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Japan's defense plan won't include strike capability acquisition

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"Japan will make no reference to acquiring strike capabilities against foreign bases when it revises its national defense plan next month, with discussions on the matter still in the early stages,"

In other words, no decision has been made.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Not having strike capabilities is misguided and negates the increased defense budget, because enemies need not fear retaliation.

And your missile defense is TOTALLY useless leaving the nation totally exposed in a strategic strike:

A single EMP exploding above the Kanto region is all it would take to cripple the country setting it back to pre-indistrialization conditions resulting in tens of millions dead.

Your enemies know this, and although they might not have enough appropriate warheads assuring a successful EMP strike, they can and will embed such warheads among HUNDREDS of others making it impossible to prevent one from getting through.

If you are not serious about defending your remote islands might as well hand over your rare earth deposits to whoever is serious to claim it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The headling of this article completely misrepresents what may (or may not) happen.

Japan will make no reference to acquiring strike capabilities against foreign bases when it revises its national defense plan next month, with discussions on the matter still in the early stages,"

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the premise nothing states Japan will not acquire first strike capabilities (which already exist in country).

@Bruce. Quite true. An EMP attack over Kanto (maybe better placed over Tokai) would immediately send Japan back to the 17th century. However anyone who instigated such an attack would be subjected to immediate and certain annihalation.

Let's hope such a thing never occurs.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bruce your exactly on point.

Tokyo-Engr What guarantee does Japan have of ''Anyone who instigated such an attack would be Subjected to immediate and certain annihilation''? Sounds like a dream and fantasy. Japan doesn't control that decision.

What will happen is, Japan has to call America the White House, US President.

Dear America, we in Japan got attacked. What Wil You America do?.... What's best for America! it's own interest!

America, Russia signed an agreement with Ukraine, give up the Nukes we protect you. What happened to that agreement when Ukraine lost Crimea to Russia? Toilet Paper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In order to have strike capability, Japan's Article 9 would have to be modified. Apparently lawmakers are not willing to do so. And since Japan is not willing to acquire strike capability, it will have to continue relying on the U.S. for protection and continue hosting U.S. forces on mainland Japan and Okinawa.

When China fortifies the Senkaku Islands, Japan won't be able to anything about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"With no opposition, corruption, mass media control, lies, far right nationalism...they do anything they want."

What does America have to do with this?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Increasing defensive power without beefing up striking facilities does not seem to make any sense. Nobody would want to believe that.

Of course, it can always be done covertly and quietly..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Completely wrong. You don’t need a few technically sophisticated defense systems, no, you need an outnumbering and simple and really working defense arsenal here. They will use EMP, radar and GPS / QZSS jamming and so on and then send a bunch of fake and nuclear warheads. At that time no electronics or computer based patriots or Aegis systems , nor communication and begging for US help will work. But an outnumbering answer of simpler autark weaponry will set them limits. Of course, it’s nice to have those more new technology with higher sophistication at hand, in addition.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

By not acquiring a first strike capability, Japan is putting an awful lot of faith in the US government honoring its commitments. Given America's checkered past in this regard (remember what happened to South Vietnam), do you really want to have all your eggs in that yankee basket, Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Halwick (Today| 10:04 am JST),

There is no need for Japan to have strike capability. Therefore, there is no need to revise the pacifist constitution the nation has cherished so much for the last 74 years.

If Japan turned out to be no threat for putative adversaries, they would certainly sheathe their strike missiles as well. If they didn't, it's because they knew they were always exposed to the danger of being hit by U.S. strike forces.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa (Today  12:21 pm JST),

There is no need for Japan to have strike capability. Therefore, there is no need to revise the pacifist constitution the nation has cherished so much for the last 74 years

So long as the U.S. continues to cover Japan with its military bases on mainland Japan and Okinawa, Japan sees no need to have strike capability and no need to revise its pacifist constitution as you say.

But that continued U.S. umbrella protection won't last forever and when Japan asks the U.S. to remove its military forces (bowing to anti-U.S. protesters and pacifists) out of mainland Japan and Okinawa, the U.S. won't have any further obligation to defend that region.

Then Japan is going to have to fill the void and take responsibility to defend and ensure the region remains stable in the face of adversaries like China, North Korea and Russia.

You can't have it both ways, i.e., U.S. military presence out and Japan not willing to have a strike capability to protect the region in the absence of U.S. presence.

If Japan turned out to be no threat for putative adversaries, they would certainly sheathe their strike missiles as well.

Do you mean putative adversaries like China, North Korea and Russia? Japan has never been a threat to any of these countries. Japan's pacifist constitution wouldn't allow it.

