Four years after Fukushima disaster, government to restart Japan’s nuclear plants

By Ben McGrath, 19 March 2015

The crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is still decades from being decommissioned and environmental problems continue to mount.

US ramps up anti-China “pivot to Asia”

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2015

The US maritime strategic document released yesterday is a recipe for intensifying tensions in Asia and compounding the danger of war with China.

Japan pushes forward with plans for overseas intelligence agency

By Ben McGrath, 12 March 2015

Tokyo is exploiting fears of terrorism to promote remilitarization plans that have long been under preparation and are broadly opposed by the population.

South Korean president calls for Japanese apology

By Ben McGrath, 6 March 2015

Compared to past speeches Park Geun-hye appeared to pull her punches on the crimes of Japanese imperialism in the 1930s and 1940s.

Opposition to Japanese government’s lies on “comfort women”

By Ben McGrath, 27 February 2015

The revision of history is bound up with the government’s plans to remilitarize and to end constitutional restrictions on operations of the Japanese military.

Japan rewrites foreign aid rules to include military assistance

By Ben McGrath, 21 February 2015

The decision on foreign military aid is just one aspect of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s far broader agenda to revive Japanese militarism.

Japanese prime minister pushes to end constitutional limits on the military

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2015

The Japanese ruling class increasingly views the post-war constitution as an intolerable impediment to pursuing its imperialist ambitions in Asia and internationally.

US historians criticize Tokyo’s efforts to whitewash war crimes

By Ben McGrath, 16 February 2015

American historians have signed a statement condemning the Japanese government’s attempts to whitewash the military’s abuse of “comfort women” in the 1930s and 1940s.

Japanese PM calls for constitutional change in keynote speech

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2015

Central to Abe’s “reform” agenda is the removal of constraints on the use of the military to prosecute Japanese imperialism's strategic interests.

Japanese government pushes to revise US history text

By Ben McGrath, 6 February 2015

Prime Minister Abe’s justification of the past crimes of Japanese imperialism, including the abuse of “comfort women,” is in order to prepare for new wars.

Japanese PM pushes for new military powers

By Peter Symonds, 4 February 2015

Abe is exploiting the murder of two Japanese hostages to call for legislation to further expand the scope for dispatching Japan’s armed forces overseas.

Fate of ISIS’s Japanese and Jordanian captives uncertain

By Ben McGrath, 31 January 2015

The Jordanian, Japanese and US governments are all seeking to exploit the hostage crisis for militarist purposes.

Japanese government exploits hostage crisis to push remilitarisation

By Ben McGrath, 28 January 2015

The Abe government plans to introduce 10 new laws lifting restrictions on the dispatch of the Japanese military overseas.

ISIS kills Japanese hostage

By Ben McGrath, 26 January 2015

The apparent murder of one of the hostages held by ISIS, Haruna Yukawa, comes as Japan plans to expand its military presence in the Middle East.

Japan: Two workers killed at TEPCO nuclear plants in Fukushima

By Ben McGrath, 26 January 2015

The deaths are another reminder of the ongoing dangers at the tsunami-affected Fukushima Daiichi complex, and the official disregard for workers’ health and safety.

Japanese government boosts military spending

By Will Morrow, 16 January 2015

The government left no doubt that the increase is part of preparations for war with China.

Oil prices and bond yields continue their decline

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2015

Oil prices on Tuesday sank further toward their levels of 2009, while bond yields hit zero in Japan.

Japan: New laws to loosen restrictions on the military

By Ben McGrath, 5 January 2015

If passed, the legislation will give the government far broader scope to go to war in the name of “collective self-defense.”

US, Japan, and South Korea sign intelligence sharing deal

By Ben McGrath, 31 December 2014

While the memorandum of understanding is nominally directed against North Korea, the US clearly wants an agreement that targets China as well.

Right-wing LDP wins Japanese election amid low turnout

By Peter Symonds, 15 December 2014

The turnout of just 52 percent reflects widespread alienation from the entire political establishment and its agenda of austerity and remilitarisation.

Japanese PM flags propaganda offensive to “restore Japan’s honour”

By Peter Symonds, 13 December 2014

The ruling LDP is preparing to accelerate plans for Japan’s remilitarisation, including on the ideological front, if it retains office in tomorrow’s election.

Japan’s state secrecy law goes into effect

By Ben McGrath, 12 December 2014

The right-wing Abe government passed the anti-democratic legislation as a means of blocking opposition to its agenda of austerity and remilitarisation.

As election campaign begins, Moody’s downgrades Japan’s debt

By Peter Symonds, 2 December 2014

The credit downgrade was a warning to the next government to implement harsh austerity measures to bring down Japan’s massive public debt.

Japan’s snap election: A sign of economic and political crisis

By Peter Symonds, 19 November 2014

Prime Minister Abe called the poll just a day after economic data showed that the country was in recession.

