WSJ: PM Abe Shinzo First Non-American to Win Conservative Hudson Institute Award — and other American neocons egging on Japan’s remilitarization


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Hi Blog.  Now here’s something interesting (and geopolitical, but positive overseas recognition like this helps keep Abe’s popularity ratings up (and the money to the LDP rolling in, and Japan’s right-wing swing swinging, etc.):

According to the article below, less than a year after being returned to power and decimating Japan’s Leftists, PM Abe received this award from an American conservative think-tank.  It’s clear that conservative elements in the hegemon wish Japan to have a leader like Abe honored and in power.  I’m not quite sure why.  It would be facile to think it’s merely because the US wants to maintain bases and a weapons market, or even contain China.  No, think tanks like these are also grounded in morals and values that transcend economics and politics (such as, in this case, Abe’s alleged dedication to “democratic ideals”).  The funny thing is, these people seem to think Abe shares their values.  He really doesn’t, unless these people are fundamentally positive towards a racialized reorientation of Asia, where Japanese bigots settle old historical scores, pick fights, destabilize the region, and return Asia back on the course of an arms race.  I’m probably missing something (again, this isn’t quite my field), but I’m aghast at the short-sightedness of American neocons (especially, as noted below, the Heritage Foundation egging on the Ishiharas to purchase the disputed Senkaku rocks and inflame Sino-Japanese tensions).  As I was the similar short-sightedness of the Obama Administration honoring Abe years later (see also here).  I don’t think they understand what Frankenstein they’re creating.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito


Abe First Non-American to Win Conservative Hudson Institute Award
Wall Street Journal Sep 23, 2013

European Pressphoto Agency: The Hudson Institute says it’s honoring Shinzo Abe ‘as a transformative leader.’

On Sept. 25, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join an elite group of right-leaning leaders like Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney, as the recipient of an award from conservative Washington D.C.-based think tank, Hudson Institute.

The award, named after Hudson Institute’s founder, the physicist-turned-geopolitical thinker Herman Kahn, is given every year to honor creative and visionary leaders with a Kahn-style dedication to national security–traditionally in the U.S. Mr. Abe will be the first non-American honoree to receive the Herman Kahn Award.

“Abe is being honored as a transformative leader seeking to advance the kind of reform necessary to restore Japan to full economic vitality,” the institute said in its news release. At the award ceremony to be held in New York on Wednesday, Mr. Abe is expected to deliver “a major speech” on economic reform in Japan and the continuing importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance, according to the release.

The Hudson Institute–as well as Mr. Kahn–has long had close ties with conservative leaders in Japan. Though Mr. Kahn started off his career as a physicist at the Rand Corporation in the 1940s, he moved on to writing about nuclear strategy with the publication of “On Thermonuclear War,” and then to the study of geopolitical trends, including the rise of Japan.

Mr. Kahn is known for predicting Japan’s ascendance as early as 1962, and in 1970 wrote “The Emerging Japanese Superstate,” in which he said that the country would “almost inevitably” become a great economic, technological and financial power–and would likely achieve global military and political clout as well. Mr. Kahn was a “confidante of every Japanese prime minister from Hayato Ikeda on,” until his death in 1983, the institute press release on the award to Mr. Abe said.

Mr. Abe too “is a longtime friend of Hudson Institute, someone who knows the critical importance of ideas to effective governance,” Hudson Institute Chief Executive Kenneth Weinstein said, in the release. “Given Herman Kahn’s legacy of research on Japan, it is altogether appropriate to honor Abe-san.”

Mr. Abe won’t be the first Japanese politician to speak at a Hudson Institute event, though. In December 2011, Nobuteru Ishihara, then secretary-general of Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, also gave a speech, calling for swift nationalization of disputed islands in the East China Sea and deployment of Japanese troops there. The islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have been a major source of diplomatic strain between the two countries.

“The importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance is increasing as a means to deter any attempt by a country to forcefully change the national borders,” Mr. Ishihara was quoted as saying by the Japanese press at the time.

Mr. Ishihara’s speech was quickly followed by one at the Heritage Foundation, another conservative U.S. think tank, given by his more famous–and controversial–father, Shintaro Ishihara. At that April 2012 speech, the elder Ishihara, who was then governor of Tokyo, unveiled a plan for the Tokyo government to purchase the disputed islands. Japan’s national government headed off that purchase by nationalizing the islands itself later in the year, sparking massive anti-Japanese protests in China.

