Japan Politics Kishida
Former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara
politics

Kishida singles out China threat

52 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Japan’s former top diplomat and candidate to head its ruling party said Monday that he supports boosting Tokyo's defense budget amid China's growing assertiveness in the region.

Ex-Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida proposed raising defense spending, possibly above Japan's longstanding cap of 1% of gross domestic product.

“The security environment surrounding our country is increasingly becoming harsh,” Kishida said.

He was speaking at a press conference ahead of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race scheduled for Sept29.

Kishida said Japanese coast guard should work closely with the Maritime Self-Defense Force, especially in defending the Japanese-controlled East China Sea islands, which Beijing also claims.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced earlier this month that he was not seeking another term as head of the LDP. The winner of the governing party's top position will almost certainly be elected prime minister as the Liberal Democrats and their coalition partner hold a parliamentary majority.

Other LDP candidates include Taro Kono, who serves as minister in charge of vaccinations, and former Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi, who shares the ultra-conservative views of former premier Shinzo Abe.

Kishida vowed to “resolutely” stand up to China on important issues like security in the Taiwan Strait and Beijing's crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong.

Mild-mannered Kishida, who used to be considered dovish, has shifted to more hawkish security and diplomatic positions as he seeks to gain support from the conservatives in his party.

The former foreign minister later added that Japan must continue “dialogue with China,” the country’s top trading partner.

Recent media surveys and polls showed Kono as a front-runner as next prime minister.

However, only Liberal Democratic lawmakers and some grassroots party members can vote in the leadership contest.

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52 Comments
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No need to increase the defence budget to 10% of GDP as already suggested by the MoD.

Just up it to 2%.

That would be enough to ensure Beijing *and its supporters) have some sweaty nights.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Candidates to head its ruling party are full of puppets of previous PM Abe or vice-PM Asou.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Other LDP candidates include Taro Kono, who serves as minister in charge of vaccinations, and former Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi, who shares the ultra-conservative views of former premier Shinzo Abe.

Failed at one job, wants a promotion to the next, no way.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Kishida came to Okinawa after retirement from the post of Foreign Minister and tried to enter the Futenma air station for first-hand observation, but was turned down by guards at the gate. Kishida might have thought he could enter the base with impunity because of his recently-held title and as an LDP big shot.

He was not aware that U.S. bases were extraterritorial land within Japan that are untouchable by Japanese law and his own celebrity status.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Kishida much like Kono / Takaichi are NOT what Japan needs at all!!!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

As to his suitability (or the others) I don’t really know enough to judge. As to the necessity of Japan increasing its capacity to defend its self it’s self evident. It’s locale, once a peaceful backwater in world affairs for some 60 to 70 years has now become a geopolitical hotspot, primarily due to an imperialist and expansionist China under the CCP.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Meanwhile Japan hosts 23 bases and about 50,000 US military personnel to threaten China but ..... No, Its China that is the problem.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

No need to increase the defence budget to 10% of GDP as already suggested by the MoD.

I would like to see a link about that. 10% of GDP? Almost unbelievable.

Kishida is a right. Japan surely needs to boost Military spending to deal with the big and imminent Chinese threat. 2 new Carriers, a few submarine destroyng vessels, perhaps 30 more fighter jets and 10 long range bombers should be on order for the next 5 years. That will be nowhere near 10% of GDP though, more like ~3%.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Everyone knows war is the biggest racket in town, and the surest way for politicians to gain access to public funds.

If you ask any Japanese person under 50, chances are they will know the name "Lockheed Scandal" and might be able to recite the date and people involved, but won't actually be able to tell you much about the content or significance of that incident-that is because there has been a concerted effort to omit disclosure/discussion of that in textbooks and classrooms, in order that the government can carry on profiteering through the procurement of arms.

So go ahead and increase the military budget (again, for the third consecutive year), no one is going to stop you, they're too busy being overworked and dealing with the Covid-19 debacle you've led them into.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Just up it to 2%."

If Kishida doubles military spending from 1% to 2% how long you think before he increases the consumption tax ( he is already on official record advocating a raise ). Guess to those who don,t live and pay tax in Japan it doesn,t matter, but we the plebs have to pay for it.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Meanwhile Japan hosts 23 bases and about 50,000 US military personnel to threaten China but ..... No, Its China that is the problem.

