March 13, 2015 – “After the ISIS murders, Japan seeks to end its military impotence” (Daily Star Lebanon)

Presumably democratic governments have at times used states of emergency or “states of exception” (see Giorgio Agamben‘s work) in order to ramp up militarily assertive rhetoric, and to claim the right or necessity to suspend or modify existing legal boundaries in order to increase their power. The recent hostage crisis provided PM Abe a context for the declaration of such a state of exception. What should Japan do, what will Japan do? A commentary from Lebanon:

“Unlike Jordan, which was able to consider a rescue mission for its own hostage and launch a powerful military response after he was killed, Japan’s constitution left it no options for rescue or retaliation…. To be sure, Japan’s treaty alliance with the United States provides for its security. But the risks that Japan faces – including an increasingly assertive China, a nuclear North Korea and an ISIS that has threatened to murder Japanese citizens abroad – have raised legitimate questions about whether the country needs greater latitude to defend itself….. Regardless of the specific route taken, Japan deserves to be able to protect its territory and population, just like any other country.”