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Japan able to aid U.S. ships under attack, says defense minister

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About. Damn. Time.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Common sense to defend an ally, especially one that has protected you for the last seven decades.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

This will piss someone off.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Chuck Hagel looks happy. I think Japan did a good thing.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

How the tables have turned !!!!!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

That's good for both Japan and the United States. It's not all sake and roses between Washington and Tokyo but if you dig beneath the noisy atmospherics and look at substance, the U.S.-Japan relationship is doing fine. Japan is a key staging area for American armed might. This arrangement serves both sides, permitting U.S. forces to hold the dominant military position in the Pacific and providing Japan a security shield.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

This move by Japan was never possible if USA were against it. The USA are okay with it, of ccourse, they wanted this. So it's hypocritical to criticize Japan, when it's doing what its prominent military partner wants.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I think you have to be able to help a friend.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Japan's decision to reinterpret its pacifist constitution has provoked anger at home as well as among its neighbors, with China expressing outrage and alarm.

"China expressing outrage and alarm" sure it is alarmed but not because Japan 'could'... 'might' attack China but more so because Japan is even more buddy-buddy with the U.S. now and THAT IS ALARMING FOR CHINA WHICH WANTS TO CONTROL THE AREA.

Why else would a country like China be spending so much of their GDP to build up a military? Are they afraid of North Korea? Is China worried about Russia? Surely, China doesn't think that Japan wants to attack them? What could Japan possibly gain? Of course, this is a rational and sane course of thinking which, silly me, what was I thinking when I was expecting China to be rational and sane. Now that would be silly.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They always go out of their way to emphasize U.S. Navy ships under attack as if this is the only situation that the JSDF can respond but what about if U.S. ground forces are under attack. Can JSDF ground forces come to the aid of U.S. ground forces if they are under attack?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here we go, inching closer to war--Abe's hypocritical claims to the contrary notwithstanding. So should the US take unilateral military action some somewhere Japan will be automatically involved. What is next? Japan can take military action when it feels bad vibes? It will be coming unless we stand up for Article 9 that forbids all this.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Onodera said Japan was always open to dialogue with China but if faced with “unilateral” actions, “we must respond firmly.”

Pyongyang-esque rhetoric.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

let's hope there's no 'friendly fire' between these two close allies i.e US-Japan.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Perhaps Onodera is right: Japan can aid US by receiving 2 unclear things dropped by China, so US gets safer somehow.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

I spend a fair bit of time on the road here and since the govt changed article 9 I have noticed a lot more military traffic, I was down around Fuji today and there was a lot military movement, it almost seems like they have no been empowered and are not impotent any longer, good to see.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

If U.S. warships were sent to defend Japan, and those ships were attacked, the Japanese "constitution was interpreted to say we could not help that ship,"

That must be the biggest IF in the history of the English language. IF martians landed tomorrow.... IF the moon was made of cheese...

Not sure why the J right are convinced of (or at least scaremongering about) an attack by China, what actually would China achieve? Lets see.... no oil, no coal, no gold, inefficient farming, inefficient government, 25% of the population retired.

China has won the economic war with Japan, that's enough. Look at the back of your Japanese electronic gizmo, made in ....... where?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I'm not sure Japan would be very much help to the U.S. fleet. After all, didn't we just here that there couldn't be a mass shooting on a Japanese base because their guns are triple-triple locked. And they only train with around 20 rounds per month. If the Japanese SDF Navy trains like that, it would probably be better if they just stayed in port. The whole thing is sad, as I always admired that the Japanese had a pacifist constitution. It gave me a glimmer of hope that mankind might learn to live in peace. That said, China must be kicking itself for blowing their international cred, by being bellicose, and letting Japan back into the game.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Would the JMSDF come to the aid of a Royal Navy vessel if it came under attack? Royal Australian Navy? French Navy? We're all allies, or is this a US-Japan alliance only?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ReformedBasher Jul. 12, 2014 - 04:56PM JST

Common sense to defend an ally, especially one that has protected you for the last seven decades.

That's all fine and dandy until you stop and realize Japan is a constitutional democracy and this concept is in direct violation of Article 9 of the constitution. Why is this concept so hard to comprehend for some of you? Wonder if some of you would be so supportive of your president deciding to reinterpret or ignore your constitution and then take actions that were in direct violation of the articles in it? Let me guess, you think your current president is in fact doing just that and are calling for his impeachment no less! Here is Article 9 for you one more time.

