By Wen Weiru
Japan has made frequent military moves recently, not only forming several new forces, increasing its defense budget by a large margin in the new fiscal year, but also stepping up the purchase and R&D of sophisticated weapons and equipment, in the undisguised endeavor to reinforce its combat forces and capabilities. Yet on August 15, the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in WWII, Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga was still claiming “Japan has consistently walked a path of a country that values peace ”, arousing intense condemnation from the public.
Japan is busy forming new forces
Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun reported on August 22 that the JGSDF made a budget proposal to the Defense Ministry for ship building. It planned to buy a mid-size vessel with the displacement of 1,800t and a number of small ones with the displacement of 420t, which seemed to prove that the formation of a “maritime transport force”, as previously announced by the Japanese government, has come to the substantial stage.
The Japanese Defense Ministry is also busy forming and replenishing several other forces, with the cross-over Space Operation Squadron, Cyber Defense Group and electronic warfare unit drawing special attention.
First of all, the Space Operation Squadron is an important base for Japan to build its space combat force. Recently, the Japanese Defense Ministry is stepping up efforts to form a space operation command and control force in charge of the squadron. It has also set up an office in charge of space affairs under the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency, which is tasked with promoting projects related to space warfare.
Second, the Defense Ministry is moving fast to form the Cyber Defense Group. Apart from integrating and reorganizing the former cyber operation forces, it has set a new position of cyber security advisor and plans to recruit top hackers from across the country to help the group grasp the latest cyber technologies and developments.
Third, the JGSDF is pushing the formation of a new electronic warfare unit and will create an Electronic Warfare Command and develop electromagnetic combat capabilities based on three electronic warfare forces.
Moreover, the Defense Ministry is also expanding the marine force, a Japanese version of marine corps, and preparing for the 3rd marine mobile troops (regiment-level) besides the current two, which will drive the total number of its marine mobile troops to 3,000 by 2024. The marine mobile troops will carry out marine maneuvers and operations, amphibious assaults, air attacks, and other combat tasks.
Clamoring to be a country "values peace"
To support the formation of new forces and equip them with necessary weapons and equipment, the Japanese Defense Ministry once again increased the 2022 defense budget dramatically to develop aggressive weapons.
The series of moves indicate that Japan is reinforcing the JSDF’s combat structure and capabilities as planned, and is taking ever faster steps toward its so-called “goal”, which has seriously bloated many right-wingers’ confidence. On August 15, 2021, Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun published a commentary saying that Japan needs to develop its military capabilities targeted at rivals and threats. That sounded like Japan’s real stance in the military sector.
Ironically, while several officials of the Japanese Cabinet visited the Yasukuni Shrine and Yoshihide Suga also paid tribute in the capacity of “president of the Liberal Democratic Party”, he, on the very day of August 15, had the nerve to claim that “since the end of the war, Japan has consistently walked the path of a country that values peace ” and “we must never again repeat the devastation of war. We will continue to remain committed to this conviction ”.
Worshipping the “ghosts of militarism” and developing military strengths on the one hand and clamoring to “value peace” on the other, which is the real face of Japan? Does Tokyo think the public is blind? Yes, it claims to “value peace”, but the world has long learned the lesson that to understand Japan’s real intention, we should watch what it does rather than hear what it says.