Tokyo’s plan for the biggest military build-up since World War II stems from fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has set a precedent that will spur China to attack Taiwan
Japan has unveiled its biggest $320 billion military build-up plan since World War II to buy missiles capable of striking China and prepare the country for a protracted military conflict.
The implementation of the five-year plan, once unthinkable in a now pacifist Japan, is estimated to bring the country into third place in military spending after the United States and China.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan and its people are at a “watershed in history” and that the military buildup is his response “to the various security challenges we face.”
The Kishida government fears that Russia has set a precedent that will prompt China to attack Taiwan, which could threaten nearby Japanese islands, disrupt semiconductor supplies and create serious problems for shipping routes that bring oil from the Middle East.
“This sets a new course for Japan. If this plan is properly implemented, the [Japanese] Self-Defense Forces will become a real, effective, world-class force,” said former Maritime Self-Defense Force Admiral Yoji Koda, who commanded the Japanese Navy in 2008.
The government said it would also be stockpiling equipment and munitions, expanding transportation capabilities and developing cyber warfare capabilities. Under the post-war Constitution, Japan renounced the right to wage war and create the means to do so.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a serious violation of laws prohibiting the use of force, and it has shaken the foundations of the international order,” the strategy document says.
“The strategic challenge posed by China is the most serious that Japan has ever faced,” the document continues, which also notes that Beijing does not rule out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.
Another national security strategy document, pointing to China, Russia and North Korea, promises to work closely with the US and other like-minded countries to contain threats to the established international order.
“The Prime Minister made a clear, unambiguous strategic statement about Japan’s role as a security guarantor in the Indo-Pacific region,” said US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel. “He made it clear that Japan would implement deterrence with a capital C.”
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said at a meeting in Taipei on Friday with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association chairman Mitsuo Ohashi that she looks forward to expanding defense cooperation with Japan.
“We hope that Taiwan and Japan will achieve new achievements by cooperating in various fields such as national defense and security, economics, trade and industrial transformation,” said Tsai Ing-wen.
The Chinese Embassy in Japan said that Tokyo’s new security strategy contains false claims about China’s military activities.
Prime Minister Kishida’s plan calls for an increase in defense spending to 2% of GDP within five years, which means the abolition of the 1% self-limitation in place since 1976.
Source : голос Америки