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Op-ed: Japan's large scale weapons importation alarming

By Zhou Yongsheng (People's Daily Online)    14:01, January 11, 2016
Op-ed: Japan's large scale weapons importation alarming
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) ships sail during a fleet review off Sagami Bay, Kanagawa prefecture, on Oct. 18, 2015. (Xinhua/Ma Ping)

From 2002 to 2012, Japan imported the most weapons among 170 surveyed countries, said a new report released by the U.S. State Department.

Over that ten-year period, the value of the weapons imported by Japan amounted to $166.1 billion—almost the amount of U.K. and South Korea weapons imports combined, according to the report, which is titled “World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 2015.”

If Japan is as peace-loving a country as it labeled, does it really need to import so many weapons?

Japan is among the top few nations when it comes to military capabilities. They can independently develop and produce many high-end weapons like warships, tanks and third-generation jet fighters.

It is fair to say that such advanced weapons and combat capabilities have far exceeded the demand required solely for self-defense.

What’s more alarming, in 2015, Japan’s National Diet (the country’s parliament) passed a new security bill that allows the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to conduct military actions abroad.

That decision implies that Japan no longer defines its national military strategy as self-defense, but is considering a new round of international intervention, perhaps in an attempt to stir up wars.

Will Japan's actions bring peace to the region and the world at large? The answer seems to be a resounding no.

The Japanese government and leadership are blanketing the upsurge of military power by fanning up a threat from neighbors.

Japan’s acts, including propaganda regarding potential threats and its large-scale weapons importation from the U.S., expose its real intentions.

The "peaceful nation" is just a temporary cover. Once it is set off by some international affair or other excuse, the Japanese government will abandon the banner of peace and show its true colors.

The whole world, therefore, should stay alert to Japan’s intentions.

(Zhou Yongsheng is a professor at the Institute of International Relations of Foreign Affairs University, in addition to being a columnist for haiwai.net.) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Hongyu,Wu Chengliang)

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