Unlike China, the US doesn't try to claim chunks of ocean that historically had never been theirs in the first place. Not to mention create artificial islands for military purposes, despite promising at the beginning that they weren't for military purposes.

Also, the US didn't unleash a global pandemic while trying to blame every other country for it.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

No need to increase the defence budget to 10% of GDP as already suggested by the MoD.

Just up it to 2%.

That would be enough to ensure Beijing *and its supporters) have some sweaty nights.

Yes, Mr Peeping Tom. Why not you lobby the Japanese government to increase the defense spending to 5% instead of from 1% to 5%. Cut away all the other trimmings such as care for the elderly after all they are going to die soon anyway don't waste state funds. While you're at it, please sign up to be forefront of the new Imperial Japanese armed forces to start Part III of the Sino-Japanese war yeah? Next time you want to comment, use your big brain and not the little one further south.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Unlike China, the US doesn't try to claim chunks of ocean that historically had never been theirs in the first place. Not to mention create artificial islands for military purposes, despite promising at the beginning that they weren't for military purposes.

China: "I was there 3,000 years ago."

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

It's not just about increasing the defence/JSDF budget. It's also about the way our policy towards China is being conducted. If we are always in a corner from where we make statements, we are just a laughing stock and they don't make anything of us. Our policy towards China is always strong words and always a step back and calming the situation from our point of view. But we also need to take a step forward. There are consequences to every action, but we have to reckon with that. It is like a bully in primary school - either the child is constantly being bullied, or one day he or she stands up to the bully with the risk that perhaps the teacher will just notice and the bully will be seen as a victim.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Hopefully any drumbeats for those favoring any military involvement are just a bit of quiet background noise that will be ignored by the majority of Japanese people, people that I think are proud of how peaceful their country has been for the last 70 or so years.

And hopefully the Reiwa Emperor and his staff and those in the Shinto hierarchy understand how wrong it was for the Showa Emperor to have allowed his throne to be used by the militarists running the country while they pushed for an expansion of the Japanese empire.

And hopefully Keidanren will understand that although the corporations that had made up the Zaibatsu may see increased profits in the short term by manufacturing weapons and gearing up for war, in the long term they and the country in general will only be hurt fighting another war the country would have to recover from.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The only possible reason Japan would be a target for China is because of the occupation forces in Japan and their collaborators in the Japanese government.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

China: "I was there 3,000 years ago."

Civilization in the area of China: "I was here 5000 years ago. 2000 years ago we taught out stupid island neighbors how to build a civilization."

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Kishida vowed to “resolutely” stand up to China on important issues like security in the Taiwan Strait and Beijing's crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong.

I had to laugh out loud at that. Japan doesn't do or say anything without permission from USA.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Kishida vowed to “resolutely” stand up to China on important issues like security in the Taiwan Strait and Beijing's crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong.

I had to laugh out loud at that. Japan doesn't do or say anything without permission from USA.

True that....the max Kishida means is instead of uttering something like " Japan expresses concern about xyz.. " he will crank it up to " Japan expresses strong concern about xyz..." spoken with a stern and resolute eyebrow down expression. Thats about the end of it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No, Its China that is the problem.

Yes, Yes it is. Thats why the world is taking more action each year to stem the ambitions and expansion of Chinese territorial ambitions.

Japan should indeed increase it's defense budget to 2% of GDP to build more navy vessels, capable well armed short range corvettes for local regional defense. More bang for their Yen than frigates or destroyers. Develop your local stealth fighter and be a bigger deterrent to those showing aggression towards Japan right now.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

China: "I was there 3,000 years ago."

And yet they were not the first ones there. Those who expanded the human footprint to inhabit new lands crossed those waters many thousands of years before China ever saw them. If it is fist come that determines the owners as China seems to indicate then China has no claim at all to those waters of the South China sea. Others have even longer, more ancient indisputable claims.

Peoples of Malaysia or the Philippines or perhaps the Indonesians or Australian Aborigines crossed those waters well before China did.

China's claims are bogus attempts to expand territory at the expense of others with no justification at all. That why the world is increasing military spending to combat China's belligerence.

