Battleland

Japan Looks to Add Offensive Firepower

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Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

Japanese warships depart Tokyo harbor at the start of an around-the-globe training cruise last month.

TOKYONorth Korea seems to have put its missiles away for now, but Japan’s conservative government wants the option to blast them away the next time they’re pointed in Tokyo’s direction. It’s a satisfying idea, but maybe not a good one.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is compiling a new set of defense guidelines that would allow Japan’s armed forces, for the first time, to develop offensive capability, and to strike first if an attack appears imminent.

Under Japan’s strictly pacifist constitution, the Self Defense Force is restricted to weaponry and tactics that are deemed defensive in nature. That means no bombers, no cruise or ballistic missiles, no armed drones — and no shooting until shot at.

That could change under the new National Defense Program Guidelines, which are expected to be finished by year’s end.

“What they are basically saying is, ‘When a potential enemy has started attacking us, then we would start offensive operations to take out their missiles, as well as their missile bases,’” says Narushige Michishita, director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, in Tokyo.

North Korea conducted its third nuclear weapons test in February and later placed medium-range ballistic missiles on launch sites facing Japan. The provocative moves were accompanied with the usual threats and invective toward Tokyo, Seoul and Washington. The missiles were removed last month and the crisis seems to have eased, for now.

The chief of the LDP’s national defense division, Yasuhide Nakayama, told Yuka Hayashi of the Wall Street Journal last week that the latest missile crisis and continuing incursions into Japanese-administered waters by Chinese patrol ships have demonstrated the need to alter the current guidelines.

According to the Ministry of Defense, Japan’s armed forces are required to operate under rules oriented exclusively toward defense.

“The exclusively defense-oriented policy means that Japan will not employ defensive force unless and until an armed attack is mounted on Japan by another country, and even in such a case, only the minimum force necessary to defend itself may be used. Furthermore, only the minimum defense forces necessary for self-defense should be retained and used. This exclusively defense-oriented policy is a passive defense strategy that is consistent with the spirit of the Constitution,” states the ministry’s 2012 Defense White Paper.

Crisis or not, the review is clearly a pet project of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who pressed unsuccessfully for similar measures during his first term in 2006-2007.  Abe has focused largely on economic issues since regaining office in December, but has made no secret of his desire to strengthen Japan’s armed forces and to ease constitutional restrictions on the military.

The new guidelines are not expected to recommend the development or acquisition of specific weapons systems. However, previous studies sponsored by the LDP have suggested procuring sea-based Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as making use of U.S. intelligence gathering and communications satellites and other technologies.

The Abe administration currently plans to buy 42 advanced F-35 fighter planes, at a cost of $20.8 billion. The F-35 could function as attack aircraft, but to develop a wider offensive capability could cost Japan billions more.

Whether all that’s necessary to defend against North Korean missiles or deter other threats is unclear.

Japan already has one of the most advanced missile defenses in the world. The Maritime Self Defense Force has four Aegis destroyers – with two more on order — that are designed to shoot down ballistic missiles at high altitude. The Ground Self Defense Force has deployed shorter-range Patriot anti-ballistic missile batteries at five locations in Tokyo and Okinawa, with two more planned for later.  Both systems are designed to operate seamlessly with equally robust U.S. missile defenses based in and around Japan.

North Korea is believed to have 300 or more medium-range missiles that could strike all or parts of Japan. It’s not clear if North Korea has the technology to mount them with nuclear warheads. But even with a conventional warhead, a missile strike in central Tokyo or other major city could cause considerable damage and loss of life.

Although the Aegis and Patriot systems reportedly have worked well in tests, it’s not clear how effective they would be in a real-world situation. It’s possible that even the combined U.S.-Japan defenses could be overwhelmed if North Korea managed to get enough missiles in the air at one time.

The United States, with its vast nuclear umbrella, and network of military bases in and around Japan, is obligated by treaty to come to Japan’s aid in event of attack. Should it be necessary to strike targets in, say, North Korea, the U.S. would seem to have the arsenal of long-range missiles, bombers, drones and God-knows-what-all to get it done.

78 comments
IronGoat
IronGoat

Hey, somebody's got to kick Korea's butt.

