The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 14, 1968 · Page 20
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 20

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 14, 1968
Page 20
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B8 Palm Beach Post, Thurs., November 14, 1968 Japan Cool To Boost In Defense By COL. R. D.HEINL TOKYO (NANA) Prior to his election as America's 37th president Richard Nixon declared it was high time for us to permit Japan to provide her own defense. This is exactly what many Japanese fear will happen. On Japanese Armed Forces Day October 27 4.8(10 Japanese troops marched, rolled, or flew past Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in a Tokyo parade. Not a single "banzai" was heard along the three-mile line of march. In economic terms, Japan Is now the world's third greatest power. Her $120 billion Gross National Product ranks her behind only the United States and the USSR. Yet Japan's annual defense budget MB amounts to no more than $1 billion. This sum is l-70th of the U.S. Defense costs this year and appreciably less than those of several countries with a far smaller economic base. Japan has a modest-sized army, navy and air force denominated in deference to the national anti-militarist mood as "self defense forces." But the main weight of the defense of Japan rests on the United States. By mutual security treaty with the U.S., Japan comes under the protection of our nuclear umbrella, and the U.S. Navy of course guards the oceanic approaches to Japan. In return for this protection we enjoy valuable base rights Including nearly 150 American military installations such as air bases, army depots and the great Navy yard at Yokosuka, the biggest west of Pearl Harbor. Although so described in the treaty, it is a misnomer to speak of this arrangement as one of mutuality, since the security comes almost entirely LADIES . . . DO YOU KNOW THAT KIX SHOES Ihunday 9 to 9 PRICES GOOD TODAY vr HAS AN UPSTAIRS DEPT? Here you will find the world's finest lodies shoes ot Discount Prices! SHOES sins 3 w n AAAAA TO IH SAMPLES AND CANCELLATIONS Palm Beach 832-7664 FRIDAY 9 to 9 and SATURDAY NEXT TIME TRY THE UPSTAIRS DEPT OPEN FRIDAY NIGHTS KIX 333'i Clematis Weil from the United States rather than Japan. This imbalance has, however, enjoyed the blessing of Washington, which has been encouraged by the economic reconstruction of a disarmed Japan. It has also accorded with the post-war Japanese reaction against the militarism which well-nigh destroyed the country in 1945. Now, with Japan awakening from the shock and asphasia resulting from her defeat, and with her emergence as one of the world's greatest industrial powers, many Americans are asking that Japan do more for her own defense. The demand that Japan do more has not evoked an enthusiastic response. The Japanese public gives lukewarm support to the present reduced scale of defense expenditure and, according to well informed foreign observers as well as senior Japanese military officers, would be downright hostile to much more. At the same time, paradoxically, the Japanese Increasingly tend to question the price they pay for American security. This price is reflected in the continuing presence in Japan of some 40,000 U.S. troops an Irritating reminder of defeat and occupation. There is also the feeling that, although our nuclear shield does protect Japan, our forces here might also serve as lightningrods to attract attacks that might otherwise be directed elsewhere. Tiie main problem undo, lying the question of Japanese rearmament is simply that the Japanese do not feel any serious sense of threat. Despite reports that Russia's invasion of Czechoslovakia shook Japan into a less passive mood, Informed and experienced Western diplomats do not agree. One U.S. official remarked that the Czechoslovak affair had merely confirmed two long-held Japanese concepts: (1) Russia can't be trusted; and (2) The super-powers tend to act willfully and unpredictably. By contrast to West Germany and Korea where U.S. forces are welcomed because of vivid apprehension of the Communist threat the American presence In Japan is merely accepted. The result Is that, while we have a commitment to Japan, the Japa nese do not feel a strong commitment toward us. Besides Mr. Nixon, many Americans in and out of government deplore this situation. By and large they are the same people who have urged pressure on Japan to assume a larger burden of self defense. But there are others perhaps more far-sighted who question the desirability of an accelerated rearmament for Japan, even If the Japanese were to assent. This is not to say that Japan's armed forces ought not to be more realistically restructured and improved In quality. It Is absurd on Its face, for example, that a nation girded by the sea, possessing one of the greatest merchant marines afloat, maintains an army almost six times the size If its miniature navy. The defense if not survival of Japan like England on the other side of the world will always be determined at sea and in the air. but a substantially rearmed Japan would face the further question of nuclear arms. Japan now has an advanced peaceful nuclear energy program and could readily produce nuclear missiles. Now prohibited by Japan's constitution, such weapons pose questions for the Japanese people at once emotional and deeply divisive. Moreover It is certainly not In the long-term U.S. Interest for Japan to Join the nuclear club. One fervent hope of American policy-makers Is that Japan will soon decide to ratify the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The feeling here is that, under present circumstances, she would do so promptly were the United States to do the same a step which Mr. Nixon, it might be Interjected, has thus far obstructed. Those, therefore, who hope-" fully envisage Japan as a kind of Britain (in her days of economic power and maritime strength) dominating the neighboring continent from offshore and doing so as an American surrogate are not looking realistically either at the mood of Japan nor at possible consequences of a change of mood. What the realists say is worth pondering. Either Japan will refuse for a decade or longer to accept any major share in Pacific se curity arrangements I ! REGULAR $199 j 9 to 6 Reg.'189 Modern Firm Foam Mattress Wing-Back CONVERTIBLE SOFA Complete with full-sue Firm FOAM MATTRESS, Sleeps 21 Designed for superb sitting and sleeping comfort! 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