The Weimar Republic was a democracy, so is the USA. (caveat here) The people in USA are definitely mostly peace-loving and benevolent, anyone who studied the history of the last century knows how USA has saved the world, twice. But look at what a mess it has created in Iraq today.
India is said to be the largest democracy in this world, look at how many wars it fought against Pakistan, how Sikkim, Goa, and the Andaman Isles were annexed, and how it detonated a nuke with no provacation or threat.
Now back to Japan. Read this IHT coverage of its remilitarisation.
Japan has accumulated the the economic power and the technology such that it can modernize militarize in just a few years whenever it wants to (or it has already done so), perhaps even faster that how Hitler has militarized Germany in the early 1930s.
The reason I think we should not worry about Japan's re-militarization is as below
- If it wants to build an aggressive force. It can always do it in a few years
- If it is doing it too early before it acts, the chances are that these resources are most likely wasted (as I explained in an earlier post regarding China), and be turned into obselete equipment in the future. Less than optimized timing in investment in military often lead to less than optimal deployment of resources, and hence affect its over economic progress (and generalized "power" per Paul Kennedy), a la USSR in 1970-80s
For years Japan has been able to flourish under the umbrella of US protection. Let it waste its resources if it chooses to do so. The gap between Japan and its neighbour is much narrower than it was in 1937 or 1941. Moreover, it is very unlikely that US would let Japan bully around.
Yes, there is concern on Japan's re-militarization, but the country that should most worry about Japan should be the one which has been most active in encouraging it to do so, because that country has humiliated Japan 62 years ago and nuked two of its cities. If you watch the pop arts (manga, animation, movie) you will understand why this is so.
What we really need to take out from Japan is, its enormous stockpile of Uranium and Plutonium, and make sure that US has the ability and the reason to "contain" Japan when it went out of control (i.e. to the right wing such as Isihara).