China has been increasing its military budget every year for over a decade. Warmongers? Do not begrudge Japan for needing to catch up to a hostile neighbor who threatens Taiwan at every opportunity.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

 build more navy vessels, capable well armed short range corvettes for local regional defense

You don't really intend to face down the PLAN's aircraft carriers and now LHDs with small corvettes do you? That guarantees you lose. Corvettes have a place but the JMSDF needs aircraft carriers and large multi-product replenishment ships to allow it to fight in blue water instead of waiting until the Chinese are inside your EEZ to engage them.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

You don't really intend to face down the PLAN's aircraft carriers and now LHDs with small corvettes do you?

China is developing more corvettes than any other nation, Japan would face them with its own corvettes. If you think anyone would send corvettes alone against carriers your being silly.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Very early to be so hawkish Mr Kishida. Japanese people don’t like that type of rhetoric in my experience. Think he just handed the advantage to the covid minister..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ships are easy to handle, therefore almost no threat. In fact they are rather slow quasi-static targets, more vulnerable than anything else. If taking out some of the accompanying ships, even a big and looking threatening carrier is quickly useless and ready to attack and sink. More important are a stronger missile response, air force and outnumbering highly skilled ground troops. That’s the weak point for Japan, finding, educating and deploying enough pilots, drone operators, ground soldiers, as well as having outnumbering missile or other sea / air attack response measures.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Peeping_TomToday  07:06 am JST

No need to increase the defence budget to 10% of GDP as already suggested by the MoD.

Just up it to 2%.

That would be enough to ensure Beijing *and its supporters) have some sweaty nights.

Even if defence spending were ramped up to 20% I think the Chinese would sleep soundly while the LDP were in charge in Japan.

It doesn't matter how much military gear they have, that lot are so clapped-out and useless if they get Japan involved in any sort of war the country will end up in a worse state than it was in 1945.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

An incredibly ignorant set of statements from the man who would be king. China is a vast nation and would crush Japan - diplomacy and trade, along with an alliance against The Great Satan aka USA is more apropos.

Where do these men of power imagine the world to be in ten, twenty, thirty years? The problems are environmental and overpopulation, not the Chinese military.

Take a lesson from Switzerland.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japan obviously feels very thrratened by China (although anything foriegn seems to threaten Japan). If China goes about it's business anywhere near Japanese territorial waters, Japan seems to feel threatened. It seems that Japan is more dangerous than China.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

@Alan Harrison

Elaborate more please on why Japan is more dangerous than China, I’m all ears.

Its the actions of China that is making countries in the region nervous. Equate it to a schoolyard bully, you either get tough yourself, look the other way or become a possible victim.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

He was not aware that U.S. bases were extraterritorial land within Japan that are untouchable by Japanese law and his own celebrity status.

Japan is de facto still occupied.

Also, the US didn't unleash a global pandemic while trying to blame every other country for it.

I would blame both China and the US. How can you not blame the US for not containing the virus? No 1 in cases and deaths.

China: "I was there 3,000 years ago."

Thats naive. The past is past. China is saying I’m building it; what are you going to do about it. No, it’s actually more, what can you do about it?

Showa Emperor to have allowed his throne to be used by the militarists running the country while they pushed for an expansion of the Japanese empire

For the CPC it’s not only the PLA but also the banks run by the state. They can throw out loans of billions of dollars at 30-40%. There are mafia elements leveraging such usurious rates.

If it is fist come that determines the owners as China seems to indicate then China has no claim at all to those waters of the South China sea. Others have even longer, more ancient indisputable claims.

I don’t think they’re worried about claims or international courts. They’re just there. As for first come first serve, Russia and China are trying to extract helium from the moon. It wouldn’t be inconceivable for them to think the moon is theirs.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Japan is wasting money to fight the wrong wars. China isn't fighting a kinetic war but they are fighting an invisible war within economics, cybersecurity, technologies, espionage, corporate warfare,.... Anything that is not violent nor kinetic.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I would blame both China and the US. How can you not blame the US for not containing the virus? No 1 in cases and deaths.

Remind us who chose to cover up the initial outbreak and knowingly still let it's citizens go overseas to spread the virus rather than, you know, not doing that.

Hint: it wasn't the US.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He was not aware that U.S. bases were extraterritorial land within Japan that are untouchable by Japanese law and his own celebrity status.

All Ryukyu islands are technically not Japanese, de facto. The US can seize those islands to make them American territories at any time. The US threatened to do so if Japan signed a peace treaty with the USSR in 1956.

