politics

Abe says Japan will bolster defense after scrapping missile system

53 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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After Japan’s recent Covid-19 spending, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 250%. Printing more yen to “bolster defense” might not be the wisest move.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

so, the headline should read: Abe says Japan will bolster offensive strike capabilities after scrapping missile system. ねー

9 ( +11 / -2 )

he takes the public criticism seriously.

Clearly not when he has already vowed to resubmit his controversial bill to extend the retirement age of his cronies in the next parliamentary session. Remember when that bill caused a huge public uproar and a slide in his support ratings just a few weeks ago?

The perks of an apathetic, forgetful public and an unviable opposition.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

He just needs something, some legacy a missle, just something he can point at and say look I achieved that, he has nothing now just a broken economy, rising rates of poverty and one corruption scandal after another. Hardly a historical high light.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Offense is the best defense. The most effective deterrent against North Korean aggression is Japan acquiring nuclear capabilities.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

So he’s scrapping a system that could protect the entire archipelago because a booster might perhaps possibly fall outside the test area, but he’s vowed to strengthen defense measures.... wait, what?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@Graham DeShazo yeah, I was really confused by that too. It’s like, why not just keep the systems that you already have then? And I wonder if it’ll end up being more expensive to do it this way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So his logic is: We do not want it. We want it. Is this correct?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

he takes the public criticism seriously.

I bet he does. That's why he would like to make it a crime.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Abe isn't qualified for being a PM. It is tragedy to have him "elected", a totally flawed process.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Michael Machida

exactly.... business as usual in other words. (⌒▽⌒)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe has finally realized following the US doesn't help Japan.... best to make a deals with China, the US has doomed itself.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

After Japan’s recent Covid-19 spending, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 250%. Printing more yen to “bolster defense” might not be the wisest move.

A quick lesson on Macro Economics - this debt is almost 100% domestic and therefore not a major issue. Japan is in the fortunate position of being able to print her own sovereign currency any time they choose, to pay the debt.

250% or 1000% debt is of little concern if the debt is domestic. Nations like the USA with crippling foreign debt are the ones in a precarious situation.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

so, the headline should read: Abe says Japan will bolster offensive strike capabilities after scrapping missile system

If it is PM Abe's long range goal to reduce its dependency on the U.S. and remove U.S. military presence from mainland Japan and Okinawa, it is going to have bolster its offensive strike capabilities.

But first it is going to have to amend or modify Article 9 to allow those capabilities and allow industry to sustain that kind of military force.. DOES NOT mean Japan will renounce peace or return to its belligerent Imperial Japan military ways as the leftists would have you believe.

Isn't that what you want: Remove U.S. military forces on mainland Japan and Okinawa?

So he’s scrapping a system that could protect the entire archipelago because a booster might perhaps possibly fall outside the test area, but he’s vowed to strengthen defense measures.... wait, what?

One of these days it's going to be intentionally in Japanese waters or on Japan mainland.....booster and warhead included. Especially the way Kim Yo Jung is talking. You want to take that chance?

Although defense may be viewed as unnecessary, you'll wish you had it when the need for it arises.

Offense is the best defense. The most effective deterrent against North Korean aggression is Japan acquiring nuclear capabilities.

Japan has three adversaries: North Korea, China and Russia. The only thing keeping them in check is U.S. military presence. Once the U.S. military leaves, either willingly or pressured out, Japan will have to face those three adversaries alone. Japan acquiring nuclear capabilities and the willingness to use it would deter them from taking any aggressive actions that would destabilize the region and threaten to bottle up maritime shipping routes around Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

when economy is sinking war is coming. an old disk...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

S-400 defense system is perfect.

their planes are much cheaper, battle tested and actually work.

as we are the 7th biggest arms buyer in the world, I’m sure have enough weapons already.

unless we need new ones to attack/invade.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The fracture in the Japan/US alliance wasn't evident until now. It is beyond crazy for Japan to be ignoring huge advancements in missiles tech by China, Russia and China's proxy North Korea and abandon years of counter response efforts.

What Abe must be saying then is 'we won't defend Japan with US tech, we'll take care of ourself'.

There was a piece released in April in 'The American Interest' from an anonymous Japanese bureaucrat that was highly critical of US ignorance of China's aggression during the Obama years. Perhaps this bureaucrat was from Kono's office?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sh1mon M4sadaToday  09:42 am JST

The fracture in the Japan/US alliance wasn't evident until now

I think that's quite an exaggeration based on this one issue.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Graham Deshazo

Yes strange rationale, especially that at $30 million per missile + cost of the booster rocket in question they're not going to be firing them off unnecessarily are they?

