By Jon Day
TOKYO, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe green-lighting defense spending for the next fiscal year, which at around 42 billion U.S. dollars is the highest since record keeping began, is a testament to the hawkish leader's belligerent agenda in the months and years to come.
Since Abe came into office in 2012, military spending has consistently increased each year, with the known-nationalist leader's rhetoric on foreign diplomacy, particularly on matters of security, also growing ever-more artful to both disguise and trumpet his military ambitions as needs dictate.
While maintaining that Japan will henceforth act as a more proactive peacekeeper in the world and uphold its long-held pacifist ideology, the prime minister's actions, as has become the rule and not the exception, have consistently betrayed his words and made a mockery of a population here who have for the past 70-years believed in the true virtues of peace since an atomic full stop was put at the end of a gory historical sentence, so that another paragraph by a would-be rampant, brutal imperial war regime could not be written.
Forty two billion U.S. dollars allocated for a plethora of next-generation hardware for Abe's military is not, as the prime minister has intimated, a means to purchase and ensure peace and stability in the region and the world at large, this sum, indeed, is a superfluous amount for a nation merely defending itself, as per its Supreme Law.
This sum and the likelihood that military expenditure will continue to swell if recent history is any indicator, are the catalyst for engagements overseas and take publicly-opposed legislation from the realms of ideology into very real, tangible war scenarios, and the repercussions of which will also be very, very real.
Abe steamrolling ahead, hellbent on achieving his personal military legacy, as was the case with his grandfather, former prime minister, WWII combat leader and suspected war criminal, Nobusuke Kishi, will lead to no good, and will only serve to further open up Japan, already a"soft target,"to reprisals from antagonists or those of Japan's allies, as Abe has ensured that by dodging Japan's constitution he can flex his military muscles alongside other Big Guns.
Moreover, far from working towards achieving peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region, the absurdly high budget for weapons purchases will also seek to rattle the nerves of Japan's closest neighbors, who have already felt the rabid bite of an old breed of Japanese militaristic dog and will be more-the-wise the next time around.
As the old adage goes, and one that Abe will do well to remember as he starts an unnecessary arms race, and re-stokes the embers of Japan's imperial war machine: "Once bitten, twice shy."