Oh God! My titles are becoming even more enigmatic. Let me explain. My trusty, private intelligence service (KGS NightWatch) sent me a report on Japan. Apparently the new-ish prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has decided to ask his parliament to re-interpret the Japanese constitution with regard to its armed forces who, under the present rules, are strictly forbidden to operate outside Japanese territory except in cases involving international relief operations. This idea of a re-interpretation is rather a subtle move on the part of Shinzo Abe since, if it goes his way, it avoids the extreme step of actually re-casting the constitution.
As KGS point out:
Chinese and North Korean behavior has spurred new thinking about self-defense in Japan, including the need for collective self-defense.
Oh dear! By and large, I think, sleeping dogs are best left asleep but you can't blame the Japanese for stirring themselves given the aggressive lunacies of the Chinese and North Koreans. Also, again as KGS point out, perhaps it is no bad thing that the democratic Asian nations are beginning to combine in defence of their own areas rather than relying on the Americans. KGS sums it up this way - with my emphasis:
The key point is that Asian states are assuming responsibility for the security of Asia. The success of the Asian democracies is a tribute to the wisdom of US policies. The Asian world is returning to normality. In that normality, the US is a Pacific power, but not an Asian power.
Korea and Taiwan remain the last unfinished business from World War II.
The highlighted sentence is a shrewd and subtle insight and I do hope that the American military understand it.