Japan slides back into recession

By Nick Beams, 18 November 2014

The shock announcement that Japan’s economy shrank for the second quarter in a row dealt a major blow to “Abenomics.”

Obama-Xi talks underscore US war threat in Asia

By Patrick Kelly, 13 November 2014

New military “confidence-building mechanisms” resolve none of the issues underlying Washington’s confrontation of China.

Japanese and Chinese leaders hold first meeting in Beijing

By Ben McGrath, 11 November 2014

Abe’s brief talks with Xi are not a sign of an easing of Tokyo’s agenda of reviving Japanese militarism.

Bank of Japan’s shock stimulus further destabilizes global economy

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2014

The Japanese central bank’s surprise announcement of new monetary stimulus measures has led to accusations that it is trying to export deflation and warnings of a currency war.

US-Japan conflicts stall Obama’s Trans-Pacific economic pact

By Mike Head, 28 October 2014

The impasse points to the underlying conflicts between the interests of the US and those of its current allies such as Japan.

Japanese ministers visit Yasukuni war shrine

By Ben McGrath, 24 October 2014

The visit is part of the Abe government’s agenda of whitewashing the Japanese army’s war crimes in the 1930s and 1940s and remilitarising Japan.

Two newly-appointed Japanese cabinet members resign

By Ben McGrath, 22 October 2014

The resignations of the ministers is evidence of a further right-wing shift in the Abe government.

Grave of the Fireflies: Two children fighting for survival in wartime Japan

By Elle Chapman, 22 September 2014

Produced over 25 years ago, the Japanese animation feature is a unique and emotionally intense story set in Kobe during the last months of World War II.

Japanese PM pressures Sri Lanka to weaken ties with China

By W.A. Sunil, 17 September 2014

Shinzo Abe’s two-day visit to Sri Lanka was bound up with a broader drive to secure Japanese influence in South Asia at the expense of China.

Australian government signals purchase of Japanese submarines

By Peter Symonds, 10 September 2014

While the choice is being presented in economic terms, such a decision would have far-reaching geo-political ramifications.

Japanese prime minister reshuffles cabinet

By John Watanabe, 9 September 2014

The new ministry will intensify the attacks on the working class at home and expand Japan’s remilitarization directed at its rivals abroad.

India and Japan proclaim “special strategic, global partnership”

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 4 September 2014

Modi’s Japan trip launched a month of hectic diplomacy in which India’s prime minister will meet the heads of government of all the key powers in the military-strategic confrontation between US imperialism and China.

Economic data show gathering global slump

By Nick Beams, 3 September 2014

Monetary stimulus has failed to halt recessionary trends in the global economy.

Tokyo holds talks with North Korea over Japanese abductees

By Ben McGrath, 29 August 2014

Japan’s moves have provoked concerns in Washington that Tokyo’s diplomacy will cut across US strategy in North East Asia.

Fears of “a new cold war” and conflict in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 26 August 2014

The increasingly volatile situation in Asia is provoking a degree of nervousness in Washington, including among those directly responsible for creating it.

Japanese lawmakers visit notorious Yasukuni war shrine

By Ben McGrath, 19 August 2014

The visit is part of the government’s revival of Japanese militarism, including whitewashing the past war crimes of the Japanese military.

Signs of serious problems in Chinese and Japanese economies

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2014

The sharp slowdown in credit expansion in China and the contraction in Japan will impact on the world economy.

Japanese PM tours Latin America

By Ben McGrath, 12 August 2014

Abe sought to expand Tokyo’s influence in the region, especially in order to counter that of China.

Japan’s defence white paper targets China

By Peter Symonds, 9 August 2014

The Abe government is exploiting the “China threat” to press ahead with plans for Japanese remilitarisation.

Japan’s PM visits Papua New Guinea to promote militarist agenda

By Will Morrow, 16 July 2014

China was not publicly mentioned during Abe’s visit, but commentators said the trip was a signal to Beijing.

South Korean government voices concern over Japanese “collective self-defense”

By Ben McGrath, 12 July 2014

While the militarization of Japan is currently targeted at China, it is alarming Seoul, a key ally of the United States.

War drums beat louder against China as Japanese imperialism re-emerges

By Nick Beams, 10 July 2014

Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Australia announced to the world that Japan is breaking from the shackles of the post-war “pacifist” constitution.

New Zealand government backs Japan’s militarist revival

By Tom Peters, 10 July 2014

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited New Zealand to secure support for his “reinterpretation” of Japan’s constitution to allow troops to fight in overseas wars.

Shinzo Abe’s Australian visit: Another step toward war

By Nick Beams, 9 July 2014

The corporate media establishment is backing the re-militarisation of Japan and its closer military ties with Australia.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe cloaks militarism in “peace” pledges to Australian parliament

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2014

Prime Minister Abe’s speech underscores the militarist agenda behind the reinterpretation of the Japanese constitution.

