNET WORTH TO THE U.S. ECONOMY? 9/8, Noon-1:30 pm. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for the Economics of the Internet, Hudson Institute; Jeffrey Li, Research Assistant, Center for the Economics of the Internet, Hudson Institute. 

THE CHALLENGES OF JAPAN-US RELATION IN EAST ASIAN COMMUNITY: TOWARD NORTHEAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA. 9/8, 3:00-4:30pm. Sponsor: US-Japan Research Institute. Speakers: Toru Oga, Associate Professor, Kyushu University; Yoichiro Sato, Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

US POLICY ON ASIA: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? 9/8, 5:00-6:30pm. Sponsor: Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University and Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. Speakers: Dr. Kurt Campbell, Chairman and CEO of The Asia Group, Chairman of CNAS and a Director for Standard Chartered Bank.

FRAGILE BY DESIGN: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF BANKING CRISES AND SCARCE CREDIT. 9/8, 5:00-6:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Cato. Speakers: author Charles Calomiris, Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia Business School; with comments by Andrew Olmem, Partner, Venable LLP; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Contact:

LOOKING FORWARD: KAZAKHSTAN AND THE UNITED STATES . 9/8, 5:00-7:00pm. Sponsor: SAIS, Johns Hopkins Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI). Speakers: Fatima Kukeyeva, professor at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University; Askar Nursha, fellow at the Institute of World Economy and Politics; S. Enders Wimbush, principal at StrateVarious LLC; Svante Cornell, director of CACI; and S. Frederick Starr, chairman of CACI. 

THE TURBULENT MIDDLE EAST: A DIALOGUE WITH AMB. DENNIS ROSS AND FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR ELLIOTT ABRAMS. 9/8, 7:00-10:00pm. Speakers: Ambassador Dennis Ross is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and is the William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Elliott Abrams is an Adjunct for the Program for Jewish Civilization and is Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; moderator Ambassador Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and former Dean of the SFS.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet Reshuffle or not

APP's Director Mindy Kotler and Deputy Director George Lazopoulos, Ph.D. had an essay on what to expect for the Abe Administration's September 3rd cabinet reshuffle in The Diplomat on September 02, 2014.

We conclude that the cabinet members may change, but the far-right ideology will remain the same. Ideology was the criteria for selection.

On September 3, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo plans to reshuffle his cabinet, arguably the most conservative of the postwar era. Starting with the prime minister, members define a “normal” Japan as one not simply maintaining an active military, but one that rejects individual liberties, the separation of religion and the state, and Imperial Japan’s wartime culpability. All are positions at odds with the agreements that ended the war with Imperial Japan and established the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Abe’s new cabinet is unlikely to differ. A distinguishing feature in our think tank’s recent analysis of the current Abe administration is its high degree of ideological conformity, specifically focused on ultra-conservative social policies and revisionist historical notions. This is a departure from the postwar tendency to form cabinets by balancing factions (habatsu) within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The factions are both personal and policy-focused power groups.

Factional politics forced prime ministers to craft their cabinets among competing interesting and personalities. This allowed for a range of policy perspectives. In contrast, the Abe administration is characterized by common memberships in conservative nationalist, private policy organizations, or parliamentary leagues (giin renmei), which are informal issues groups for legislators. The criteria for inclusion in the Abe cabinet are neither seniority nor balance, but ideological commitment.

An overwhelming majority of the members of the Abe administration belong to one or more of 18 parliamentary leagues and issue groups that we have identified as championing conservative, sometimes extreme nationalist views. These include support for full constitutional revision, opposition to a Japanese human rights bill, rejection of equality between the sexes, opposition to Japan’s Teachers’ Union, defending Japan’s honor as a liberator of Asia, and a belief that autism is the result of lax, bad parenting. Goals include the revival of patriotic education and the return of a divine Emperor to political power.

Uniting all these groups is a goal of overturning the postwar regime and what they view as its “masochistic” view of Japan’s war history. They disavow as “victor’s justice” the verdicts of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal that found Imperial Japan’s government and military culpable for crimes against humanity. And they dismiss the 1947 Constitution as an American invention designed to control Japan and encourage un-Japanese individualism.

