In an opinion piece on 3 July in The China Post, longtime Japan-watcher Joe Hung offers both genealogical and historical perspectives on the three top contenders for leadership of Japan’s ruling LDP.
Nobusuke Kishi vowed on his eighty-eighth birthday he would revise the Constitution to make Japan a normal country. Standing by the side of Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, who organized the birthday party for him in 1984, Kishi said he would dedicate the rest of his life to the rewriting of what is popularly called the MacArthur constitution, which forbids Japan from waging war. Kishi was the prime minister who signed a new mutual defense treaty between Japan and the United States in 1960 and stepped down after he had rammed it through the Diet for ratification against the opposition-led boycott, that forced President Dwight D. Eisenhower to cancel a scheduled visit to Tokyo after Taipei to celebrate the exchange of ratifications. Abe was Kishi’s son-in-law….
Shinzo Abe, the son of Shintaro Abe, is Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s chief Cabinet secretary. He is far in front of rivals in the Liberal Democratic Party race to succeed Koizumi, come next September…. His chief rival, Yasuo Fukuda, trails far behind with a mere 14 percent support. After Fukuda comes Taro Aso, foreign minister. Both are political bluebloods: Fukuda, the son of former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, was the chief Cabinet secretary before Abe, and Aso is a grandson of the legendary Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida.
I’ve heard the Seven Years War (aka the Pomeranian War or Third Silesian War in Europe, the French and Indian War in North America, and the Second Carnatic War in India) described as the first “world war”—in the sense that its battles took place all over the globe—but I hadn’t heard about the British assault on Manila until reading a review of Nicholas Tracy’s Manila Ransomed (U. Exeter Press, 1995) on dannyreviews.com.
The British had conceived a bold plan to attack Manila even before Spain’s entry into the Seven Years war in January 1762. Their execution of that demonstrated their naval ascendancy and military prowess, but the aftermath highlighted the problems inherent in government through the East India Company.
The inspiration for the attack was as much dreams of loot as plans for commercial advantage or geopolitical advantage, and the expedition received limited support from the East India Company. But General William Draper and Vice Admiral Samuel Cornish managed to assemble in Madras a force of around 1750 soldiers (the 79th regiment, sepoys, and French deserters and other assorted troops), eight ships of the line, three frigates, and four store ships. Despite problems with elderly ships and the dangers of largely uncharted waters, all but two store ships arrived in Manila Bay on 23rd September 1762.
An immediate attack was a success. A landing south of Manila was followed by a bombardment and an assault, leading to a capitulation by October 7th. Acting governor Archbishop Antonio Rojo provided uninspiring leadership and surrendered the citadel and the port of Cavite as soon as the city fell.