How to Defeat China Cancer: The Final Showdown CHAPTER 5 japan AT A CROSSROADS
By Lin Kenryo,
chapter 5: japan AT A CROSSROADS
1. Absence of independent spirit in postwar Japan
What is the “Japanese spirit” held in such awe by the Taiwanese?
Taiwan is often described as pro-Japan because the Taiwanese have such great respect for the Japanese people. When asked why they admire Japan, the typical Taiwanese will often mention the “Japanese spirit.” They are referring to the spirit of Bushido, the Japanese warrior’s moral code, which also forms the backbone of independence and self-respect. In fact, that very spirit, which has been deeply incised into the hearts of the Taiwanese, served as the basis for the Taiwan independence movement.
However, that Japanese spirit, which the Taiwanese respect so greatly, does not evoke the same reverence among Japanese. Postwar Japan continues to rely completely on the US for its defense, citing Japan’s exclusively defensive security policy. Japan is an ally of the US, but due to restrictions written into the Japanese Constitution, Japan is required only to fulfill a one-sided alliance obligation. But from the perspective of the average American, who is not familiar with the details of the Japanese Constitution, citing a constitutional clause amounts to little more than making excuses. It is certainly not unreasonable to wonder why the Japanese have not replaced constitution that was established more than 70 years ago with one is appropriate to the current world situation. Japan appears to be unwilling to shoulder the responsibility of its own national defense. Is that the way an independent, self-respecting nation should behave?
We cannot survive when our bodies lose their infection-fighting mechanisms. AIDS patients whose immune systems cease to function may lose their lives once they are infected with the AIDS virus. The skin serves as the first line of defense; the cells of the immune system, such as leukocytes and lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) form the second line of defense. The human race could not endure without these immune systems. Using nations as an analogy, the first line of defense is the military; the second is the defense-consciousness (immune system) of a nation’s people. It pains me to say that these two aspects of Japan leave a great deal to be desired. The majority of the Japanese people think that disputes and conflicts are not their concern. They seem to be convinced that even if Japan has no military preparedness (no immune system), they can exist happily within the “clean room” provided by the Americans. But how long can such an existence continue?
Japanese value system turned upside-down
Why have the Japanese lost their independence, self-respect, and backbone? In the eyes of one Taiwanese, this loss can be traced to both external and internal influences.
The external influences are relatively obvious. They are threefold: (1) a perception of history colored by the Tokyo Trials, (2) postwar brainwashing done by the Americans and an American-made constitution forced upon Japan by the US to prevent Japan from waging war in the future. To these we must add (3) propaganda disseminated by “Shinso bako” (Truth Box), a GHQ radio program, and GHQ-controlled education, which planted the seeds of antiwar ideology in the minds of the Japanese. All these influences turned the Japanese value system upside down. Militarism, which had been viewed as virtuous, was now evil; individualism, which had been viewed as evil, was now virtuous. In other words, the relative importance of public and private was reversed. The Japanese lost their sense of responsibility toward their nation, as well as the sense of responsibility that forms the core of the independent spirit. The natural conclusion was that the spirit of independence and self-respect could no longer exist.
Resignation: the unconscious mind of the Japanese
The internal influences are more complex. The major influence seems to be the resignation that lies in the unconscious mind of the Japanese. I think an example from sumo wrestling, one of Japan’s national sports, will help readers understand what I mean by this. Once the referee has designated the winner of a sumo match, loser accepts that decision stoically and resignedly. Therein lies the beauty of sumo. The loser never cries out, makes excuses, or shows his dissatisfaction. This is the Japanese way. Once they had tasted defeat in war, the Japanese accepted all of its consequences.
The following is an excerpt from a radio broadcast delivered by Emperor Showa on August 15, 1945.
The hardships and sufferings to which our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.
His subjects united behind him and submitted to any and all insults and injuries inflicted upon them. They raised no objections to the condemnation of prewar Japan as evil, or to the patent unfairness of the Tokyo Trials. They were the vanquished, and they endured those insults resolutely.
Members of the prewar generations sometimes tell me how much they hate war, and how futile it is. Postwar educators have taught their students that all warfare is to be condemned. If this is so, then every single one of the world’s nations is evil. If Japan had emerged victorious from World War II, I wonder if the Japanese of today would be saying, “There must never be another war.” After all, there was no shift in the value system after Japan won two foreign wars: the 1st Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War.
Lack of desire for independence proves convenient
External influences alone should not have been able to effect a reversal of the Japanese value system, which had endured for 2,600 years. There are any number of nations that have become independent states even after being occupied and controlled by a foreign power. Seven years out of a 2,600-year-long history is just a drop in the bucket. If the Japanese made up their minds, they could extricate themselves from their status as citizens of a semi-independent nation that relies on another nation for its defense, and make the transition to a totally independent state.
Even when Japan regained its sovereignty when the Treaty of Peace was concluded in 1951, the Japanese made no appreciable effort to establish their own constitution. So far even the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), whose platform includes constitutional revision, does not seem to have the slightest interest in making the effort required to revise the Japanese Constitution. I suspect the reason for this is that, when all is said and done, the Japanese people do not think constitutional revision is a pressing problem. They don’t believe that they should desire independence, nor do they think their dependence on another nation will affect them adversely. Consequently, they are passive about constitutional revision. Even politicians, bureaucrats, and business leaders don’t think they will be inconvenienced by their lack of desire for independence, they are not inclined to feel that this is a problem that cries out for a solution. In fact, they are convinced that everything will run more smoothly if the status quo is maintained.
At one time American military bases in Japan were referred to as bottlecaps. As the word suggests, the Japanese felt safe depending on the US. In other words, the absence of a desire for independence gave rise to a situation that was ideal for both the international community and Japanese society.
Dependence fosters disdain
Of course, both individuals and nations are independent entities, so some degree of interdependence is necessary. But an existence that depends completely on another entity for its safety becomes subject to disdain. And as in the international community and the animal kingdom, contempt and disdain can cost lives.