FrancisYeo
FrancisYeo

Watch out! You have all been warned. The Japanese Defence Force will shortly be readied to sneak up on you and bomb you out of sight. If you are weak, you will be attacked and your wounded will be bayoneted in their sick beds. And they will pick on the weakest and round up women and children because their soldiers need to rape and plunder.

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

The Japanese soldier and his attitude coming from the medieval ages of the Samurai fighting is WW2........is NOT THE SAME SOLDIER OF TODAY.......who is reared in nintendo......kentucky fried chicken .......and mcdonalds....etc.....

When he invades north kores.....the new Japanese soldier won't be slapping them around....like in WW2..... 

valentine, world military historian, comedian....lol...........

VijayBanga
VijayBanga

Japan has been looking forward t an opportunity to come out of its forced hibernation and has been looking for opportunities and this is just the beginning of Imperialistic and hagemonastic designs that reflect its past. It is smart enough to use US and Allies to its advantage if need be but that kind of opportunity will never come. This is an exercise in futility so also for China who are trying to grow wings that are not needed.

JimFisher
JimFisher

Is the author really goig to list north korea as the only reason to rearm, he cant quite mention that China is a bigger reason for japan re-arming. 

frednewengland
frednewengland

For the past hundreds yr in Asian, only Japan invaded other countries and committed crimes, AND has not paid a penny to WWII victims. Compare to Germany, Japaneses had bad DNA in their body! If we could not control Japna, then China will let islands to sink.

jm122246
jm122246

Butterfly effect in action: Dennis Rodman visits N. Korea, now Japan want offensive weapons :)

LucyFussbudget
LucyFussbudget

The weapon is deadly against the North Koreans, the Chinese, and the Americans.

kintoy
kintoy

Japan should rearm to counter China

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

As a resident of Japan, I can tell you that the most harm to the Japanese comes from the US soldiers who are r@ping, stealing from and even beating up an old woman in one case.  They would do better to put their money and energy into getting the US bases off of their land or at very least applying restrictions that keep the military from being able to leave the bases.  

WireLessSails
WireLessSails

It really is ironic that the only country in the area that doesn't need any military at all IS North Korea. Face it, no country wants to attack them so a defensive posture is unnecessary. Certainly not even SK is interested in all that rugged terrain. That leaves only aggression as a reason for NK to have a military, which means the other countries in the area have an aggressive predator as a neighbor. Remember, NK stupidly invaded SK. So it stands to reason that all other nations in the area maintain a strong defensive posture until such time as the maniac Pakled NK military is removed. For those who do not know, Pakleds are defined as those who seek out technology as they are unable due to limited mental capabilities to create their own technology. So, NK, with its reversed engineered Fiats for example, fits the description of Pakleds.

waterbuffalo8
waterbuffalo8

The A-bomb saved millions of lives across Asia and Pacific from IJA's slaughter.  It is a tribute to those who died in WWII because of IJA. It is a lesson Japan should learn. Aggression comes with consequences.

waterbuffalo8
waterbuffalo8

Hope they learned some lesson from their past aggression. Japan was nearly eliminated as a nation last time.

EricVanBezooijen
EricVanBezooijen

I'm not sure what North Korea would hope to gain by striking Japan with missiles. The best case result, for them, would be for their country to be occupied and their entire regime put on trial for crimes against humanity, not just for their attack, but for the miserable way they abuse their own citizens. The worst case scenario is that their country is reduced to a smoking ashtray.

WireLessSails
WireLessSails

I think it's a great idea. Fire up the ole Mitsubishi plant and build a bunch of Zeros. Of course, they'll need a Mitsubishi Carrier. (They are a matching set). And, since two North Koreas could fit in Texas, that will be enough.

mmore015fiu.edu
mmore015fiu.edu

This is the result of the weak foreign policy that the US has been engaged in for the past 25 years, and only accelerated under the current presidency. If the allies that you have swear to protect start seeing weakness, or ambivalence,  in your desire to stand against hostile forces, they have an obligation to their people to arm themselves, and lookout for their own interest. We will have Obama (and Bush and Clinton to a lesser extent) to blame for World War III.   

