TOKYO (Realist English). The “Defense of Japan 2022” has been published in Japan. This is an annual report on Japanese national security. The report, approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, states that Japan’s basic security concerns are caused by China, Russia and North Korea.
The report concluded that there is a significant increase in the threat to Japan’s national security. Among the reasons for this are Russia’s special military operation on the territory of the former Ukraine, China’s pressure on Taiwan and problems with supply chains.
“Political, economic and military rivalry between nations is obvious, and the challenge to the international order has acquired global proportions,” the report says.
Tokyo considers Russia’s special operation in Ukraine a “serious violation of international law” and expresses concern that Russia’s use of force to resolve international disputes could create a dangerous precedent.
“China continues to unilaterally change or attempt to change the status quo through coercion in the East China and South China Seas. The country’s ties with Russia have deepened in recent years, joint maneuvers in the air and on the water are carried out in the areas surrounding Japan by both Chinese and Russian naval and air vessels. In addition, China has made it clear that it will not hesitate to annex Taiwan by force, which will further increase tensions in the region,” the report says.
The white paper expresses concern due to the fact that Russia has taken steps to strengthen cooperation with China in the immediate vicinity of Japan: “…such as through joint bomber flights and joint warship sails involving the Russian and Chinese militaries, as well as moves to portray such military cooperation as “strategic coordination.” These trends warrant concern and must continue to be closely watched in the future.”
This report has been published on the eve of submitting a budget request for defense needs. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to significantly increase Japan’s military spending to 2% of GDP. Polls show that more than half of the Japanese support this. For the past 50 years, Japan has limited its defense spending to about 1% of GDP.
To initiate the first-ever referendum on the Constitution, supporters of its amendment need a super majority, or 2/3 of the seats in the Chamber. In July of this year, following the parliamentary elections, the ruling coalition, the Japan Renewal Party and the Democratic Party of Japan, which advocate amendments to the country’s Constitution, received 90 seats in parliament, which gives them more than 2/3 of all seats in the upper house of parliament.
The controversy revolves around the amendment of article 9 of the “peace Constitution” of 1947, which prohibited Japan from using military force to resolve international disputes. No amendments have been made to this article. Nevertheless, Japan has a powerful army, which is called the Self-Defense Forces.