As long as there is a human race, there will always be wars. It is not an exaggeration to describe human history as a chronicle of wars. Disputes will arise in any human society, no matter how peaceful. That is why police forces and courts are necessary. Though there are international courts, which mediate disputes between nations, there is no international police force to implement judgements. International organizations like the United Nations are groups of nations intent on pursuing their own interests; they are not police forces. Ultimately, even in the international community, it’s every nation for itself. This rule never changes.
At present Japan is protected by American military personnel stationed on its shores. The Japanese need spend only 1% of their GDP on lightly armed troops devoted exclusively to defense. Most Japanese are aware that the Self-Defense Forces, on their own, could not defend their nation. But just hearing the word war automatically inspires rejection and the thought process grinds to a halt. The Japanese of today refuse to face reality; to them, war exists in historical works and films, but not in today’s society.
The economy alone cannot guarantee survival
Most Japanese see nothing wrong with this mentality. But it is not what prevented postwar Japan from becoming entangled in warfare. Japan avoided warfare because it was protected by a powerful nation, the US.
Many postwar Japanese are convinced of the convenience of the current situation, because it allows them to concentrate on economic matters. Of course, in any nation the economy is the most important factor, as it affects its citizens’ livelihood. In terms of the human body, the economy can be compared to nutrients and blood vessels that transport nutrients. But remember that it is national defense that protects economies. National defense is like the skin of the human body, which is the most important defense against pathogens and physical harm. Without skin, we couldn’t survive — not even for one day — because the external environment, which seems harmless, would cause lethal damage to the body without the defense provided by the skin. Just as we cannot live without skin, a nation cannot survive by its economy alone. It needs national defense. Even in permanently neutral Switzerland, a symbol of peace, there is universal conscription.
Does Japan want to be another Carthage?
No truly independent nation devotes all its efforts to economic matters and none to national defense. There are some nations that have entrusted their destinies to other countries that, on a whim, could change their minds. Postwar Japan is one of them. Can such nations survive in the foreseeable future? The answer to this question can be found in the example of a nation that was destroyed 1,000 years ago. Mercantile Carthage opted for a nonaggressive defense policy, and was easily conquered by the Roman empire. How long will Japan be able to rely on the US? Will American troops remain on Japanese soil forever? If they ever depart, the PLA will waste no time in coming to “liberate” Japan. Is that what the Japanese want?
The world looks to Japan
Why the Taiwanese look up the land of the samurai
Most Taiwanese are hoping that Japan will, once again, become the land of the samurai. They picture a nation of people with a strong sense of justice, of people who help the weak and crush the strong. Within that hope is a faint glimmer of desire for Japan to help weak Taiwan, but that is not the main factor. Japan, the land of the samurai, is what appeals to the Taiwanese; it is also their hope for the future. This is not an illusion, but their perception of a country that once existed. The Taiwanese want to believe that Japan will be reborn in the future. But Japan has in fact chosen a national policy that goes against that perception. The Japanese give aid to powerful China, and demoralizes weak Taiwan. When diplomatic relations were established between Japan and China, the Japanese said that they “understood and respected” China’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. This is tantamount to telling China to do whatever it wants with Taiwan. Meanwhile, the Japanese neither understand the will of the Taiwanese people, whom they once considered their compatriots, nor respect that will. Even so, the Taiwanese continue to harbor pro-Japanese sentiments. That makes me, as one of them, feel terrible.
Calculating politicians, bureaucrats, business leaders
Japan doesn’t need to become once again the land of the samurai. I believe that Japan will have made a great step forward if it becomes a normal nation. If it does, it will be able to serve as a huge deterrent against China. By normal nation, I mean one that takes charge of its own defense. A person who doesn’t have the wherewithal to protect himself is likely to do the bidding of others, i.e., to become servile. The same is true of a nation. Because they cannot defend their own nation, the Japanese will become servile to the Chinese.
Japan’s politicians and bureaucrats have weighed the pros and cons and arrived at the conclusion that it is best to avoid provoking the Chinese. What takes priority during the process of Japanese policymaking is whether or not the Chinese will raise objections to a particular policy. A good example here is the certification of textbooks to be used in Japanese schools. One of the certification standards that has been set in certification is the “neighboring nations clause.” Neighboring nations is the term used, but what the Japanese really mean is China and South Korea. In other words, Japan’s schools must refrain from conveying information to their students, even if that information is factual, if doing so will prompt objections from China and Korea. Incredible as it may seem, there are a great many rules that have no reason to exist and fly in the face of national interests, but are obeyed by Japan’s government bureaucracy. And for unfathomable reasons, few Japanese question them.
“Cold, soulless Japanese” invite scorn
Japan’s prime ministers’ pilgrimages to Yasukuni Shrine ceased in the face of violent objections from China. That showed the entire world that Japan places more importance on China than on the heroes who gave their lives for their country. It is likely that Japan’s bureaucrats decided it was best to let the Americans play the villains and the Japanese, the heroes. No wonder nationalist writer Mishima Yukio lambasted those bureaucrats, labeling them “cold, soulless Japanese.”
This sycophantic stance only wins further scorn from the Chinese. The Japanese government makes no attempt to remedy this ingrained, habitual servility. The result is that China becomes more and more audacious and outrageous. The Japanese turn a blind eye to China’s evil deeds, which only encourages the Chinese.
Japan: the lion is content inside its cage
Japan may seem as docile as a kitten, but it is actually a lion. However, this lion is not the king of the jungle, but a caged animal. Furthermore, he is content inside his cage and makes no attempt to escape. By cage I mean Japan’s Constitution, intended to prevent Japan from rearming. It was forced upon the Japanese government by GHQ soon after Japan’s defeat in World War II. This cage, this Constitution, may seem to have been shoved down the throats of the Japanese, but we must be mindful that they are grateful to be imprisoned inside it. Grateful and comfortable. That is why they intone slogans like “protect our peace Constitution” and “no more wars” as though they were prayers. They seem to be under the illusion that the Constitution itself will prevent wars and bring peace.
