Japan to bolster “defence” against China

Discussion in 'China' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 18, 2010.


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    Feb 16, 2009
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    Japan on Friday expressed new “concern” over the “military modernisation by China” and unveiled plans to “build a dynamic defence force” to face this “security environment”.

    In a coded language that unmistakably portrayed China as Japan's new threat, the Cabinet approved “national defence programme guidelines” for 10 years from 2011. A new “priority” would be the “enhancement of force disposition in southwest Japan” close to China.

    The guidelines acquired unusual importance in the context of recent tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

    A summary of the guidelines, released by the Defence Ministry in Tokyo, projected the planned transformation of Japan's self-defence forces as a totally indigenous effort at “increasing the credibility of deterrent capability.”

    Japan would also seek to “further enhance and develop [its] indispensable alliance with the United States”.

    To address “the threat of nuclear weapons … Japan will continue to maintain and improve the credibility of U.S.' extended deterrence, with nuclear deterrent as a vital element.”

    Outlining a third dimension of military preparedness, the guidelines spelt out “enhanced security cooperation with countries such as the Republic of Korea, Australia, Asean countries, and India”. Such a plan was described as “multi-layered security cooperation”.

    Portraying the proposed China-focussed defence posture as the centrepiece of a shift from Japan “Cold War-style” policies, the guidelines emphasised that Beijing's “insufficient transparency” on military matters was of “concern to the regional and global community” and not just Tokyo.

    The rise of China and other emerging powers, compounded by a “relative change in the U.S. influence,” had now brought about a worldwide shift in the balance of forces.

    In this ambience, “North Korea's nuclear and missile issues are an immediate and grave destabilising factor.” And, Russia's military activities in Japan's vicinity “are also increasingly robust,” Tokyo emphasised in defence of the new guidelines.

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