World View: Shinzo Abe Wins Landslide Electoral Victory in Japan

World View: Shinzo Abe Wins Landslide Electoral Victory in Japan

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Shinzo Abe wins landslide electoral victory in Japan
  • Pakistan’s army becoming increasingly radicalized
  • Kurds in Iraq’s army mutiny as level of violence increases
  • Riots near Paris over France’s ban on Muslim face veils
  • New York City bans food donations to the homeless

Shinzo Abe wins landslide electoral victory in Japan

Shinzo Abe answering questions on Sunday (Nobuhiro Shirai)
Shinzo Abe answering questions on Sunday (Nobuhiro Shirai)

Japan has had six prime ministers in six years, and so the landslidere-election victory by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling LiberalDemocratic Party is significant. The victory may prompt thenationalist prime minister to take several major steps related toforeign affairs:

  • He has long wanted to amend Japan’s pacific constitution to permit the establishment of a national defense military. Japan’s constitution was written by the United States after WW II, and Abe considers it to be humiliating.
  • He may take further steps to assert control over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands that are in dispute with China, and over which the two countries have frequent naval confrontations.
  • He does not appear to have any plan to hold talks with the South Koreans or Chinese over the issue of “comfort women” used by Imperial Japanese Army soldiers for sex before and during World War II.
  • On August 15, the date that marks the end of World War II for Japan, he may resume personal visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which contains Japanese dead from WW II, including 14 convicted or accused Class A war criminals.

However, now that the election is over, he may reverse himself andmove in the opposition direction, being a lot more conciliatorytowards Korea and China, and abandoning all of the above plans, andfocus on Japan’s faltering economy. The Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo) and BBC

Pakistan’s army becoming increasingly radicalized

The repercussions of the 2011 capture of Osama bin Laden from underthe noses of Pakistan’s Army are still growing. OBL felt secureenough to stay in Pakistan for nine years. Was the Pakistan Armycomplicit in hiding him, or were they oblivious and incompetent not tonotice him, despite numerous signs?

Thus, it’s not surprising that as younger generations join the Army,the Army is becoming increasingly radicalized, according to an Indiananalysis. Most of the recruits come from Punjab province, which wasthe heart of the huge genocidal war between Hindus and Muslims thatfollowed Partition, the 1947 partitioning of the Indian subcontinentinto India and Pakistan. Punjab is a terrorist haven, and anextremely radical population, as was apparent after the assassinationof Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. Taseer had opposed Pakistan’sblasphemy law, which permits capital punishment for saying anythingthat defines the Quran of the prophet Mohammed. He was killed by hisown bodyguard, and the bodyguard is considered to be a hero by much ofPunjab province. A survey of Punjab youth in elite universities in2010 showed these students to be highly radicalized. As thesestudents are recruited into the Army, this explains why the Army isunable to do anything about the vicious and repeated anti-Shia attacksthat have occurred in western Pakistan. Recently, Punjab-basedmilitant outfits have been concentrating their attacks in the trianglebetween Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar, with Karachi being the terrorcapital of Pakistan.

Generational Dynamics predicts that India and Pakistan will bere-fighting the genocidal 1947 war, with Sunnis opposed to Hindus andShias. Hindustan Times

Kurds in Iraq’s army mutiny as level of violence increases

Bombings and shooting continued in Iraq into Sunday after over a dozencoordinated car bombings exploded across Baghdad on Saturday evening,target crowded cafes and hangouts in mostly Shia neighborhoods. Atleast 70 people killed and more than 150 injured in a series ofattacks across Iraq over the last two days. There’s been a huge surgein violence since Ramadan began earlier this month, with at least 284deaths. And in a new development, over 1,000 Kurdish soldiers haveessentially mutinied from the Iraq army, with the support of theKurdistan Regional Government (KRG), after refusing to fight SunniArabs for fear of exacerbating already tense relations. The mutiny issignificant, because it may fuel the Kurdistan independence movement,possibly with the support of Turkey. Al-Jazeera and AFP and Dawn (Pakistan)

Riots near Paris over France’s ban on Muslim face veils

Some 20 cars were set ablaze on Saturday night in a second night ofviolence in the suburbs of Paris, as people clashed with police. Theviolence began Friday after a group of residents gathered at thepolice station to protest the arrest of a man whose wife was ticketedThursday for wearing a face veil. The regional prosecutor said thehusband tried to strangle the officer who was doing the ticketing.France has barred face veils since 2011 in a so-called “burka ban.”Proponents of the ban argue the veil oppresses women and contradictsFrance’s principles of secularism, which are enshrined in theconstitution. Wearing crosses or other religious attire is alsobarred in public schools and buildings. AP

New York City bans food donations to the homeless

As someone who’s had a weight problem and had to diet his wholelife, I can tell you that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’swar on large-size containers of Coca-Cola and other sodas isso ridiculous that only a politician would be stupid enoughto suggest it. In fact, many studies have shown that overweightpeople drink a lot more diet soda, so maybe he should be banningthat instead. It would make just as much sense.

Now CBS news is reporting that NYC is banning food donations tohomeless shelters. Places like restaurants and synagogues, which havedonated surplus food to homeless shelters for decades, are no longerpermitted to do so. The CBS news reporter was told that the reasonfor the new policy is that the City wants to keep track of the salt,fat and fiber content in all food eaten at homeless shelters, and theycan’t do that with donated food. CBS News (New York)

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