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Why is Japan sounding 'China threat' alarm again?

By Sun Chenggang (PLA Daily)

14:39, August 05, 2011

Japan directed its spearhead at China again in its "2011 Defense White Paper," presented by the country's Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and approved at a cabinet meeting on Aug. 2. The white paper followed the style of Japan's new National Defense Program Outline released in December 2010 in analysis of the security environment surrounding Japan and called on the country to strengthen national defense, especially the defense in southwest regions in order to deal with "China threat."

The Asahi Shimbun, a major national newspaper in Japan, said that the new white paper is clearly directed against China and is full of bitter, groundless accusations of China's military buildup. For example, the document unjustifiably criticized China for poor military transparency, claiming that China's military spending has increased rapidly and that the uses of its spending have long been vague.

In order to deal with possible threats posed by China, the white paper noted that Japan should follow the course set in the National Defense Program Outline and develop a "dynamic defense force" that possesses preparedness, mobility, flexibility, sustainability and versatility based on strong technical and information capabilities thanks to constant progress in military technology.

According to the new white paper, the development of a "Dynamic Defense Force" will focus on strengthening the control of Japan's southwestern territories, particularly offshore islands, and Japan will "accordingly station coastal surveillance forces and transportation aircraft and reinforce military exercises to respond to attacks."

This implies that "strengthening the defense in island areas of southwestern Japan" and "stationing military forces in offshore islands without defense capacities" will become the major direction of Japan's future defense policy. Japan's media agencies reported that the purpose of Japan's move is very clear: preventing China's navy from accessing the Pacific. It is rational for China to pay close attention to Japan's move.

Thanks to the joint efforts made by the leaders of China and Japan over recent years, mutually beneficial China-Japan relations have made remarkable progress, and the two countries' political and security ties are generally improving.

However, Japan has released a new white paper that displays a strong "Cold War mentality" regardless of the big picture regarding the development of China-Japan relations. Why has Japan neglected China's continuous efforts over recent years to increase its military transparency and insisted on stressing the "China threat" rhetoric? Why has Japan ignored China's good intentions, continued to strengthen its military deployments targeting China and sought confrontation instead of peace?

The fundamental reason is that there are right-wing forces that deviate from the epochal theme of peace and development in Japan. They stubbornly keep the "Cold War mentality" and attempt to defer or obstruct China's peaceful development through means such as containment.

The reason why they pay so much attention to China's military development and make groundless accusations against China's normal military construction is that Japan wants to take this opportunity to strengthen its southwestern military force. This shows that Japan feels anxious and has a strong alert mental about China's development.

China has to maintain a high-level alert on Japan's behavior of ignoring the overall situation of China-Japan relations and maliciously taking the "China threat" as an excuse for promoting its defense policy adjustments and defense force construction that aims at breaking the "exclusively defensive" military strategy.


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Leave your comment7 comments

  1. Name

Ny at 2011-09-2276.69.61.*
The Chinese should be as assertive as the Russians; then the Japanese may show some fear and respect for China.--Russia still occupies the Japanese island since the end of WW2.--Russia does not say she will not be the first one to use the nukes.--The Russian military is not transparent to the Japanese or to the world.--Russia did not try to please the Japanese with aid in the recent earthquake.
udXubOOLiMtWRsHZGnx at 2011-09-11184.72.134.*
I was lkoonig everywhere and this popped up like nothing!
PD User at 2011-08-25210.177.156.*
@sw Actually, military transparency is about maintaining the peace and avoiding arms races.Take Country A and Country B that are on guard against each other. It's time for A to write his defense budget. He looks at B's military capabilities to decide what he has to build but has little clue b/c there's no transparency. So he uses what clues he has and generates an estimate with a large error. To be safe, he aims for the worst-case part of the error and writes his budget on that basis.Now it is B's turn to write his budget. In fact, he has capabilities that are close to A's Middle-Case estimate. He looks at A's abilities and buildup. He's unsure but it looks like A will have a dangerous military superiority if the buildup finishes unchallenged. So he makes his worst-case estimate of A's buildup and builds HIS forces on that basis.A sees some clues of B's moves and responds, again aiming for the worst case. That leads to a ruinous arms race.If, on the other hand, they have military transparency, their estimate of each other would be much more accurate, and fear of the worst-case will not be as much of a motivator to an arms race.
LifeiLong at 2011-08-19123.145.161.*
Oh my goodness..."Cry wolf Nippon" you need to get away from the U.S. lap dance and stand tall, have pride with your other Asian brothers.
sw at 2011-08-1386.164.222.*
millitary transparancy?, what kind of nieviety does that guy have, for not understanding that a country should not have their military transparent to a foreign country, if you tell others your country"s militarial capabilities, then at a time of war should it ever come about then your opponent will have the ability to plan ways to circumvent your national capabilities, i.e. you don"t show your hand in a gamer of poker.

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