But if Japan isn't a threat to China and North Korea, why is China conducting navy exercises and North Korea firing missiles in the region?

If they didn't, it's because they knew they were always exposed to the danger of being hit by U.S. strike forces.

So you consider the U.S. as the putative adversary, not China and North Korea?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Curious if the JGSDF considered placing Aegis Ashore on Dogojima and/or Sado Islands? Putting the weapons there seems like a decent compromise, land basing for lower cost while keeping the missiles far enough away from land to eliminate the possibility of boosters falling on populated areas. What considerations might I be missing?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A single EMP exploding above the Kanto region is all it would take to cripple the country setting it back to pre-indistrialization conditions resulting in tens of millions dead.

Not really. A high altitude air burst shouldn't kill anyone. The US did one back in the 1960s over the Pacific. It messed up radios and caused some blackouts in Hawaii and it was quickly realized that blowing big nukes up in the upper atmosphere did more damage to your own satellites and those of other uninvolved nations than anything else.

The US has a pretty interesting EMP testing program and the results are both interesting and very public. The systems that suffer the worst are computers with long exposed cable runs and power cords. They act like antennas concentrating the EMP. Most banks and big financial systems already harden their main data banks. Cars do surprisingly well. Cars that are off when subjected to EMP suffer no effects. About half the cars that are running when subjected to EMP stall out but restart. The rest keep running but the guages do funny things. In nearly all cases turning the car off then restarting it solves all the problems. A few experienced fried guages. A couple of VW models even had guages warp and melt. But they still ran. Analog systems were generally not affected. But an enemy that did try using a big nuke in the upper atmosphere would toast many of their own satellites in the process along with satellites of uninvolved nations who would not take kindly to having their satellites disabled, including many important commercial satellites.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Japan turned out to be no threat for putative adversaries, they would certainly sheathe their strike missiles as well. 

Gosh that is so naive. That is not how the "leadership" of a single party police state like the members of the CCP think. They see weakness and will leverage that weakness to exploit Japan for their ends. These are not decent human beings. They oppress their own people and subject them to daily humiliations in the name of maintaining their control. They strip their own people of every possible means to express dissatisfaction with their rule and ruthlessly suppress any and all political opposition. Yet you think these very same people who very much want resources found in Japanese EEZ waters and who nurse a grudge from WWII to somehow view Japan's military weakness in a favorable light, smile and leave them alone? You're crazy. When people in the CCP see weakness they are like wolves who see this weakness as their golden opportunity to attack.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Of course, it can always be done covertly and quietly.

Lots of different weapons can fit in a Mk 41 VLS cell. Just saying .......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaToday  12:21 pm JST

If Japan turned out to be no threat for putative adversaries, they would certainly sheathe their strike missiles as well. If they didn't, it's because they knew they were always exposed to the danger of being hit by U.S. strike forces.

We already have a live example of what happens to countries that are "no threat" to the "putative adversary":

The Phillippines.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not enough appetite for war even in China where Xi likes to rattle swords. He’d have a major revolt on his hands. People are making too much money, traveling a lot (when not locked in because of COVID-19), etc. North Korea can start something but can’t finish it. I’ve never worried.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki,

Did anyone fire missiles against the Philippines because U.S. bases had been withdrawn from there? Isn't the U.S. Seventh Fleet, which is not based in the Philippines, navigating in waters near there to demonstrate their right to Freedom of Navigation and to scare off an assertive China? Do you think if the U.S. Navy had been based at the Subic Bay, the tactic would have worked more effectively?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dis-robe my naivity ; I don't expect any country worth it's salt would tell the truth about it's military capabilities-or lack thereof, much less a master-deceiver like you-know-who.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Halwick,

So long as the U.S. continues to cover Japan with its military bases on mainland Japan and Okinawa, Japan sees no need to have strike capability and no need to revise its pacifist constitution as you say.

Regardless of the U.S. military presence in mainland Japan or Okinawa, there is no need for U.S. strike capability here. Either China or North Korea is an enemy only for the U.S. per se but why should they be for Japan? Japan should pursue omnidirectional diplomacy of its own as an independent sovereignty.

Would the U.S. tolerate that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would the U.S. tolerate that?

That's the question at issue. I remember former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer threatening then Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira in a magazine dialogue by saying that if Japan took that course, the U.S. would physically occupy Japan once again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Did anyone fire missiles against the Philippines because U.S. bases had been withdrawn from there? Isn't the U.S. Seventh Fleet, which is not based in the Philippines, navigating in waters near there to demonstrate their right to Freedom of Navigation and to scare off an assertive China? Do you think if the U.S. Navy had been based at the Subic Bay, the tactic would have worked more effectively?

