An American Speaks on Japanese History: The Coming Japanese Nightmare, A Unified Korea by Max von Schuler
By Tadashi Hama,
An American Speaks on Japanese History:
The Coming Japanese Nightmare, A Unified Korea
Max von Schuler
Heart Publishers (Tokyo), 2018
Reviewed by Tadashi Hama
Since his election as president in 2017, Jae-in Moon, praised by Western media as a South Korean “liberal human rights lawyer,” has met with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un three times in 2018, with a possible fourth meeting in 2019. His primary motivation in seeking very public meetings with Kim is to pave the way for imminent Korean unification. Certainly, a bloodless reunification of Korea would be a momentously historical occasion, like the peaceful reunification of Germany in 1990. The reunification of the two Koreas could lead to a new geopolitical dynamic in East Asia, perhaps reducing the potential for a regional nuclear war. Furthermore, there are those, such as previous South Korean president Park Geun-hye and foreign observers, who have claimed that a unified Korea would bring a new era of prosperity, an “economic bonanza,” to East Asia. Kim will likely have a large role in unified Korea—given the fates of previous supreme leaders such as Nicolae Ceausescu and Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of their own people, it is unlikely that Kim will surrender power to “the people”. Even Kim or anyone else’s political domination, few unification advocates have addressed the inevitable emergence of intense resentment on both sides—by Southerners for being forced to shoulder all of the immense costs related to modernization and integration and by Northerners for at-best snail-paced improvements in their socioeconomic status. It is highly likely that, rapid, unrestrained “peaceful” reunification could unleash the dreaded civil war that has been on hold since the 1953 truce.
Author Max von Schuler suggests a jarring, potential outcome of Moon’s efforts for rapid reunification and parallel anti-Japanese hostility and pro-North indulgence: a Korean invasion of Japan. Von Schuler states that in an effort to keep the Korean populace together in the aftermath of reunification, the overwhelmingly leftist unified leadership will utilize Japan as scapegoat. Furthermore, von Schuler suggests that Japanese leftists will “dutifully” amplify Korean anti-Japanese propaganda, which will, in turn, lead to violent clashes between Japanese and Korean residents in Japan. During a projected period of domestic unrest in Japan, fueled by an influx of Koreans escaping from the turmoil on the Peninsula, the Korean leadership will launch an invasion of Kyushu, in the name of “protecting resident Koreans in Japan”. At various points during the hypothetical invasion, von Schuler explains the underlying dynamics of his scenario in two ways: for Japanese readers, the likely actions taken by Koreans and Americans based on his current assessment on Korean and American politics, and for non-Japanese readers, a wide ranging rendition of Japanese history. A particularly valuable lesson for non-Japanese readers is the history of the so-called “peace” Constitution of Japan, which forbids Japan from maintaining “war potential”. In light of events following enactment of the US-imposed constitution, one can see that the Constitution is a relic of the post-war US Occupation—a loadstone chained to Japanese society for the foreseeable future. The structure of the narration may appear chaotic, like war itself, but when viewed from above, individual messages combine to form a clear message: a unified Korea would a dream for Koreans, but a nightmare for Japan.
Von Schuler’s trenchant messages to the Japanese on contemporary American politics have appeared in his previous books, such as “The Japanese History That Some Want Hidden” (Heart Publishers, 2016) and “Second Civil War: Battle for America” (Heart Publishers, 2017). Two years after the US presidential elections, von Schuler reports that American intellectuals, comprised mainly of leftist egalitarians, are still denying that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Much to von Schuler’s chagrin, while a Republican sits in the White House, leftist intellectuals control sociopolitical discourse in America. In keeping with the left’s fervent belief in such tenants as “diversity” and “multiculturalism”, von Schuler suggests that the American government and military in his scenario will almost entirely be comprised of unqualified and underachieving people who were put in office or uniform merely to “reflect society”. The current book suggests that this will lead to a blatant disregard of US treaty commitments to South Korea and Japan, which in turn will allow extremists to rule over unified Korea and invade Japan.
As a former US Marine, von Schuler speaks with experience and authority as he details the effects of multiculturalism and “gender equality” on the fighting effectiveness of the US military. The current book exposes only a fraction of the damage done by American policies that reject qualifications and experience in favor of “equal outcomes” and “inclusiveness”. To an ordinary, thinking person, requiring physically unfit people, either male or female, to bear full combat gear is ludicrous. However, to leftist intellectuals, to fix this “inequality”, as von Schuler notes, current physical fitness standards are “sexist,” therefore they need to be lowered. Given today’s new, politically thinking, standards have been rejected, in both military and non-military occupations, and the inevitable result on job quality and efficiency should not be difficult to see.
There is much more that von Schuler says concerning America’s current transformation into a dungeon of vacuous ideologies based on a false understanding of human nature and history. It would benefit all Japanese reading the current book to pause and reflect deeply as to whether or not Western notions of “multiculturalism” and “diversity” truly belong in their country. Every day, one sees the results of multiculturalism and diversity, in European countries, as acts of terrorism, and in America, as violent crime. American feminists, of all races, as pointed out by von Schuler, shrilly denounce and even approve of the murder of straight, white men. Perhaps one could ascribe recent acts of mass murder by native European and American men as a backlash to the ongoing transformation of their own country; while certainly reprehensible, perhaps predictable.
On reading the current book, and in thinking about history, one is reminded that perhaps the most unpredictable elements mediating events such as war is the response of people. A people will generally rally around charismatic leaders that speak to their souls and address their fears. In fact, the election of Donald Trump was a genuine surprise to American intellectuals and their Democratic Party as they firmly believed that they knew what was best for America—numerous Americans apparently thought otherwise. Von Schuler suggests elements that will influence the outcome of the Korean invasion include actions taken by American military forces in Japan that resisted the forces of political correctness and the behaviors of the Japanese military, Japanese citizens and Koreans refugees who fled the Peninsula. Von Schuler’s predictions may be overly optimistic. For example, while Japanese civilians are seen as rallying to fight against an invasion of their homeland, perhaps generations of peace have dulled the Japanese sense of national identity—perhaps future Japanese will meekly accede to the annexation of Kyushu to Korea. Perhaps thoroughly inebriated with “guilt”, Japanese will shrug and say that it is fair payment for “past wrongs”. Similarly, von Schuler takes it for granted that the Japanese Self Defense Forces will perform well against their opponent, an overwhelmingly under-trained conscript army. Von Schuler even points out that there is a current lack of enthusiasm of the current generation for military service. Finally, while it is likely that there will be waves of Korean refugees crossing the Korea Straights during and following reunification, will the Japanese government fling open its borders to them? Given the social and economic distress that occurred in the wake of the mass exodus of Middle Easterners and Africans to Europe in 2015-2016, it will be interesting to contemplate the Japanese government’s response to a disaster unfolding next door.
If the sociopolitical circus that currently engulfs the US was confined to the US, then outsiders could view America’s shenanigans from a safe distance. However, given the interconnectivity of the modern world, American “ideals” has found its want into the thinking of Japanese intellectuals, who are demanding that Japan also embrace multiculturalism and diversity by opening immigration to inassimilable peoples, increasing “equal outcomes” for women and minorities and more “tolerance” for sexual deviance. At the same time, there are calls for the dissolution of the traditional family unit and rejection of traditional Japanese culture in favor of an alien junk-pop culture. Any sober Japanese can see how well Western societies are performing given the current ruling Western dogma. While Japan is famous for importing many things Western, is it really necessary to import everything that is Western?