Kenji Goto, a Japanese freelance reporter brutally murdered by ISIS, died bravely like a samurai—a term that maybe sounds as outdated today as “gentleman” does in the English vocabulary. As an Asian, he belonged to a rare breed of an extreme few who traveled to the Middle East not for shopping or as a domestic helper, but as a volunteer to help the poor, to report the truth to his countrymen who enjoy the freedom of the press, and most emotionally, to try and save his friend, Yakura Haruna, who had been previously kidnapped by terrorists. Some may call this a form of patronizing cultural imperialism inherited from Albert Schweitzer and “Saving Private Ryan,” if not from Lawrence of Arabia—the kind of feature stories you might have read in Reader’s Digest in the distant past— but Goto’s actions held a heroism combining the best qualities of the East and West; hence, a universal value. Prime Minister Abe is both right and justified to launch his ambitious plans for constitutional reforms. A modern Japan that is on a firm road of peace—a fact that the civilized world has long seen and been convinced of—does not need to live on in endless self-pitying and apologizing; it should instead get on with the unfinished work of normalizing its status as a modern state. This will include the operation of an army for self-defense that is separate from the US. As the West celebrates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Japan is going to be an equal participant as a respectable democracy like Germany and Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China which, under a different national flag, fought with the Allies). This has been represented and testified to by the blood of Mr. Goto—a knight who believed in freedom and traveled afar to defend the freedoms of others with his own life. Japan is a model nation that advocates democracy and freedom, while fully recognizing that some chapters of its past have, like many others, brought about calamities. It has its own culture to show remorse, which has been expressed more than enough. It is a nation of creativity, fine taste, rationality, and civility. A world in chaos and threats unprecedented since 1945 needs a fuller Japan to be its more vigorous guardian on the front lines, not from behind. Common sense in practice is the best weapon against the collective mania of radical ideologies. While the terrorists repeatedly call a blade a blade, you counter that by calling a spade a spade. The perception of the so-called rise of “Japanese militarism” is more whimsical than the notion that President Obama is an extra terrestrial or the White House is controlled by the Illuminati. Japan needs to build an army as much as Germany does. To worry about another Pacific War waged by Japan is like fearing that the Mongolians (many of whom, admittedly, still worship Genghis Khan) will launch another European invasion from the Gobi. And the world badly needs the recovery of the Gentleman and the Samurai, who are brave enough to travel afar like Mr. Goto, who sat with his head held up high, a tight upper lip, his eyes mysteriously blinking during the last moment of his life. If that were a coded message, it might read something like this: “It is a far far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far far better rest I go to, than I have ever known.” Chip Tsao is a best-selling author, columnist and a former producer for the BBC. His columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.