In the absence of a permanent US military presence in the Philippines the Chinese have taken Philippine islands from them, including Scarborough Shoals which is not very far from the mouth of Subic Bay. I would argue the Chinese would have never done this if the US still had forces stationed there permanently as they did until 1992. Let's see what happens now that the Philippine President has authorized oil exploration in the Philippine EEZ, which is well inside China's so-called "9 dash line".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I dis-robe my naivity ; I don't expect any country worth it's salt would tell the truth about it's military capabilities-or lack thereof, much less a master-deceiver like you-know-who.

How am I being deceptive? Be specific.

Of course no nation shares all of its military capabilities with the public. All nations have their secrets. However most nations have a military intelligence arm that studies the capabilities of adversary nations seeking to understand the full capabilities of their adversaries so they are not surprised if combat were to occur. They will use technical means to learn the exact operating parameters of their weapons and sensors, and use human intelligence to find out what certain adversaries are planning or to get inside the minds of their leadership. You have to understand the Chinese. They have hot tempers and sharp elbows. They are aggressive and argumentative. And most of them are not educated about world events we all know. The history they are taught is sino-centric. Most Chinese know nothing of the many conflicts in the Middle East, know very little about WWII other than Mao beat the Japanese and they are taught China won the Korean War. They are not taught about the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese war, the Falklands War, what NATO is about, nor are they taught about the 1956 Hungarian uprising or the 1971 Czech uprising. Only the top Communist leadership knows the full story of how the USSR came apart. The rest of the Chinese population is never allowed to know the full story. Chinese students are never taught about the American Revolution nor are they allowed to read the writings of Americas founders or Abraham Lincoln. Their words are banned in China. The problem therefore is that the Chinese operate in a partial information vacuum and thus they see the world much differently than the west does. That can lead them to making tragically bad decisions. You can see this with Chairman Xi, who often seems to go out of his way to make enemies both inside and outside China. He lacks the historical knowledge to make wise decisions. Don't expect the Chinese to think like we do. They don't. China and the west will look at the same event or object and they both see two entirely different things. You need to abandon your own ethical and moral values and see the world as the Chinese see it. They seek peace only insofar as it makes them more powerful and other nations less so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise, 

The Philippines was colonized by Spain from 1565 to 1898 and by the U.S. from 1898 to 1946. They were trampled by Western powers for almost 400 years.

The U.S. Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base were the vestiges of those dark colonial days. When these vestiges of colonialism were gone, the Philippines attained its true independence, I think. 

You say the U.S. military presence should have continued because China would overtake them. The catch is: do the people of the Philippines think likewise and will they like it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponNov. 6  09:51 am JST

Tokyo-Engr What guarantee does Japan have of ''Anyone who instigated such an attack would be Subjected to immediate and certain annihilation''? Sounds like a dream and fantasy. Japan doesn't control that decision.

What will happen is, Japan has to call America the White House, US President.

You really think that one of the 23 US bases in Japan won't notify the Pentagon if Japan comes under attack?

HalwickNov. 6  10:04 am JST

In order to have strike capability, Japan's Article 9 would have to be modified. Apparently lawmakers are not willing to do so. And since Japan is not willing to acquire strike capability, it will have to continue relying on the U.S. for protection and continue hosting U.S. forces on mainland Japan and Okinawa. When China fortifies the Senkaku Islands, Japan won't be able to anything about it.

The JSDF is already quite capable of defending the Senkakus. Having "first strike" capability or even Article 9 under it's present wording has nothing to do with that,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OssanAmericaNov. 7  04:11 pm JST

The JSDF is already quite capable of defending the Senkakus. Having "first strike" capability or even Article 9 under it's present wording has nothing to do with that,

Well, I don't doubt militarily the JSDF is quite capable of defending the Senkakus. But does the government leadership have the political will to order the JSDF to do so? So far, all I've seen is the Japanese government hiding behind the Article 9, claiming it does not allow them to settle issues with military force and instead sends ineffective protests to the UN, which China ignores.

The day will come when China will begin fortifying the Senkakus and claim the island as its own, and then it will eventually claim the Ryukyus.

When the wording of the Article 9 is changed to allow the JSDF to have a "first strike" capability and the government is willing to implement it when Japanese territory is threatened, then China may have some respect for Japan. Otherwise, Japan will continue to be subordinate to the U.S. and relying on their protection.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You say the U.S. military presence should have continued because China would overtake them. The catch is: do the people of the Philippines think likewise and will they like it?

