Japan's commitment to strict self-defense is changing


China Military Online
Li Jiayao

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (ChinaMil) -- The Japanese government recently made frequent moves in the military security field: planning to introduce and develop cruise missiles, purchasing the latest F-35B fighter jet and transforming helicopter destroyer into aircraft carrier and so on. These offensive moves are aimed at Japan's post-war purely defensive military strategy.


Japan's defensive strategy has helped Japan remain peaceful 70 years after the Second World War.


The Abe government passed the new security bill in disregard of constitutional amendment procedure, lifted the ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense and declared a major turning point in its defensive military strategy.


From the revision of the constitution to the promotion of armaments, these so-called "defensive" moves of the Abe government are crossing the line. It is worrying that Japan's commitment to strict self-defense is changing.


As the saying goes, "A fox's tail will eventually be exposed." According to Japanese media reports, the Japanese Ministry of Defense is discussing the transformation of the largest Izumo-class helicopter destroyer into an aircraft carrier.


In fact, Izumo’s performance is similar to that of light aircraft carriers of some countries. Once the upgrade is successful, Izumo will be equipped with the latest fighter jets and will become a de facto aircraft carrier with attack capability.


The Asahi Shimbun pointed out that the move to renovate Izumo will make the defense-only policy little more than a piece of paper.


The Japanese constitution forbids the Japan Self-Defense Forces to own such offensive weapons as attack aircraft carriers, intercontinental ballistic missiles or long-range strategic bombers and so forth.


In order to avoid criticisms due to unconstitutionality, Japan has tried its best to muddy the waters by classifying the attack carrier as a "defensive" weapon.


This approach is exactly the same as Abe's original solution of lifting ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense right by changing constitutional interpretation.


The country’s defense budget has risen for the sixth consecutive year in the 2018 fiscal year budget approved by the Japanese government, setting a record high.


Supported by the huge budget, the Japanese Ministry of Defense introduced more weapons. Land-based Aegis missile defense systems, F-35A fighters and long-range cruise missiles are all included in the purchase list. Japan will also build new submarines and destroyers.


With increasingly sophisticated types of offensive weapons, Japan is now pursuing a military capacity far beyond the scope of self-defense.


Expanding armaments in the name of “defense” and developing new means of attack, this latest trend in Japan’s military strategy has indeed brought concerns to its Asian neighbors and international community.



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