The hub of these leagues, with a membership that claims 63 percent of the extended 97-member Abe administration and nearly 90 percent of its 19 cabinet ministers, is the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership Diet Members’ Caucus (Shinto seiji renmei kokkai giin kondankai). The caucus is an extension of the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership, an organization established in 1970 to preserve the political presence of Shinto in Japan.

Shinto, as defined by the association, resembles State Shinto, which was the official ideology of Imperial Japan (1868-1945). Members want to restore the divine right of the Emperor and support the reinstatement of the Emperor as the executive of Japan. Japan’s current constitution rejects this view and separates the political and religious realms. Abe is the Association’s current secretary-general.

The second largest membership group, claiming 53 percent of the extended administration and nearly 80 percent of its top ministers, is the Association of Diet Members for Worshipping at Yasukuni Shrine Together (Minna de Yasukuni jinja ni sanpai suru giin no kai). Yasukuni is a government-created Shintō shrine that apotheosizes Japanese killed in the service of defending the Emperor from 1869 to 1945. Yasukuni embodies State Shinto and its totalitarian hold on wartime Japan. The Shrine, its surrounding park, and museum all celebrate Japan’s self-proclaimed liberation of Asia and reject as victor’s justice the verdicts of the war crimes trials. Recent official visits to Yasukuni by cabinet members, including Abe, provoked indignant condemnation from countries formerly occupied by Japan.

Sosei Nippon (Rebirth Japan) founded in 2007 to protect Japanese traditions and Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference) founded in 1997 to advocate patriotic values are the third and fourth most important memberships among Abe cabinet members. These organizations coordinate private sector letter-writing campaigns on such issues as comfort women and constitutional revision. Abe and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso hold senior leadership positions in both.

These organizations bring together legislators and businessmen to promote a nationalist agenda that is premised on the belief that Japan has been a victim, first of Euro-American aggression, then of false history that was invented as part of the Tokyo Trials to rob Japan of national pride and martial spirit and to force subservience to America. These groups’ believe that there has been an international conspiracy by Chinese and Koreans to invent war crimes in order to undermine Japan’s position in East Asia. If Japanese young people only understood these facts, members argue, social order would be restored and the economy would grow. Historical revisionism and a patriotic education are viewed as fundamental to national survival.

For some of the cabinet members, there are intensely personal reasons to defend the wartime era. For example, the prime minister’s grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, an administrator of Japanese occupied Manchukuo and the longest serving member of the Tojo wartime cabinet, was an accused war criminal. He was also a founder of one of the parliamentary leagues advocating the promulgation of a Japanese, not American written constitution. Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo’s grandfather died as one of the commanding officers of Japanese forces on Iwo Jima. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Agriculture Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi both have profited from family-run companies (Aso Group and Ube Industries respectively) that unapologetically used Korean and Allied POW slave labor.

The leagues and caucuses comprise the “big tent” for Abe’s conservative movement. These groups are no longer fringe repositories of discontent. They provide the ideological language of tradition, religion, and cultural values that underwrite the entire Abe program. They are powerful, well-funded, mainstream, and now very influential.

The United States and the 48 nations (which do not include China, Korea or India) that signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan on September 8, 1951 should be offended and alarmed by the Abe cabinet’s worldview. The Treaty is premised upon a stated acceptance of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal verdicts. It was Japan’s first step toward confirming its modern investment in the rule of law, democracy, and an alliance with the United States.

The recent revelation that Abe while prime minister twice sent hortatory messages to an annual memorial ceremony honoring Class-A and other war criminals confirms that the prime minister is more ideological than pragmatic. In the message Abe sent as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (he argues that this is private, but in a parliamentary system the head of the ruling party is the prime minister), he hailed those executed by the Allied powers as “the foundation of their nation.” And he said “(the war criminals) staked their souls to become the foundation of their nation.” The ceremony is held every April at a memorial statue that describes the war crimes tribunals conducted by the Allied powers as “retaliatory” and calls all Japanese war criminals executed as “Showa Era (1926-1989) martyrs.”

