Japan defence review warns of China's military might

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by SHASH2K2, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Japan has unveiled sweeping changes to its national defence polices, boosting its southern forces in response to neighbouring China's military rise.

    Japan, which shares a maritime border with China, said Beijing's military build-up was of global concern.

    Japan will also strengthen its missile defences against the threat from a nuclear-armed North Korea.

    The policy document has been approved by the cabinet and will shape Japan's defence policy for the next 10 years.

    Japan is changing its defence policy in response to the shifting balance of power in Asia, analysts say.

    Defences will be scaled down in the north, where they have been deployed since the Cold War to counter an invasion from Russia.

    The military focus will now be in the far-southern islands of Japan, closer to China.

    Japan is concerned by China's growing naval might and increased assertiveness in the East China and South China seas.

    "China is rapidly modernising its military force and expanding activities in its neighbouring waters," the new guidelines said.

    "Together with the lack of transparency on China's military and security issues, the trend is a concern for the region and the international community."

    Relations between Japan and China deteriorated sharply in September, after collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol boats near a chain of disputed islands in the East China Sea.

    North Korea concerns
    The review paper said tanks would be cut by one-third, but Japan's submarine fleet will be expanded and fighter jets upgraded.


    Japan's military is constitutionally banned from taking offensive action
    North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes were also described as a "pressing and serious destabilising factor".

    Pyongyang has fired missiles over Japan and staged nuclear tests in recent years, and last month unveiled a new uranium enrichment plant to US experts.

    In response, more Patriot interceptor batteries will be deployed across Japan, and the number of warships which can shoot down missiles will be increased.

    The paper called the Japan-US alliance "indispensable". The US has a 50,000-strong troop presence in the country.

    Japan said it would "promote confidence and co-operation with China and Russia" while also developing ties with the EU and Nato.

    Japan's military is bigger than the UK's, but is forbidden by the country's constitution from taking offensive action.

    The BBC's Roland Buerk, in Tokyo, says the new strategic stance will be closely watched in Asia, where Japan's World War II aggression has been neither forgotten nor forgiven.
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    TOKYO: Japan needs to focus on the rise of China and not the Cold War threat of Russia in defining its security goals, according to new defense guidelines announced Friday.

    The guidelines, which were approved by the cabinet, also call for a stronger alliance with the US - Japan's biggest ally - and expanded security networks with regional partners, including South Korea and Australia.

    China immediately slammed the guidelines as "irresponsible." Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China is a force for peace and development in Asia and threatens no one.

    To bolster its forces, Japan will acquire new submarines and fighter jets, upgrade its missile defense capabilities and make its ground forces more mobile so that they can quickly respond to emergencies in southwest Japan.

    The guidelines paint China as a bigger threat than Russia and say Japan is shifting its defense emphasis from the northern island of Hokkaido to islands in the south, such as Okinawa and territories claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing that have recently led to diplomatic tensions.

    The Japan-US alliance remains "indispensable" to Japan's security, the guideline said, calling for stronger cooperation between Japanese and the 47,000 US armed forces based in this country. It also urged Japan to use its diplomatic and defense capabilities "more proactively."

    But the guidelines cited "changes in global power balance" and noted a relative decline of America's strength and rise of emerging countries such as China and India. Japan, meanwhile, should pursue its own efforts to enhance missile defense capabilities to protect itself from threats by China and North Korea, it said.

    "We still have lots of tanks and Ground Self-Defense Forces on Hokkaido and we need to shift to the southwestern islands," a senior government official said on condition of anonymity before the official release of the guidelines. The official said the goal is to "modernize our defense posture from our Cold War days."

    The guidelines said China's rapid military buildup and lack of transparency are matters of concern.

    It said North Korea's military activity is a "pressing and serious destabilizing factor" for Japan and causes grave problems for international nonproliferation efforts.

    "The Korean Peninsula and North Korea are imminent and concrete threats to Japan, while China is more of a medium-term threat ... It is a major risk factor for Japan's security in the southwestern islands and the Japan-US security alliance in the long run," said Hideshi Takesada, executive director at the National Institute for Defense Studies. "The guideline addresses such concerns and developments in the region."

    In Beijing, officials said Tokyo was wrong in seeing China as a threat.

    "Individual countries have no right to represent the international community and make irresponsible remarks on China's development," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang said.

    China insists on following the "road of peaceful development" and upholds a military policy that is entirely defensive in nature, she said.

    Relations between Tokyo and Beijing deteriorated quickly over a longstanding dispute over islands in the East China Sea called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan after a Sept 7 collision between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese coast guard vessels, an incident that has raised public and government concern over China's military strength.

    Washington has urged Japan to play a greater security role in the region, and proposed a three-way military alliance that would include South Korea.

    Regarding specific deployments, Japan plans to send more ground troops to its southwestern islands. The troops will use mobile radar and fly reconnaissance aircraft to monitor the surrounding seas, according to a separate five-year defense plan through March, 2015, also approved Friday by the cabinet.

    The plan did not specify the location but Japanese media have said 100 ground troops will be sent to Yonaguni, in Okinawa prefecture, where Japan currently has no troops. Placing them on the island that is closer to China, Taiwan and the disputed islands could be contentious.

    Japan will also increase its submarines to 22 from the current 16 and add a destroyer, bringing the total fleet to 48, including six Aegis radar-equipped warships. Tanks will be reduced to 400 from 600 but the number of ground forces maintained at roughly the current level of 150,000.

    The guideline also proposed joining in international arms development or production to bolster the defense industry, which is largely limited to the domestic market.


    Read more: China's military a global concern: Japan - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...n-Japan/articleshow/7117774.cms#ixzz18NM18gG1
     
  4. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    The Great Game of Chess on the Global chequered board has begun, Either you are with U.S or with China. India stands no where in this great game, i think with current political crisis and scams that are rocking our country.
     
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China dismissed as "irresponsible" Japanese accusations that the Communist country's program of military development is not transparent, a statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Jiang Yu said on Wednesday.

    "A certain country has no right to act as a representative of the international community and make irresponsible remarks on China's development," the diplomat's statement read.

    On Friday Japan adopted National Defense Program Guidelines for the next 10 years. The document said China's military development and lack of transparency were cause for concern for regional and international security.

    "The fact is that China's development since its reform and opening up, has brought huge opportunities of common prosperity to the world, including Japan," the diplomat said.
     

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