Preface to the English Edition
Pacific Region Could Flourish as Oceanic Republic
Japan at the northern end and Australia at the southern could act as anchors for thousands of islands between
Following the world wars that dominated the first half of the 20th century, in the second half we saw an extended confrontation between the U.S, and the Soviet Union through the Cold War era. While using different economic models to improve productivity, they competed even more fiercely to build up their military apparatus. The policy they shared was aimed at increasing production and building military power. When the Cold War wound up, the Soviet Union dissolved and the U.S. was left the world_s sole superpower and largest debtor.
To me this demonstrates the incompatibility of economic power and military might.
The most important lesson of the 20th century is that the idea of building a rich country through a strong military is doomed.
_Okinawa, Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido should have their own indepenclence._
The idea was a product of the modern Western world, and Japan was the fhrst non-Western nation to adopt it. Sprinting down this misguided path, Japan ended up losing a massively destructive war and suffering dire consequences. Afterward, under the doctrine of Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru_premier, with a 17-month interruption, from 1946 to 1954_Japan chose as national policy to leave military matters to the U.S. and concentrate on developing its economy. By doing so, Japan became a component in the U.S. policy of riches through military might, and an economic giant dotted with U.S. military bases.
With the final phase of this policy having run its course, we enter a new age. Unlike the days when the strong and rich dominated the weak and the small, the new age favors equality among nations of all sizes.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union brought independence to many small nations, such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and loosened bonds throughout the old Soviet bloc. Czechoslovakia split apart largely without problems, while Yugoslavia fractured violently, resulting in bloody conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. Nevertheless, in contrast to the Cold War era, smaller nations can now win their independence. In the next century, the world will divide further into small independent nations, building a more egalitarian international social network.
What size is the smallest viable independent unit? The Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights_all signed since the end of World War II_guarantee each individual the rights to seff-determination, to freely choose a political status and to freely pursue economic, social and cultural goals. The unit for self determination is often said to be a _people,_ so I_m talking here about the independence of peoples. A people is a group sharing a common culture. It is neither genetic nor inherent, but rather a matter of personal identification with a community. There are presumed to be about 3,000 such communities worldwide, and that number will likely increase. The identities of peoples as nations are well established in areas like the Eurasian continent, where there have been centuries of international exchange, but not so in oceanic communities made up of many small islands.
In truth our planet as a whole is an oceanic community, covered 70% by the seas. It is clearly a water planet as seen from space. The earth is an ocean where islands of all sizes float.
The important point here is that an island can be easily unified culturally and socially. In point of fact, every island has an indigenous culture. An island can make up the basic unit of identification with community.