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Abe Shinzo, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated during a campaign speech on Friday. Abe had continued to exert political influence, heading a powerful faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Under Abe, Tokyo had faced considerable US pressure to end almost a decade of outreach to Russia.
It seems increasingly clear that more than any particular policy achievement, Abe’s greatest legacy was a more substantial global leadership for Japan and peace with Russia and China.
One focus of Abe’s foreign policy was to secure a treaty with Russia on their territorial dispute. Abe had pursued this initiative even after some of his closest foreign policy advisers tried to scupper his efforts. The operation in Ukraine gave current PM Kishida Fumio room to join US sanctions targeting Moscow – marking a changed course from Abe’s foreign policy legacy.
Japan had been happy to offer economic concessions on the disputed islands in the Kurils, but Kishida – even before the Ukraine crisis – had abandoned Abe’s Russia policy. There is little question that Abe’s diplomatic initiative was stymied by his successors, particularly given that the goal was ultimately strategic: to forge a friendship with Russia that would stabilize Japan’s northern flank.
Ironically, Abe often spoke throughout his career about revising the Japanese Constitution to give the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) greater room to expand. On Friday, he was murdered in cold blood by an alleged member of the Self-Defense Forces.
Even if constitutional revision never happened, other defense-related reforms under Abe did. The former premier had managed to make meaningful changes to Japan’s security policy without revising Article 9, permitting the SDFs to perform new roles, despite significant public opposition. He continued the SDF’s shift to a flexible posture focused on the defense of Japan’s outlying southwestern islands.
“Under Abe, the Japanese government passed a state secrecy law to strengthen penalties for leaking designated state secrets. It created a national security council, supported by a secretariat, which moved substantial foreign and security policymaking initiative to the prime minister’s office. The prime minister’s office gained broader powers over senior administrative personnel decisions, and Abe – along with Yoshihide Suga, who was chief cabinet secretary for the duration of Abe’s second administration, fostered a cadre of national security officials who occupied key posts in the Kantei,” according to Tobias Harris.
Kishida’s rule fully depended on the willingness of Abe and his faction to back him, and a confrontation with the still-powerful former prime minister would have been too costly.
Article cross-posted from Free West Media.
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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!