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Japan will radically reform its defense policy to counter Chinese military might

Fumio Kishida and Xi Jinping (Kyodo via REUTERS)
Fumio Kishida and Xi Jinping (Kyodo via REUTERS)

The government of Japan approved this Friday sweeping reform of its defense doctrine in order to counteract the China’s military mightperceived as an “unprecedented strategic challenge” for the security of the archipelago.

The cabinet has approved a plan to double defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2027, a reform that represents the biggest reinforcement of its military policy in decades. In addition, Japan plans to unify the command and increase the range of its missiles.

The Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishidaaffirmed on Friday that he was “determined to fulfill his mission to protect the nation and its people at this crucial moment in history.”

Although these changes are supported by public opinion, it is a major shift for a country whose The pacifist constitution, adopted after his defeat in World War II, prohibits him from acquiring a conventional army.

Kishida assured that Japan’s defense strategy will continue to adhere to “the framework of its Constitution, international law and Japanese law.”

The new defense doctrine is based on three documents that refer to China, North Korea and Russiathat the news agency AFP consulted before adoption.

These reports use more assertive language with respect to the nomenclature used in the last publication on the national security strategy made by Japan in 2013.

China’s increasingly forceful military posture was described as “a grave concern to Japan and the international community” and “an unprecedented strategic challenge to Japan’s peace and stability.”

The main axis of the strategy is the strong increased defense spending which has provoked criticism about how this increase will be financed.

Local media recently reported that the island country wants to acquire 500 American Tomahawk cruise missiles (REUTERS)
Local media recently reported that the island country wants to acquire 500 American Tomahawk cruise missiles (REUTERS)

In this way, the country will align itself with the commitment acquired by the member countries of the NATOeven without being part of this military alliance.

Japan wants to equip itself with “counterattack” capacitya concept that until now was understood incompatible with the Constitution and that would allow it to act against threats from neighboring countries.

Local media recently reported that the island country wants to acquire 500 Tomahawk cruise missiles Americans, thus increasing the current benefits of its arsenal.

The presence of the Self Defense Forces on Japan’s southernmost islands, the closest to Taiwan and China, will also increase. For example, ballistic missile interception units will nearly triple, according to Japanese media.

Tokyo’s concern about Beijing escalated in August after China conducted huge military exercises around Taiwan, when missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic maritime zone.

The national security strategy also refers to the multiple missile shots carried out by North Korea and points out that the military actions of Pyongyang they represent “a more imminent threat to Japan.”

The national security strategy also refers to the multiple missile fires carried out by North Korea and notes that Pyongyang's military actions represent
The national security strategy also refers to the multiple missile fires carried out by North Korea and notes that Pyongyang’s military actions represent “a more imminent threat to Japan.” (Reuters)

Regarding Russia, Japan noted that Moscow’s willingness “to resort to force to achieve its own security goals, such as in Ukraine, is self-evident.”

He also stressed that military activities in the region of Pacific Asia and strategic cooperation with China “constitute a strong security concern.”

Even before its publication, Japan’s new policy angered the Chinese government, which often criticizes Japan’s militarism in the first half of the 20th century, which had China as one of its main victims.

China is “firmly opposed” to this policy that “departs from Japan’s commitment to bilateral relations and consensus” with Beijing and that “contains baseless slander against China,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized on Wednesday. , Wang Wenbin.

For his part, the President of the United States, Joe BidenHe stated that Washington welcomes “Japan’s contributions to peace and prosperity.”

“The United States stands with Japan at this critical moment,” he wrote on Twitter, saying the alliance is the “cornerstone” for an “open and free” Indo-Pacific region.

(With information from AFP)

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