Japanese PM unveils “third arrow” of economic agenda

By Ben McGrath, 8 July 2014

The re-emergence of Japanese militarism

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2014

Abe’s constitutional “reinterpretation” is a major step toward ending any legal restraint on the ability of Japanese imperialism to wage wars of aggression.

Anti-militarism protester sets himself alight in Tokyo

By Peter Symonds, 1 July 2014

The protest indicates the depth of opposition in Japan to the government’s reinterpretation of the constitution to permit “collective self-defence.”

Official Japanese report whitewashes wartime sexual slavery

By Ben McGrath, 28 June 2014

The Abe government’s review calls into question the formal 1993 apology for the army’s abuse of women during World War II.

Australia, Japan forge closer military ties

By Peter Symonds, 14 June 2014

The US has encouraged closer collaboration between its two allies as part of its “pivot to Asia” and preparations for war against China.

Australian Senate committee discusses threat of US-China war

By Mike Head, 11 June 2014

Behind the backs of the public, a discussion is taking place about the likelihood of Australia being involved in a US war for domination over the Asia-Pacific.

Close encounter between Japanese and Chinese military planes

By Ben McGrath, 28 May 2014

China scrambled fighters in response to Japanese planes monitoring a joint Chinese-Russian naval exercise in the East China Sea.

Japanese PM embraces “collective self-defence”

By Peter Symonds, 17 May 2014

Abe is seeking to remove constitutional restraints on Japan’s full involvement in future US wars of aggression.

Japan: Fukushima worker sues TEPCO over radiation exposure

By Will Morrow, 12 May 2014

The lawsuit comes amid growing anger among workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, dangerous conditions and low pay.

The danger of war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 26 April 2014

Obama is touring American allies in Asia, stoking up flashpoints, consolidating the US military encirclement of China and preparing for a new Pacific war.

Obama affirms US backing for Japan in any conflict with China

By Peter Symonds, 24 April 2014

Obama’s unequivocal support for Japan will only further fuel tensions with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Japan to erect new radar base close to China

By John Watanabe, 23 April 2014

On the eve of Obama’s visit to Tokyo, the Japanese government announced the strengthening of its military posture in areas adjacent to China.

Obama’s tour to reinforce “pivot to Asia”

By Peter Symonds, 22 April 2014

Obama’s overriding aim is to signal his intention to press ahead with the “pivot to Asia,” which seeks to ensure US hegemony in the region.

Australia and Japan extend military ties

By Patrick O’Connor, 9 April 2014

The agreements underscore Japan and Australia’s active collaboration with Washington’s drive to militarily encircle and diplomatically isolate China.

Japan gives green light to shoot down North Korean missiles

By John Watanabe, 8 April 2014

Washington and Tokyo are hypocritically using North Korean missile drills as an excuse for the remilitarisation of Japan, directed against China and Russia.

US defense secretary threatens China during Japan visit

By James Cogan, 8 April 2014

Hagel publicly stressed that the Obama administration is prepared to go to war alongside Japan against China.

The Eternal Zero: Propaganda in the service of present day militarism

By John Watanabe, 2 April 2014

The film about Japanese kamikaze pilots during World War II is part of a concerted campaign to revive militarism and condition young people for new wars.

Provocative remarks by US Pacific fleet commander fuel disputes with China

By Nick Beams, 21 March 2014

A senior US admiral invokes the Crimea crisis to accuse China of expansionism.

Japanese government seeks to whitewash crimes against “comfort women”

By Ben McGrath, 13 March 2014

The Abe government has suggested it will revise the 1993 apology for the women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in the 1930s and 1940s.

Japanese government signals restart of nuclear power plants

By Will Morrow, 10 March 2014

Three years after the Fukushima disaster, the Abe government is riding roughshod over overwhelming popular opposition to the nuclear industry.

Japan’s diplomacy in shambles over Ukraine crisis

By Peter Symonds, 7 March 2014

Japanese support for the US confrontation with Russia is undermining Tokyo’s efforts over the past year to forge closer ties with Moscow.

US and Japanese troops train for war against China

By Peter Symonds, 28 February 2014

US imperialism, following its wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, is preparing for a new and more terrible conflict against China.

As growth slows, Bank of Japan “opens spigot” to the rich

By John Watanabe, 26 February 2014

Japan’s central bank decided to expand its massive monetary easing program.

Japan: New radioactive water leak at Fukushima

By Will Morrow, 24 February 2014

No faith can be placed in any of TEPCO’s claims about the extent of radioactive material that has reached the environment.

Toyota registers record profit through ruthless restructuring

By John Watanabe, 14 February 2014

The restructuring of Toyota’s operations, within Japan and internationally, is aimed at driving down wages and increasing exploitation.