BrandonEgervari
BrandonEgervari

yes its a good idea for Japan to have offensive capibilities. It gives us a power in a sphere of influence usually dominated by China. Japan are good allies to have.

But this article is terrible. This is not an opinion article yet it is written as one. The author made it obvious they object to Japan's military expansion, but fail to give a reason as to why.

fredbrown585
fredbrown585

Every country has the right of self-defense.  With the rise of China and a threatening North Korea close by Japan should take action to maintain a viable and robust defensive capability including the ability to strike back. 

Can't believe the comment about Pearl Harbor; a different time and a different Japan.  Time to move on.

FrancisYeo
FrancisYeo

@kintoy The only way Japan can counter anyone is to sneak up on them and bomb everything in sight. The Americans like to forget that when it suits them

junebugyolks
junebugyolks

@Ashrakay Wow, that sounds exactly like what the Japanese did to the Chinese. Get off your high horse. People are evil EVERYWHERE, and people are good EVERYWHERE. I've been paying attention to the news regarding American troops and they don't even compare to Japanese murder/suicide. 

junebugyolks
junebugyolks

@Ashrakay Wow, that sounds exactly like what the Japanese did to the Chinese when they tried to rape and murder everyone. 

alangerald66
alangerald66

@Ashrakay  american soldiers would not be there if you were not a part of the axis in WW2, this article and you conveniently leave that part of history out. you got nuked once because you earned it.

allenwoll
allenwoll

.

Please chase us out  ! ! ! -- U S Taxpayer

.

kuei12
kuei12

@Ashrakay ...Are you talking about american soldiers, or american police?

SteveSolomon
SteveSolomon

@Ashrakay I think American soldiers should leave most foreign bases also.

Why should American tax dollars, protect YOUR economy?

And IF you are attacked?

Just start tossing sticky rice balls at your adversaries, that will teach 'em!!

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

I should clarify, most harm from FOREIGN SOURCES to the Japanese... does not include earthquakes and typhoons. 

kuei12
kuei12

@waterbuffalo8 ...And, what about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? When will america learn it's lesson?

WireLessSails
WireLessSails

@EricVanBezooijen Well said and all true. Top of the list: Free all North Koreans held in prison camps, born in prison camps.

Second, since the NK people are basically brainwashed, establish a reintroduction to society. Basically, an entire Star Trek First Contact effort starting from scratch. That would pretty much do it.

Bockscar
Bockscar

@BrandonEgervari

The reasons are tantamount w/r/t the Asian hemisphere 

Geopolitically, from a US standpoint, it makes sense for the Japanese to rearm offensively.  From a historical and contemporary experience, it should not happen.

To this day, the Japanese government sanctions the use of textbooks that whitewash the Imperial Empire's atrocities and culpability in the war.  Think:  Flip-floppy attitude w/r/t sex slaves (comfort women),  Honoring Class A war criminals at the nation's war Shrine,  Pushing of frivolous territorial claims to Dokdo (Takeshima) which is owned and administrated by Korea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liancourt_Rocks).

w/r/t japanese textbooks filled with lies:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_history_textbook_controversies

This history of continued Japanese ultra-nationalism and misportrayal of its culpability in essentially raping much of the Asian continent and many Pacific islands causes those victim countries to remain skeptical of Japanese sincerity in their fleeting admissions of guilt... even to a point where the US has gotten involved and tried to clear up the situation.  Please read this article for one illuminating example:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/world/asia/01japan.html?_r=0  (To this day, the Japanese parliament has not passed any resolution acknowledging the Imperial army's guilt w/r/t using sex slaves)

The point is, to those who understand history and understand contemporary Japanese behavior w/r/t that factual history, hesitation as to Japan's desire to rearm is not a completely anachronistic notion.  It is akin to if German officials denied guilt in the holocaust or denied their culpability in atrocities that occurred in the european theater.  The reason Germany is viewed differently is because they resolutely and accurately portray their historical part and guilt in WWII.  To this day, Japan does not.

