TOKYO — Bolstered by his party’s victory in Diet elections last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has renewed his vow to freeJapan from the fetters of the past, especially its defeat in World War II. Mr. Abe and his supporters view the prevailing accounts of that era as “masochistic” and a hindrance to taking pride in what he calls the “new Japan.” They propose to modify the article in Japan’s Constitution that states the Japanese people “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation.”
These aspirations have been laid out in a map of Japan that the Japanese Foreign Ministry published on its website last April, with translations in 12 languages. The map extends beyond Japan’s internationally recognized boundaries, incorporating in the name of ryodo — or the “inherent territory” of Japan — many islands claimed by neighboring countries. Those lands, the argument goes, are integral to Japan’s very being.
In fact, the Abe government’s expansionist view undermines Japan’s interests, both economic and strategic.
Ryodo promotes a notion of Japan’s territory that circumvents history, particularly the history of how Japan laid claim to these islands in the first place — through imperial wars with Chinaand Russia, through wars of conquest against Koreans, through the extermination or assimilation of indigenous peoples.
Partly as a result, Japan is embroiled in many territorial disputes. China and Taiwan contest the Senkaku Islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyu and Taipei the Diaoyutai. South Korea claims Takeshima (calling it Dokdo) where it has stationed military police since 1954. Russia claims sovereignty over what Japanese know as the Northern Territories, four islands in the Kuril chain northeast of Hokkaido where Russians have lived since 1945, numbering about 20,000 today.
所以从某种程度而言，这导致日本陷入了许多领土争端。中国大陆和台湾都宣称对尖阁诸岛(Senkaku Islands)——北京称之为钓鱼岛，台北称之为钓鱼台——拥有主权。韩国宣称对竹岛(Takeshima)拥有主权——韩国称之为独岛(Dokdo)，而且自1954年来，一直派军警驻守该岛。俄罗斯宣称对日本所谓的“北方领土”(Northern Territories)享有主权，那是位于北海道东北方向、千岛群岛(Kuril)岛链上的四座岛屿；自1945年来，俄罗斯人一直住在那里，如今人口已达2万人左右。
Under the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Japan already has access to vast fisheries and rides up to $3.6 trillion in seabed materials. The disputed islands would add much more.
根据《联合国海洋法公约》(United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)，日本已经享有大量的渔业资源，而且还控制着价值高达3.6万亿美元（约合22万亿元人民币）的海底矿物。那些争端岛屿将大大增加日本的资源。
According to some estimates, including by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the East China Sea holds 200 million barrels in proved and probable oil reserves (the world consumes around 90 million barrels of liquid fuels each day) and between 1 and 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (the United States consumed about 26 trillion cubic feet in 2013). Japan and China contest nearly 17 percent of the area.
据包括美国能源信息署(United States Energy Information Administration)在内的一些机构估计，东海已经证实的和潜在的原油储量为2亿桶（世界每天消耗的液态燃料在9000万桶左右），天然气储量在1到2万亿立方英尺之间（美国2013年消耗了大约26万亿立方英尺天然气）。日本和中国在这片海域17%的地方都存在争议。
A volcano on one of the southern Kurils has rhenium, a rare-earth metal with a melting point that makes jet-engine designers dream. There are also vast quantities of untapped methane hydrate in the seabed between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. After gas was extracted from similar deposits elsewhere for the first time in 2013, a spokesman for the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation said, “Japan could finally have an energy source to call its own.”
南千岛群岛中的一座岛屿上有一座含铼的火山，这种稀土金属拥有喷气式飞机发动机设计师梦寐以求的熔点。日本和朝鲜半岛之间的海床还拥有大量尚未开发的甲烷水合物。2013年，从其他地方的类似沉淀物中首次提取出了天然气，日本石油天然气金属矿产资源机构(Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp.)的一名发言人随后说，“日本终于拥有了本国的能源来源。”
The lure of such riches might seem like reason enough for resource-poor Japan to claim these territories. The government spent $250 billion on imported fuel in 2012. And the cost of decommissioning the nuclear reactors at Fukushima after the meltdown following the March 2011 tsunami is expected to reach at least $90 billion.
Yet Japan risks losing access to many of these resources because of its brinksmanship. UNCLOS does not determine sovereignty over land, and it allows for joint development agreements in waters around contested territory. When disputes heat up, however, they naturally tend to scuttle any joint schemes.
In 2008 China and Japan agreed to explore together four gas fields in the East China Sea. But the project was scuttled the following year, after China went at it alone. Mr. Abe’s maximalist policy only undermines the prospects that this development project could be revived, or that new ones involving Japan might be struck.
The costs of Mr. Abe’s territorial revisionism are also strategic. Ryodo implicitly dismisses as partial the terms of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which formally ended World War II between Japan and the Allies. The agreement redrew Japan from the massive empire it had become during the war — stretching from northern China to Guadalcanal — more or less into the country familiar today. (Some islands, notably Okinawa, reverted to Japan in the intervening years.) Many Japanese at the time, including Mr. Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi — who was accused of being a Class A war criminal — were infuriated, claiming in particular that the Kurils were “essential” to the Japanese.
安倍晋三的领土修正主义所需要的代价同样是战略性的。 “领土主权”含蓄地指责1951年《旧金山和平条约》(San Francisco Peace Treaty)的条款具有片面性——该条约正式结束了日本与同盟国之间的第二次世界大战，重新划定了日本的疆界，使之从战争过程中变成的庞大帝国——从中国北部延伸到瓜达康纳尔岛——差不多变成了我们今天所熟悉的日本。（期间，有些岛屿被归还给了日本，其中尤其值得一提的是冲绳岛。）当时，包括安倍晋三的外祖父岸信介(Nobusuke Kishi)——他被指控为甲级战犯——在内的许多日本人都感到愤怒，特别提出，千岛群岛对于日本人“至关重要”。
In a separate agreement that went into force at the same time, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty of 1951, the United States would “maintain armed forces of its own in and about Japan” in order “to deter armed attack upon Japan.” By the time the treaty was revised in 1960, Japan had acquired limited self-defense forces, and the two countries undertook various commitments in case of “an armed attack against either Party in the territories under the administration of Japan.” These still stand today, hence the critical importance also for the U.S. government of properly defining what Japan is.
根据同时生效的另一份协议，即1951年的《日美安全保障条约》(U.S.-Japan Security Treaty)，美国将“在日本境内和周边地区维持自己的武装力量”，以“阻止针对日本的武力攻击”。1960年修订协议时，日本已经获得了有限的自卫力量，两国还作出了各种承诺，以防止“在日本政府管辖的领土范围内，针对任何一方的武力攻击”。这些内容如今仍然有效，所以恰当界定日本的领土范围，对于美国政府也十分重要。
Officials in Washington and Tokyo are currently reviewing each side’s responsibilities in the event of a threat to the peace and security of Japan. One fraught issue is the United States’ dual obligation, under separate security arrangements, to defend both Japan and South Korea because one could attack the other over territory they both claim. In other words, the very notion of ryodo challenges the United States’ postwar security commitments even as it risks triggering them.
Mr. Abe’s revanchist view of the past is central to his vision of a future in which Japan “once again shines on the world’s center stage.” But it distorts history in a way that undermines the country’s major interests and, arguably, its identity. The constitutional changes advocated by Mr. Abe’s party include an “obligation” for citizens of Japan to “defend the nation’s inherent territory, inherent seas and inherent skies,” disputed islands and all. The proposed draft adds that, “All citizens must honor the Constitution,” suggesting that failure to do so could endanger their rights, maybe their citizenship. In his bid to claim more for Japan, Mr. Abe may reap less.
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