Thursday, April 30, 2015

Has Japan Abandoned Its Policy Of Being A Pacifist Nation?

Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbor of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

William Johnson, Reuters: With a $42 billion defense budget, is Japan a hawk in dove’s clothing?

Japan’s identity as a pacifist nation, as defined by Article 9 of its constitution, is increasingly at odds with reality. The Japanese Naval Self-Defense Force is the second-most powerful naval force in the region, trailing only its close ally, the United States Navy. Japan has the seventh-largest defense budget in the world; its Ministry of Defense is the largest department in the entire Japanese government.

Strategically, a strong Japanese military allows the United States — a close ally of Japan’s — to maintain distance from any military confrontation with China over territorial claims. It deprives China of the argument that the United States is neither a party to the dispute, nor native to the region. The problem for the United States lies in convincing allies, especially South Korea, that an increasingly robust Japanese military does not risk a return to Japanese imperialism.

WNU Editor: Japan has a long history .... and being a pacifist nation is not one of them. The key goal right for the U.S. now is to reassure it's allies in Asia that Japan's intentions are not aggressive .... and that there is nothing to be afraid of. My prediction .... this is not going to be a very hard sell.

No comments: