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Japan must radically speed defense build-up: Kishi

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Kishi also said Japan considers issues related to Taiwan "as our own problem"

Much should be read into that, as Japan's constitution limits use of its military for self-defense - but if defending Taiwan is considered part of Japan's self-defense, then it's theoretically possible.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Spending 2% of GDP on defense would not bankrupt or even slow down Japanese economy noticeably but would allow Japan to afford the technologies it needs to defend its territory against a peer enemy in a high end fight.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

I've been here for 20 years and can't think of a single thing that Japan has "radically speeded up"

14 ( +25 / -11 )

Stop building up arms Japan. History has shown that each time you build up defense (aka military), you have created a mess, just like we’re in now.

-5 ( +17 / -22 )

I think there are some other things Japan should be rapidly speeding up right now. This can wait.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

The Defence Ministry has made one costly blunder after another, now they want to speed up their blundering?

Watch that 2% expand due to unforeseen blowouts, failed decision making and useless projects. Then there’s the the recruiting issues, who’s going to operate these systems? This is more tied to generating fear before an election. And a LDP need to be seen as the protector. The first step I would have thought is an overhaul of procedures for purchasing new equipment. A system of cost and return valuation. And political interference held at bay. Then let the purchases stand on their merits. I can see no good from speeding up a broken system.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Kishi "Chicken Hawks" appear to be coming back from the brink of extinction so the Japanese who value their freedoms need eagle eyes to keep these flighty pests on a tight tether lest once again they flock together.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

@Desert Tortoise

Spending 2% of GDP on defense would not bankrupt or even slow down Japanese economy

Current defense budget is already beyond Japanese government's ability to afford. Going above 1% is simply a fantasy in present day condition of Japanese government finances.

BTW, Aegis Ashore's price tag is approaching $9 billion now. Many other defense procurement programs must be cut in order for Japan to spend $9 billion on Aegis Ashore. So forget about Japan entering arms race, Japan can't even fund currently planned arms acquisition programs.

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP5N5T7QP5NUTIL01Q.html

陸上イージス代替艦、コスト倍増9千億円に 防衛省試算

昨年6月に配備を断念した陸上配備型迎撃ミサイルシステム「イージス・アショア」(陸上イージス)に代えて、政府が整備を決めた代替艦「イージス・システム搭載艦」2隻の総コストが、少なくとも9千億円近くと試算されていたことがわかった。計画当時に総コストが4500億円ほどとされた陸上イージスの2倍の水準となる。コストの総額は「1兆円規模まで膨らむ」(政府関係者)可能性がある。

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Tokyo must boost its military at a "radically different pace" than in the past to counter Beijing's growing capacity, Japan's defense minister said...

How about boosting ties between both countries instead of bringing mass misery to the people like your grandfather, the Monster of Manchuria (Class A war criminal), did. Let's try some fresh thinking and reasoning within the family and within politics in general...

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Any military is made up of the servicemen and women who actually do the job.

This article has no mention of them, especially how many an where they would be found.

As the population in Japan falls and ages the pool from which military personnel can be drawn will shrink.

That is that.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Your defense ministry is in charge of vaccinating millions, I think you should be concentrating on that and not taking your eyes off the ball. The government is not known to be able to walk and chew at the same time.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Current defense budget is already beyond Japanese government's ability to afford. Going above 1% is simply a fantasy in present day condition of Japanese government finances.

The Japanese tax burden, meaning government revenues from all sources as a percentage of GDP, is below the OECD average. Adding another percent to the overall tax burden is not going to do harm to the Japanese economy but could mean the difference between war and peace. If Japan looks weak the Chinese will come hunting. Look what they are doing to the Philippines.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

No need to speed up military stuff. It is just to satisfy connections and businesses / lobbies with contracts and money from the taxpayers.

Tokyo must boost its military at a "radically different pace"

Bet the pace will be much faster than the covid vaccination

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Glad he focuses on the real issues after promising to consider to do something about the vaccine booking system. Putting empty claims and military strongmanship before human lives. His grandad would be proud.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Known for his brutal rule of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo in Northeast China in the 1930s, Kishi was nicknamed the "Monster of Manchuria" (満州の妖怪; Manshū no yōkai).

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Because they, themselves, were incredibly bad custodians of power and responsibility when they had it, they now can't trust anyone else to have it and use it wisely. They see it " in their own image". And this includes the US.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

If Japan looks weak the Chinese will come hunting. Look what they are doing to the Philippines.