If there were a war memorial in Germany with the names of Adolf Hitler, Adolf Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler, Herman Goering, Reinhard Heydrich etc, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel went there each year to honor them, would that be kosher?  Of course not.  It would be reprehensible.  Yet, in Japan, each year, the Prime Minister goes to Yakusuni Shrine to honor the named war dead, which includes Hideki Tojo, a class A war criminal.  THAT is the difference between the two nations and why Germany has moved forward, whereas Japan has not.

Unfortunately, this informative post turned out to be a political testament, which was not my purpose.  What is presented here is well-documented facts that support the general position of skepticism and hesitation toward Japanese intentions.  Hopefully now, you can see how why people distrust Japan.  They claim Korea, China and Russia live in the past.  Indeed, they do.  The reason people distrust Japan however, is because of their contemporary actions.  They dig up the past when they say that "comfort women" were a "wartime necessity" or visit their Shrine to honor war criminals.  IF they want to move on, they need to do what's right.  Listening to the US HOR is one step:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/world/asia/01japan.html?_r=0  (same article as above)


-HJ

Bockscar
Bockscar

@fredbrown585

Geopolitically, from a US standpoint, it makes sense for the Japanese to rearm offensively.  From a historical and contemporary experience, it should not happen.

"A different time and a different Japan" is partly, and in a significant way, not entirely accurate.

To this day, the Japanese government sanctions the use of textbooks that whitewash the Imperial Empire's atrocities and culpability in the war.  Think:  Flip-floppy attitude w/r/t sex slaves (comfort women),  Honoring Class A war criminals at the nation's war Shrine,  Pushing of frivolous territorial claims to Dokdo (Takeshima) which is owned and administrated by Korea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liancourt_Rocks).

w/r/t japanese textbooks filled with lies:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_history_textbook_controversies

This history of continued Japanese ultra-nationalism and misportrayal of its culpability in essentially raping much of the Asian continent and many Pacific islands causes those victim countries to remain skeptical of Japanese sincerity in their fleeting admissions of guilt... even to a point where the US has gotten involved and tried to clear up the situation.  Please read this article for one illuminating example:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/world/asia/01japan.html?_r=0  (To this day, the Japanese parliament has not passed any resolution acknowledging the Imperial army's guilt w/r/t using sex slaves)

The point is, to those who understand history and understand contemporary Japanese behavior w/r/t that factual history, hesitation as to Japan's desire to rearm is not a completely anachronistic notion.  It is akin to if German officials denied guilt in the holocaust or denied their culpability in atrocities that occurred in the european theater.  The reason Germany is viewed differently is because they resolutely and accurately portray their historical part and guilt in WWII.  To this day, Japan does not.

If there were a war memorial in Germany with the names of Adolf Hitler, Adolf Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler, Herman Goering, Reinhard Heydrich etc, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel went there each year to honor them, would that be kosher?  Of course not.  It would be reprehensible.  Yet, in Japan, each year, the Prime Minister goes to Yakusuni Shrine to honor the named war dead, which includes Hideki Tojo, a class A war criminal.  THAT is the difference between the two nations and why Germany has moved forward, whereas Japan has not.

Unfortunately, this informative post turned out to be a political testament, which was not my purpose.  What is presented here is well-documented facts that support the general position of skepticism and hesitation toward Japanese intentions.  Hopefully now, you can "believe the comment about Pearl Harbor" and how for Japan, it's not a different time and they are very little different.  IF they want to move on, they need to do what's right.  Listening to the US HOR is one step:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/world/asia/01japan.html?_r=0  (same article as above)


-HJ

FrancisYeo
FrancisYeo

@pushedback @frednewengland You pushedback are deluded and denuded. What you say is the most repeated words in the world. The fact is you have nothing else to say.

duduong
duduong

@Yankeealb @frednewengland Tibet invaded China in the 9th century and was conquered in the 10th. That is before the Tudors came to power, i.e. ancient history.

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@junebugyolks @Ashrakay Now your point is that evil exist EVERYWHERE therefore we shouldn't try to stop it?  What a miserable life you must have.   I can only imagine the pain you must be going through to see the world from that perspective.  So I hope you can believe me when I say, you have my sympathies.  One act of "evil" does not justify another act of "evil."

