Category Archives: Japan

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

Japan’s Master Plan to Stop China in the East China Sea: Lawfare? | The National Interest Blog

While tensions continue to rise over what prominent analyst Robert D. Kaplan dubbed Asia’s Cauldron, or more conventionally known as the South China Sea, it seems the East China Sea—where China and Japan battle for control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands—has mostly stayed out of the headlines in recent months. That may change soon enough.

Japan’s ruling party is said to be considering international arbitration over Beijing’s drilling for natural resources in the disputed East China Sea—a similar action also taken by the Philippines in the South China Sea.

Japan’s Master Plan to Stop China in the East China Sea: Lawfare? | The National Interest Blog

China’s Foreign Minister: No Cause for Optimism in China-Japan Relations | The Diplomat

When asked about the current state of China-Japan relations, Wang started off with a familiar refrain: that the relationship had been greatly harmed due to Japanese leaders’ “mistaken” approach to historical issues. While he noted “signs of improvement” in the relationship, due to the “efforts of wise leaders on both sides,” overall Wang concluded that “future prospects [for China-Japan relations] still do not allow for optimism.”

Wang was equally blunt about where the blame for the current situation lies – unsurprisingly, he believes Japan is entirely responsible. He accused Japan’s government of “causing trouble” for China, even as the same Japanese leaders speak of their desire to improve China-Japan relations. “This a classic example of a two-faced person’s methods,” Wang said.

Wang told reporters that the root of the problem lies in the way Japan’s current government thinks about China. “Facing China’s rise, should [Japan] take China as a friend or an enemy, a partner or an adversary?” Wang asked, urging Japan to “seriously consider” this question.

China’s Foreign Minister: No Cause for Optimism in China-Japan Relations | The Diplomat

Who was ever optimistic? I certainly wasn’t. The change in China’s behavior due to its rise pretty much tells us that things are going to get worse, not better. The best case scenario is maintaining the status quo. And I am not counting on that.

Japan to Send Submarine, Destroyer Fleet to South China Sea – Breitbart

Reuters is reporting that Japan is sending a submarine to the Philippines as part of a Maritime Self-Defense Force fleet visit to the region, in a clear indication Japan is ready to challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea.

An anonymous Japanese official confirmed the visit to Reuters, and asserted that the submarine’s presence is intended to alert China to Japan’s interest in participating in international efforts to curb the nation’s militarization efforts in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, which China claims to be exclusively theirs.

“It sends a message. It is important for Japan to show its presence,” Reuters quotes the source as saying, noting that the fleet will reach Subic Bay, a disputed territory, before traveling to Vietnam later. It is the first time in 15 years that a Japanese submarine sails in the region.

Japan to Send Submarine, Destroyer Fleet to South China Sea – Breitbart

Japan exports slump to financial crisis lows | Business | DW.COM

‘Disaster waiting to happen’

The latest data adds to growing concerns that Japanese authorities are increasingly left with few options to revive a stumbling economy even as the Bank of Japan remains proactive in policymaking, shocking markets last month by adopting negative interest rates to spark momentum.

The country’s
economy contracted an annualized 1.4 percent in October-December. While analysts expect a return to moderate growth in the current quarter, sluggish exports and weak consumer spending underscore the difficulty policy makers have in putting the economy back on track.

“Japan’s January trade figures were woeful… This is more fodder for those who think Japan’s economy is a disaster waiting to happen,” Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief market strategist at IG, wrote in an email to clients.

Japan exports slump to financial crisis lows | Business | DW.COM | 18.02.2016