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized. Maybe some of you think constitutions are nothing more than suggestions or advice which the politicians and bureaucrats can follow or disregard as they like. Maybe the Japanese should just relinquish ALL their rights and just trust Abe, his comrades and the bureaucrats to tell them what to think and what is in their best interests. Oh yeah, it wasn't so long ago that Japan was in such a state and look where that got them! A constitution to prevent it from ever happening again.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The world has NEVER been very peaceful. It never will be very peaceful. United democracies can be a great deterrent to countries that might want to do something they ought not.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Finally, good for both countries.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Now that Japan and the US have joined forces militarily, the military expenditure by China is pittance. China should from henceforth spend more on the military to protect hegemony forces so that she will not be humiliated and devastated once again! In this way we in ASEAN can prevent from suffering like we did the last time!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I think Japan means only US as France, UK, etc forces do not have bases in Japan. Also, does not mean S Korea. If SK is attacked by whatever countries and US is involved, Japan has no plan to help, I'd bet. US bases in SK is not in Japan, anyway.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

US will not likely need Japan's help but they may use Japan warships as a shield In in big war game with China.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Thunderbird2Jul. 12, 2014 - 10:47PM JST Would the JMSDF come to the aid of a Royal Navy vessel if it came under attack? Royal Australian Navy? French >Navy? We're all allies, or is this a US-Japan alliance only?

I believe that the wording is Japan can assist a "close country" which I believe is based on security agreements. The U.S, is the most obvious example but Australia is likely included, If Japan concludes agreements with NATO that answers the rest of your question, If they haven't already, it's obvious that they will very soon, I think it's safe to say that they won't be assisting China, And frankly, they shouldn't help South Korea either.

The US has been pushing Japan in this direction since 1950 when the Korean War broke out for decades without success. But it took China just 4 years to accomplish what we could not, Well done China.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

keep in mind this is only if we where aiding japan no if we where in a fight they had no part of

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“This bold, historic, landmark decision will enable Japan to significantly increase its contribution to regional and global security and expand its role on the world stage,” Hagel said.

Translation: One step closer to Dumping Art. 9.

For an interesting perspective, check out the following:

http://www.worldsecuritynetwork.com/Japan/Soeya-Yoshihide/Revision-of-Article-9-Should-Assume-New-Security-Treaty-with-US

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They always go out of their way to emphasize U.S. Navy ships under attack as if this is the only situation that the JSDF can respond but what about if U.S. ground forces are under attack. Can JSDF ground forces come to the aid of U.S. ground forces if they are under attack?

japan4life -- exactly. Or let's say the U.S. and China got into a dog-fight somewhere over the South China Sea? Does Japan respond? In theory I am in support of Japan taking a greater role in what amounts to its own defense/defending its interests. What bothers me is the ambiguity of it all, and the almost childish manner in which Abe and his Cabinet are explaining it -- like the silly catoonish map Abe used in his press conference a week or so back. This is not a game, real lives will be put in harm's way, and the country has a right to know what the parameters are.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And frankly, they shouldn't help South Korea either.

Ossan -- nonsense. Your prejudice against SK is clouding your judgement. The U.S. has a mutual defense pact with SK, just like they do with Japan. So let's say ships from all three are sweeping for mines in the Persian Gulf, and patrol boats from Iran starts shooting at them. Does Japan not shoot at the ones targeting the SK ships?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

USA is happy for this coz its goin to be usin the JSDF as shield incase of any war. These guys are fed up of losing their well trained men but luckily a volteer showed up the JSDF . Enjoy the frontline

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

About time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

jerseyboyJul. 13, 2014 - 06:08AM JST "And frankly, they shouldn't help South Korea either." Ossan -- nonsense. Your prejudice against SK is clouding your judgement. The U.S. has a mutual defense pact with >SK, just like they do with Japan. So let's say ships from all three are sweeping for mines in the Persian Gulf, and >patrol boats from Iran starts shooting at them. Does Japan not shoot at the ones targeting the SK ships?

Nonsense? South Korea is the only "alleged" US Ally that has been critical of Japan's move to adopt Collective Defense. As for "prejudice" can't compete with global South Korean anti-Japan nonsense. Do you deny that South Korea, from the Park regime down to the nationalists all hate Japan? Why then should Japan risk lives to help a country and people who hate them?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

jerseyboy "Does Japan not shoot at the ones targeting the SK ships?"

Many of us Japanese seriously believe that if we shoot NK ships to protect SK ships, SK ships will fire at us Japanese for whatever the reason we don't understand. I am not kidding.