There is a huge difference between Japan and the Philippines regarding the number of American forces present.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Dialogue. Diplomacy. Exchange of ideas.

There is no point in becoming the aggressor like Beijing or Washington.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

China won't touch Japan.

Thanks to Trump.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

So what this really mean, considering Abe's loosening of laws regulating the export of weapons, is that Japan's military industry and their political friends seek to profit by transferring our taxes through the corporate welfare scam. Using the hot-button issue of China is an easy way to get the public to go along with their own impoverishment.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

That's why Article 9 needs to be changed.

No other country has such restrictions.

Germany, involved in WW1 and WW2 doesn't have such restrictions in 2021.

Our military budget is 1/5 of China's budget and getting worse each year for Japan.

This changes should have taken place already in 2005-2010. We are already far behind China in many areas when it comes to military capabilities.

If you remove America out of the picture..... How Safe Do You Feel for Japan? ? ?

How long will it take for change? How many Japanese citizens have to die before you take our security seriously instead of a joke.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Let me ask what for you have US army on japanese soil than?

Send americans home and build real army.

What is problem with that?

As sovereign country Japan should be able to do that!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

How Safe Do You Feel for Japan? ? ?

VERY! (As long as the baleful military mentality in Japan is kept on a very tight leash by civilian control under the watchful eyes of its citizens to snuff out the slightest whiff of a coup by revanchist, neo-nationalist, self-styled samurai.)

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Japans current spending on defense is low. NATO nations are expected to spend a minimum of 2% although many fall below that level currently. The US spends over 4%. Australia is around 2% and it really needs to speed up procurement like Japan and needs to spend 3-4% for the next decade at least.

With China continuing its massive naval buildup even after becoming the number one nation by ship numbers, and without a reason necessitating such frantic building, others must keep pace or be swamped when China decides to wield its military might.

By using alliances the individual military spending can be kept to a minimum by nations in such alliances. Japan would need to ditch article 9 to enable it to enter such alliances for reciprocal military assistance.

Basically this is all driven by China's manic buildup of its military as it attempts to surpass Russia and America in military strength.

Designing and manufacturing domestically ensures a boost to the economy and hiring more defense personnel reduces the unemployment in nations that need boosts to that area.

Much better if nobody was doing a huge buildup of military forces but if one nation does it and they have delusions of empire then those around must follow suit or be swallowed by the Chinese monster.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Considering that even a starving and underdeveloped small economy like North Korea can easily fire potentially atomic warheads equipped missiles into or over Japanese territory , what they’ve already done multiple times as you know, and all that cases are still unanswered and also couldn’t be answered adequately if they happen again, that Mr. Kishi is of course more than right on this topic. And that’s not even China taken into account. Considering their potential and behavior in the whole region, that all radically speed up of defense should already long time have happened and finished by ‘yesterday’.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@Toasted Heretic

Dialogue. Diplomacy. Exchange of ideas

OK, China says "Give us Senkaku, the islands are ours". What bright ideas, what kind of diplomacy can you offer to counter that?

The history of mankind demonstrates that diplomacy really works only when it is supported by force.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

China's manic buildup of its military as it attempts to surpass Russia and America in military strength

China's military budget is 1/3 of the USA's. The USA has bases that encircle China. To "surpass America", China will need bases that encircle the USA.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

China will easily beat Russia and will be matter of time, when they catch up. They reverse engineer everything. Even Military, with direct short cut in saving money from R&D and Trial-and-Error. Second-Mover Advantage has made them a global power house, where everything we use in our daily lives comes from one country. And we are surprised by their achievements and advances. Wait when they send people to mars. Second-Mover Advantage will take first place.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Abe's brother Kishi wants to spend another 1% of GDP on defence will never save a single Japanese life.

He is in charge of a botched vaccine reservation system for just two locations in Japan, that costs peanuts.

The SDF could have easily been involved in the logistics for a mass vaccination campaign (eg.,see Canada) that would by now be saving about 100 Japanese lives per day.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Rubbish. Japan should spend as much as possible on international aid, not war.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Pure theatre from Japanese politicians.

What does Japan have that China really wants?

Milk powder and moisturizers ?

It could be the the aging infrastructure...

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Given the choice, I'm sure people would like to go to their jobs, earn a decent salary to take care of their families...and this is UNIVERSAL.

Why do we always have to read about war games and Reaganesque Star-wars programme of exponentially increasing military spending , when lives of ordinary folks is drab and dreary ? The worst is that other Superpowers' militaries are at China's doorstep doing all manners of war games leaving no doubt of their intentions, but, at the same time accuse China of belligerance. Why then don't they practice in their own backyards ? I wonder, Is their intentions just to hype war and evoke fear at home just so they can easily have HIGHER military spending allocations ? As is the case here ?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Why do we always have to read about war games

Because some of the others make constant threats on our neighbours and friends and pose a constant risk to us all.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

War is inevitable. Human Nature. Clock is ticking....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just let China and Japan scrap it out. Ban nuclear weapons. Get on with it.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Tokyo must boost its military at a "radically different pace" than in the past to counter Beijing's growing capacity, Japan's defense minister said in an interview published Thursday.

The U. S. has been prodding, nay, pressuring Japan to scrap its policy of capping the defense budget less than 1 % of its GDP. The U.S. was somewhat successful in its endeavor because Japan's defense budget in relation to its GDP is now 1.1%. 

Secretaries Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken met their Japanese counterparts, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, in Tokyo in March this year. Apparently, both visitors from Washington urged Kishi and Motegi to increase Japan's defense budget way more.

Kishi's statement that "Tokyo must boost its military at a 'radically different pace' than in the past" is apparently a response to Austin and Blinken's urging, thus paving the way to revise the precious peace constitution.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Do they not understand that by spending all of the countries money on defense and sending us further and further and further into debt, so much so that we cannot have children because raising them is so expensive, that there will be nothing left to defend?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

The worst is that other Superpowers' militaries are at China's doorstep doing all manners of war games leaving no doubt of their intentions, but, at the same time accuse China of belligerance.

The US holding drills with Japan in Japanese territory is to be expected. Japan takes part in RIMPAC exercises in US territory (even China has attended RIMPAC in the past). Why should Japan not host drills? Who is China to object to Japan hosting other nations in it's territories?

Just what intentions do you thing they have other than defense? Nobody intends on attacking china. Nobody has intended on attacking China for the past 75 years. China sets up military bases in the EEZ of Vietnam and the Philippines and wonders why others see it as belligerent? China continues to object to ships sailing through International waters in the region and you wonder why everyone says China is belligerent?

Some can close their eyes to what is happening and can only see the point of view of the CCP. Little wonder nobody can take those comments seriously.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Smithinjapan, dialogue and diplomacy are good agreed, but in limiting it to that is like entering a one legged man in an arse kicking competition! To quote Roosevelt, “ speak softly and carry a big stick” or an even older piece of wisdom that has stood the test of time “if you wish to live in peace, prepare for war”. Japan does not need to match China’s military or spending, it does need to ensure that its military power is sufficient to make it impractical for China to use military force against it. Alliances on top of that are even more beneficial.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Do it first, then talk later.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponToday  10:32 am JST

If you remove America out of the picture..... How Safe Do You Feel for Japan? ? ?

Under LDP administrations? Not very. If there's a war and that gang of useless old crooks are in charge we're all dead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Breaking News.

Moon and Biden will announce during joint press conference that US is abolishing missile guideline, permitting Korea to develop and deploy ballistic missiles of unlimited range.

Now ROK can deploy 4-ton warhead missiles with enough range to cover all of China and Japan.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210521006551315

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, May 21 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- The upcoming summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden in Washington is expected to cover the topic of abolishing the guideline on Seoul's missile use, officials said Thursday.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Current defense budget is already beyond Japanese government's ability to afford. Going above 1% is simply a fantasy in present day condition of Japanese government finances."

"Expertly" stated by a comedian who thinks (and written) that Japan lives on tourism as the main source of income!!!

With the advent of the net and creation of Google anyone can get informed and stop displaying ignorance for all to read.

"How Japan Is Upgrading Its Military"

"https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/how-japan-upgrading-its-military"

"Japan must urgently increase defense spending"

"Neighboring South Korea, meanwhile, spends 2.6% largely to deal with a smaller threat from North Korea. Japan, however, spends only 1% of its GDP on defense. Indeed, despite a request from the Ministry of Defense for an increase of 8.3% in 2021, the actual Japanese defense budget will only inch up 1.1% this year. Meanwhile, China's will grow by over 6% -- again."

"https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Japan-must-urgently-increase-defense-spending"

"a request from the Ministry of Defense for an increase of 8.3% in 2021,"

Japan should have accepted the request.

Then JT "Chinese expertise" would have something else to moan about.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What does Japan have that China really wants?

The tremendous fishery resources and oil that lie within the EEZ of Japan's many small islands. China wants to control those islands so the Japanese and US cannot bottle their fleet up behind them. China wants the island instead to act as a barrier to other navies. China considers Okinawa to be part of China. China also wants to destroy and subjugate Japan as revenge for WWII, turning it into a tributary state that China controls and who's leaders are anointed by the CCP. Does that explain what China wants. Please do not be naive when it comes to dealings with China.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Moon and Biden will announce during joint press conference that US is abolishing missile guideline, permitting Korea to develop and deploy ballistic missiles of unlimited range.

Why should ROK have one hand tied behind its back when the DPRK is building such missiles some of which will be nuclear armed? To avoid offending Japan? Come on, be serious.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@kirisupisu

What does Japan have that China really wants?

Japan is currently holding on a set of islands that Japan has a legal obligation to return to the Republic of China per the condition of surrender that Japan has not.

China is claiming those Republic of China islands as its own on the ground that it's the successor state of the Republic of China.

China considers Okinawa to be part of China.

China doesn't consider Okinawa to be part of China; it considers Okinawa to be an independent sovereign country currently under Japanese occupation.

All China wants is an independent and sovereign Ryukyu Republic that has close economic ties with China and is "neutral" in diplomacy.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Just let China and Japan scrap it out. Ban nuclear weapons. Get on with it.

Are you sure about that? It would be suicide for Japan. Ten years ago the JMSDF was capable of holding off the PLAN and the JASDF was still able to hold its own against the PLAAF. Not today. China has thousands of IRBMs with conventional warheads that could do grave damage to Japanese cities and they are now at a tipping point in having a capable amphibious assault force. Unless Japan develops big deck aircraft carriers and logistics ships very rapidly China will be able to sweep Japanese forces from the seas and attack Japanese cities directly from their aircraft carriers. The PLAAF is huge and the quality of their equipment and pilots is very high. Japan is no match any more. Without US forces fighting alongside them, Japan on its own is no match for the Chinese.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Desert Tortoise

Why should ROK have one hand tied behind its back when the DPRK is building such missiles some of which will be nuclear armed? To avoid offending Japan? 

Japan lobbied hard for the range restriction to remain in place, because Tokyo would miss the ROK ballistic missiles by 40 km or so under the range restriction. The ROK was investing in SLBMs, arsenal ships(a missile carrier with a load of 200 ballistic and cruise missiles) and air-launched ballistic missiles to overcome that last 40 km.

With the range restriction lifted, ROK's ground launched ballistic missiles can hit Tokyo directly from mainland Korea now.

So this makes the air-launched ballistic missile program moot, but the SLBM and arsenal ships launch versions will likely continue.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2019/08/rok-navy-to-get-aircraft-carrier-arsenal-ship-as-part-of-ambitious-5-year-defense-plan/

Those capabilities will be achieved via new programs:

Non-kinetic strike weapons (EMP)

Counter-stealth radar

Aircraft carrier (amphibious ship capable of deploying F-35B)

Arsenal ship armed with dozens of land attack missiles

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Samit, you are worrying about the South Koreans attacking Japan? That's not a credible threat. You dismiss the Chinese practically with a wave of the hand but fulminate about a mystical threat from South Korea? Good grief. Time to re-boot and refresh your connection to reality. China is Japan's mortal enemy. My wife is Chinese. I go there. I know how they feel about Japan. South Koreans don't like the Japanese but they are not going to go to war. China will go to war. They are completely different societies.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Btw, these much hyped "counter stealth radars" rely on a multitude of commercial broadcasts on all kinds of different frequencies reflecting off stealth aircraft. The reflected energy isn't enough to generate a firing solution for a weapon but it might under some circumstances tell an enemy they have company. It doesn't work over unpopulated or lightly populated areas where there aren't a lot of transmitters, e.g., much of the Intermountain West, Outback Australia, Gobi Desert, Xinjiang, Siberia, etc. or over the open ocean. Such a radar is practical over land in a densely populated place like Japan, South Korea or much of China but the aircraft or missiles pretty much have to very close to or right over a land before there are reflections from broadcast stations that can be detected by dedicated ground based receivers that are trying to triangulate these signals.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Desert Tortoise

you are worrying about the South Koreans attacking Japan?