On the Japanese mainland, Japan can't control its own airspace as Americans can arbitrarily block you from accessing certain airspace based on military reasons. Of course, the US can rape the locals, dump toxic chemicals and basically do whatever they want on Japan with no repercussion. If Suga or Abe is going to try kicking Americans out of Japan tomorrow, then they should expect dying inside an APC when Americans pull a coup against Japan at any time - Yukio Hatoyama's saga demonstrated so.

Yes, Mr Peeping Tom. Why not you lobby the Japanese government to increase the defense spending to 5% instead of from 1% to 5%. Cut away all the other trimmings such as care for the elderly after all they are going to die soon anyway don't waste state funds. While you're at it, please sign up to be forefront of the new Imperial Japanese armed forces to start Part III of the Sino-Japanese war yeah? Next time you want to comment, use your big brain and not the little one further south.

Japanese ultranationalists don't have a mind.

Ships are easy to handle, therefore almost no threat. In fact they are rather slow quasi-static targets, more vulnerable than anything else. If taking out some of the accompanying ships, even a big and looking threatening carrier is quickly useless and ready to attack and sink. More important are a stronger missile response, air force and outnumbering highly skilled ground troops. That’s the weak point for Japan, finding, educating and deploying enough pilots, drone operators, ground soldiers, as well as having outnumbering missile or other sea / air attack response measures.

Basically, anti-ship ballistic missiles. China and Russia have tons of them. The US does not dare to provoke Russia directly because of these supersonic/hypersonic bee stings.

And hopefully Keidanren will understand that although the corporations that had made up the Zaibatsu may see increased profits in the short term by manufacturing weapons and gearing up for war, in the long term they and the country in general will only be hurt fighting another war the country would have to recover from.

They are transferring the wealth out of Japan. Fleeing the sinking ship and leaving the islandic nation to become another Puerto Rico.

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3142290/why-japan-unable-arrest-its-economic-decline-despite-weak-yen?utm_source=rss_feed

Higher defense spending merely provides them a reason to offshore and steal Japanese wealth.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Japan can do anything it sets it’s mind to. Any nation has a right to defend itself against an evil, hostile, and authoritarian country such as China.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

They are transferring the wealth out of Japan. Fleeing the sinking ship and leaving the islandic nation to become another Puerto Rico.

It seems easy to sell beach houses in Gunma to the masses. Japan needs to wake up.

Remind us who chose to cover up the initial outbreak and knowingly still let it's citizens go overseas to spread the virus rather than, you know, not doing that.

As written, I would blame China and the US. Even if you had told the US a year in advance, it would still be a mess. Like it would have any difference. It just helped spread the virus far more.

China isn't fighting a kinetic war but they are fighting an invisible war within economics, cybersecurity, technologies, espionage, corporate warfare,.... Anything that is not violent nor kinetic.

 I would add loans to this but they are doing great things in Alkebulan. There is also debt relief and cancellation.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

On the Japanese mainland, Japan can't control its own airspace as Americans can arbitrarily block you from accessing certain airspace based on military reasons.

The Yokota airspace is based on a 1975 agreement of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee that said the U.S. government is responsible for the air traffic control around American bases in Japan. The joint committee has its roots in the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. The right to air traffic control was given to the U.S. military in a 1952 joint committee meeting as a "temporary measure," but it has since been treated as if it is a permanent privilege of the U.S. forces.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190218/p2a/00m/0na/011000c

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow, a Japanese politician speaking clearly and stating the obvious. Pleasant surprise.

@Richard Gallagher

The problems are environmental and overpopulation, not the Chinese military.

Very funny. China claims a part of Japan's territory, its military is active near the islands, but the environment there is very pristine and there is no population (and population of Japan is decreasing). So, where the threat to Japan comes from?

Take a lesson from Switzerland

And the lesson will be....? A couple of years ago I saw on Japanese TV a documentary on Switzerland. I was surprised to see how many usual houses there are half-made military strongholds, with armored basements, strengthened walls and embrasures. The Swiss are also very serious about the military service of their population. I don't think you'll be happy if Japan really takes a lesson from Switzerland.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Its the actions of China that is making countries in the region nervous.

Which nations are those and what you qualifies you to talk for them?

One thing is for sure, China is the largest trading partner for all of the nations in the region and most in the world. So trade with China obviously isn't making them nervous.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Thanks again for showing us, how important China is.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Ingvar

Do some research…

I can think of Japan, Phillipines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Australia…

I’m not talking for them, I read the news!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Basically, anti-ship ballistic missiles. China and Russia have tons of them. The US does not dare to provoke Russia directly because of these supersonic/hypersonic bee stings.

