Draft Japanese Defense Plan Urges Stronger Military

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Dec. 11, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

The Ja­pan­ese gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day said the coun­try should boost its de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies and be will­ing to be more mil­it­ar­ily act­ive abroad.

The draft of a new na­tion­al se­cur­ity strategy re­leased by the Shinzo Abe ad­min­is­tra­tion urged fos­ter­ing a tight­er mil­it­ary re­la­tion­ship with the United States and im­prov­ing Ja­pan’s mis­sile-de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies, the New York Times re­por­ted. The pan­el of Abe-se­lec­ted ex­perts who wrote the new strategy said a more-cap­able mil­it­ary was needed in or­der to re­spond to the rising danger posed by North Korea’s nuc­le­ar work, as well as China’s re­cent “in­tru­sions” in­to mari­time ter­rit­ory over which Tokyo also claims sov­er­eignty.

Abe’s cab­in­et is an­ti­cip­ated to ap­prove the draft na­tion­al se­cur­ity strategy — as well as a new de­fense policy — next week, ac­cord­ing to Ja­pan­ese me­dia re­ports.

The new de­fense guidelines not­ably did not in­clude a re­com­mend­a­tion that Ja­pan ac­quire the mil­it­ary means to carry out at­tacks on hos­tile tar­gets, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Un­der Ja­pan’s cur­rent in­ter­pret­a­tion of its post-World War II con­sti­tu­tion, it is only al­lowed to use mil­it­ary force de­fens­ively. The hawk­ish Abe ad­min­is­tra­tion, though, wants to ex­pand the num­ber of scen­ari­os un­der which the Ja­pan­ese mil­it­ary can use force, such as in case of a North Korean mis­sile at­tack on U.S. bases in Guam where Ja­pan­ese mis­sile in­ter­cept­ors might be used to neut­ral­ize the threat.

“North Korea has re­peated con­duct that height­ens re­gion­al ten­sions,” the draft guidelines said. “Its nuc­le­ar and mis­sile de­vel­op­ment … rep­res­ent a grave and im­min­ent threat to our coun­try’s se­cur­ity.”

The not-yet-fi­nal­ized se­cur­ity strategy also re­com­mends that Tokyo re­lax its ban on weapons ex­ports.

Re­call­ing Ja­pan­ese ac­tions dur­ing World War II, both South Korea and China are leery of moves by Tokyo to ad­opt a more as­sert­ive re­gion­al mil­it­ary pres­ence.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

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