Imagining a Militarized Japan and then Laughing (w/Tom Phuong Le)

Author of Japan's Aging Peace, Tom Le, stops in to talk about Japan's security concerns and help us think about an important hypothetical question: Ok, Japan, let's say you CAN have a military. THEN WHAT?
Author of Japan's Aging Peace, Tom Le, stops in to talk about Japan's security concerns and help us think about an important hypothetical question. Ok, Japan, you CAN have a military. NOW WHAT?

Ollie's river cruise recommendation is actually in Ukraine this week, but don't worry, if you wait long enough, it'll come to you.

Bobby learned a little bit about haiku so he thinks he's better than you.

Topics discussed on this episode range from:
  • What you can expect from Disney's Japan exclusive content programming
  • A brief look at the crypto crash: is it a big deal?
  • Bobby's home renovations gone wrong
  • Why DO people buy crypto?
  • Tom's thoughts on whether or not the aging population is going to lead to the end of Japan
  • Lots of thanks for new members and coffee buyers!
  • An explanation of how we've improved access to the extras, which makes it an EVEN BETTER TIME FOR YOU TO JOIN AS A MONTHLY MEMBER AND GET ACCESS TO LITERALLY DAYS OF AMAZING BONUS CONTENT from our wonderful guests
  • Why is North Korea being so active in the opening days of 2022?
  • What does North Korea want?
  • How seriously we take Mobile, Alabama
  • Is what North Korea doing... normal?
  • Why it might be even scarier BECAUSE we all know North Korea couldn't win in a war
  • Might makes right in the Nuclear Club and why they didn't really have to go to all that trouble to get a meeting with Trump
  • Japan's right wing wants to amend the constitution to allow for a military. We talk about why that doesn't matter.
  • What the public thinks about remilitarizing
  • A comparison of the robustness of the democracies of the US and Japan
  • Ok, Japan, you can have a military. NOW WHAT?
  • How the current social, political, and economic situation in Japan constrains attempts to remilitarize
  • Can Japan make up for a lack of boots on the ground with technology?
  • The importance of the presence of America
  • Nuclear weapons, pacing ourselves as we end civilization
  • Is war good for the economy? If it was in America, why wouldn't it be good for Japan?
  • Financial priorities. War or social security?
  • Who does the JSDF try to recruit and how?
  • What is modern Japanese security policy most concerned with?
  • What will life in Japan look like in 30 years and how can we heed the warnings evidenced in Tom's book.
  • How Japan might be ahead of the curve
  • Why Tom thinks characterizing Japan as unwelcoming to foreigners is unfair to large swaths of Japan, and who in Japan isn't being represented by the government's choices

As always, we highly recommend this week's extras, in which you can find:
  • What the Japanese government SHOULD be paying attention to in terms of keeping its population secure
  • The role of religion in Japan's past militarism, and what it means that politics is currently divorced from religion
  • How the fallout from Japan's imperialism and World War II taught Japan and its neighbors in East Asia very different lessons about the effects of militarism
Get access to the extras by supporting the podcast for less than $1 an episode. Become a member at

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Imagining a Militarized Japan and then Laughing (w/Tom Phuong Le)
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