Number one, Russia does not have an anti-ship ballistic missile. China claims to but it not clear they can hit a moving target at sea with a ballistic missile. It's not as pat and easy as you presume. Something moving that fast has precious little time to conduct a scan with whatever sensors it is using, find a suitable target and maneuver to hit it. Here is how it works. Your best sensor has only so much range and in a maritime environment with clouds, rain and high humidity haze, the detection range of your best sensor is not what some of you imagine it is. From the time the sensor comes within range of possible targets the clock starts ticking. That sensor has to conduct a scan of the area, classify what it detects, determine which ships are neutral shipping and which are enemy warships. Then it has to select a target and maneuver to hit it. Sensor range is fixed. Missile speed determines how much time the sensor package and its computers have to do all that work to find the right target and then get the missile to turn and hit it. The faster the missile goes the less time is available to accomplish this, and the faster the missile goes the more physical space it needs to turn. Overshooting a possible target or missing one because of a lack of time to conduct a good scan or simply moving so fast the missile cannot turn sharply enough to hit the target are all real possibilities. Not every missile that is shot finds a target and not every missile that finds a target can hit it. Now throw in jamming, spoofing and IR countermeasures. Most missiles fired in naval combat (lots of them during the Arab Israeli wars btw) have been defeated by countermeasures. Same during Operation Praying Mantis. Iranian forces shot a crap load of missiles at the US Navy but none hit anything. The fast movers also cannot fly as low and thus are more easily detected. A ballistic missile is going to be seen climbing very soon after launch and engaged as far out as 500-1000 km with SM-3 Block I and much further with SM-3 Block II. So you see the western navies stick with stealthy subsonic sea skimmers like Storm Shadow, LRASM and NSM, even the newest versions of Harpoon, that can stay as low as 2 meters off the deck where they are very hard to detect and because they have more time to scan and select targets they tend to have a greater likelihood of hitting a target. Because they are flying slower have the chance to re-attack if they miss on the first try (which is what the missile that hit the Atlantic Conveyor was doing, it was seduced off a British aircraft carrier and re-acquired Atlantic Conveyor).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The need for Japan to be able to defend itself is self-evident.

One question I have is whether the current Chinese policy of expansion and belligerence is a long term policy, in place regardless of who is the dictator, or whether the policy is due almost entirely to Xi. I hope for the second, but fear the first scenario is the case.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

North Korea could incinerate Japan in 15 minutes, and Japan wants to take on China?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

1glennToday  06:24 am JST

The need for Japan to be able to defend itself is self-evident.

That means having competent leadership as well as sufficient defensive capabilities.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Paper. tigers, should not be putting gasoline on a fire

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

joey stalinToday  06:47 am JST

North Korea could incinerate Japan in 15 minutes, and Japan wants to take on China?

I think the LDP old boys want to take on China so they can feel all tough and masculine, like all the daimyo and samurai from their favourite taiga dramas and manga. I'm sure they wouldn't be so bold without America to back them up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

North Korea could incinerate Japan in 15 minutes, and Japan wants to take on China?

WTH? DPRK, cough cough, "leaders" know very well that nuking anyone would be the end of North Korea as anybody knows it. Japan in no way intends to take on China alone but also knows it needs new and different systems for its forces to be able to defend Japanese territory and operate as part of a multi-national coalition fighting Chinese forces.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Too old politics, minister kishida. U are completely blind.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

https://maritime-executive.com/article/ccp-outlet-calls-for-economic-blockade-of-taiwan

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

North Korea could incinerate Japan in 15 minutes

NK may be weird, but they're not that stupid to attack another country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kishida vowed to “resolutely” stand up to China on important issues like security in the Taiwan Strait and Beijing's crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong.

He talks like a thunder but actually acts like a headwind!

He never ever dared visited Taiwan as Foreign Minister.

Nor did he favor re-establishing diplomatic ties with Taipei.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Septim DynastySep. 14  03:06 pm JST

All Ryukyu islands are technically not Japanese, de facto. The US can seize those islands to make them American territories at any time. The US threatened to do so if Japan signed a peace treaty with the USSR in 1956.

Kishida doesn't even know that the Ryukyus is the Crimea of Asia!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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