Category Archives: Japan

Obama’s Asian nuclear nightmare – POLITICO

Fueled by Trump’s rhetoric and North Korea’s threats, Japan and South Korea are eyeing nuclear weapons of their own.

North Korea is expanding its nuclear arsenal and upgrading its ballistic missiles. China is growing and modernizing its stockpile. Most strikingly, Pentagon planners worry that Japan and South Korea might explore developing nuclear arms of their own for the first time—promoted in part by the recent conclusion by U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies that North Korea’s bizarre regime can now mount a small nuclear warhead on missiles capable of striking Japan and South Korea.

Obama’s Asian nuclear nightmare – POLITICO

Japan and South Korea May Soon Go Nuclear – WSJ

On Friday North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un praised his country’s recent hydrogen bomb test and satellite launch as “unprecedented” achievements that will “bring the final victory of the revolution.” Such rhetoric is nothing new, but North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program and a growing sense that security arrangements with the U.S. aren’t sufficient has eroded the Japanese taboo against nuclear weapons. On April 1, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet announced that Japan’s constitution did not ban his country from having or using nuclear arms.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s ruling-party leaders have urged President Park Geun-hye to stockpile “peaceful” plutonium as a military hedge against its neighbors. A Feb. 19 article in Seoul’s leading conservative daily, the Chosun Ilbo, went so far as to detail how South Korea could use its existing civilian nuclear facilities to build a bomb in 18 months.

Japan and South Korea May Soon Go Nuclear – WSJ

Japan’s East China Sea Military Buildup Continues | The National Interest

The functioning radar station on Yonaguni and the eventual THAAD unit in South Korea appear to be, respectively, the southern and northern tips of a prospective geostrategic barrier that Tokyo and Washington aim to build to prevent Beijing from projecting power beyond the East China Sea—as the Nansei Islands could also work as a springboard for attacks on the Chinese mainland in case of war. It is doubtful that Beijing will ignore it, meaning that the ongoing process of militarization and countermilitarization in East Asia is bound to escalate, to the detriment of what Yoichi Funabashi calls “the coast guard-maintained peace” across the region, namely the preservation of the status quo around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands through law enforcement operations conducted by both nations’ coast guards.

Japan’s East China Sea Military Buildup Continues | The National Interest

China Makes Four Demands of Japan to Improve Relations

So when China talks about “win-win,” it is a veiled threat that Japan must do as its told, or there may be another economic war.

4. In terms of regional and international affairs, the two sides should respect each other’s legitimate interests and concerns, and have essential communication and coordination in a timely fashion. The Japanese side should cast aside the confrontation mentality and work with China to maintain peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

China’s message is this: “We want stability and peace. If you do exactly as you’re ordered, then we’ll have stability and peace. But if you don’t do as you’re ordered, then we’ll kill you, and get stability and peace that way.”

Generational Dynamics predicts that China and Japan are rapidly heading for a generational crisis war, and the time may not be far off. China Foreign Ministry and AP and Xinhua

China Makes Four Demands of Japan to Improve Relations

Should Washington Close Its Nuclear Umbrella Over South Korea and Japan? | Cato @ Liberty

Donald Trump again is causing international consternation. His remarks about South Korea and Japan developing nuclear weapons set off a minor firestorm.

“It would be catastrophic were the United States to shift its position and indicate that we support somehow the proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional countries,” argued deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Actually, what would be catastrophic is American involvement in a nuclear war as a result of its defense commitment to another nation, especially one able to defend itself.

Neither country pays enough for its own protection, instead preferring to rely on Washington. The issue of one of them going nuclear “at some point is something that we have to talk about,” he explained.

Should Washington Close Its Nuclear Umbrella Over South Korea and Japan? | Cato @ Liberty

Should Washington Close Its Nuclear Umbrella Over South Korea and Japan? | Cato @ Liberty

Donald Trump again is causing international consternation. His remarks about South Korea and Japan developing nuclear weapons set off a minor firestorm.

“It would be catastrophic were the United States to shift its position and indicate that we support somehow the proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional countries,” argued deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Actually, what would be catastrophic is American involvement in a nuclear war as a result of its defense commitment to another nation, especially one able to defend itself.

Neither country pays enough for its own protection, instead preferring to rely on Washington. The issue of one of them going nuclear “at some point is something that we have to talk about,” he explained.

Should Washington Close Its Nuclear Umbrella Over South Korea and Japan? | Cato @ Liberty

Japan deploys 12 coast guard ships to patrol disputed Diaoyu Islands | South China Morning Post

The Japan Coast Guard said on Monday it has finished deploying 12 ships to exclusively patrol areas around Japanese-controlled, Chinese-claimed islands in the East China Sea amid China’s growing maritime assertiveness.

The fleet, consisting of 10 newly built 1,500 tonne patrol ships and two helicopter-equipped patrol vessels, will become fully operational this month as part of efforts to strengthen protection of waters off the Diaoyu Islands, which are called the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

Japan deploys 12 coast guard ships to patrol disputed Diaoyu Islands | South China Morning Post

China accuses Japan of threatening Pacific peace with military law | World news | The Guardian

China has accused Japan’s “warlord” prime minister, Shinzo Abe, of threatening peace in the region, following the enactment on Tuesday of controversial laws allowing Japanese troops to fight on foreign soil for the first time since the end of the second world war.

The security laws, which were passed last September after chaotic scenes in parliament, reinterpret the country’s pacifist constitution to enable Japan to exercise collective self-defence – or coming to the aid of the US and other allies – in overseas conflicts.

China accuses Japan of threatening Pacific peace with military law | World news | The Guardian

Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles, drawing angry China response | Reuters

“Until yesterday, there was no coastal observation unit west of the main Okinawa island. It was a vacuum we needed to fill,” said Daigo Shiomitsu, a Ground Self Defence Force lieutenant colonel who commands the new base on Yonaguni.

“It means we can keep watch on territory surrounding Japan and respond to all situations.”

Shiomitsu on Monday attended a ceremony at the base with 160 military personnel and around 50 dignitaries. Construction of some buildings, which feature white walls and traditional Okinawan red-tiled roofs, is still unfinished.

The 30-sq-km (11-sq-mile) island is home to 1,500 people, who mostly raise cattle and grow sugar cane. The Self Defence Force contingent and family members will increase the population by a fifth.

Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles, drawing angry China response | Reuters

Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles, drawing angry China response | Reuters

“Until yesterday, there was no coastal observation unit west of the main Okinawa island. It was a vacuum we needed to fill,” said Daigo Shiomitsu, a Ground Self Defence Force lieutenant colonel who commands the new base on Yonaguni.

“It means we can keep watch on territory surrounding Japan and respond to all situations.”

Shiomitsu on Monday attended a ceremony at the base with 160 military personnel and around 50 dignitaries. Construction of some buildings, which feature white walls and traditional Okinawan red-tiled roofs, is still unfinished.

The 30-sq-km (11-sq-mile) island is home to 1,500 people, who mostly raise cattle and grow sugar cane. The Self Defence Force contingent and family members will increase the population by a fifth.

Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles, drawing angry China response | Reuters