Interestingly, most Japanese never thought about not helping SK before. Not about directly using force against NK, but supporting SK and US by protecting US deployment routes would have been commonly understood function of SDF I guess.

But last few months I've been hearing Japan's option to totally staying away from Korean conflict if it occurs, it's discussed even among high rank officials. It's because many people in Japan realized supporting SK means being target of NK nukes and we have no reason to take that risk for SK that hates Japan from the deepest of its heart.

This includes Japan's not allowing USFJ to directly deploy from their bases in Japan.

I think things are changing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@ReformedBasher Jul. 12, 2014 - 04:56PM JST

Common sense to defend an ally, especially one that has protected you for the last seven decades.

That's all fine and dandy until you stop and realize Japan is a constitutional democracy and this concept is in direct violation of Article 9 of the constitution. Why is this concept so hard to comprehend for some of you? Wonder if some of you would be so supportive of your president deciding to reinterpret or ignore your constitution and then take actions that were in direct violation of the articles in it? Let me guess, you think your current president is in fact doing just that and are calling for his impeachment no less! Here is Article 9 for you one more time.

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

Maybe some of you think constitutions are nothing more than suggestions or advice which the politicians and bureaucrats can follow or disregard as they like. Maybe the Japanese should just relinquish ALL their rights and just trust Abe, his comrades and the bureaucrats to tell them what to think and what is in their best interests. Oh yeah, it wasn't so long ago that Japan was in such a state and look where that got them, a constitution to prevent it from ever happening again.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But last few months I've been hearing Japan's option to totally staying away from Korean conflict if it occurs, it's discussed even among high rank officials. It's because many people in Japan realized supporting SK means being target of NK nukes and we have no reason to take that risk for SK that hates Japan from the deepest of its heart.

jj1067 -- huh? So if NK attacks a U.S. ship in the Sea of Japan, Japan would respond, right? But not if it is an SK ship patroling in conjunction with the SK and the U.S.? What sense does that make?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

jerseyboy US is our ally. SK is not and they may attack us. SK government takes recent Japan's collective self-defense decision as a threat and demanding Japan not to protect them. Not to mention they take JMSDF flag as hostile symbol.

Japan's supporting US and not supporting SK makes sense to us.

But I guess the biggest reason is that probability of Japan's getting involved being more realistic, Japanese started to think more seriously about NK nuke missiles which is a necessary risk of supporting US but unnecessary risk of supporting SK.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

South Korea is the only "alleged" US Ally that has been critical of Japan's move to adopt Collective Defense.

US is our ally. SK is not and they may attack us.

Ossan and jj -- the absurdity of these comments speak for themselves. What you two are basically saying is that Abe went to all the trouble of revising the intrepretation of Article 9 just to assist the U.S., because they have no other real allies in the Northern Pacific, right? But, just so I make sure I 100% understand, if SK does attack Japan as jj seems to think is going to happen, which side will the U.S. be on?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

jerseyboyJul. 13, 2014 - 08:17AM JST jj1067 -- huh? So if NK attacks a U.S. ship in the Sea of Japan, Japan would respond, right? But not if it is an SK ship >patroling in conjunction with the SK and the U.S.? What sense does that make?

That's the question you should be asking Koreans. Why does South Korea persist in it's Japan-hate agenda? What does it gain from it other than to appease China and simultaneously Irk the U.S. and Japan? If Japanese hated Americans the way Koreans hate Japanese I would be for dissolving the US-Japan Security Agreement. Fortunately they don't even though we certainly did a lot worse to their civilians than the Japanese ever did to their Korean colonial subjects.

Ossan and jj -- the absurdity of these comments speak for themselves. What you two are basically saying is that Abe >went to all the trouble of revising the intrepretation of Article 9 just to assist the U.S., because they have no other real >allies in the Northern Pacific, right? But, just so I make sure I 100% understand, if SK does attack Japan as jj seems to >think is going to happen, which side will the U.S. be on?

