1. The Great American Expectation
Copylight (Oct.22,1998) by TAKESHITA Yoshirō


Japan was militarily defeated by the Allied Force lead by the USA. It was then occupied by the American Military until 1952 (until 19xx for Okinawa). But there still are American military bases in Japan. These bases have extraterritorial rights, and are partly financed by Japan. These bases are there based on the Japan-US Security Treaty and Statue Agreement.

These bases, and the American forces stationed there, have the effect of dissuading neighboring countries from making a considerable military move against American interest. As long as the American interest is not violated, these bases do little for Japan. But according to the Treaty, they are supposed to help the Japanese Self-Defense Force defend Japan. However, the reality is that, the Americans are there to defend their interest. The bases in Japan were used of logistic support during the Korean War (1950 – 1953), the Gulf War (1990 – 1991) and against the Chinese threat against Taiwan. As in the case of the Gulf War, the American bases are used based on American interest and not Japanese interest.

The American bases in Japan are used so the American military can use it against worldwide situations. That is why they have more stock of military resources, ranging from ammunitions to fuel reserve, than any bases in America.

The American bases in Japan acts based on American national interest and not on Japanese national interest. Japan would do fine without the American bases and the American arms industry. But Japan can not reject the American demand to keep the bases. Some reduction and reorganization of American Forces in Japan have been effectuated in order to "calm the crowd" so to speak. But the major part of it still remains.

The bases do, as a result, satisfy somewhat the Japanese interest by dissuading a considerable attack against Japan. The bases also help the local economy of Okinawa. But this is all as a result of the American government seeking to satisfy its national interest. Japan is somewhat defended because it is part of America's sphere of influence, strategic position and buffer zone. America has a sort of military, and thus political, overhand on Japan. This is a problem for Japan. This situation leaves the American government with much ability to successfully infringe the sovereignty, interest and independence of Japan.

The consequence of such a situation can be seen in commercial issues between America and Japan.

The American government would first charge the Japanese market as being too closed to outside competition, the Japanese corporation of effectuating a unfair trade and of illegally dumping products into the American market. If the Japanese side disagreed, the American side would pressure them to agree by threatening them with the "Super Article 301".

So what is this "Super Article 301"? It is the 301st article of American omnibus trade legislation.

This is how it works:

  1. An American industry appeals to the US Trade Representative (USTR) saying that it suffered loss because of an unjust act of another country's industry.
  2. The USTR examines the case, and if they judge that an "unjust act" was done, they demand for the continuation of such act to be stopped and some sort of indemnification for the loss to be made
  3. If the country subject to this demand refuses to satisfy the demand, the USTR applies the Super Article 301 against the said country. The said country, in trading with the US, would then have to face such burden as high tariffs.

The peculiarity of this is that, a country is applying its own national law against another country. In the case of the Super Article 301, the article was made so as to counter the massive Japanese competition. So the case indicates that the US government considers Japan as part of its empire or sphere, against which it can apply its own national laws.

There are many examples of how the USA infringes the sovereignty and independence of Japan, and other countries. What makes the USA different from all the other countries that infringes the sovereignty and independence of other countries is that the USA is better at propagating their justification and their good-sounding point of view of the situation. They make violations and infringements look just, and in terms of what the audience (electors and public) think, how it looks determines how it is understood. If it looks good, it is good. Most Americans don't have the time to verify, nor do they care as long as they profit from it.

As I am mentioning about the Super Article 301, the case of "BTRON" came to mind.

"BTRON" is a Japanese OS for PC ("TRON" = "The Real-time Operating system Nucleus" ; "BTRON" = "Business TRON"). The newest version is called "B-right/V". It can function far more comfortably with a lower machine power than that recommended by "Windows" (even with a pre-Pentium CPU), and its basic function includes the function of using multiple language.

Nor only does it have a better performance capacity, anyone can know how it is made, develop it in one's own way and sell one's product. In short, it's an open software, unlike "Windows" OS. Before this competitive product could enter the American e-market (the gateway to the world e-market), Microsoft got the USTR to include "BTRON" into the list of products to be subject to the sanctions of the Super Article 301.

This is how the USTR helped open the way to the formation of the monopolizing Microsoft e-empire. And this is an example of how politics of power can influence economy and how economy of power can influence politics.

Even in a peaceful transaction, in order to win, the winner needs to be backed up by the element of force and power.

The American government maybe expecting this situation to last for quite a while but they should be aware that by forcing its wills, it will eventually and surely face the counter-force that will attempt to follow their example. The true "winners" of the entire story are those who win out of the conflict itself, such as those who deal with weapons, oils and drugs. The "evil empire" is neither that of the communist or the Americans but of the greedy and the cunning.