Why is Japan strengthening its military capabilities? – Geopolitics Geopolitics News

Why is Japan strengthening its military capabilities? – Geopolitics

Jhe Second Sino-Japanese War lasted from 1937 to 1945 and was a protracted conflict between China and Japan. When Japan was finally defeated in 1945, China was on the winning side but was in ruins. There had been around 15 million casualties, major losses of industrial infrastructure and agricultural production, and the Nationalist government’s wavering modernization efforts had been all but destroyed.

However, times had changed: the governments of Japan and the People’s Republic of China established a neutralizer Partnership on September 29, 1972. The partnership between these nations was established on the basis of equality, mutual cooperation, non-aggression, respect for sovereignty and territory, non-interference in internal affairs and peaceful coexistence in order to maintain peace and stability in Asia and the international community.

This attempt was the start of their friendship; nevertheless, experts argue that this relationship has always been in a paradox. Normalization would commemorate its 50th anniversary in September 2022. But over the past 50 years, Japan’s optimism toward China has dwindled significantly. Over 90% of the Japanese population had a negative view of China, a level not seen since 2005, according to survey data provided by Genron NPO and China Net in the fall of 2021.

Japan has increased its defense budget by more than a quarter in 2023, to 6.82 trillion yen ($51.4 billion), a 20% increase, as it launches a five-year effort to strengthen its security posture in response to growing threats from China, North Korea and Russia. Indeed, this year’s military spending is the highest since World War II.. It is a component of a contested New National Security Strategy (NSS) that aims to educate Japanese defense spending 2% of GDP by 2027.

In fact, the plan aims to give Japan a “counterattack capability or the ability to strike enemy bases” so that it can anticipate enemy strikes and defend against growing threats from North Korea, China, and China. Russia and China, which they believe may try to invade Taiwan. Japan adopted a defensive strategy after World War II, but as its defense spending increased, the approach changed from defensive to offensive. Tokyo will play a crucial role in the anti-China coalition in Asia by strengthening its defenses and working with Western G-7 and NATO countries.

Since China has grown stronger and more confrontational with its neighbors over the past decade, Japan has amplified the size and power of its de facto military, the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Chinese threat is of particular concern to Japan. More frequent Chinese military exercises have taken place near territories claimed by Japan, often in conjunction with Russia.

According to the NSS, Japan’s “biggest strategic challenge” is China. Likewise, North Korea poses “a graver and more immediate danger to Japan’s national security than ever before.” Similarly, due to its close ties to China and the invasion of Ukraine, Russia is classified in the NSS as a “high security issue”. According to analysts, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has significantly influenced Tokyo’s decision to adopt a more assertive foreign policy.

Under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Japan has been at the forefront of an international campaign to penalize Moscow for its war. According to recent polls, the general public supports both this strategy and Japan’s defense development. Mainly, to defend the rise of China and threats from North Korea and Russia, Japan is strengthening its ties with the United States and its allies. According to Tetsuo Kotanisenior researcher at the Japan Institute of International Affairs, “Japan is much more willing to ally itself with the United States and other similar democracies to fight against these antagonistic autocracies and nuclear states.”

Japan is changing its approach in an effort to emerge as a new military superpower. Japan is on the verge of re-emerging as a global superpower, Kenneth Waltz argued in his 1993 article. The structure and conduct of the Japanese military are proof of this. Japan is expected to become not only a regional but also a global military power in the long run.

To date, many analysts have been reluctant to recognize Japan as a global military power comparable to Britain or France. Japan will nevertheless achieve its global military aspirations without the United States. The previous strategic position has changed to achieve this objective. Thomas Wilkin, a senior lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, said: “Japan is obviously not yet a military superpower comparable to the US, UK or France. He is ineligible for this position because he lacks offensive force projection tools such as aircraft carriers, long-range bombers and nuclear weapons. Japan’s global military footprint is still small despite its growing horizons, making it only a partial great power.

Global Times, a Chinese news outlet, says, “Since World War II, the Asia-Pacific region and the global community have faced unfathomable dangers due to Japan’s geopolitical leanings and Washington’s selfish approach to China. . While still claiming to support the “rules-based international order”, the United States and Japan are really undermining it.

Tension is therefore mounting in the Asia-Pacific region due to the increase in Japan’s defense budget. China, North Korea and Russia all denounced Japan’s statement, as expected. Given that each country is currently undergoing its own military modernization, such comments risk coming across as hypocritical. Experts say these are all countries that have substantial stockpiles of long-range missiles. Given this, they don’t think it’s fair to criticize Japan for taking a more methodical and moderate approach to changing its security posture.

[Photo by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, via Wikimedia Commons]

Md. Obaidullah is a research assistant at the Center for Advanced Social Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Why is Japan strengthening its military capabilities? – Geopolitics

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