Regarding Joseph Jaworski’s Dec. 9 letter, “Responsibility for self-protection“: First, the idea that Japan’s political discourse is on the far left is ludicrous. Japan’s major parties are all right of center, including the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which is likely to regain power in Sunday’s election.

Next, the implication that Japan can remain a pacifist country only if it has the protection of the United States couldn’t be further from the truth. The U.S. is not in Japan to protect Japan, but rather to exert its influence and power in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. is in Japan for purely selfish reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the [war-renouncing] Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution.

Americans have not died for the Japanese; we don’t enter foreign wars even for the benefit of our own citizens, let alone Japan’s. To state that the Japanese are often happy to have U.S. citizens die in wars on their behalf is ridiculous. Who has attacked Japan since World War II? What U.S. soldier has died defending Japan?

Adding further insult to Japan, Jaworski depicts it as an immature country that is unable to handle its own affairs. This is typical of some Americans’ way of patronizing and belittling other countries. Japan doesn’t need U.S. protection, and never has.

To be sure, Japan needs to learn to get along peacefully with the rest of Asia, but creation of a “regular” Japanese military will not facilitate that; it will do the opposite. Yes, the U.S. military needs to leave Japan, but not at the expense of Article 9.

timothy bedwell

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.