The sun rises, and one catches a glimpse of ominous-looking ships off the Japanese coast in the morning light. Squinting for a clearer view, one sees that the ships are flying foreign flags. What is going on?
The country, which has sent the ships, dispatches its envoys ashore. They hasten to explain that it is all in the name of mutual prosperity, and of regional peace.
But this doesn’t make the ships look any less threatening. On the contrary, the unctuous assurances by the foreign potentates only underline the unease felt by the ordinary people of Japan.
“Peace and prosperity?” the man in the street asks skeptically as word of the strange encounter gets around.
“More like a new order in the Western Pacific, I’d say,” the fishmonger replies.
“Something about this is off,” a third rejoins, her eyes darting out to sea to watch the ships looming closer to shore.
“I heard,” she continues, “that countries around Japan have fallen under the power of those ships’ homeland. Once free, but now they’re enslaved through the ‘peace and prosperity’ the ships were supposed to bring.”
“I sure hope the Japanese government knows what it’s doing,” the fishmonger interjects, but his face does not reflect much hope.
Sentiments of fear and uncertainty accompanying the arrival of the white ships are felt for a good reason. A long era of peace has paralyzed the government, and it has no idea what to do about the ships.
“Let’s just muddle along as always, and things will work out, somehow,” the bureaucrats think to themselves, endlessly shuffling hard decisions to neighboring departments’ desks.
Will anyone act resolutely, or will Japan lose her independence, too?
Was that 1853? It began in 2020 and Continues
The scene described above may sound like it took place in 1853, when United States Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s “Black Ships” appeared suddenly in Uraga Bay off the coast of what was then called Edo. The bakufu, the shogunate government, was flummoxed in the extreme. What to do about these strange people? Some ministers hemmed, others hawed. Extremists flourished in the vacuum of government inaction. The bakufu eventually fell due to its indecision.
But the scene is not from 1853. It is from today — this very day. Day after day in 2022, just as in 2021 and 2020, foreign ships appeared off the coast of Japan. Not black ships, in any case. White ones. Big warships painted coast-guard white and bearing messages from a powerful country of peace and prosperity, but also mounted with guns and intimidating Japanese vessels and fishermen off the shores of the Senkaku Islands and elsewhere.
The threatening foreign ships are not American this time. They are Chinese. They are the advance guard of a new world order, just as the American ships once were.
They also foretell the end of the world order that the Americans eventually built out of the ruins of Japan. The White Ships are here, in other words, to cancel out the Black Ships, to tear down what those Black Ships built in Japan.
And, just as it was 17 decades ago, the Japanese government today has, it seems, no idea how to respond to the foreign threat. No will to fight. No sense of alarm. No clue that the world is turning upside-down.
The men and women in the streets of Tokyo whisper, “Who will defend us?”
The bureaucrats and politicians in Kasumigaseki and Nagatacho show up for work each morning, going through the motions of running a country in grave peril of being overrun by a hostile power. Five o’clock, the whistle blows; another day at the office is done. The bureaucrats go home. Another day was wasted.
Veteran Warns of American Neo-Colonialism in Japan
In December of 2021, US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Sargis Sangari spoke remotely to some members of the Japanese Diet. Sangari’s words were not reassuring. The situation in Japan today is like 1853, he said. Japan must revise its Constitution, bolster its military, and get out from under the shadow of neo-colonialism from Washington.
What is meant by neo-colonialism? The postwar order that the Americans imposed on Japan incorporated the archipelago within the worldwide struggle that Washington waged against its mortal adversary (but erstwhile ally), the Soviet Union. The Americans turned the Pacific Ocean into an American lake and Japan into an unsinkable aircraft carrier for securing the vast area against all comers.
That all took shape in the 1940s. It is 2022 now. Nearly 80 years have gone by. And, still, the American strategy remains the same.
But the game is different, no matter how much Washington keeps belting out the same tune. The People’s Republic of China has emerged as a racist ethnostate forming a genocidal empire with designs on East Asia and far beyond. It wants to flip the polarity of Japan, turning it into a breakwater against American involvement in the East and South China Seas.
To that end, China sends its ships to the Senkakus, day in and day out, wearing down the Japanese defenses, psychologically undermining Japan’s will to fight, and terrorizing by slow conquest the country’s entire population.
The government of Japan responds with half-hearted gestures. The Americans speak of “pivots” and “rebalances,” conduct freedom of navigation operations, and call for dialogue. Too little, far too late. Japan remains stuck in 1951, when the Treaty of San Francisco was signed.
Japan, it seems, likes being a quasi-colony of Washington. Neo-colonialism of the American variety has become the motif of Japanese politics and diplomacy.
The fishmongers of today still hope that Tokyo will act. But Tokyo wrings its hands, saying, “I sure hope Washington will do something.”
The Root of the Paralysis
Why does Japan not buck up and fight off the White Ships which seek Japan’s enslavement? The answer boils down to history.
American neo-colonialism is not just a matter of deference to Washington’s self-touted military prowess. It is much more complicated than that: Japan could quickly rearm, but it doesn’t. Japan thinks it’s unworthy of having a military.
Japan thinks this because the Americans told them through the Constitution that Washington forced on Japan that the Japanese people could not be trusted with weapons. Japanese people came to agree with this. American-led brainwashing and indoctrination in Japanese public schools by communist teachers under the War Guilt Information Program deadened national resolve.
“If we have a military, there will be another war,” so many here say.
No other nation on earth distrusts itself so. Only Japan. Self-loathing is not a natural development. It is neo-colonialism, the art of making one country permanently, psychologically dependent on another.
However, Japan should be proud of its past. The truth is that when Japan did have a military, it used it for the noblest purpose of all — to free others. The Japanese military in the 1940s drove white imperialists out of Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. As a result, Japan lost its empire and then lost its military. But it liberated Asia in one of the most remarkable events in world history. Japan sacrificed itself to save its neighbors.
The Americans did not take kindly to this victory by a non-white power. Japan has been under the thumb of Uncle Sam ever since it unleashed the world’s first atomic holocaust over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Japan never recovered from the shattering of the psyche that came from defeat and occupation. Even today, the Americans are the real power in these islands.
Learn the Real History and Fight Back
Not everyone saw the Japanese as uniquely evil. But Arnold Toynbee, the brilliant historian, praised Japan’s civilization and respected Japan’s victories in Asia. Also, Samuel Huntington, the Harvard political scientist, understood that Japanese civilization could not be categorized with others and that Japan was a unique country.
With its proud history stretching back more than 26 centuries, this sparkling civilization is about to slip under the waves of a communist tsunami. And not many in Tokyo seem concerned about doing anything about it. A few who listened to Lt. Col. Sangari’s words in December, maybe. But most politicians flip through their briefings, register their floor votes, and then hob-nob with their constituents, oblivious to the danger at hand.
Japan’s actions in World War II were heroic. Contrary to the brainwashing by the Americans and the Japanese communists, Japanese people should be proud of what their forefathers achieved. A proud Japan will stand up, throw off the stale old American neo-colonialism, and take up arms once more to defend Asia from a terrible fate. Once Japan understands its historical value, survival will follow.
This is not a routine encounter at sea. The White Ships must be met and sunk. Otherwise, a global communist revolution is inevitable. Japan alone can stop them if it has the will. If it doesn’t hem and haw, and prevaricate and procrastinate, and hope that things will somehow turn out better by muddling along as always.
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Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan. Read other essays and interviews by Dr. Jason Morgan at this link.