For the first time since the Cold War, Japanese school kids are practicing evacuation drills in the event of a nuke attack by North Korea. When five of the top 10 selling books in Japan were related to nationalism several years ago be sure that the feeling of protecting sovereignty is by no means taken lightly. Five years ago, at my previous company I wrote a four part series on the coming military tensions that are expected to occur in Asia. This is further proof things are going to continue to escalate. The Japanese Defense White Paper 2016 articulates why Tokyo is lifting military spending and changing from mere defence to attack capabilities. They’ve recognized the game has changed.
An excerpt from this 2016 White Paper reads,
“We are seeing an increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, as well as shifts in the global balance of power including in the Asia-Paci c region. Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has repeatedly conducted military provocations, such as a nuclear test and ballistic missile launches. Such military actions by North Korea constitute a serious and imminent threat to security not only of Japan but also of the region and the international community. At the same time, Chinese and Russian military forces have intensifed their activities in sea areas and airspace surrounding Japan. In the East China Sea, Chinese government vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters and have been engaged in activities that are seen as promoting the Chinese government’s own assertions regarding the Senkaku Islands. In the South China Sea, China has continued large-scale and rapid land reclamations, established outposts, and utilized them for military purposes. By unilaterally altering the status quo and attempting to turn it into a fait accompli, these actions heighten tension in the region…
…Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) / the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) has a responsibility to assume any situations and take seamless responses in order to resolutely secure the lives, property, and freedom of the people as well as Japan’s territorial land, water, and airspace. The legislation for peace and security was passed in the Diet last year and entered into force this March. This legislation enables Japan to strengthen its ability to prevent wars from occurring, i.e. its deterrence, and implement seamless responses. To ensure that our deterrence functions adequately, it is essential that Japan continues to build a more effective Dynamic Joint Defense Force that is ready to respond to various situations appropriately.”
Note now that Japan has a first strike capability to ensure its safety. No longer does it have to be punched in the nose if it sees threats are imminent. As peaceful as Japan is today, sadly it bears deep scars not forgotten by its neighbors during the imperial years in the 1930s and 1940s.