Tokyo election reveals widespread political alienation

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2014

The turnout was just 46.1 percent, down from 62.6 percent in 2012, and the third lowest figure ever.

The revival of Japanese militarism

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2014

The denial of crimes such as the Rape of Nanking has only one meaning—it is the ideological preparation for new wars and new atrocities.

Japanese government promotes militarism in media and schools

By John Watanabe, 5 February 2014

The government stacked the NHK’s board with right-wing appointees to shift the public broadcaster’s political orientation.

US warns China over air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 4 February 2014

The Obama administration has seized on an insubstantial Asahi Shimbun article to stir up tensions with China over the South China Sea.

Japan: New political alignment emerges in Tokyo election

By John Watanabe, 31 January 2014

The election is being held amid growing public opposition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

Japanese PM strengthens economic-strategic ties with India

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 January 2014

Both Japan and India are concerned to counter the growth of China’s economic and strategic influence in Asia.

The danger of war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 29 January 2014

Asia in 2014 bears chilling resemblance to Europe in 1914.

Japanese Communist Party signals regroupment with bourgeois “left” parties

By John Watanabe, 20 January 2014

The JCP is seeking to channel popular discontent by forming a new alliance that would posture as the only viable opposition to the Abe government.

Japanese PM’s aggressive diplomatic push in Africa

By John Watanabe, 16 January 2014

The trip was aimed at expanding Japanese influence in Africa and curbing China’s presence in this strategically vital region.

France, Japan form alliance targeting Chinese influence in Africa

By Kumaran Ira, 13 January 2014

Japan’s foreign and defense ministers visited Paris for “two-plus-two” talks with their French counterparts last Thursday.

Japanese defence minister’s Indian visit strengthens military ties

By Deepal Jayasekera, 10 January 2014

Tokyo is seeking to integrate New Delhi into a US-led strategic alliance against China.

Japan scrambles fighters amid escalating tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 8 January 2014

In the midst of the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute with China, the Japanese government announced that it was registering another 280 remote islands as state property.

Japan: Okinawa governor approves new US Marine base

By Peter Symonds, 31 December 2013

US Defence Secretary Hagel hailed the decision as “the most significant milestone” in the realignment of US forces in the region.

Japanese PM revives militarist traditions

By Peter Symonds, 27 December 2013

Abe’s visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine to Japan’s war dead is part of his campaign to whitewash past war crimes in order to prepare for new ones.

Japanese government boosts defence budget

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2013

The military buildup is part of a strategic re-orientation of the Japanese armed forces to more aggressively confront China.

Japan’s new defence documents target China

By John Chan, 16 December 2013

The strategic documents outline a drive to strengthen the US-Japan alliance and expand Japan’s military buildup.

Japan steps up campaign against Chinese air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 10 December 2013

The Japanese government is intensifying the pressure on China by soliciting support in South East Asia to oppose Beijing’s ADIZ and convene an international meeting on the issue.

State secrets law pushed through in Japan

By Ben McGrath, 10 December 2013

The secrecy law is a crucial part of Abe’s efforts to remilitarise Japan and strengthen US-Japan alliance against China.

US vice president backs Japan over China’s air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 4 December 2013

The US seized on the Chinese ADIZ to strengthen its alliances with Japan and South Korea, as part of its “pivot” to Asia.

US vice-president to lay down law to China

By Peter Symonds, 3 December 2013

The prime responsibility for last week’s flare-up of tensions in the East China Sea lies with Obama’s “pivot to Asia” aimed at undermining China economically and militarily.

Chinese fighters shadow US/Japanese warplanes in disputed ADIZ

By Peter Symonds, 30 November 2013

The incident—the first time China has scrambled fighters in response to a US or Japanese incursion—underscores the danger of a clash.

Tensions escalate over Chinese air defence zone

By John Chan, 29 November 2013

Miscalculations in the current situation could quickly lead to a clash involving Chinese warplanes with those from Japan, the US or South Korea.

Japan: Fuel removal begins at stricken nuclear plant

By John Watanabe, 26 November 2013

TEPCO has started the hazardous task of transferring nuclear fuel rods from the unstable reactor 4 building at its Fukushima Daiichi plant.

China announces “air defence identification zone” in East China Sea

By John Chan, 25 November 2013

The Obama administration criticised the Chinese air defence zone and reiterated that the US-Japan Security Treaty will apply if war breaks out between China and Japan over the disputed Senkaku islands.

Japan’s new state secrecy law

By John Watanabe, 16 November 2013

The bill will expand the range of secret government information, paving the way for closer involvement in the US military build-up against China.

China and Japan hold rival military exercises

By John Chan, 6 November 2013

Massive exercises, staged not far from the disputed Diaoyu/Senkakus islands, have become the focal point for a war of words between Tokyo and Beijing.