Abe’s September 3rd Cabinet reshuffle will replace many important ministers. There will not be, however, any significant ideological shifts or policy changes. The basic qualification for a cabinet position is veneration of the values and architects of Japan’s failed wartime state. This undermines the foundation of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. However, it is now the new “normal.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule August 4-10, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014
(1993, Kono Statement issued)


09:34 Finish tour of 5 South and Central American countries with wife Akie. Arrive at Haneda airport in personal government aircraft
09:50 Depart from Haneda Airport
10:14 Arrive at Imperial Palace, register return to Japan
10:21 Depart from Imperial Palace
10:29 Arrive at Lower House 1st Diet Members’ Meeting Hall. Receive dental examination at dentist’s office inside hall
10:58 Depart from meeting hall
11:12 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Stay at private residence throughout afternoon and evening (no visitors)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no visitors)
08:59 Depart from private residence
09:17 Arrive at LDP Party Headquarters
09:20 Speak with President of Japan Forum on International Relations Ito Kenichi
09:29 Finish speaking with Mr. Ito
09:30 LDP Officers Meeting
09:57 Meeting ends
09:59 Depart from LDP Party Headquarters
10:00 Arrive at office
10:04 Cabinet Meeting begins
10:18 Cabinet Meeting ends
10:26 Headquarters for the Abduction Issue meeting
10:32 Meeting ends
10:36 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
10:42 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso
10:43 Meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Vice-Minister Saiki Akitaka, Administrative Vice-Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke, and Director-General of European Affairs Bureau Hayashi Hajime
11:07 End meeting with Mr. Kishida, Mr. Yachi, Mr. Saiki, Mr. Sugiyama and Mr. Hayashi
11:08 Inaugural address by Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to UN Okamura Yoshifumi and colleagues
11:14 End of address
11:16 Addresses from Japan Self-Defense Force incoming and outgoing leaders
11:26 End of addresses
11:36 Meet with Mr. Saiki
11:56 End meeting with Mr. Saiki

12:11 Ruling Party Liaison Conference
12:26 Conference ends
01:16 Meet with Administrative Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Hara Katsunori
01:46 End meeting with Mr. Katsunori
01:50 Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, Mr. Yachi, and Deputy Director-General of Public Security Intelligence Agency Kojima Yoshiharu enter
01:58 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Kojima both leave
02:24 Mr. Kitamura leaves
02:31 Depart from office
02:34 Arrive at LDP Party Headquarters, attend Policy Information Session and deliver address
02:53 Depart from LDP Party Headquarters
02:55 Arrive at office
02:56 Meet with Mr. Yachi and Mr. Saiki
03:11 End meeting with Mr. Yachi and Mr. Saiki
03:27 Film for video message on relevance of relief measures for Tohoku Earthquake
03:39 Finish filming
03:40 Meet with Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Mr. Aso, Vice-Minister Kagawa Shunsuke, Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho, and Director-General of Tax Bureau Sato Shinichi
04:22 End meeting with Mr. Aso, Mr. Kagawa, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Sato
04:23 Depart from office
04:50 Arrive at Haneda Airport
05:16 Depart from airport on ANA Flight 683
06:16 Arrive at Hiroshima Airport
06:28 Depart from airport
07:22 Arrive at Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima in Minami Ward, Hiroshima City
07:37 Dinner with secretaries and office staff at restaurant Boston inside hotel
08:32 Finish dinner

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


12:00 Stay the night at Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima (no visitors)
07:39 Depart from Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima
07:51 Arrive at Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City
08:00 Attend Ceremony to Console Victims of the Bomb and Ceremony to Pray for Peace (of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony), offer flowers and deliver address
08:52 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony ends
08:58 Depart from Peace Memorial Park
09:05 Arrive at Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City
09:30 Attend Meeting to Hear Request from Bomb Victim Representatives in banquet hall Royal Hall, informal talk. Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio and Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Tamura Norihisa also attend
10:22 Meeting ends
10:27 Press conference in banquet hall
10:37 Press conference ends
10:45 Depart from hotel
11:32 Arrive at Hiroshima Airport