According to the prevailing conventional wisdom, world peace is maintained and wars prevented by robust national defense that deters potential enemies and the resolute determination to go to war if necessary. The life of a lion in a cage is at the mercy of human whim. Still, the lion believes that the cage protects him. The Japanese may not realize that Japan is a caged lion. But the Chinese and the Koreans are fully aware of this situation, and will never attempt to free the lion. In fact, they will protect the cage with all their might.
Asian nations hope for the normalization of Japan
Now let us try to picture what will happen to the lion if he ventures out of his cage. At the very moment of escape, he will become the object of reverence. The reason for that is so obvious that there’s no need to explain it: because he’s a lion. Order will gradually return to the devastated jungle once the lion returns. Other than China and Korea, the nations of Asia are fervently hoping for the normalization of Japan because the main reason why China has become a huge cancer is Japan’s appeasement policy toward China. But if Japan changed its stance and became a responsible, normal nation that refuses to fawn on China, the nations of Asia will finally be able to summon up the courage to eradicate the cancer that is China.
The Japanese may not be aware of this, but no one hopes for Japan’s resurrection more fervently than the Taiwanese.
US and Japan can fight China cancer together
Japan’s immersion in pacificism is not objectionable as long as Japan is able to take charge of its own national defense. The nations of northern Europe are, similarly, steeped in pacificism. But they have set up strong defense systems. If Japan can attain that goal, then the US will be able to turn its thoughts toward helping defend Asia as a whole. In other words, the nations of Asia will be able to cooperate with the US without worrying about China. This one advancement alone will bring a huge amount of strength to the anti-cancer crusade. But at most it will serve as a shield that protects Asia from the threat of China. Japan can then act as the spear that attacks China. Some readers will think I’ve got it backwards, but I haven’t. I realize that I am repeating myself, but the US will act as a shield, and Japan will wield the spear.
Military capability may enable the Japanese to protect themselves from Chinese invasion, but it cannot defang China. They will be able to prevent the cancer from spreading, but not to conquer it. Eventually the cancer cells will find an opening and return. When you let an arsonist run wild, he is bound to set more fires. The only way to stop him is to arrest him and throw him in jail. And even pacificist Japan would be able to do that.
Japan can help China democratize
The worst evil in today’s China is its one-party dictatorship. On a whim, a dictator can take citizens’ lives and appropriate their assets. In the eyes of the Chinese — of the entire world, for that matter — a monolithic dictatorship is a nightmare. The great majority of Chinese want to leave China and move to a democratic nation. The Chinese long for democracy. And many Chinese are making a real effort to democratize China. One of them is Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Liu died in prison, but his spirit lives on in the hearts of many Chinese.
The Chinese have the power to topple the CCP one-party regime, but they cannot do that without outside help. In the past Japan supported Chinese revolutionaries, helping them to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But today’s Japan does not need to send money or weapons to China as it did in support of the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. The Japanese need to encourage the democratization of China. Pacifist Japan’s support foe democratization would have a considerable impact, and would help motivate the Chinese. Through the years Japan has showed little interest in the democratization of other nations. But if the Japanese support the democratization of China, the nations of the world will certainly be inspired to rise up in action. Since the concepts of human rights and democracy are understood throughout the world, and since they transcend generational and ideological boundaries, there will be widespread approval of Japan’s stance and support for democratization. Such a movement would certainly become known to the Chinese people, and begin to broaden. The members of the Chinese democratization movement and outside sympathizers could collaborate, and their activities would surely expand. Such an eventuality is the CCP’s biggest fear.
Japan needs human rights laws
The US has passed human rights laws — the Tibet Policy and Support Act, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, to name some of them. These laws make it possible for the US government to punish Chinese officials for human rights violations. In fact, on August 7, 2020, the US government imposed sanctions on 11 Hong Kong officials, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam, for human rights violations. Those 11 individuals may not enter the US, nor may they gain access to any of their assets held in the US. Since Japan values human rights so highly, the Japanese government should be able to enact similar laws. Following in the footsteps of the Americans will surely result in increased respect for Japan in the eyes of the international community.
And if Japan truly values peace and human rights, wouldn’t it make sense to urge China to do the same? I think it would be a good idea to ask the JCP (Japanese Communist Party) to spearhead such an effort. It should be easy for them to approach the CCP, as the two share a common ideology.
I believe I have demonstrated that Japan has the power to exhort China to democratize. If the Japanese decide to act, they can help the Chinese people further their democratization activities, and join with them in creating a true democracy in China.
Mitigating China cancer
Democratizing China will not only render it harmless, but also invigorate all of Asia. With their ballots, the Chinese will, without a doubt, renovate China. I am sure that they will do away with centralized of power and create a system that will give more authority to the nation’s various regions in a way that reflects the characteristics of those regions. What will emerge from this process is likely to be decentralization. For instance, each province could become an independent entity. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty, China’s provinces, one by one, began declaring independence. In 1920 Mao Zedong advocated the establishment of the Republic of Chaonan, which would comprise 27 states. In actuality, throughout its 3,000-year history, China has been divided more often than united. Furthermore, when China was unified, the Chinese people were exploited and rounded up to fight various wars. The Chinese people would be happier if China consisted of a multiple of states. Rather than having a mammoth nation whose people are miserable, emulating Europe by partitioning China into 20 or more states would contribute greatly to the peace and stability of Asia. In other words, the division of China would be a boon for both the Chinese and China’s neighbors. If the Japanese sincerely desire a peaceful Asia, now is the time to act.
Japan and Taiwan: recognizing commonality
Lee Teng-hui’s guiding principles
Lee Teng-hui breathed his last at 7:24 p.m. on July 30, 2020. He had two native countries: Japan and Taiwan. His life and career formed an important part of the modern history of both nations.
