JAPAN: Rice Before Rifles

"The Japanese people forever renounce war," pronounced Japan's postwar constitution. The notion, fostered eloquently by General Douglas MacArthur, proved so popular that later Japanese governments have never spent more than 19% of their budgets on defense.* "Rice before rifles," sing the Japanese politicos and add, "The Americans will pay for the rifles."

While lagging on their own rearmament for 4½ years, the Japanese have recently been shelling out up to $155 million a year to help support the U.S. troops stationed on their islands. In his demagogic election campaign, Japan's Premier Ichiro Hatoyama boasted that he would knock $55 million...

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