Watch this space, there is a pivot to China ...IMO. First Abe supported the WHO when US announced funding cut, now this...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Halwick

Japan has three adversaries: North Korea, China and Russia

Why Russia? It is not a threat, they do not have any plans to attack Japan. The territorial issue is a diplomatic nuisance, but not a military threat. Russia is more friendly to Japan then South Korea (and Japan has a territorial problem with them), at least Russians do not make hostile noise at any pretext as South Koreans do.

The only thing keeping them in check is U.S. military presence

The cure is no better then illness. U.S. bases here make Japan a hostage of the U.S. foreign policy, unwilling accomplice to any American unilateral actions. Japan will be dragged into any future U.S.-China confrontation against its wish.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There was a piece released in April in 'The American Interest' from an anonymous Japanese bureaucrat that was highly critical of US ignorance of China's aggression during the Obama years. Perhaps this bureaucrat was from Kono's office?

Even without that, this has been obvious for some time now.

Just a casual look at Abe and Putins body language when meeting with Obama, spoke volumes. I never really thought either of them respected Obama. Obamas pivot to the East seemed hollow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Fighto A quick lesson on Macro Economics - this debt is almost 100% domestic and therefore not a major issue. Japan is in the fortunate position of being able to print her own sovereign currency any time they choose, to pay the debt.

This is the typical argument of debt apologists. It should be noted, however, that when government debt exceeds the amount of domestically held net financial assets, the printing party will end. And due to Japan's ageing population, the available domestic assets for issuing new bonds will eventually run out.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The cure is no better then illness. U.S. bases here make Japan a hostage of the U.S. foreign policy, unwilling accomplice to any American unilateral actions. Japan will be dragged into any future U.S.-China confrontation against its wish.

Well you didnt mention the elephant in the room. Japan lost the war, and due to that fact, the US has bases in her country. We can dance around that with this or that, but that is what makes it all go around.

They could demand the US leave but then what? The US demand Toyota get out of the US?

This dance has being going on for decades.

Yawn.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Asakaze,

The cure is no better then illness. U.S. bases here make Japan a hostage of the U.S. foreign policy,

So, what is your solution? You don't want Japan to bolster its "offensive strike capabilities", yet you don't want U.S. military presence/bases on Japan either. Make up your mind. You can't have it both ways.

As for Russia: If Russia is friendly to Japan as you say, then they shouldn't be opposed to the deployment of the Aegis missile system, especially if the system is meant to be defensive in deployment. https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/russias-objections-to-japans-aegis-ashore-decision/

Meanwhile Russia constructs nuclear ballistic missile submarine base on Kuril islands.

https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/november-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5761-russia-starting-construction-of-naval-base-in-kuril-islands.html

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Asiaman7

“the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 250%”

Not to worry. You can improve the debt-to-GDP ratio by increasing the denominator (economic growth) rather than slashing the numerator (cutting spending).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TheLongTermer

Japan lost the war, and due to that fact, the US has bases in her country.

The war ended 75 years ago. Anyway, very sobering to see the real attitude, not the usual polite blah-blah about U.S.-Japanese friendship. One more reason to get the U.S. military out of Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

you think the bases are there for....kindness and friendship?

Its a mutual benefit. Japan gets access to US markets, the US

gets one big air craft carrier in the form of an island. Japan can enjoy

peace and use its GDP to create awesome infrastructure, its youth

can be herbivores or man childs etc., I mean they like that.

If Japan would of won, they would of done the same with Alaska and

Hawaii. Forward deployed bases...to project their power.

Its life dude, nature, mechanics..all of that. Stop getting into your

feelings.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

NOT the way, WW2 is done in preparation right ???.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Asiaman7 -

This is the typical argument of debt apologists. It should be noted, however, that when government debt exceeds the amount of domestically held net financial assets, the printing party will end. And due to Japan's ageing population, the available domestic assets for issuing new bonds will eventually run out.

If this scenario ever happens, the Japanese gov't can call on foreign nations to repay their enormous debt holdings. Japan is currently the biggest creditor in the world (switching year by year with PRC). Furthermore, Japan could sell some of the foreign holdings she has ie factories, land, companies, buildings etc.