There is absolutely nothing absurd with what I am saying. You haven't answered my question of why should Japan risk Japanese lives to protect South Korea which hates them? Let's start from there. Right now South Korea will not attack Japan. One, they don't stand a chance militarily. Two, the United States would not let them. Only if South Korea comes open with it's alliance with China and breaks all US security ties could that happen.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

US ships patrol around Japan. Of cause. SK ships patrol around Japan? Can they do? SK's best ally now is China, not US. China and SK have reason to hate Japan. So, Japan can use Self Defence as a good excuse to shoot SK ship invaded to Japanese territorial sea? This time, Japan will not be accused creating WW III., I'd bet.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yes, I'm sure the US is relieved that they can now be helped by the Japanese. I'm sure the situation where the US Navy was wondering what to do happens practically all the time ... If only Japan were around to help, they say to themselves, then we could feel safe. Puleeze, it isn't about that. This is a chance to sell lots of weapons to the Japanese, and a way for Japanese electronics firms to get in on some defense contracts. This is business. It's also a way to justify building up Japanese defensive and offensive capability, and to become more of a key player in the world of war. Look for a military buildup next. Also look for more cooperation, not less, with the South Koreans. The US wants it, and will move things so that it happens.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan is a country under semi-occupation by the U.S. It provides 88 bases for free to the U.S. military, in addition to vast water areas and airspace. Japanese taxpayers are obliged to shoulder nearly 200 billion dollars annually for the operation and maintenance of these bases. They also have to pay large sums of money as noise-pollution compensation to residents living around bases and as annoyance payments to base-hosting municipalities (41 in Okinawa alone).

If the U.S. demands a new base to be built for a dilapidated one, Japan must be obliged to. The Futenma-to-Henoko relocation issue exemplifies this clearly. . Now, Washington has been pressing Tokyo for more contribution as if Japan's physical and monetary contribution were not enough, saying the U.S. was protecting Japan while Japan was not protecting the U.S. The bilateral alliance is unequal and lopsided, Washington says, thus coercing Tokyo to revise or re-interpret Article 9 of the constitution so that the JSDF could exercise the right to collective self-defense and help U.S. forces fighting war.

To me, the U.S. demand seems exorbitantly unjust. Hagel's smiles in the photo look like a contended villain's while Onodera's like a servant's obsequious smiles.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@voiceofokinawan: China and S Korea are cozy now. Okinawan base to another Okinawan location is not going to protect Japan from S Korean ships move around Kokura, Moji, Shimonoseki and other mainland Japanese ports on Nihon-kai. Okinawa is not only Japan that China and/or S Korea may attack. It is not 200 billion dollars. It is 200 billion yen ($2 billion +). Washington is demanding the same level of money it received last year, not demanding more. It is bad and so we don't have to fabricare numbers or criticize how they pose to camera. I think Hagel is happy as he knows well that S Korea is now China;s ally.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

FarmboyJul. 14, 2014 - 03:27PM JST Yes, I'm sure the US is relieved that they can now be helped by the Japanese. I'm sure the situation where the US >Navy was wondering what to do happens practically all the time ... If only Japan were around to help, they say to >themselves, then we could feel safe. Puleeze, it isn't about that.

No it is about that, as well as everything else. How many US servicemen and women are pleased by this? How many US citizens are happy that the one-side security arrangement is moving towards a balanced one as the US has pushed to achieve for the last six decades?

This is a chance to sell lots of weapons to the Japanese, and a way for Japanese electronics firms to get in on some >defense contracts. This is business.

Yup. It already has been for years. Japanese optics are what made "smart bombs" effective in Gulf War I. It will simply be legitimized now.

It's also a way to justify building up Japanese defensive and offensive capability, and to become more of a key player >in the world of war. Look for a military buildup next.

Nonsense. Defense capability will be built up but offensive capability with mostly be with contribution to UIS joint projects. Japan barely wants to be a participant, much less a "key player" in the world of war.

Also look for more cooperation, not less, with the South Koreans. The US wants it, and will move things so that it >happens.

Only if the Sinophile Park is out of office and the U.S. threatens to pull our 30,000 troops out of South Korea.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

For about 70 years, Japanese military personell have had zero fighting and battlefield experience. They haven't had the training or the mindset for war since all these special civil servants had been trained for defines. They can also resign from the Self Defence Forces with nothing more than a one month notice?

I don't think they'll be many US troops willing to put their lives in the hands of their Japanese counterparts?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

toshiko:

Thank you for the correction of my mistake in dollar yen conversion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan will not be able to break free from cycles of war with re-armament. Abolishing Article 9 has done nothing more than exponentially increasing chance for war... it sure hasn't increased any opportunity for peace...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good boy, we know, we know, you don’t have to keep wagging your tail. You just have to bite the enemy with your new fangs, that’s all we need of you. Surely such a dog would be peaceful when the word “attack” is not included in the command.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

China should from henceforth spend more on the military to protect hegemony forces so that she will not be humiliated and devastated once again

I'll save you some money: ya going to be humiliated and devastated until you realize the importance of freedom of speech. To the rest of the world, especially.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

scipantheist Jul. 15, 2014 - 05:06AM JST I'll save you some money: ya going to be humiliated and devastated until you realize the importance of freedom of speech. To the rest of the world, especially.

