Global RiskMaritimeNews Briefs

Japan surges new weapons, military roles to meet China’s rise

While officials with the Japanese military may not outwardly admit to the causes of its rapid military modernization that stands at questionable odds with its restrictive Constitution, China is driving Japan’s military purchases and production, from its commitment to purchase as many as 147 F-35s to its production of its first post-WWII aircraft carrier to its new trainings on island seizures/recaptures. Ruling politicians have attempted to rewrite the constitutional clause restricting (and in literal language, completely banning) military forces to explicitly allow for self defense forces. The efforts, however, became too politically contentious and the constitution remains unchanged. This has not prevented continued expansion of capabilities, however, as the country works to build defenses against Chinese threats. While most officials speak discreetly, with one Self Defense Forces deputy director saying that “we will never accept a compromise with any attempt to prevent us from keeping the Indo-Pacific free and open,” others are more explicit. “Actually this trigger…is China,” stated the ruling party’s parliamentary vice minister for defense. “The expansion of China. I think its clear. There is no need for us to operate such kind of aircraft carrier if we don’t have to respond to China in the Pacific Ocean…face to face we are smiling, but under the table we are kicking each other.” 

Source: Japan surges new weapons, military roles to meet China’s rise

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