MANILA, Philippines – Partylist Bayan Muna a known leftist political group in the Philippines protest Japan Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko state visit in the Philippines complaining that it could be the start and rise of Japanese Militarism in the country.

Bayan Muna pointed out that Japan is utilizing the Philippines on its warmonger motivation and militarist intention utilizing its disproportionate lopsided economic aid and false military promises for the Philippines, as indicated in the scripts from the official statement of the said group.

Emperor Akihito’s state visit will be used to propel the economic and political-military motivation of Japan. This incorporates the utilization of Official Development Aid and the reaffirmation of the unbalanced Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Although the Emperor remains a delegate of the Japanese ruling class. The Emperor’s powers are limited only to important ceremonial functions. He is also not the commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Whereas the Japan Self-Defense Forces vests this role with the Prime Minister of Japan.

The role of the Emperor of Japan has historically alternated between a largely ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito, center, Empress Michiko, left, and Philippine President Benigno Aquino stand at attention as the national anthems are played upon their arrival Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. The 82-year-old Akihito will pay his respects at memorials for both the Philippine and the Japanese war dead during a five-day state visit. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – REUTERS

What is now troubling is the drive of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration to restore and revive Japanese militarism and permit the sending of Japanese troops abroad. New legislation has offered to ascend for Japan flexing its military muscle, in the backing of the US pivot to Asia.

A statement from Bayan Muna said that “We join the tens of thousands in Japan who are protesting the rise of Japanese militarism and the US-Japan security alliance.”

According to the group, this may lead to the drafting of a PH-Japan Visiting Forces Agreement. As it is a clear disregard of the Japanese peace constitution, once it orders the deployment of Japanese troops abroad and it will participate in joint military exercises in the Philippines.

Both the Philippines and Japan have an ongoing dispute with China and majority of Filipinos supports the rise of the Japanese Self Defense Force, regardless of the bitter experiences in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Forces past world war-II era.

But for now, what is important for most of the Filipinos is for the Japanese Self Defense Force to counter a growing threat from China. – Carl E.

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