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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s choice to beef up Japan’s military role, supposedly made to fulfill a commitment to his American ally, is emphatically the wrong choice: it enhances the chances of war.

To see why, let us recall the historical context: Japan was engaged in constant military expeditions and wars against its Asian neighbors from the mid-1870s until 1945. Seven decades after embarking on that aggressive path, it was finally defeated by China and the United States.

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