Military Operation Against Kim Jong-un During U.S.-Korean Joint Exercises Would Not Be a Surprise
Renho Roundly Derided As “Boomerang Master”
【ニッポンの新常識】 Common Knowledge Revisited 108
On March 6th, North Korea simultaneously test launched four ballistic missiles, three of which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off the coast of Akita Prefecture. The Strategic Rocket Forces of the Korean People’s Army candidly made an official announcement on March 9th that this test launch was “carried out with the goal of attacking U.S. military bases in Japan.”
Highly toxic VX gas was used to carry out the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia on February 13th. North Korea is not a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
When he assumed office in January 2009, President Obama adopted a policy of “strategic patience” whereby there would be no dialogue with North Korea unless North Korea exhibited its intention to abandon its nuclear development program. However, General Secretary Kim Jong-il died on November 12th, and when power was transferred to his son, Chairman of the Korean Workers’ Party Kim Jong-un, nuclear development was accelerated and the situation deteriorated. The policy of “strategic patience” has been a spectacular failure.
As I have written in this column several times, the United States is a country willing to take chances. “Regular Americans” like me are willing to take on challenges without fearing failure. Conversely, for Americans the idea of committing “sins of omission” or failing to take appropriate action merely because of the fear of failure is very hard to accept. This way of thinking is probably precisely opposite from that of “regular Japanese people.”
Perceiving Mr. Obama’s weakness, North Korea fearlessly carried out numerous nuclear tests and achieved its long-held ambition of becoming a nuclear power. Mr. Obama was constrained by the ideology of “peaceful conflict resolution” which he outlined in his speech in Prague after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, and therefore committed sins of omission concerning the problems of North Korea and the South China Sea. The responsibility of being president of the United States was too heavy for this soft idealist.
Although the U.S. media continues to lambast President Donald Trump who humiliated them by winning the election despite their flawed election predictions, he not only understands the mentality of normal Americans but also has a realistic severity as president. He also understands the role of the United States.
Accordingly, I would not be surprised if he were to launch a military operation to bring down Kim Jong-un during or soon after the joint U.S.-Korean Foal Eagle War Games which began on March 1st.
In the event of such an operation, the countries which would be most adversely affected such as with waves of refugees would be South Korea and Japan. Armed groups posing as refuges might try to enter the country. Meantime, in the Japanese Diet [national parliament], which should be considering such potential effects on Japan and contingency plans, the opposition parties are working overtime to press Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Defense Minister Tomomi Inada concerning the issue of the “Moritomo Gakuen” school (in Osaka City).
[This issue concerns whether Moritomo Gakuen, a private school (which has not yet opened but is under construction), purchased public property from the government at an improperly low price. The owner, Mr. Kagoike, is a right-wing ideologue, which makes this a case made-to-order for the opposition parties. He apparently vigorously “stocked” various politicians, including LDP Prime Minister Abe and Defense Minister Inada, but also other politicians from oppositions parties, to intervene on his behalf in exchange for various alleged favors. All the politicians have denied accepting any of his favors or working on his behalf. Essentially, it is a local issue which should be resolved in Osaka, not in the national Diet.]
Democratic Party leader Renho said concerning Mrs. Inada’s inaccurate Diet testimony that “under no circumstance should this be allowed to stand as a mere mistaken memory.” Instantly, Renho was roundly derided on the internet as “boomerang master.”
[To explain, Inada initially testified in the Diet that while her husband had for a few years a long time ago been the attorney for Mr. Kagoike, she herself (who is also an attorney and practices with her husband) had never appeared in court on behalf of Kagoike. Upon further checking, however, it turned out that indeed she had appeared once in place of her husband who was unable to make the court appearance, and she corrected her Diet testimony and apologized the next day. Renho’s comment is in response to her correction and apology.
For her part, Renho is famous for the fact that she made several conflicting statements in the Diet about whether she has dual citizenship with Taiwan, and in fact that issue has never been fully clarified. She did the same thing as Inada when she attributed her inaccurate testimony to a faulty memory.]
The Japanese electorate will never again be deceived by diet members and parties which enthusiastically intone “Running politics [pursuing scandals, deposing cabinet members, etc.] is precisely our job.” The opposition parties should change their business model.