12:03 Depart from airport on JAL Flight 1604
01:37 Arrive at Haneda Airport
01:52 Depart from airport
02:12 Arrive at Lower House 1st Diet Members’ Meeting Hall, receive dental examination at dentist’s office inside hall
02:40 Depart from meeting hall
02:41 Arrive at office
03:13 Speak with Governor of Okinawa Prefecture Nakaima Hirokazu. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
03:23 Finish speaking with Mr. Nakaima
03:24 Speak with Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC)’s Vice-Minister Oishi Toshio and Commissioner of Fire and Disaster Agency Sakamoto Morio
03:34 Finish speaking with Mr. Oishi and Mr. Sakamoto
03:35 Meet with State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akaba Kazuyoshi
04:07 End meeting with Mr. Akaba
04:08 Receive proposal from Ruling Parties’ Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake’s LDP Chairman Oshima Tadamori and New Komeito Chairman Inoue Yoshihisa
04:20 Finish receiving proposal
04:31 Meet with Vice-Minister of Finance Kagawa Shunsuke and Vice-Minister of Finance for International Affairs Yamasaki Tatsuo
04:51 End meeting with Mr. Kagagwa and Mr. Yamasaki
05:25 Meet with Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Amari Akira
05:44 End meeting with Mr. Amari
05:49 Depart from office
06:02 Arrive at salon HAIR GUEST in Shibuya, Tokyo. Hair cut
07:41 Depart from salon
07:52 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Thursday, August 7, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no visitors)
09:27 Depart from private residence
09:43 Arrive at office
09:48 Meet with Governor of Tokyo Prefecture Masuzoe Yoichi. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
10:27 End meeting with Mr. Masuzoe
10:44 Receive National Personnel Authority (NPA) recommendation from President of NPA Ichimiya Nahomi. Minister in charge of Civil Service Reform Inada Tomomi, Director-General for Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs Kato Katsunobu and Mr. Suga also attend
10:58 Finish receiving recommendation from Ms. Ichimiya
11:18 Meet with regional development headquarters establishment preparation office [まち・ひと・しごと創生本部設立準備室:machi・hito・shigoto sosei honbu setsuritsu jyunbishitsu] Chairman Furuya Kazuyuki and Deputy Chairman Yamasaki Shiro
11:48 End meeting with Mr. Furuya and Mr. Yamasaki
11:49 Speak with Stanford University Professor Hoshi Takeo and Cabinet Advisor Honda Etsuro

12:03 Finish speaking with Mr. Hoshi and Mr. Honda
01:46 Speak with Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Kimura Taro and Upper House member Takagai Emiko
01:51 Finish speaking with Mr. Kimura and Ms. Takagai
01:52 Meet with Minister of State for Special Missions Yamamoto Ichita
02:09 End meeting with Mr. Yamamoto
02:10 Meet with former LDP Secretary-General Takebe Tsutomu
02:30 End meeting with Mr. Takebe
02:32 Receive courtesy call from astronaut Wakata Koichi
02:40 Courtesy call ends
02:41 Meet with Chairman of Japan War-Bereaved Families Association [日本遺族会:Nippon Izokukai] Otsuji Hidehisa
02:59 End meeting with Mr. Otsuji
03:52 Speak with Space Policy Commission’s Chairman Kasai Yoshiyuki and Acting Chairman Matsui Takufumi
04:02 Finish speaking with Mr. Kasai and Mr. Matsui
04:21 Meet with Minister in charge of Administrative Reform Inada Tomomi
04:37 End meeting with Ms. Inada
04:38 Meet with Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Mayor of Nagato City Onishi Kurao and Mayor of Shimonoseki City Nakao Tomiaki
05:03 End meeting with Mr. Onishi and Mr. Nakao
05:04 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
05:38 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
06:34 Depart from office
06:35 Arrive at official residence. Dinner meeting with Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security’s Chairman Yanai Shunji and Acting Chair Kitaoka Shinichi, and colleagues. Mr. Suga, Director of NSC Yachi Shotaro, and colleagues also attend
08:25 Everyone leaves

