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The return of Liberal Democratic Party's Shinzo Abe to power is a culminating point for right-wing forces in Japan. Abe appears keen on making Japan's stance on militarism less apologetic by replacing the landmark 1995 Murayama statement (former prime minister Tomiichi Murayama had apologized for the Japanese atrocities committed during World War II).
Needless to say, Japan's sharp right turn will escalate the already high tension in East Asia. Making matters worse is the belligerence of some Southeast Asian countries in their territorial disputes with China. The Philippines, which suffered Japanese atrocities during World War II, has surprisingly supported the revival of militarism in Japan, which has the tacit backing of the United States. To contain China's rise, the US is playing with fire by re-arming Japan and instigating territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region.
With the consolidation of US-Japan military ties, Washington has intensified its military cooperation with Tokyo and encouraged Japanese right-wing forces to take on China through the Diaoyu Islands disputes. But the US ought to realize that the profit it expects to reap from a Sino-Japanese conflict will not be without a cost.