The other day, while driving in Naha, I encountered a sound truck operated by ultra-nationalists. It was blaring out Imperial Japanese Army tunes with two national flags hoisted on top: One was the Rising Sun and the other was the Stars and Stripes. Clearly these right-wingers identify themselves not only with Japan, naturally, but also with the United States.

This identity complex doesn’t vary much among people with a penchant for rightist ideology, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cohorts. Author Ayako Sono and NHK President Katsuto Momi, judging by recent news reports, appear to think the U.S. is their best friend and protector helping to promote the cause of regaining Japan’s militaristic prestige.

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