Shinzo Abe: A controversial visionary

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | July 10, 2022

‘Sayonara’ – Japan’s controversial statesman Shinzo Abe departs

When politicians die, especially an untimely death in tragic circumstances, obituaries tend to go overboard. A sense of perspectives is lost when obituaries become eulogies. But you can’t falsify history. And in the final analysis, it is the forces of history that write the course of politics rather than individuals, and the fact is Japan has a gory past, a blood-soaked and brutal imperial past. 

Almost all of Japan’s neighbours paid a high price for its hegemonist ambitions and thirst for territorial conquests. Shinzo Abe’s grandfather who founded Japan’s ruling party was himself a war criminal. 

Japan perpetrated unspeakable crimes on conquered peoples even by the standards of colonialism, especially the Korean and Chinese peoples. Therefore, when Abe’s legacy gets evaluated dispassionately some day, as it surely will, what may well stand out as his single most outstanding contribution is that he summarily turned around ‘pacifist’ Japan and dragged it back unwillingly to its ‘militaristic’ past. There is no question about it. 

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Ukraine War Has No End in Sight

Scott Ritter

As the Ukraine conflict enters its third month, the Kremlin looks likely to achieve its major military objective of securing physical control over the eastern Donbas region. Peripheral territorial acquisition of the strategic southern city of Kherson, as well as a swath of territory connecting Crimea to the Donbas and the border of the Russian Federation, also looks likely.

This will, however, fall short of expectations by both Russia and many military observers when the war began. Perhaps the greatest contributor is what appears to be a massive Russian intelligence failure over prewar assessments that organized resistance by Ukraine would be limited and easily overcome. Instead, the Russians were met by an organized, capable and determined Ukrainian military that has shown great resilience in defending against Russian attack. Instead of a quick campaign of less than a month, Russia found itself in a drawn-out fight that required its military to alter its approach — pulling back from supporting attacks against Kyiv and Odessa in favor of a more singular focus on eastern Ukraine.

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Uno Kozo’s Theory of Crisis Today

Red May TV | May 28, 2022

This panel discusses and explores the new English translation of Uno Kozo’s Theory of Crisis (Brill 2021). Originally published in Japan and in Japanese in 1953, Uno’s Theory of Crisis presents a radical reinterpretation Marx’s Capital to clarify the inevitability and periodicity of capitalist crisis. Emphasizing how the commodification of labour-power is the fundamental cause of capitalist crisis, Uno’s Theory of Crisis differs from other Marxist theories of crisis that emphasize the cause of crisis in over-production/under-consumption, or else in the tendency of the profit rate to fall. The panel features scholars of Uno’s method for political economy and discusses how his Theory of Crisis can help us to write the history of class struggle in today’s conjuncture of multiple capitalist crisis.

Ken Kawashima, Wendy Matsumura, Gavin Walker, Dr. Richard Westra

SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RFCRthZsq4

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THAT OF ITS AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE JOP]

Geopolitical Update

U.S. to leverage Russia-Ukraine Bloc Against China, Says Blinken

Countercurrents | May 27, 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday the Biden administration aims to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order from China.

Media reports including a report by AP from Washington DC said:

In a speech outlining the administration’s China policy, Blinken laid out a three-pillar approach to competing with Beijing in a race to define the 21st century’s economic and military balance.

While the U.S. sees Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine as the most acute and immediate threat to international stability, Blinken said the administration believes China poses a greater danger.

Read the Full News: https://countercurrents.org/2022/05/geopolitical-update-u-s-to-leverage-russia-ukraine-bloc-against-china-says-blinken/

Sweden And Finland Set To Join NATO

Countercurrents | May 16, 2022

Sweden’s ruling party dropped the country’s historic military nonalignment on Sunday and agreed to join NATO, shortly after Finland’s leaders officially announced they would do the same.

Media reports from Europe and other places said:

The moves were major steps in ending decades of military neutrality for the two Nordic nations, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to dramatically shift security considerations in Europe.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said their accession would be a “turning point for security” in Europe. “Their membership in NATO would increase our shared security, demonstrate that NATO’s door is open, and that aggression does not pay.”

“We arre now facing a fundamentally changed security environment in Europe,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said.

Read the Full News: https://countercurrents.org/2022/05/sweden-and-finland-set-to-join-nato/

Japan, EU Agree To Raise Efforts In Indo-Pacific

Countercurrents | May 13, 2022

Geopolitical developments are expanding quickly in various regions of the world.

Media reports from various regions said:

Japan and the European Union on Thursday agreed to step up their sanctions against Russia as leaders from the two sides raised concerns about the war’s impact in the Indo-Pacific, where they seek to strengthen their partnership and increase engagement amid China’s growing assertiveness.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who held talks in Tokyo with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, told a joint news conference that Japan supports tough sanctions against Russia and ample support for Ukraine because the war “shakes the foundation of the world order not only in Europe but also in Asia.”

“Security in Europe and in the Indo-Pacific are inseparable,” Kishida said.

The EU leaders said they want to take a greater role and responsibility in the region and agreed to bolster cooperation in a range of areas including digital transformation, renewable energy and climate.

Read the Full News: https://countercurrents.org/2022/05/geopolitical-update-japan-eu-agree-to-raise-efforts-in-indo-pacific/

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THAT OF ITS AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE JOP]

Asian fault lines of Biden’s war on Russia

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | April 11, 2022

As relations with Tokyo sour, Moscow beefs up the coastal defence systems on the Kuril Islands that Japan claims as its own

The tremors of the United States’ tensions with Russia playing out in Europe are being felt in different ways already in Asia. The hypothesis of Ukraine being in Europe and the conflict being all about European security is delusional.