I didn't understand your murder/suicide comment.  Perhaps if you fleshed it out a little I could comment on it. 

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@junebugyolks @Ashrakay So your point is, that Japanese r@ped women in the early 1900s, therefore it's okay for US soldiers to r@pe women here now?  Mind you, one of the girls here was 14 years old.

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@kuei12 @Ashrakay These are US military soldiers.  You can google to find the instances I've referenced. 

johnstossel938
johnstossel938

@SteveSolomon @Ashrakay 

Are you excusing their actions?


As for the Japanese, they are more than capable of defending themselves. You seem to forget that that tiny island nation was able to fend off the Americans and gangrape all of the Allied powers for about three years.

tuinmd
tuinmd

@Bockscar

Have you ever read the article, which you referred as a evidence for that Japan's history textbooks are filled with lies? The article just shows that there are controversies around history textbooks in Japan. It is quite natural; because Japan is a democratic nation, and employs democratic authorization/adoption system for textbooks. Local Boards of Education can select a textbook they want to use for their students from ones authorized by Textbook Authorization and Research Council. The authorization criterion are  relatively relaxed in terms of political stance, so they have diverse choices.

How are the situations in China and Korea? Each of them has only one history textbook issued by their government. They have to study their history with a textbook that is convenient for the government.

The result turned out from the difference between Japan and the two countries is shown at the end of the Wikipedia article you referred. A research by Stanford University has revealed that the Japan's textbook is quite neutral and accurate, while those of China and Korea are so biased and include propaganda because of their narrow-minded nationalism.

You seem to be influenced by such biased historical recognition. From your view point, some remark by Japanese politicians seem to "whitewash" war crimes, but in most cases, they just want to reject excessive claim based on biased historical recognition.


boots
boots

@Bockscar @BrandonEgervari if Hideki Tojo is a war criminal, then so is GW Bush and all of the generals that were involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact is what is currently accepted as historical accuracy right now are strongly skewed in favour of the winners of the last war. That will happen with every single war./conflict. Soldiers from all countries commit atrocities, and their own countries generally only want to give them a slap on the wrist while the countries of the victims want them dead. Just look at all the Nazi grunts being prosecuted as war criminals. Those people were largely nobodies who were ordered to commit an atrocity and then decided to do it because they themselves were under threat of being labelled a traitor and executed if they refused. Meanwhile the so called "freedom fighters" from those days tortured plenty of prisoners and are currently hailed as heroes.

daviddurkee1960
daviddurkee1960

With a comment as well written as yours it's a shame you can't communicate with proper English.  "w/r/t"?  Huh?  If it's important enough to write down, use proper English.  "With Regard To" isn't that tough to write.  It's like the people who write "ppl" instead of people.  It saves a couple keystrokes but makes your post look like it was edited by a 13-year old girl texting her friends...  "OMG!!!"


Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/06/03/japan-looks-to-add-offensive-capability/#ixzz2VBtrcZcS

boots
boots

@PhillipW @alangerald66 @Ashrakay really? Japan attacked a military base. So the US decided, you know what, let's bomb some school children? And you say they've earned it?

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@PhillipW @alangerald66 @Ashrakay So by that logic America earns deaths because of the wars it participates in?  I'll keep that in mind next time I hear about a serviceman killed in Afghanistan. 

Bockscar
Bockscar

@daviddurkee1960 

And just a few years ago the excessive use of contractions was also frowned upon in the English community.  Writing "it's" instead of "it is" or "can't" instead of "cannot," while expedient, demonstrates linguistic impropriety of the highest degree!

Thanks for your feedback on my use of w/r/t.  I'm just disappointed that you couldn't provide any actual substance to this discussion.  People like additive ideas.  When you complain about the use of a single shorthand, you start sounding like a pretentious English teacher from the 1950s who scolds students for writing a bloody contraction.  I'm sure you know more about that than anyone else here, right?  (That's probably why you compared the use to 'ppl' and 'OMG!!!'... feigning association for substance)

In case you mistake my sarcasm for hypocrisy, rest assured, I'm not averse to using contractions.  We mustn't complain 'bout the use of apostrophes.  Such uses aren't bad, let's bring'em on!!

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