Tomomi Inada - the Japanese Joan of Arc
For the second time in the history of the land of the Rising Sun, a woman become Japan's defense minister. On August 3rd this post was appointed to Tomomi Inada - ideologically conservative politician close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Like her mentor, Inada is a member of "Nippon Kaigi", the influential conservative and sovereigntist organization. This structure supports the strengthening of the country's sovereignty, the rejection of Western values of consumption and individualism, increasing the role of the emperor in public life and strengthening the military power of Japan.
The appointment of a new Minister of Defense takes place in the framework of a large-scale reshuffle which was carried out by the prime-minister today. Experts believe that this appointment will allow Shinzo Abe to strengthen his positions and put forward necessary reforms, including constitutional amendments.
Tomomi Inada was born in 1959 and started her carrier as a lawyer in 1985. She defended her clients in relation to a well known lawsuit relating to Yasukuni Shrine, and served as an attorney for the plaintiff concerning the "Contest to kill 100 people using a sword", that allegedly occurred during the Japanese occupation of China in Third War II. After the failure of the trial, due to the fact that the court recognized some testimonies as true, she decided to defend the honor of Japanese veterans of World War II, in politics.
Tomomi Inada was labeled as a member of Nippon Kaigi by Japanese the media, and in fact she supports its agenda. She is a devoted Shintoist, and often visits Yasukuni Shrine stating that:
"Yasukuni Shirine is not the place for taking an oath of peace, but the place for taking an oath to fight furiously against foreigners who threaten Japan, following the honored spirits of the dead soldiers at Yasukuni Shrine."
She is described as strong, conservative, open-minded, intellectual, devoted to her ideological cause stylish female leader in predominantly patriarchal Japan. Shindzo Abe often called her Japanese Joan of Arc. She is considered as one of his most probable successors and openly admits the willingness to became prime minister in the future.
Tomomi Inada supports the revision of all previous foreign policy of Japan, and for the conduct of a sovereign policy. In essence we are talking about the full restoration of the sovereignty of the country and the revival of Japan's imperial ambitions. She argued that Japanese politics during World War Two was not invasion and her country should stop to apologize to China and other Asian countries. According to female politician the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Tribunal) was established against the principles of international law and was used by Allyes, primarily by the US to humiliate and subjugate Japanese people.
While her new post may seriously disturb China and both Koreas, there is nothing to fear for Russia. She appears to be the most radical representative of the specifically group in Japanese politics, called Koidzumi's Children. This is the group of 83 politicians, picked by Juintiro Koizumi, then prime-minister, in 2005 and elected that year in the Diet (Japanese Parliament) to promote his reformists policy. The foreign policies of Koidzumi were assessed by experts as sovereigntist.
The prominent French geopolitician Jean Parvulesco highlighted the strengthening of relations between Japan and Russia under Koidzumi, stating that: "New Russia of Vladimir Putin, India of Atal Béhari Vaypajee and Japan of Junichiro Koizumi" will form new fundament of "imperial liberation 'of Grand Eurasian Continent, which is awakening and in final will triumph ". According to him the renaissance of Japanese militaristic spirit totally alien to the dominant liberal individualistic Western culture finaly will oppose japan to the United States and will make Japan look towards Russia.
And the activity of Koizumi successor Shinzo Abe confirms it. When he became prime-minister in 2012, he expressed his willingness to improve ties with Russia. Even after Ukrainian crisis, when under the US pressure Japan was forced to introduce some personal sanctions against Russia, Abe tried to continue this course.
According to Indian scholar K.V. Kesavan, the US pressure "forced Abe to steer a cautiously independent course that would safeguard Japan's deeply-held national interests without at the same time arousing the resentment of the G-7 member states including the US. Though Japan joined other G-7 countries in enforcing sanctions against Russia, few could have missed the underlying unhappiness of Japan about its own action ".
To achieve more independence from the US, Japan needed Russian support and resources, Russia in turn needed Japanese technologies, investments and a more independent Japan as an anchor of the future multipolar world, though problematic for the US. Also, Japanese leadership understands that the problem of the northern territories (Southern Kuril Islands) cannot be resolved without friendly relations with Russia.
In 2015, Abe started the policy of restoration of ties with Russia, and Tomomi Inada was one of the few Japanese high level politicians, who were send with special mission to Moscow.
In April 2016 it was Tomomi Inada, who paid a special visit to Russia as Chairperson of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party, to establish relations between the political leadership of both countries on the eve of the planned meeting between Vladimir Putin and Abe. Tomomi Inada held talks Wednesday with Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov and handed him a letter from Abe to Putin, Kyodo News reported.
Regarding the US, Tomomi Inada openly expresses a very cautious position about the necessity the US-Japanese security partnership. However, she earlier pledged to reconsider the US led occupation period, including the constitution imposed by Americans:
"We have received suggestions that a thorough investigation be made into what happened during the Occupation until the San Francisco Peace Treaty, including how the current constitution was drawn."