Basically when one has no foreign debt, one can control their destiny. In summary: racking up a domestic debt in the ¥Trillions to beef up the Japanese Military, will not be a burden, since Japan will be paying herself to produce the hardware, aircraft carriers, strike planes etc.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Halwick

So, what is your solution? You don't want Japan to bolster its "offensive strike capabilities",

I did not say I was against offensive capabilities. My solution: all necessary strike capabilities for Japan, independent military industry, independent foreign policy, no U.S. bases in Japan. China with its claims on Senkaku is the only real threat. Russia is not threat at all. I can't even call North Korea a serious threat, Kim's family business is to milk Japan, not attack it. SDF can handle them.

they shouldn't be opposed to the deployment of the Aegis missile system

They have a valid point: Aegis' radars can undermine their missile deterrence against the U.S.

Russia constructs nuclear ballistic missile submarine base on Kuril islands

Read again the article you posted link to. No word about ballistic missile submarines there, only "may be several diesel-electric subs of 636 project".

@TheLongTermer

Its a mutual benefit. Japan gets access to US markets, the US gets one big air craft carrier in the form of an island

First of all, Japan gets a big bull's eye on its head in any possible military conflict. No, thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan would be smart to raise the military budget and prepare for conflict, thanks to the NK government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

commanteerToday  08:00 am JST

he takes the public criticism seriously.

I bet he does. That's why he would like to make it a crime.

Perfect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A quick lesson on Macro Economics - this debt is almost 100% domestic and therefore not a major issue. Japan is in the fortunate position of being able to print her own sovereign currency any time they choose, to pay the debt.

If Japanese want to be like Zimbabwe and Venezuela, then go ahead. Their debts are internally owned. There is no one in the world can rack up infinite debt and get away with it. The problem is not the default rather than the gradual decay in the quality of life and national economy. Japanese people used to be the best tourists in the 20th century, and now look what happened. People are so poor that they can't go outside the country or consume best products regularly.

The reason why Japan is still relevant because the US keeps the country as an unsinkable carrier. Allow its major assets to be held in the US, while the Yankees have the upper hand of holding those assets as hostages. Japan can't do a thing if the US ever decides to confiscate them someday for any political reason, as it did with Venezuela's Gold bullions.

250% or 1000% debt is of little concern if the debt is domestic. Nations like the USA with crippling foreign debt are the ones in a precarious situation.

The US can default against China, and the Chinese can't do nothing about it. Every nation will still buy USD like crazy, because the US has the world's best system of institutions and military. The US went bankrupt 5 times in history, and always emerged victorious. Every legendary investor in the world never EVER bets themselves against the United States. Even the delusional idiots in Nippon Kaigi never EVER doubt the US.

Japan acquiring nuclear capabilities and the willingness to use it would deter them from taking any aggressive actions that would destabilize the region and threaten to bottle up maritime shipping routes around Japan.

First, the US will never leave Japan. The Pentagon spent decades of whipping the Japanese leadership into the palm of American special interests. President Trump is an imbecile who seeks to benefit Russia in this regard but it is unlikely to happen.

Secondly, the US won't allow Japan to develop nuclear weapons or further the development of nuclear technology. The Fukushima disaster was primarily due to the aging nuclear reactor technology that hasn't been upgraded for decades. The US purposely set a hidden bar on Japan's acquisition and development of nuclear technology through restricting the supplies and core components. ICANN, a Nobel Peace laurate organization, found out the massive reserve of enriched Plutoniums in Japan and alerted the US military. Of course, the US took away almost of those reserves from Japan back to the mainland USA. That's just an example on how the US controls Japan's nuclear ability. The US will never allow it to happen.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Sh1mon

$30million plus??? One missile?

if NK fires 20 cheap flying bombs, we have to pay for at least $600million in one hour to USA businesses.

oh, forgot to mention Argis can only shoot down 3 at a time, so up by 25% cost.

are you sure about $30million cost? It would be insane cost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For every “vow” he makes, one of his cabinet members should slap him in the face so he says “oww” and realize how horrible of a job he’s done

0 ( +0 / -0 )

US press reports that Abe didn't "scrap" the deal, but that the deal has been "delayed". What gives?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Graham DeShazoToday

No, he’s scrapping a system that could protect Guam and the United States

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe in 2015 reinterpreted Article 9

Isnt that the judicial (supreme court's) role, not the executive (prime minister and cabinet)?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

'he takes the public criticism seriously'

That is just pretended.

Present Japanese prime minister who are supported from arrogant extreme-rightists has no honesty and no modesty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou.

No one is ever sure about cost for defense acquisition for good reasons. It has been quoted even higher than $30 millions.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/11/japan-to-receive-additional-us-supersonic-ballistic-missile-interceptors/

$3.3 billions for 73 missiles.