Mr. Abe has made no secret of his own nationalist leanings. He’s pushing to strengthen Japan’s national security, as the nation feels growing pressure from China’s rising economic–and military–power. China’s annual military spending has grown rapidly in recent years, reaching $166 billion in 2012, nearly triple Japan’s $59 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

But Mr. Abe needs to walk a fine line. He can’t pursue his pet issue of national security unless he first addresses Japan’s economic and fiscal problems–major challenges on their own. Wednesday’s Hudson Institute speech will offer the latest clues on how Mr. Abe hopes to proceed. ENDS


What the Hudson Institute itself says about the event:

2013 Herman Kahn Award Luncheon Honoring Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Hudson Institute, Sept. 25, 2013, courtesy of VF

At a gala luncheon in New York on September 25, 2013, Hudson presented its annual Herman Kahn Award to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in recognition of his extraordinary career on the world stage—and his vigorous, principled promotion free markets, global security, and democratic ideals.

The Prime Minister was introduced at the event by his long-time friend and Hudson Senior Vice President Lewis Libby. Abe then took the stage himself to accept the Kahn Award, offering kind and generous remarks about Hudson before delivering a substantial and serious talk about his plans to reform the Japanese economy—and his determination “to make my beloved country a proactive contributor to peace.”

“Japan should not be a weak link in the regional and global security framework where the U.S. plays a leading role,” the Prime Minister said. “Japan is one of the world’s most mature democracies. Thus, we must be a net contributor to the provision of the world’s welfare and security. And we will. Japan will contribute to the peace and stability of the region and the world even more proactively than before.”

Hudson Institute Board Chair Sarah May Stern and Hudson President & CEO Kenneth R. Weinstein also made remarks during the ceremony, with Weinstein adding a special additional tribute to Hudson trustee Yoji Ohashi, Chairman of ANA Holdings Inc., for his visionary contributions to commercial aviation and dedication to a strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Japan.


7 comments on “WSJ: PM Abe Shinzo First Non-American to Win Conservative Hudson Institute Award — and other American neocons egging on Japan’s remilitarization

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    No doubt they are one of those neocons who would miss opportunity to jump on the bandwagon to instigate bigotry, hatred, and even domestic terrorism. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

  • I am continually amazed at people who refuse to even try to understand those with different political or religious beliefs.

    I know it is popular, and very politically correct to call conservatives ignorant, accuse them all of being racists, belittle their positions, motives and beliefs. But how do you change the mind of someone you think so little of?

    Rather than a one-dimensional dismissal of the Hudson Institute’s award to PM Abe, would it be too much to ask for a more insightful discussion of why they chose him?
    And how will this play to a Japanese audience?
    How will this affect NJ in Japan?

  • Dude, as part of Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ the us government is prepared to tolerate and down play Abe’s revisionism, and the military-industrial complex is smacking its lips in anticipation of Japanese tax ¥ flowing into their coffers.
    For Abe this is a source of ‘confirmation’ that he (and therefore his grandfather) were ‘right all along’ and that this is Anerica’s way (in their deluded Japanese culture minds) of saying ‘sorry’ and ‘admitting’ that America gave Japan a ‘raw deal’ what with all that ‘victors justice’.
    Both sides are deluding themselves to the point of being dangerously mentally ill, and willfully ignorant of facts, in order to satisfy greed (US) or pride (Abe).
    Is that enough unpacking for you?

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @Dude, JDG

    The US considers Japan far less intimidating than China regarding the global economic leadership unless they will encounter Second Coming of the Nation At Risk(1983). They don’t really care who the heck Abe is and what he and his LDP gurus are working on because few of those will affect their vested interest(i.e., privatization, money politics on election) in the first place. Like Gates, Walton Foundation, and Rand Corporation, Hudson Institute is simply throwing $$$ into mundane practice of philanthropic job in the name of award. Is it an exaggeration to say that they are giving out a pre-packaged Genius prize to anyone for simply promoting like-minded idea(“creativity”/”innovation”) through imitation?

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Loverilakkuma #5

    Yes, I agree. US support for Abe shows that;

    1. Unlike G. W. Bush, Obama hasn’t got a clue what Abe is really all about, and how bad that is for US relations with other regional allies.
    2. The people who can make policy without Obama’s say-so, don’t care who Abe is, they are just glad to use him (and Japan) to stir the pot in their anti-China efforts.

    And there’s the nub of the matter; there are people in America, who are more frightened of an open China that is linked to the global economic system than they were of Cold War China.

  • Agree completely with #5. The US as a whole, doesn’t have a stellar record in supporting despots throughout its history. Remember Afghanistan and how the US supported (directly and indirectly), Al Qaeda thinking that they’re fighting the Soviets? What about now in the middle east, how the US supported various factional groups who are anti-Syrian regime, which gave birth to the ISS and the refugee turmoil in the middle east. The US, as long as their flavor of the moment groups don’t negatively affect America, will support anyone as long as the US thinks the groups that they support are good for American foreign interests. The history has proven that usually, these things will later come back and blow up in the US faces when Americans end up being negatively affected as well.


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