Toward a Northeast Asian Community
EDITORIAL, 24 August 2015
#390 | Johan Galtung, 24 Aug 2015 - TRANSCEND Media Service
Abe’s policy of “collective self-defense”, an alliance with the most belligerent country in the world, USA, with 248 military interventions abroad since 1805–78 after the Second World War– is a policy of national insecurity. It involves Japan in US armed conflicts all over, eg., against the Islamic State with revenge against Japan, and in arms races easily leading to war. And the TPP-CSD makes Japan a periphery of a US economy with deep problems, also reducing welfare. All this is masked by focusing on the past, and on apologies.
Positive Peace, from 1958, means cooperation with equity, harmony with empathy, institutions-fusion-transmission by inspiring others; nothing military, no arms. The Japanese government uses such words for the opposite of what they stand for: A Peace Umbrella, not neo-AMPO (Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan).
Negative Peace, aka security, stands for the absence of violence and war by removing the causes through conflict solution and trauma conciliation; in the Japanese approach, there is no conflict solution.
A Peace Formula:
Instead negativism, anti-neighbors, rightist-leftist anti-Japan, anti-each other; no going beyond linking the positive in parties, both-and; Japanese are good at eclecticism at home, not in foreign affairs.
Identifying Unsolved Conflicts and Unconciled Traumas:
|Japan-China||Senkaku-Diaoyudao||Nanjing Unit 738|
|Japan-S Korea||Takeshima-Dokdo||Comfort women|
|Japan-N Korea||Takeshima-Dokdo Abduction||Forced labor, Zainichi|
|Tokyo-Okinawa||Occupied by USA-Tokyo||1879 conquest|
|Japan-Russia||Northern Territories||Yalta-Potsdam transfer|
|Japan-USA||Still occupying Japan||Pearl Harbor, TYO-HIR-NAG|
Traumas: the facts are heavily contested; we need badly an International Fact-Finding Commission to establish the nucleus of truth.
Most problematic are the Japan-USA relations: how much was US provocation, to what extent was the occupation of Japan already prepared before Pearl Harbor, and so on. In addition, how many civilians were killed in Vietnam, Malaya-Singapore, Indonesia by Japanese invaders, how many by the French, the English, the Dutch when they came back to reconquer their colonies after the Japanese capitulation, etc.
However, this is all in the past; our focus should be on the future. We notice the significance of islands in the seas of Northeast Asia, contested between Japan on one side and from North to South by Russia, China-Taiwan and Korea South-North on the other; six countries. All have good points, none of them really compelling. Conclusion: To solve the contested islands conflicts joint ownership is proposed; joint sovereignty for the Northern Territories. In other words, use conflict to transcend, to go beyond, building equitable cooperation.
In general, we solve conflicts through mediation in three steps:
- mapping: the parties, their goals and conflicts = incompatible goals;
- testing goal legitimacy: legal, human rights, basic needs standards;
- vision of a new feasible reality meeting reasonably legitimate goals.
The method is 1-on-1 mediation, with dialogues exploring:
- Future Positive: what is the East Asia the parties want? Idealism;
- Past-Present Negative: what is going on, Black-White? Realism;
- Past Positive: was it once better? What happened? Nostalgia;
- Future Negative: what are you most afraid of? Worst case paranoia.
Japan tends to disregard the first and focus on the fourth: “crisis”. Guided by all four, concrete-constructive-creative solutions can emerge.
The Northeast Asian Community NEAC would have 6 members like the European Community of 1958: 2 Chinas, 2 Koreas, Japan, Far East Russia, with Okinawa as a Special Prefecture serving as Headquarter for NEAC, or, ANEAN, Association of Northeast Asian Nations, learning from ASEAN; catching up with the trend in the world. To be combined with equally good relations to USA-Washington, going for the best on both sides.
Yet, even with this peace umbrella things may go wrong, hence:
Defensive Defense: non-provocative, non-offensive, short distance:
CMD: conventional military coastal-space defense; MTBs-PGM, beams;
PMD: paramilitary territorial defense, guerrilla-militia; Jeeps-PGM;
NMD: positive/negative nonviolence; noncooperation-civil disobedience;
CMD + PMD + NMD together make the country unoccupable like Switzerland.
Not disarmament but transarmament with UN monitoring; nor “unarmed neutrality” but defensive defense, with AMPO, but without bases.
Add to this: Read A9-1 positively, recommend it for all states:
No to war as instrument in foreign policy–arms only for defensive defense–Yes to a positive peace umbrella. With Japan as world leader.
Please think it through: what do you prefer, a positive peace policy based on conciling traumas, solving conflicts, defensive defense just in case, catching up with regions, Europe, Latin America, Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia; or a dangerous arms race involving Japan in US wars with revenge coming to Japan–and in addition solving nothing?
Japan-USA is more complicated. Yes, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and before that was at war with China, Russia, Germany in WWI, China in Manchuria, France in Vietnam, England in Malaya-Singapore, Netherlands in Indonesia; with all the colonial powers in Asia. It did not colonize them but Japanized and made them capable of beating Japan economically. Yes, it was violent and Japan should have done this nonviolently, the Gandhian way of liberating India or some other way.
Moreover, to what extent did USA want the war to occupy and get rid of Japan as competitor in East Asia and the whole world? To what extent did they provoke, and prepare the occupation before Pearl Harbor at the Anglo-American Tavistock psychop facility?
Could there be some basis for reviewing the Tokyo Tribunal–with seven Japanese executed–and the other military tribunals, with more than a thousand executed for war crimes? How about the French killing maybe 400,000 civilians in the First Indochina War 1945-54 trying to reconquer Vietnam? Getting off with impunity like the English, the Dutch–.
The questions are many; the answers are few. But we repeat, do not let us get lost in the past; we have more important jobs to do.
The future belongs to whoever has the most compelling vision.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 August 2015.
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