Some Japan Times staff writers, at the expense of their journalistic integrity, seem to have a penchant for the same old partisan cliche in reporting on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as we see in the Jan. 29 front-page article “Abe opens Diet, skips hawkish rhetoric,” and in previous articles that either refer to the need to keep his “hawkishnes” in a cage or question whether his latest plan is just a “ploy.” These cookie-cutter articles deserve rigorous examination.
Take one of Abe’s campaign promises — exercising the right of collective self-defense. Strangely, although The Japan Times seems fiercely against letting Japan exercise this right, from what I know, Abe’s comments on this matter have not been covered accurately.
At press conferences, Abe repeatedly qualifies the condition for exercising this right: when the Self-Defense Forces are in joint operations with U.S. warships and the SDF needs to protect them. Because if the SDF didn’t intercept attacks against U.S. forces, he says, the alliance between Japan and the United States would no doubt break up. The Japan Times tends to skip this qualification.
We have witnessed that China’s economic development has not made them open up politically. We have learned that neither rule of law nor freedom of speech should be considered an inevitable stage of social evolution. Rather, history tells us that once a tyrant, always a tyrant, and that preserving the free world requires the constant commitment of free nations under American leadership.
The alliance between Japan and the U.S. is the last best hope for East Asia, because of the rule of law that both countries have held dear for decades and our time-tested respect for the international community. This is what all Asian democratic countries completely root for, and none of those core values has ever been part of the professional repertoire of Beijing leaders.
Certainly Abe has the willpower to stand for these principles.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.