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Far above the Straits of Hormuz

A plane to Qatar took off Tehran and now gets to the cruising altitude. As soon as the seat belt sign is turned off, cabin attendants start serving meals. "Beer" "Me too, Beer" Passengers around me are Indian group. They are released from strict no-alcohol manner. I can read their mind "Wanna drink a beer when the plane tires lift up even 1 cm from the ran way" Although it's 10 O'clock in the morning. "Excuse me. Ah ... bring me another beer!" Hey you guys drink too quick. Is this a fling bar, or something? However CA is loyal to the order and bring another beer. "What would you like to drink, sir?" The CA comes to me. "Ah, yeah ... a coffee please" "Sorry sir. We don't have coffee on this flight" Oh, really? You must be kidding, uh? Then I looked over trough the window.

The Straits of Hormuz, which is the matter of Japan's possible mission of mine sweeping under the security related bill. Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe emphasizes the importance of collective defense between allied country, especially the US. The PM took the Hormuz as a possible example the life of Japanese people would be threaten and stressed preparing Japan's Self Defense Forces to support the allied country's military actions.
So why the marine mines in Hormuz threaten the life of Japanese people. He described because of blockage of oil import. In his theory, Japan's "Self-Defense Force" would gain chance to join the war for unprofitable matters for our country or allied counties on the globe, nevertheless it's against Japanese constitution.
However it's long away, 11 hours by plane, from Japan. Is that really security matter sweeping mines here? Who would settle the mines? Iran? For what? It's hardly believe to me who has been Iran which's in a detent mood to the US for last 2weeks.

The introduction's getting too long. Today's subject is my reading. The weak currency makes me apart from English e-book. My reading is back to the old style Japanese book in paper leaves.
I read "Why Japan cannot stop military bases and nuke plants?" by Koji Yabe. The author describes what in the title with the record of the secret treaty between Japan and US after WWII . The documents were recently found at the US National Archives. After reading the book, I noticed the fact is widely mentioned by the politicians, especially in opposition parties, or media parson . It means this book is the best seller, or maybe I haven't known the things everybody knows. The book was so interesting.
I should not talk about contents too much. So just couple of points along Japan's current political situation.

It's said the Constitution of Japan was written by GHQ (Allied Nations' General Head Quarter) in the post war period. I thought it's by Japanese government. Whichever by GHQ or the Japanese, we Japanese have never experienced to win the constitution, which insures people's rights or watch the power, by themselves. Therefore for most of Japanese, the constitution must be "a rule which is given by somebody on the top" as I thought. However even if it's not declaration by the people, the constitution should be on people's side and top of the jus. If it needs an amendment, should be by the people's proposal, not by the government.
As watching government makes their own interpretation of the constitution or the security related bill for example, the constitution is a given thing also for the PM Abe. That's why he treat it quite easily. He himself snatches people's constitution, and says "From this view point, the registration is not unconstitutional" Of course, the cabinet doesn't have any right to revise or interpret the constitution as they likes.

As I mentioned, the constitution must be on the top of the nation's jus. However it isn't for Japan. The author Yabe took Sunagawa judgement as the example. In 1959, members of opposition party against the US military base (in Tokyo) expansion were arrested and became a trial. Tokyo district court judged "Settling US military bases in Japan is against the constitution. The protest member are innocence" But at the supreme court the judgement was reversed. It said "In a higher political matter like the Japan-US security treaty, the supreme court cannot make a constitutional judgement" Generally, called governing act theory. In short, the Japan's supreme court concluded the treaty between Japan and US were beyond the Japanese constitution.
Moreover according to the book, the very judge of supreme court talked to the US side that he would defuse the judgement of innocence in advance to the trial. "The most shameful incident in Japan's judicial system" It's my notion to the Sunagawa judgement.
However at recent Diet deliberations, our defense minister, Nakatani, mentioned the Sunagawa judgement for supporting the right of collective defense, delivering the Self Defense Forces to the world, in their security related bill. As reading the Sunagawa decision, I cannot find any lines supporting the Japan's military action abroad.

Finally I'll mention Okinawa. 70 years has passed since the battle of Okinawa in WWII. Many Japanese media featured it. At the very end of the war, what did Japanese government in the main island forced to Okinawan people? How was their pain? I knew it through the interview to the people who actually hide into the natural cave bomb shelter or ex-member of the makeshift nursing group in the cave.
Apparently I have a lack of knowledge. But I have a kind of "Sense" Then always have a question. (Unfortunately, I don't have a talent to make it sure with research)
It's 10years ago in Okinawa. I saw roaring military planes were passing over Maehara Social Street. A resident in Koza area, around US base told me the huge gap of the living environment between the US residential area with lawn yards and Japanese dense residential area. All the answers for what I have seen with my eyes are in this book.

In the post war period, Japanese government took Okinawa over the US. The author wrote "the records in US proves that permanent stationing of US force in Japan was not US side request but the Japan side"
How has Japanese politics dramatically changed for last 70 years? Unfortunately not at all. The PM Abe brought a gift for visiting the US which we don't know whether US government actually want or not. He promised to the US government the things which doesn't have any consensus in the Japanese people. The government is more severe for Okinawan people, still try to impose new US military bases on them.
After 70 years, Japanese government is repeating same mistakes. "Break away from the post-war regime!" It's the PM Abe's slogan. But we don't know what the government secretary negotiated to the US during 70 the years. What we need is not breaking away but closer commitment to the facts.

Of course, I don't trust every words written in the book. However the records on US side is opened to the public. To the contrary in Japan, everything is still in the darkness with no records. Which one can we trust as the fact? The answer is clear.

Jul. 2015

Today's piece
" Far above the Straight of Hormuz " Iran 2013

fumikatz osada photographie