What freedom of speech? Compare to China, one of the motivations was human rights. Having privacy in U.S. is very important from a freedom of speech standpoint. However, U.S., citizens cannot send an email without fear that somebody is watching you. What this really shows is that Google is not really trustworthy. Google makes money by scanning your emails and feeding you ads off of what you’re writing about; part of their core structure is to allow Gmail to read your emails and use your data. Sounds like a freedom of speech.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nonsense. Defense capability will be built up but offensive capability with mostly be with contribution to UIS joint projects. Japan barely wants to be a participant, much less a "key player" in the world of war.

Please note:

Tokyo, Dec 22 (Prensa Latina) The Japanese government this week finalized the purchase of U.S. high-tech weaponry as part of a defense budget estimated at more than $ 1.8 billion for the period 2014-2019.The order includes five submarines, two destroyers, 28 fighters F-35, called invisible, 17 Osprey of vertical takeoff, three drones and fifty amphibious vehicles

Well, we'll know soon enough, but these are some of the things they've already purchased, reported at the end of 2013. Not all of these weapons seem strictly defensive, and I imagine we'll be seeing more purchases like this. Keep in mind that the ban on the export of weapons was also recently lifted, so Japan will be increasing sales as well as purchases.

I agree with you that Japan, meaning the people of Japan, mostly don't want to move in this direction, but I think the current administration would really like to see a Japan that is tough militarily, and is taking steps to bring this about. I think Abe is a strong leader, but he may be leading in a direction the people don't want to go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Farmboy, I'm aware of Japan's current shopping list. But I don't see ballistic or even cruise missiles, strategic bombers, full sized carriers, etc. So far everything is still pretty defensive. As I said, most truly offensive stiff will be joint development with the U.S. I agree that Japan wants to become tough militarily, but small, defensive and equipped with the best. It doesn't want tl become the largest military in Asia or accumulate ICBMs. There is already a waiting market for Japanese made military products, not necessarily first line weaponry. As for the people who are against what Abe is doing either they have no idea of the current international environment and/or they want to continue the free ride of the inequitable US-Japan alliance.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

sfjp330 I never know where you stand on the issue of democracy. I can see you are no fan of China or S. Korea, but you also hate the United States? We don't have hate speech laws in the US and freedom of speech is guaranteed explicitly in the constitution. Any privacy violations are really not of the same danger to democracy as censorship. And the internet provides ways of protecting both in the US. Can you really say the same about any other country, even Japan? My understanding is also that Japan has neither the will, the population, or the money to take on China on its own. At least acknowledging you need the US to fight them would be a step in the right direction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Situation in the world change. So, when China and S Korea get together to have joint propagandas to attack Japan's past, Japanese Govt become paranoia. So, Abe etc are preparing in case S Korea and.or China invade into Japanese territorial sea. Japanese SDF does not have war experience like USA Military Forces. Not because USA need JSDF but Japan needs USA to defend from China/S Korea/ However, I smell that real reason to add this re-interpretation is Japan has a big plan to establish war weaponery industry, the only industry USA dominate. Almost 70 years, Japan has experience in money money money is more successful and cheaper than make war.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

scipantheist Jul. 15, 2014 - 03:02PM JST My understanding is also that Japan has neither the will, the population, or the money to take on China on its own. At least acknowledging you need the US to fight them would be a step in the right direction.

Reality is actually quite the contrary. Our government, our lives, and most of the so called modern world are slaves to the central banking system and the fiat currency that have been siphoning our freedom since it’s inception.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nowhere in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is stated that the U.S. Marines are entitled to station in Japan. The English version of Article 6 of the treaty vaguely states: "[T]he United States of America is granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan," using terms in combat situations. The Japanese version is more concrete, stating explicitly that those forces are the Army, Air Force and Navy, with the Marines excluded.

Before they discuss how the JSDF can cooperate effectively with the USFJ by revising or reinterpreting the peace constitution, they should discuss if the U.S. military presence in Japan is legitimate at all for starters.

Note that the U.S. forces are using bases, water areas and air space in Japan for whatever purpose they want, despite the fact that Article 6 of the treaty stipulates the U.S. is granted to use these bases for "the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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