….It is Japan’s security, not its economy, that merits the most concern today – and Japan knows it. After decades of contentedly relying on the US for protection, Japan is being shaken out of its complacency by fast-changing security and power dynamics in Asia, especially the rise of an increasingly muscular and revisionist China vying for regional hegemony.
….China has not hesitated to display its growing might. In the strategically vital South China Sea, the People’s Republic has built artificial islands and military outposts, and it has captured the disputed Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. In the East China Sea, it has unilaterally declared an air-defense identification zone covering territories that it claims but does not control.
With US President Barack Obama hesitating to impose any costs on China for these aggressive moves…..the reality is that ensuring long-term peace in Asia demands a stronger defense posture for Japan.
….Would Japan need to become a truly independent military power, with formidable deterrent capabilities like those of the UK or France?
The short answer is yes. While Japan should not abandon its security treaty with the US, it can and should rearm, with an exclusive focus on defense…..