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'Rethinking a Rearmed Japan'

October 18, 1987

Cousins has one very pertinent point: The Japanese still feel the humiliation of defeat. An opportunity to reverse the defeat in the war is being sought. But whether this will happen in the changed scenario is debatable.

Cousins does not give much thought to the fact that an ally during World War II, the Soviet Union, has been constantly trying to dominate the world ever since the war ended. One talks of possible rearmament of Japan, but conveniently forgets that Russia has rearmed itself a thousand times more in the past 42 years and there is no stopping the Soviets.

People like Cousins seem to be scared of the Japanese, who have entirely changed during these post-war years, but don't seem to be as much mindful of the Kremlin's tactics. Since the war, and even during it, the Soviet Union gobbled up several countries and extended its iron grip right up to all the democracies on all the continents.

Eastern Europe is under the Soviet iron grip--so is Cuba, Nicaragua and some others in some measure in South America. Through Vietnam the Soviets have spread an active military stranglehold in parts of Southeast Asia. If this is not militarism and rearmament on an astonishingly incredible scale, what is it? And don't forget Africa and Afghanistan too.

Compared to that, how much could or would Japan do to lend a helping hand in its own defense! Surely as an important partner in the alliance for keeping the world free and democratic, Japan has to play an active part and should be encouraged to do so. To oppose that and to go on adhering to the constitution imposed on Japan after World War II would be unfair.

The fact that such a thing was not imposed on the Soviets because they were on the winning side speaks poorly about those who profess lofty ideals.

Let the Japanese change their constitution and be an equal partner in the defense of their own freedom and the freedom of others.

YATRINDRA BHATNAGAR

Inglewood

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