They will if Japan decides to take a military action on the Liancourt Rocks.

There is an actual war plan against Japan and Japan protests against Korea having a war plan against them.

Btw, these much hyped "counter stealth radars" rely on a multitude of commercial broadcasts on all kinds of different frequencies reflecting off stealth aircraft. 

Actually Korea's counter-stealth radar system is said to be a passive triangulation system.

Basically, a powerful radar signal emitter sends out radar beam, and its reflections are picked up by a dozen receivers placed across nation, and its position is calculated using triangulation. Range is said to be 550 km for a F-22 class target. So Korea will be able to track Chinese J-20s and JASDF F-35s just like normal non-stealth jets.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210427003700325

S. Korea develops new radar technology capable of detecting stealth fighters

All News 10:24 April 27, 2021

SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) -- A state-run defense development agency said Tuesday it has completed the development of a new high power and high sensitivity radar technology capable of detecting stealth fighter jets.

The new technology will be used for wide area surveillance to monitor military aircraft operated by neighboring countries near the Korean Peninsula, according to the Agency for Defense Development.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 that Japan lives on tourism as the main source of income!!!

And with the continued decline of Japanese industry, that will be their only source of income.

"a request from the Ministry of Defense for an increase of 8.3% in 2021,"

Japan should have accepted the request.

And they didn't and cannot in the future as that requires taxing Japanese workers to death, to make up for scarce funds and a burgeoning pension system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Samit, I don't think you understand how airplanes like the F-22 and F-35 work. If there is a single emitter out there like the Korean and some Chinese radars, the US will soon know the details of its wave forms from observation. Once you know the wave forms of your adversaries radar you can do things to negate them. Stealth is really a highly advanced form of electronic warfare now. It isn't just shapes, materials and coatings. The US had much of that nailed by the 1960s. Go look at an SR-71 and see the faceting in the wings and forebody chine. With modern stealth you do things to the electromagnetic spectrum and that means you can do new things on the same airplane every time your enemy introduces a new radar through hardware and software updates.

The type of radar I am referring to is a multi static radar that uses the emissions of a myriad of civil and public service radio broadcasts, various radio and tv stations and cell phone towers as the emitters. Their coordinates on the ground are known. Their wave form is known. The receivers in a multi-static radar collects the reflections off of any aircraft in the area. The radar knows what emitter the reflection came from from its wave form and also knows its coordinates so several receivers can roughly calculate where the reflection is coming from perhaps, assuming a reflection strikes more than one receiver. Not guaranteed btw. Because it uses commercial broadcasts it is hard to jam the entire spectrum without giving away your presence and your exact location ( find out what "home on jam" is ) which defeats the whole idea of stealth. As soon as all the radio and tv stations go off everyone knows something is up. But those signals will glint off even a stealth aircraft in different ways and a multi static radar can sometimes just maybe make something out of these broken up reflections. It isn't enough to generate a targeting solution, it may not even tell them what direction the aircraft is from the receiver, but it lets you know you have visitors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With the range restriction lifted, ROK's ground launched ballistic missiles can hit Tokyo directly from mainland Korea now.

Handy to help Japan defend against invading Chinese forces.

South Korea and Japan are linked by dependence on America and as long as that is so they can argue but can not go to war with each other. They know who the real enemies are and it is not each other.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The probability of South Korea attacking Japan is vanishingly small, essentially zero. Japan isn't going to try to take Dokdo Islands from the Koreans by force. Nobody anywhere would back the Japanese and the US would likely stop it from happening. Both nations and the US are under the gun from China and North Korea. The reason the South Koreans are building ballistic missiles, and the reason the US said go ahead, is to counter the increasingly capable ballistic missiles fielded by the DPRK. The US is still a couple of years from fielding its own similar ballistic missiles, having been prevented from developing them by the old Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty. In about three to four years however there will be US ballistic missiles in service with hypersonic glide vehicles on them. The South Korean missiles are additional deterrence that is good for all three nations, Japan, South Korea and the US. South Korea firing ballistic missiles at Japan would accomplish nothing except create enormous ill will towards South Korea and great sympathy for Japan. I do not for the life of me understand why anyone even considers ROK attacking Japan a consideration.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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