Friday, August 8, 2014


12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
09:54 Depart from official residence
09:56 Arrive at office
10:38 Speak with Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Tokuchi Hideshi
10:44 Finish speaking with Mr. Tokuchi
10:45 Speak with Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Takeda Ryota
10:58 Finish speaking with Mr. Takeda
11:03 Speak with Honorary Executive Consultant of JX Holdings Watari Fumiaki and Chairman of JX Nippon Oil and Energy Kimura Yasushi
11:16 Finish speaking with Mr. Watari and Mr. Kimura
11:17 Meet with Board Chairman of Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum and former Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Omi Koji
11:50 End meeting with Mr. Omi

12:04 Lunch with LDP Vice-President Komura Masahiko and Deputy Chief Representative of New Komeito Kitagawa Kazuo
01:14 Finish lunch
01:15 Speak with Mr. Komura
01:19 Finish speaking with Mr. Komura
02:20 Speak with Josai University project professor Doi Yukio
02:30 Finish speaking with Mr. Doi
03:38 Interview with Nippon Keizai Shimbun
04:08 Interview ends
05:20 Meet with Director of NSC Yachi Shotaro
05:40 End meeting with Mr. Yachi
05:46 Film video message for a meeting on regional development
05:54 Finish filming
05:55 Meet with Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ohta Akihiro
06:26 End meeting with Mr. Ohta
06:30 Depart from office
06:57 Arrive at Haneda Airport
07:19 Depart from Haneda Airport on ANA Flight 669
08:47 Arrive at Nagasaki Airport
09:00 Depart from Nagasaki Airport
09:11 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Tenshin Okuzashiki in Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Dinner with secretaries
09:59 Depart from restaurant
10:40 Arrive at Best Western Premier Hotel Nagasaki in Nagasaki City

Saturday, August 9, 2014


12:00 Stay the night at Best Western Premier Hotel Nagasaki (no visitors)
08:00 At Best Western Premier Hotel Nagasaki (no morning visitors)
10:26 Depart from hotel
10:30 Arrive at Peace Park in Nagasaki City. Attend Ceremony to Console Nagasaki Bomb Victims and Pray for Peace, offer flowers, and deliver address
11:47 Depart from Peace Park
11:52 Arrive at Hotel New Nagasaki in Nagasaki City, lunch in banquet hall Tancho

12:19 Attend Meeting to Listen to Request from Bomb Victim Representatives in banquet hall Hoohkaku
12:55 Meeting ends
01:00 Press conference in banquet hall Hoohkaku
01:10 Press conference ends
01:12 Depart from hotel
01:49 Arrive at Nagasaki Airport
02:27 Depart from airport on ANA Flight 666
03:48 Arrive at Haneda Airport
04:00 Depart from airport
04:39 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
05:02 Depart from private residence
06:28 Arrive at Sumibi Kushiyaki I.W in Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner with Seikei University alumni
08:34 Depart from restaurant
08:46 Arrive at holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture
08:48 Seiki University alumni enter. Alumni stay the night

Sunday, August 10, 2014


12:00 At holiday home (no new visitors)
10:00 At holiday home in Narusawa Village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no morning visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout morning without visitors

12:32 Depart from holiday home
12:46 Arrive at Italian restaurant Ricetta in Fujikawaguchiko Town, Yamanashi Prefecture. Lunch with Mr. Abe’s mother Kishi Yoko and secretaries
01:48 Depart from restaurant
02:03 Arrive at holiday home
06:25 Depart from holiday home
06:34 Arrive at Chinese restaurant Isai Chugokusaikan Kokyu. Dinner with friends
08:49 Depart from restaurant
08:59 Arrive at holiday home

Provisional Translation by: Erin M. Jones