There is a Japanese organization dedicated to him called Friends of Lee Tong Hui Association in Japan, over which Chairman Watanabe Toshio presides. It sounds like a fan club, but its membership (in which I include myself) engages in activities intended to disseminate the Lee Teng-hui’s guiding principles, which the members have embraced. Those principles are nation-building that strives toward mutual prosperity for Japan and Taiwan with sincerity and honesty.
Lee’s fervent desire for Japan-Taiwan co-prosperity
The official organ of the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association in Japan is “Japan-Taiwan Co-Prosperity.” That title speaks for Lee Ten-hui’s affection for both Japan and Taiwan, and his hopes for the future of the two nations.
Until he was 22 years old, Lee often claimed that he was Japanese. An individual’s status is determined by his ethnicity, culture, and citizenship. Because the Japanese would give the same answer for all three categories, they don’t think much about this kind of thing. But in multi-ethnic Taiwan, everyone grows up with an awareness of these classifications.
As a boy, Lee Teng-hui lived in a boarding house, where he even voluntarily cleaned toilets. In middle school he achieved the lowest level of kendo. While still young, Japanese scholarship and martial arts permeated his psyche. After graduating from Taihoku High School, known for its rough-and-ready environment, Lee matriculated at Kyoto Imperial University, a haven for free spirits. After spending 12 months there, he volunteered for Japanese military service at the age of 19; the end of the war found him in Nagoya at the age of 22. During the most sensitive time of his life when one’s character is formed, Japan was in upheaval.
On April 1, 1946, Lee returned to Taiwan, Lee enrolled in National Taiwan University, where he studied agricultural economics. At that time the professors at the university were Taiwanese who had benefited from a Japanese education, and Chinese professors from China. Consequently, Lee also received a Chinese education during the three years he spent there until he graduated in August 1949. After graduation he stayed on at the university, assisting the professors there. In March 1952 he passed the first examination held for government-funded study abroad, winning the opportunity to study at Iowa State University. In only one year Lee earned his master’s degree. When he returned to Taiwan, he was promoted to lecturer at Taiwan National University. Twelve years later, in September 1965, he won a fellowship sponsored jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Cornell University, which enabled him to enter the doctoral program at Cornell.
In May 1968 he was awarded a doctorate in agricultural economics. His doctoral dissertation won the award from the American Association of Agricultural Economics for the best doctoral dissertation of 1969.
Though having been steeped in the cultures of Japan, the US, China, and Taiwan, Lee Teng-hui remained throughout his life culturally Japanese. Toward the end of his life when he spoke in private conversations or delivered public speeches, he spoke only Taiwanese or Japanese, never Chinese, demonstrating his strong affection for both nations.
Lee’s outlook on life and death
After Lee resigned as president, I had opportunities to dine with him and moderate sessions at which he spoke. But the first time I spoke to him with just the two of us present was in 2001. I was invited to his home in Taoyuan, where we talked for several hours about the future of Taiwan. I was young and cocky, so spoke out without hesitation about my personal views. When I insisted that to build a nation you had to be prepared to risk everything and lose everything, he kept nodding in assent. When I finished speaking, Lee said, “Mr. Lin, before you think about your country you must take a long, hard look at death – at your own death.” Lee Teng-hui told me that he hadn’t thought seriously about death until his grandmother died. The death of his elder brother, Lee Teng-chin, only one year older than he, in the Philippines, came as a huge shock. Teng-chin had asked to be placed in the rear guard; he was killed in action, having been hit by several dozen bullets. Lee Teng-hui’s outlook on life and death must have been greatly affected by that tragedy.
He went on to say, “First you have to think about death. Someone who is unable to look death in the eye has no business discussing nations or the world. That’s your starting point.” As a warning to my young self, he said, “Only when you’ve given a great deal of thought to death can you think seriously about life.”
Lee Teng-hui once spoke for two hours about Commentary on the Japanese Warrior Spirit, which was published in 2003. Among his many writings this one stands out as the pinnacle. His purpose in writing this book was to encourage Japan to reclaim its Japanese spirit, which it had lost after defeat in World War II. He has strong feelings about that, and they suffuse the book. Lee has also demonstrated that the foundation of his outlook on life was formed by the Japanese warrior spirit, which came alive in the minds of ordinary Japanese during wartime.
The book’s subtitle is “Noblesse Oblige” (the duties of nobles). It also seems to express his hopes for Japan, or so I thought when I received an advance copy of the book and recalled the conversation we had had. I was struck by what seemed to be exhortations to Japan to take on a leadership role; at the same time, Lee stated that noblesse oblige is the stance Japan should adopt.
I don’t recall exactly how many hours my first dialogue with Lee Teng-hui lasted. But I vividly remember that it was pervaded by his vigorous Japanese spirit. That spirit was fully present during his 12-year-long presidency. I am convinced that it was the driving force behind the democratization of Taiwan.
Lee Teng-hui’s guiding principle of Japan-Taiwan co-prosperity involves more than the words themselves. He was not talking about economics, not at all. What he wanted the Taiwanese to learn from was the Japanese culture and the Japanese spirit, as well as the talent and authority that make a leader. Therefore, this principle is about Taiwan, Japan’s disciple, learning from Japan and becoming a leader by collaborating with Japan to bring peace and prosperity to all of Asia. The Japanese work hard, Japanese products are of good quality, and Japan has economic strength. But what Lee Teng-hui wanted the Taiwanese to adopt was the superior moral code and vibrant culture that qualify Japan to be in a position of leadership. In other words, the rationale for Japan-Taiwan co-prosperity is not profit, but the respect the Taiwanese have for the Japanese spirit, and the affinity Japan has for the Taiwanese.
Japan and Taiwan: a common currency and mutual recognition
Hoping for a closer relationship between Japan and Taiwan, Lee Teng-hui proposed a scheme for moving in that direction based on his Japan-Taiwan co-prosperity principle in Asian Resourcefulness, which contains a dialogue between Lee and the late Akita University President Nakajima Mineo. It was the inauguration of the ACU (Asian Currency Unit), which would be a common currency used throughout Asia, spearheaded by Japan. Rather than a pan-Asian currency, I would suggest a Japan-Taiwan common currency. It would be easier to achieve, given the similarity between systems, technological level and standard of living, not to mention the relationship of trust between the two nations.