Or various Japanese media outlets @ ¥4 billion ea.

It is based on the RIM161 SM3, which is priced @ $18 millions without the modifications.

$30 millions was reported in various US studies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, he’s scrapping a system that could protect Guam and the United States

Regional defense! Attacking Guam does as much damage to Japanese defenses as attacking Japan itself.

Attacking a Japanese or US AEGIS destroyer in the middle of the ocean also cripple Japan's defenses against missiles.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One more reason to get the U.S. military out of Japan.

LOL, everyone is getting a terrific deal with the US, just look at the losses when US leave, eg ask the Filipino fishermen.

Worse, opportunities to strengthen national defense is easily lost for good, just ask the South Korean the price they paid China for not having THAAD 'earlier'.

This move by Japan is either very illogical, or logically a pivot away from the alliance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Xeno Man

There is no one in the world can rack up infinite debt and get away with it

That's correct. Now apply this maxima to the U.S. with 26 tril. debt (ten years ago it was 14 tril.). In May the cash inflow to the U.S. federal budget was 174 bil, outflow 573 bil. That's almost 300 bil. deficit, in one month!! April was no better, and June also unlikely to be pleasant. Japan' fiscal situation in bad, but the whole U.S. finacial system is one tremendous Ponzi scheme.

People are so poor that they can't go outside the country or consume best products regularly

True, Japanese are not so wealthy as they used to be during the Bubble times. But they manage by. Meanwhile at least 40 percent of all Americans do not have any savings at all. In Japan there are no shantytowns that exist in big cities in the U.S.

Every nation will still buy USD like crazy

Countries with unstable economies may be. Countries with stable economies now are diversifying their reserves. They know the U.S. lives very much beyond its means.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'..consider acquiring preemptive strike capability'. This is what his seven years were all about. This is what he wasted precious years trying to change the constitution for. I.E., he wants to strike first. Start a war. Who's going to trust him or Japan after that? Think, Mr. Abe, think.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sh1mon M4sada Today 07:53 pm JST

Worse, opportunities to strengthen national defense is easily lost for good, just ask the South Korean the price they paid China for not having THAAD 'earlier'.

The THAAD is not for sale. And no country can buy it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@dougthehead

Where did I say 'buy'?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jumin RheeToday 06:08 pm JST

Isnt that the judicial (supreme court's) role, not the executive (prime minister and cabinet)?

The article is wrong and may lend itself to confusion.

Only the Diet and the Supreme Court can interpret the constitution. And in fact it was the Diet in 2015, which re-interpreted Article 9, by a very large absolute majority. In accordance with current legislation.

There was no illegality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I appreciate your response, but the diet (legislative) can write, amend, or repeal laws, they cannot amend the constitution without the 2/3 diet and majority of citizens in referendum. This includes re-interpretation, which is the purview of the courts.

Can the diet also reinterpret that freedom of religion means no Muslims, etc? Sorry, this jitters my legal bone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sh1mon M4sada June 19 09:27 pm JST

@dougthehead

Where did I say 'buy'?

The THAAD deployed in South Korea is only to defend U.S. territory. And it's only operated by the U.S. Army, exclusively. 

As I said before. It's an anti-missile system that's not for sale. Israel, for example, has tried to buy it too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you care about Japan and it's people you would want them to be able to protect themselves just like all other countries not restricted by Article 9.

If those who like Article 9 for Japan you should adopt it for your own country.... No? Going to increase military spending?

Even the Germans have a normal military again after all this time! No article 9 restricting Germany.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@dougthehead, your buy/sell assertion of THAAD is a red herring.

Same with 'defending US territory'.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense

Security is a regional framework relying on allied assets to provide a security bubble.

My original point is, the opportunity to deploy such an asset may be lost forever because China, at some point, will assert that such a system is a threat to them, eg South Korea and THAAD, and the security price paid to China to have such an asset.

BTW, the SM3 interceptor missile is jointly developed between USA and Japan, to abandon it has implications well beyond Mr Kono's headaches.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So he plans to scrap the constitution as well as the missile system

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the capability to conduct preemptive strikes within the limitations set by the country's pacifist constitution.

A pacifist constitution does not allow preemptive strikes of any variety. You can choose not to have a pacifist constitution, but redefining it to include warlike actions is going to be a hard sell, I think.

Still, relabeling needs a slogan or something.... how about:

Invasions for Peace

or

Harmony Restoration Initiative ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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