Japan Announces Largest Military Build-Up Since WWII in Response to China, Russia
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 426
Japan has announced its largest military expansion since World War II with a $320 billion plan that will include the acquisition of missiles capable of reaching China and preparing for sustained conflict. The move comes amid increasing tensions and concerns over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as Japan's concerns over China's potential use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described the country and its people as being at a "turning point in history," stating that the expansion was in response to the "various security challenges that we face." "This is setting a new heading for Japan.
If appropriately executed, the Self-Defense Forces will be a real, world-class effective force," said Yoji Koda, a former Maritime Self-Defense Force admiral, who commanded the Japanese fleet in 2008. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a serious violation of laws that forbid the use of force and has shaken the foundations of the international order," the strategy paper said.
"The strategic challenge posed by China is the biggest Japan has ever faced," it added.
A new heading for Japan
The move has been welcomed by the United States, with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel stating that it "is setting a new heading for Japan," and adding that if implemented effectively, it will make the Self-Defense Forces a "real, world-class effective force." Yoji Koda, a former Maritime Self-Defense Force admiral, also praised the expansion, stating that it represents a "clear, unambiguous strategic statement about Japan's role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific." "The Prime Minister is making a clear, unambiguous strategic statement about Japan’s role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific," U.S.
Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "He has put a capital “D” next to Japan’s deterrence," he added. "We look forward to Taiwan and Japan continuing to create new cooperation achievements in various fields such as national defence and security, the economy, trade, and industrial transformation,” the presidential office cited Tsai as saying.