If Japan and Taiwan used the same currency, which is, in effect, sovereignty, the two nations would be pursuing a common destiny. Once the risk of currency fluctuation disappears, trade between Japan and Taiwan would be enlivened. Travel for tourism between the two nations does not require visas, but Japan and Taiwan could become even closer if visas were not required for longer stays, and all sorts of qualifications were mutually recognized.
In actuality a Japanese driver’s license is valid in Taiwan, and vice versa. I recommend expanding this type of privilege. In that case, the combined population of Japan and Taiwan would become equal to half that of the US, and a market with huge purchasing power would be born. Since they were once the same country, even though they are separate now, the two nations could become a true community.
Japan must be wary of China
But in some ways Japan is on the verge of becoming a bad example from which Taiwan can learn. I am referring to is what Nakajima Mineo calls “diplomacy motivated by intimidation.” The Japanese are not sufficiently wary of China. They apologize to China when no apology is necessary. Japan is ahead of Taiwan in many fields, but Taiwan turned the tables when the Wuhan coronavirus arrived. Giving high priority to an official visit from Xi Jinping, the Japanese government caused the virus to spread by failing to prohibit Chinese from entering Japan. The Japanese are always second-guessing China; they will go to all costs to avoid Chinese displeasure. One sees this tendency everywhere, not just where politics is concerned. It is present in Japan’s bureaucracy, finance, education, and media. Bureaucrats draft their policies taking care not to offend China or cause it to lose face. This is the main structural reason why Japan couldn’t prevent the invasion of the Wuhan coronavirus, which originated in China. Unlike the Japanese stance, the Taiwanese have not forgotten for a moment that China is their enemy. This is the main difference between Taiwan and Japan.
China views Japan as the enemy
Even though China views Japan as its enemy, there are only a handful of Japanese who reciprocate, who view China as their enemy. Almost no Japanese politicians issue warnings about the threat from China, the enemy. If they can’t detect that threat, then it is no wonder the Japanese could not defend themselves from the pandemic that originated from China. No matter how much the Chinese may talk about “Japan-China friendship,” they are planning to use every opportunity to cause harm to Japan; the Japanese remain in the dark about this.
The Americans are beginning to catch on to the fact that the Chinese view the pandemic as the perfect opportunity to weaken other nations. But the Japanese remain completely unaware of this crisis. That lack of awareness led to Japan’s donating a vast quantity of masks and protective clothing to China, when China was buying up masks from Japan in huge amounts. A month later Japan was faced with a shortage of masks so severe that even medical professionals struggling with the Wuhan coronavirus on the front lines couldn’t get them. Meanwhile, in Taiwan the exportation of masks was prohibited, and limits were set on the number of masks individuals could donate to China. Later the Taiwanese government set up an emergency increased-production system (a collaboration between the public and private sectors) that made it possible for every resident of Taiwan to receive a supply of masks. The Chinese government criticized the limits on mask exports soundly, calling the Taiwanese cold-hearted. But the Taiwanese government didn’t budge, for good reason. The Taiwanese people feel safer when the enemy disparages their country than when it praises it.
For every blade of grass there is a drop of dew
The Chinese philosopher Mengzi (Mencius) once said, “Life springs from sorrow and calamity; death comes from ease and pleasure,” Though placed in a disadvantageous position in peacetime, Taiwan has managed to summon up the tenacity it has cultivated through the years when it faces a crisis. There is a Taiwanese saying that goes, “For every blade of grass there is a drop of dew.” It means that we must be self-reliant if we want to receive help from others. A mental attitude like that has toughened spirits when the going gets rough. In the past the Taiwanese had almost no confidence. Actually, many of Taiwan’s intellectuals have castigated their compatriots and themselves over that lack of confidence.
When the Taiwanese are confronted with a problem, they always look to Japan for a solution: What would the Japanese do? In other words, during the 50 years before World War II, Japan not only ruled Taiwan, but also gained the respect of the Taiwanese, who trusted Japan as a student would a teacher. That is why many Taiwanese were astonished by Japan’s pandemic policy, because they expected better from their teacher. Even so, the Taiwanese remain Japan’s students, and Japan their teacher. And I am certain that Taiwan’s experiences with China have helped pave the way for Japan-Taiwan co-prosperity.
Lee Teng-hui’s second guiding principle: the natural truth
The second of Lee Teng-hui’s guiding principles, and the essence of his principles, is truth. I know many Taiwanese politicians, but few of them actually speak the truth. Most of them attempt to make themselves seem more important than they really are. But Lee Teng-hui, who became the leader of his nation, never put on airs. He spoke the naked, or natural truth. That is an attribute that we would admire in any individual, but as a guiding principle of the leader of a state, it was more than his personal philosophy – it was the doctrine of a head of state, and it influenced the way he governed.
Japan consistently takes the side of Taiwan’s enemy
The fact that the Taiwanese respect Japan has to do with the “natural truth” principle. The first thing I noticed when I came to Japan was the difference between Japanese and Chinese cuisine. While Chinese cuisine involves manipulating ingredients and letting them spoil, Japanese cuisine strives to keep them fresh and make them look as attractive as possible (emphasizing their natural state, their truth).
But postwar Japanese governments have not seemed to value the truth. Until 1972, the Japanese government recognized Chiang Kai-shek, who had fled to Taiwan, as the leader of China, and closed its eyes to atrocities committed by Chiang against the Taiwanese. Then suddenly in 1972, the Japanese government shifted to a new stance: it demonstrated respect for the lie promoted by China, i.e., that Taiwan is part of China. People whom Japan had considered their countrymen at one time were now Japan’s enemies. The Japanese no longer cared about their suffering, nor did they attempt to understand it.
As far as Taiwan was concerned, postwar Japanese governments have steadfastly refused to face the truth.
