Japan's new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has promised that Japan will be more "assertive" in it's diplomacy. Abe is determined to revise Japan's pacifist constitution to allow Japan's military to play a larger role in international affairs, aggressively pursue a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and is committed to a US alliance stating "the Japan-U.S. alliance is the most important thing for our country's diplomacy and national security".
Japan and Britain have much in common. We're both island nations, both have powerful economies (Japan 2nd largest, UK 4th or 5th) constituional monarchies and we both have an imperialist past. Since the end of the Second World War both countries have taken very different routes, though.
Japan has remained independent while Britain has subjugated itself to the EU. As a result, Japan is now a confident nation able to step forward and take it's place on the world stage, while Britain has to kow tow to the EU line.
Why can't we be more like Japan? Why can't we be a free, independent, self confident nation? Why do we have to tie ourself to a massive, bloated, supranational bureacracy while Japan does not?
EUphiles insist that we "need" the EU to enable us compete globally - even though, thirty years after joining, our global competitiveness continues to decline (as does the rest of the EU's). How is it that a nation like Japan - which has nothing like the natural resources we have (coal, oil, gas) - can be a proud self confident Lotus blossom on the world stage while we have to adopt the position of the shrinking violet?
It's my belief that a confident, independent nation breeds confident, independent people - as Britain and Britons once were and Japan and the Japanese now are.
The flip side of this, of course, is that a dependent, subservient nation breeds dependent, subservient people. A government that is itself dependent and subservient to another government can not change this.
Britain needs to regain it's confidence. It can only do that by regaining it's independence and it can only do that by withdrawing from the European Union. Only when we do this can we have a government that puts British interests above all other interests and only when we do this will we be able to compete globally again.