From Kazakhstan to Myanmar, from Solomon Islands to the Kuril Islands, from North Korea to Cambodia, from China to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the fault lines are appearing.

To be sure, extra-regional powers had a hand in the failed colour revolution recently to overthrow the established government in Kazakhstan, a hotly contested geopolitical landmass two-thirds the size of India, bordering both China and Russia, Washington’s sworn adversaries. Thanks to swift Russian intervention, supported by China, a regime change was averted. 

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The History of Marxism in Japan w/ Gavin Walker – Part 2

Against Japanism | May 04, 2021

https://againstjapanism.buzzsprout.com/1738110/8459145?cf_chl_captcha_tk=91a112fb64578aa890b68687c2faf709f9ef2883-1625756048-0-AXpQB8OF2xoqTpEj-VOlKC3DVoqw4nc4ayATzXJgcYSGDF7y-ZRfYYZpfcoiMJXBwD5p6oKIHNx4FHcfAkuMPB3YtpgL8rVZ3zqslf4SB3pAf6K3y1XsgaBxaA8bz7BK30uOoTRFLfyzhXf9H6OalHd5o_3FgrXzp8n61g_MnreiICAto44m4QND6-A0WbSF-yzYWLHo47pM7ClSmXlVBzAEqSEi4MAnfMPTRooCBDwXvNDd84VaT7hc6deJd16JPssC0SaMUouRelJ1jpI7bg3At6JmkVLNd7JpqUWxzmtZChNs_jx3Dvhp75v3LT1PSuihI53NTXc5vbqRWfW_u-drWRMLiRNDfBFGEb4u_Oul9GyXtGgVcxKV_eF8ggT6wKwfkFpFzJLCtOqlTMOpy4IXWlE1IOXdAx_X-2vQ1ZCKw2gqtYBT2aIQ7hKL_KoghFxqMNsis471ATOfbtplJmWxxkwcOB2qudZITNXjJhgNrXiOQ6yYCkzCSW_9il3SRHwwQ1mAUbhP26S1vLClFIfEdMKFULiVzqi3lll7JIwgbgpQX0kqk9xiYOtP4Fu3zaWtbw6VTNgfT2TQjhGpVJ8Oq3B3dRSrE253eLMw4rTC9QmkHJ3pwyzrfeMe0M2PaQ

Against Japanism presents Part 2 of an interview with Dr. Gavin Walker about the history of Marxism in Japan, focusing on the postwar period starting in the late 1940s.  

First, we discuss the reason behind the Japanese Communist Party’s re-emergence as a mass party in the immediate postwar period. As mentioned in Part 1, in the 1920s and 30s, the JCP was a member of the Communist International or the Comintern (also known as the Third International) headquartered in the Soviet Union. Throughout its existence, members of the Comintern, who were representatives from communist parties from around the world, debated the meaning of fascism and how communists should respond to this rising far right movement. 

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The G7 reality check

Natalie Rhodes

People’s Dispatch | July 01, 2021

The G-7 meeting in Cornwall.

There were cautious hopes for the G7 meetings held in early June this year, where the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the world’s seven economically wealthiest countries – came together to discuss key global issues. A remnant of the neo-colonial nature of such forums, they represent a place where decisions with global impact are made. 

The G7 produced two notable outputs that concern global health governance: the first being the Carbis Bay Health Declaration which commits to taking efforts to prevent a pandemic similar to COVID-19 occurring again in the future; and the second being a commitment to provide more than a billion vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year. 

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G7 no longer able to order world around

Martin Jacques 

Countercurrents | June 10, 2021

In these Covid times, “There is an ongoing attempt to reframe G7 as the representative and champion of the democratic world in the struggle against autocracy, shorthand for China…. West’s indifference to the vaccination needs of the developing world will be on full display at the G7 summit”.

***

Fine words will accompany the G7 summit this week. Much will be promised. And little will be delivered. It has long been like this. The G7 is no longer fit for purpose. Comprising the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, in the 1970s the G7 was the overlord of the global economy. Today, the G7 is but a pale shadow of what it once was, reduced to the role of a declining faction within the global economy. It still talks in grandiose terms about its intentions, but the world has learnt to discount them. It is entirely appropriate that this week’s summit will be chaired by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a grandmaster of verbal exaggeration and empty gestures.

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G7: Desperately Seeking Relevancy

Pepe Escobar

The Greanville Post | June 10, 2021

The upcoming G7 in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky encounter of “America is Back” with “Global Britain”.

The Big Picture though is way more sensitive. Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger: the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva – which certainly won’t be a reset.

The controlling interests behind the hologram that goes by the name of “Joe Biden” have a clear overarching agenda: to regiment industrialized democracies – especially those in Europe – and keep them in lockstep to combat those “authoritarian” threats to US national security, “malignant” Russia and China.

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MARXISM IN JAPAN 

The History of Marxism in Japan

w/ Gavin Walker – Part 1

Against Japanism | April 20, 2021

https://againstjapanism.buzzsprout.com/1738110/8372999

In this two part series, Kota sits down with Gavin Walker to discuss the history of Marxism in Japan.  Instead of simply narrating the facts of this history chronologically, we focus on particular theoretical and political questions that animated the Japanese communist movement before and after the Second World War.

We begin our conversation by discussing what the history of Marxism in Japan tells us about “Japan” as represented by the Eurocentric and Orientalist conception of the world, and the importance of the national question, the ways in which Marxists address issues related to nationhood, nationalism, and internationalism.Read More »