In using phrase natural truth, Lee Teng-hui was clearly attempting to avoid speaking bluntly.
Another of Lee’s guiding principles: sincerity
Lee Teng-hui’s third principle is sincerity. In April 2001, when he left office, he visited Japan. On that occasion he stayed at the Imperial Hotel in Osaka, where he left a square of colored paper, which he had decorated with calligraphy. I believe it is still displayed there. What he wrote was “sincerity and nature,” meaning sincerity and natural truth. Truth and sincerity are essentially the same concept, but truth involves viewing an existence objectively. Sincerity involves acting in accordance with that. Sincerity is a matter of adopting an attitude that prevents one from deceiving oneself or to others. In Asian Resourcefulness (a dialogue between Lee Teng-hui and Professor Nakajima Mineo) Lee asks, “What is the difference between the Chinese and Japanese? That’s an easy question. It’s the difference between a people that lies and one that does not.” A Japanese accused of lying will turn red in the face – in ancient times he would have drawn his sword. If the Japanese get caught in a lie, they are so ashamed they could die. But since for the Chinese, lying is a daily activity, they don’t care if they’re called liars. If they’re caught, they’ll simply tell more lies.
But today the Japanese teach their children lies — lies that are written in their textbooks, such as “Taiwan is a possession of China.” Can you call that a sincere attitude? Lee Teng-hui stressed this particular principle, sincerity, time and time again. Japan is his homeland of the heart. He doesn’t seem to want to say that present-day Japan is insincere, so instead he says politely that he doesn’t want Japan to discard its traditional values. He should have been more emphatic about this.
Japan and Taiwan should join hands in nation-building
Lee Teng-hui’s fourth guiding principle, and the most important one, is nation-building. He poured body and soul into building the nation of Taiwan. During the 12 years he headed the government, Taiwan achieved democracy, but did not complete the nation-building process. Taiwan is still strapped with a Chinese-made constitution that has never been appropriate for Taiwan, and still saddled with the disgraceful word China. But the direction for Taiwanese nation-building is quite clear. If the international situation permits, the Taiwanese are bound to succeed in amending their constitution and making a new start as a nation.
Lee Teng-hui was more worried about Japanese nation-building. Both Taiwan and Japan are semi-independent nations. Most Taiwanese are fully aware of that situation, and realize that it is up to them to transform Taiwan into a fully independent state. However, most Japanese do not view their country as one that is not completely independent. That is why very few Japanese are contemplating or even aware of nation-building.
Like Taiwan, Japan cannot be considered a truly independent nation unless the Japanese draft their own constitution, but very few Japanese think that is necessary. It was not because he was meddlesome that Lee Teng-hui worried about Japan, but out of affection for both Taiwan and Japan. That is why, until the day he died, he encouraged Japan to again become a nation respected by its Asian neighbors, and to pull Taiwan along with it.
Of course, noble guiding principles have no meaning if they remain forever cherished in the mind of those who embrace them. They must be realized through action. Lee Teng-hui witnessed such action and spirit in Japan in the foYoshida Shoin’s poem
The following poem was composed by Yoshida Shoin (1830-1859), one of Japan’s most respected intellectuals, who is known for his efforts to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate.
I knew full well that such actions must end in my death
It was the Yamato spirit that drove me to act
An Asian century may await
You don’t have to be a physician to know how difficult it is to treat cancer. Patients who survive the disease become debilitated, and must endure long convalescences. Furthermore, there are aftereffects, the severity of which depends on the type of cancer and the extent to which it has advanced. Generally, the more malignant the cancer, the weaker patients become and the more serious the aftereffects are. When humans die from cancer, the cancer cells within their bodies also expire. If their host, which provides their nourishment, dies, the cancer cells cannot survive. But even though their fates are obvious, cancer cells cannot halt their destructive ways. The same is true of China cancer. We are left with only two options: die along with China cancer, or eradicate China cancer. It’s very clear which path should be taken.
All our efforts must be devoted to preventing the recurrence of cancer once the patient has recovered. Most people live better lives if they are healthy. The same goes for our planet: it is clearly safer and more peaceful if it is not disfigured by China cancer. Knowing that, what should we do?
First of all, we must turn our thoughts to China itself. As I demonstrated in Chapter 4, the first step toward eradicating China cancer is overthrowing the Chinese Communist Party’s one-party control system. The problem is what do we do once that has been accomplished? Even if we succeed in overthrowing the hypermalignant CCP, less malignant China cancer remains in the bodies of the average Chinese. Unfortunately, the number of Chinese with such insight is close to zero. From a physician’s perspective, it is very difficult to treat patients with no insight (patients who insist they are in good health). In that sense, even if the hypermalignant cancer that is the CCP disappears, the next prodigious task awaits us.
Chinese separation of mind from body
Perhaps the Chinese are hard to distinguish from the Japanese, but remember that the Chinese mind is separated from the Chinese body. The Chinese are proud to be Chinese, but that pride does not manifest itself in their bodies. They dream of becoming Americans or Canadians. A good example of this mentality is high-ranking Chinese officials. They take pride in their Chineseness, but they move their children, wives, and mistresses overseas, and their assets as well. As Mengzi said, “Without secure assets, the spirit is insecure.” In other words, their minds are always on their assets. Unlike Confucius, Mengzi was an honest man. If your assets, your family, and your mistress are overseas, how can your heart remain in China? These men are referred to as naked officials; they remain in China, alone, furiously amassing bribes. If this is how high-ranking officials with special privileges and vested interests live, such cravings surely manifest themselves more straightforwardly in ordinary Chinese.
