The United States and Japan are using the Philippine dispute with China to justify increased US intervention and the rise of Japanese militarism in the region.
The Filipino people should be wary because the ongoing military exercises between the US, Japan and the Philippines are nothing a ploy to project US military power in the region as part of its pivot to Asia. The US is merely exploiting the PH dispute with China by presenting a false “united front” against China.
The naval exercises are meant to promote US and Japan imperialist interests in the region. These two powers do not care for Philippine sovereignty nor territorial integrity.
The situation of the Philippines and Japan with respect to territorial and maritime claims vs China are quite different. Japan’s claims to Diaoyu islands are questionable because the islands were annexed by Japan as war booty in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. The islands should rightfully be returned to China in the same way Japan returned other annexed territories after World War 2. Japan refuses to do so and is supported in its claim by the United States.
Meanwhile, the Philippine claims to the Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, Mischief Reef and other islands are lawful. The Philippines sovereign right to its exclusive economic zone are also lawful. Unlike Japan, the Philippine does not enjoy the support of the US in these claims. The US only feigns support so that it could justify the return of US bases and increase the number of stationed troops in the Philippines.
As a US treaty partner, Japan is part of the US military umbrella in the region. It wishes to assert its military might outside its borders but only as a junior partner of the US. The Abe regime, despite broad opposition from the Japanese people, now wishes to change provisions of its Peace Constitution to allow Japan to more actively join the US in imposing its military might in Asia and other parts of the world.
The Philippines must reject US intervention and rising Japan militarism. Neither are out to serve our national interest. The naval exercises themselves do very little to develop our own capability for external defense. We’ve had so many with the United States yet our armed forces remain undeveloped. The avowed goal of interoperability is a sham considering the backwardness of our own Navy when compared to the US and Japan. All things considered, we are merely being used by big powers for their own geopolitical interest.
To counter China, the Philippines must develop its own economy and defense capability, independent of the dictates of the United States, Japan or any other imperialist power. Our continued dependence on these big powers is what undermines are capacity to defend our sovereignty against the incursions of China. ###
June 23, 2015