In short, yes. There was already pressure coming from China over some Philippine claimed islands in the Spratleys and the Defense Secretary at the time raised this matter during the negotiations over the lease renewal for Subic and Clark. The people of the Philippines were split on the matter and ambivalent about China. They remain split to this day. However I stand by my original statement that had the US been able to keep their forces at Clark and Subic the Chinese would not have taken Philippine islands and in particular Scarborough Reef. Note that the US still has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines but absent US forces on their territory the Chinese do not respect Philippine territorial integrity. This fact has implications for Japan and South Korea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I don't doubt militarily the JSDF is quite capable of defending the Senkakus. 

With their current force structure they emphatically are not. Chinese forces could arrive with two aircraft carriers, two large LHDs and two large LPDs, plus dozens of high quality DDGs and FFGs along with SSNs. As high quality as Japanese forces are, Japan does not have the fleet necessary to defeat such a Chinese force, and Japan lacks the amphibious capability to take the islands back after a Chinese capture. As much as I admire the JMSDF one has to be realistic about their capabilities. Converting Izumo and Kaga to carry F-35Bs is only a partial solution. The JMSDF needs long range anti ship missiles on both its surface shooters and its submarines and those F-35Bs need to be carrying JSMs or similar in their weapons bays. Japan also needs to put long range anti-ship missiles on their Kawasaki P-1s and use them like the Chinese use their J-8s or the Russians use their TU-95s. Having land based anti-ship missiles on Japan's many small islands wouldn't hurt either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise,

There was already pressure coming from China over some Philippine claimed islands in the Spratleys and the Defense Secretary at the time raised this matter during the negotiations over the lease renewal for Subic and Clark.

If what you mention here is true, the Philippines side already felt pressure from China's advance into waters near them. So in negotiations to continue using Subic and Clark as they were, the U.S. side used that as a bargaining chip but to no avail.

That means the Philippines chose freedom and independence over being a client state too dependent on the U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That means the Philippines chose freedom and independence over being a client state too dependent on the U.S.

And they are now on their own against China and it has cost them territory. In the end they will become a vassal of China. Hope they are happy with that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Be happy by restoring Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base to the status quo ante? Both districts have now become thriving special freeport economic zones completely shedding off erstwhile military economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Be happy by restoring Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base to the status quo ante? Both districts have now become thriving special freeport economic zones completely shedding off erstwhile military economy.

The shipyard in Subic Bay owned by Hanjin is up for sale. Hanjin went bankrupt. There is no assurance any other firm wants to take it on. Hanjin has been undercut on price by the Chinese state owned shipyards and Chinese investors may end up with the Hanjin yard in Subic Bay. The Philippine Navy would very much like an Australian/US investment group proposal to win but there are two Chinese bids and the Philippine President is hostile to the US so time will tell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hanjin is a Korean-owned shipbuilding company. It's located not in Subic Bay Freeport Area but on the other side of the bay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's located not in Subic Bay.

Incorrect. It is on the west shore of the bay. Keppel also has a yard on the north shore of the bay next to Subic City. I just happen to know the area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise,

Incorrect. It is on the west shore of the bay

What' wrong in my assertion that Hanjin is located not in Subic Bay Freeport Zone but on the other side of the bay, that is, on the west shore of the bay. 

Is the whole bay area including where Subic City is located designated as Subic Bay Freeport Zone? The source in my hand doesn't say so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What' wrong in my assertion that Hanjin is located not in Subic Bay Freeport Zone but on the other side of the bay, that is, on the west shore of the bay. 

I said the Hanjin yard was on Subic Bay. I never mentioned anything about the Freeport Zone. Go back and read what I wrote. Saying the Hanjin Yard is in Subic Bay is a true statement. It is also true that Hanjin has been in bankruptcy since 2016 and the yard is for sale. The eventual buyer has not been determined but there are two Chinese suitors along with a bid by a consortium of Austal and Cerebus. The Philippine Navy wants the latter to get the yard but the Philippine President may have other ideas. He is close to the Chinese. In any event absent US forces in the Philippines they are basically at China's mercy now. For me I could care less. They are a corrupt and immoral society. The smart ones mostly leave to live abroad. Kind of like the southern European sewer some of my grandparents and other relatives fled 120 years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise,

Saying the Hanjin Yard is in Subic Bay is a true statement.

So what's that to do with Subic Bay Freeport Zone, which seems to be thriving by shedding off base economy? To counter this, you brought up the case of the Hanjin shipyard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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