A study of history, in general, gives us insights into the present. The United States bombed Tokyo to the ground during World War II and dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Since then, Japan has more or less followed the diktats of the US, especially on the diplomatic and economic fronts.
Japan, like Germany which was also defeated in World War II, experienced a veritable economic miracle. A bombed-out country needs to be rebuilt, for which huge amounts of resources have to be invested, including funds and labor and sweat. Thanks to such strenuous efforts by the Japanese people, Japan's economy boomed in the postwar period. Unfortunately, the main beneficiary of the economic boom was not Japan－or Germany－but the victorious and occupying power, the US.
Also, many Japanese researchers and professors have had to go to the US for screening and baptism. This also applies to experts and researchers from many other countries
Japan became economically pretty strong in the 1980s and, in the process, got a bit self-assertive. In response, the US sanctioned all areas of Japan's life including goods, cultural exports and energy supply. As a result, Japan lost decades of development. It has been more or less standing still－at least economically－since then.
The end of the Cold War left the world with only one superpower, that is, the US.Since then the US has been harassing and coercing Japan into accepting all its diktats. The result: Japan has lost its development momentum.
In fact, the US has become an empire of sanctions and unilateralism. It has created conditions under which it has become difficult for Japan to work with China or Russia, or, for that matter, with European and South American countries or India. And if it does so even on a small scale, it is almost always according to the US' wishes.
For example, Japan could have developed its own COVID-19 vaccine had the US allowed it to. But that would have deprived US "Big Pharma" from making money by selling their vaccines to Japan. Sadly, Tokyo doesn't seem to have a choice.
Now the US has launched a strong offensive against Russia and China, both important neighbors of Japan, which will also harm the Japanese economy.
Many experts say Japan could have gotten richer by further deepening economic relations with China, but couldn't do so because of US policies. But Western leaders don't call this "imperialism" and instead have given it a fanciful name: the "great reset" or "globalism".
But the so-called global reset goes only in one direction: from the US to the rest of the world.
Besides, there are countless US military bases in Japan. About 86,000 US troops are stationed there, complete with nuclear submarines and aircraft. In comparison, about 53,000 US military personnel are stationed in Germany. And although fewer US troops are stationed in Germany than in Japan, the question is: Why should US troops be deployed in Germany? Will the US allow Germany or Japan to station its troops on US soil?
It's a complete one-way street. The US has been doing whatever it wants, and the other countries have been bearing with it.
Japan is more dependent than ever on the US, especially because of global financiers and the status of the US dollar as international currency. Indeed, it is very difficult for any country to have bilateral relations with the US based on equality and mutual respect.
The US no longer bothers to hide the fact that it wants total control of the world.
Although the Japanese people can be self-sufficient in many products, including staple food, Washington prompts them to import massive amounts of such products from the US, and live under the fear that if they ever step out of line, the US would immediately halt their food supplies, bank transfers and disrupt their foreign trade. The US is trying something similar with Russia.
Also, many Japanese researchers and professors have had to go to the US for screening and baptism. This also applies to experts and researchers from many other countries.
As such, the future can be better only if the Asian and European economies join hands to push back the US and build a multipolar world order, in which every state, language and culture will enjoy equal status.
Colonialism and imperialism will not end by themselves. Human effort is needed to end them. Human history will be reduced to a single formula if we don't fight back.
The author is a German cultural critic.
The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.
HONG KONG NEWS