Confucianism: the perfect ideology for rulers
The mind represents ideology, and the body, economics. Every nation has its particular ideology. However, as former US President Clinton’s famous words (“It’s the economy, stupid”) suggest, in most nations the economy occupies a place of special importance. But sometimes ideology takes precedence over economics, for the convenience of rulers. Ideology is the best excuse for robbing the people of their lives and assets; it is also an effective narcotic for brainwashing them. During the 3,000 years of Chinese imperial rule, rulers appropriated their subjects’ assets. Those in power regularly adopted Confucianism, the most effective tool for brainwashing. Confucianism is a hierarchical ideology that requires absolute submission to a ruler in exchange for power and profits that are usurped by the privileged class. In the sacred books of Confucianism there are niceties like instructions to respect ordinary people, but everyone knows they are just empty words. In the eyes of the powerful, the common people are inferior to the elite class, slaves who must obey their rulers. One look at the North Korea of Kim Jong-il reveals a typical Confucianist society — in the 21st century, no less!
Virtuous government: another swindle
The ideology implanted by the Chinese empire in the brains of its subjects is “great national unity.” Explained in simple language, this concept means imperial expansion: the bigger the Chinese empire, the better. Therefore, it must grow stronger and swallow up all of the world’s nations. This is what Xi Jinping means when he talks about his plan to build a common destiny for the human race. This is great national unity, which involves incorporating the entire world into the Chinese empire.
How did this fearful ideology come into being? Its originator was Confucius. Here are his words: “He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place, and all the stars turn towards it.” Confucius also advocated virtuous government. Simplified, this means rulers control the people virtuously just as the North Star controls the other stars. Confucius was a brilliant flatterer of rulers. If virtue is an absolute requirement for rulers, then the reverse is that rulers possess inviolable moral fiber. Virtuous government, which is neither the rule of men nor the rule of law, is actually an awkward thing. Since virtuous rulers govern subjects without virtue, their lowly subjects obey in silence.
At the heart of China cancer is great national unity
Intoning the words “virtuous government” gives rulers an excuse to do anything they like. Why? Because nothing outranks a virtuous ruler, no one dares to complain about a ruler’s behavior. And since a virtuous, glorious nation must bestow its favors on the barbarians in its vicinity, its soldiers must march in and annex the lands inhabited by those barbarians. Great national unity, the basis of Chinese ideology, justifies rulers’ invasions of other nations. And since additional military might is needed for these invasions, the people’s lives and assets are plundered to accomplish that goal, or so goes the rationale, at any rate. Chinese who have moved overseas have not managed to escape this poison, so they never fail to fall into step with the Chinese government. They raise their voices in slogans like “Send soldiers to attack Taiwan” and “Return the Senkaku Islands.” As I have already indicated, the Chinese empire’s great-national-unity concept is as much a cause of China cancer as the CCP.
Cancer specialists, study the Analects!
The glib swindler Confucius created hoaxes for office-seekers that brought suffering to the people of China and neighboring nations for more than 2,000 years. Their poison still causes harm and continues to legitimize the spread of China cancer. In middle and high school I studied and memorized every one of his Analects to prepare for examinations. Even now, after 40 years, the rotten stench of Confucius’ words clings to my brain. I know from personal experience exactly how lethal the poison of Confucianism is. But for the purpose of knowing one’s enemy, I urge cancer specialists to study the Analects. Once you know the way cancer cells think, you should be able to treat the disease more effectively. But beware of their addictive power!
Detach the Chinese people from the CCP
Today China is under CCP one-party rule, but from another perspective, China is but an extension of the Chinese empire. The CCP is no more than a front. Even if we changed the sign to read “Chinese Nationalist Party,” there would be no difference. In other words, the problem is that the Chinese empire has poisoned the minds of the Chinese people. But if we make villains out of both rulers and their subjects, we will have difficulty banishing China cancer. We must divide the enemy and fight. If we make the rulers the villains and the people our allies, we can divide and conquer. Normally, we wouldn’t want to divulge this strategy, but if democratic nations like Japan and the US really want to adopt this strategy, even the CCP government will not be able to stand in the way of the honest Chinese people. If we can convince the Chinese people, it should be possible to get rid of the CCP.
But even if we overthrow the evil rulers, we must solve the problems caused by Chinese ideology, namely the brainwashing of the people. Unless we accomplish that, mammoth cancer cells will start doing their mischief again. To put it more simply, China’s powerful are hypermalignant cancer cells, and the ordinary Chinese are less malignant benign cancer cells. Until China’s affinity for attracting cancer is eradicated, once someone acquires up the reins of power, he will become a hypermalignant cancer cell. It is impossible to overemphasize this point: a new ruler will not change anything. The great-national-unity ideology must be purged.
Confront great-national-unity ideology directly
The great-national-unity ideology must be confronted directly. What is needed is a strategy that breaks China up into smaller units, which is exactly the opposite of great national unity. As stated earlier, to render China harmless once and for all, the only option is to separates the mammoth nation of China into smaller entities. Doing so would not only diminish the threat to neighboring nations, but also afford the Chinese a more pleasant lifestyle. The division of China will benefit all Chinese except for the powerful. But it won’t proceed smoothly unless the Chinese people are enthusiastic about it. And the separation will not have a successful outcome if it is done forcibly through foreign intervention; the separation of the Chinese empire must take place spontaneously. The theory seems simple. Since foreign intervention often results in bolstering a nation’s strength, neighboring nations become suspicious. Ultimately, that intervention invites more interventions, complicating the situation, not to mention disputes. If China as a whole destabilizes, all of Asia will become unstable. For that reason, the intervention of foreign powers should be discouraged, unless the Chinese people ask for it.
Chinese people motivated by potential profits and fear
In that case, what should be done? This is not a difficult question to answer. We need only attack the Chinese at their weakest points, desire for profits and fear. But it is best to avoid low-level tactics like promising profits from external sources or threatening them with military might, also from external forces. In light of the current situation in China, the unfolding of high-level tactics that will target those weak points is likely to be more successful. I am referring to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
As I stated in Part 1 of this chapter, if the Chinese are forced to introduce a democracy, they will eventually arrive at a decentralized government where each province is an independent entity. There is only one obstacle to the decentralization process: the great-national-unity ideology. But that ideology is no more than a narcotic, and creates nothing that has positive effects on people’s actual lifestyles. The Chinese, who have a quick eye for profits, will immediately discard any ideology that puts them at a disadvantage. The Chinese are smart enough to look out for their own interests, and are quick to discard any lofty ideals, any traditional ideals, if they get in the way. That is the difference between them and the Japanese, who cling to the past.
Use Wuhan coronavirus to dismantle China
Then how can we make use of the Wuhan coronavirus, which hails from China? We can get a hint from action taken in various parts of China after the Wuhan lockdown, which occurred on January 23, 2020. Soon after the Wuhan lockdown, the rest of Hubei province followed suit. Accordingly, the residents of Wuhan could not venture outside the province, and residents of other provinces could not enter Hubei. But even after April 8, when the central government lifted the lockdown on Wuhan, other provinces barred Wuhan residents from entering their territory. Those provinces had defied orders from the central government and acted on their own initiative to close their borders. Even now, people desiring to enter other provinces must show a health certificate, which acts as a sort of passport. This example shows that China’s provinces became independent entities because of the Wuhan coronavirus. Such daring action would have been unthinkable before the pandemic. It also shows how much the Chinese fear contagious diseases. For instance, even if the Wuhan coronavirus disappears, pseudo-independence of China’s provinces may continue. No matter how emphatically the Chinese government may declare that the virus has disappeared, the Chinese won’t believe them. Since this is the situation even in a state with one-party control, if China becomes a democracy in which each citizen determines his future by casting his ballot, [each province] may become a completely independent state.
Independence movements in Shanghai and Sichuan
My Wuhan coronavirus example is a separation driven by fear, but there are also profit-motivated separation movements, one of them involving Shanghai. After the First Opium War of 1839, Shanghai was forced to open its port by the Treaty of Nanking, and from then on was exposed to foreign cultures, more so than any other Chinese city. Economic interchange with foreign countries became robust. That is one reason why Shanghai became the wealthiest city in China.
According to an announcement issued by the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics, Shanghai’s GDP for 2019 was 3,000,000,008,155 RMB (approximately 60 billion USD). Its permanent-resident population is approximately 24 million. Population and GDP are almost equivalent to those of Taiwan. This is the appropriate scale for an independent, successful midsized nation. After the Qing dynasty collapsed, a movement arose seeking autonomy for Shanghai, which has never lost momentum.
The Shanghai independence movement can gain no further ground in China, but in 2018, Chinese residing in the US formed the Shanghai National Party, and announced that they were seeking independence for Shanghai. Liu Zhongling, a historian who has many young followers in China, has said that China cannot achieve true democracy unless it is partitioned into several states. On November 9, 2018, after he had moved to the US, Liu announced that he would separate Sichuan province from the PRC, and establish the Republic of Basuria.
The great-national-unity ideology continues to persist, but there are some members of the Chinese elite who have not been contaminated by it. One of them was Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. Liu said that the great-national-unity ideology is incompatible with the democratization of China, and must be discarded. Thus, there are Chinese who wish for independence out of fear or because they desire profits, and intellectuals who advocate separation as a prerequisite for democracy. Consequently, in China there has been some groundwork laid toward making provinces independent.
Simple method for inducing the separation of China’s provinces
Then, how can Japan and the US encourage the separation of China’s provinces? All that needs to be done is to extend policies to counter the Wuhan coronavirus. For instance, upon the initial outbreak of the virus, Japan limited entry to residents of Hubei and Zhejiang provinces. Emigration and immigration controls are in the purview of state sovereignty, and a sovereign state can impose limitations on another nation without providing a detailed explanation.
Taking advantage of the coronavirus, we need only establish immigration standards for each Chinese province, which would be dependent upon the infection rate. This could be done even now. If CCP rule crumbles, this should become even easier. At that point, if the Japanese government negotiates immigration and commercial conditions directly with each province in accordance with the relevant situation there, the power of the new central government, whose base will necessarily have become unsteady, will be significantly diminished. That same power will become the force that induces the division of China’s provinces into separate states. Of course, if not only Japan, but also the US and others of the world’s leading nations joined forces, the effect would be even stronger. There is only one element that might obstruct these tactics: Japan’s bureaucratic hard-liners who are stuck in the past.
Division would bring happiness to the Chinese
On August 5, 2020 Secretary of State Pompeo announced that the US would establish the Clean Network program, which would shut China out of the world’s networks. This same policy approach can also be used to encourage the breakup of China. In other words, this would mean recognizing at an early date those provinces that wish to become independent and welcoming each new nation into the international community by establishing customs and commerce connections. Then, of course, the independent entities will become more prosperous than the others, and will soon join hands with the democratic nations of the world. As this process continues, the provinces will vie with one another to get into favorable positions and to make new starts as independent states. After all, freedom and democracy require innovation. The Chinese are smart, so they will surely develop new products and ideas in a free, competitive environment. That will lead to an increase in economic activity, which in turn will lead to happiness for the Chinese people. Above all, if one-party rule ceases, the expenditures for military preparedness and maintaining public order will be significantly decreased, and each province (now state) will be able to manage on a minimal military budget. Once they realize that dividing China will benefit them, the Chinese will surely escape from the great-national-unity ideology.
Toward a crisis-free Asia
China does not represent all of Asia, but everyone in the world recognizes it as the source of most of Asia’s difficulties. Unless the China problem can be solved, Asia will have no future. Conversely, if the China problem can be resolved, most of Asia’s crises will be eliminated. Of course, no one is so optimistic as to believe that if China as we know it today disappears, the world will be transformed into a paradise. There will still be problems, and they will cause us to worry. But even so, I urge all who think it best to avoid addressing the China problem to turn your thoughts to Nazi Germany. If the world had ignored Nazi Germany, what would our planet be like today? It is likely that most of the world would have succumbed to the oppression of Hitler’s empire, and we would have suffered the same sad fate as so many Jews did. No one can promise a perfect world, but we can prevent the dark days that will surely arrive if the tyranny of the Chinese empire is allowed to persist. We must act now.