Japan’s Quest for Response to the Growing China Threat in the Indo-Pacific “Counter-Strike Capability”: Analysts


Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may have shown potential for historic change, strengthened defenses and counter-strike capabilities during the Shangri-La dialogue held in Singapore on June 10. He said he was looking for.

According to experts, this is to ensure that Japan plays a more responsible role in areas threatened by China’s activities in the South China Sea and East China Sea and the anxieties that arise after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“As the security environment surrounding Japan becomes increasingly severe, we will launch a new national security strategy by the end of this year. I will radically strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities within the next five years, which We are determined to secure a significant increase in Japan’s defense budget needed to achieve this. ” Kishida said..

He added that Japan “does not rule out any options,” including “counter-strike capabilities.”

Strategic analysts tell the Epoch Times that Kashida’s speech at Shangri-La Dialog shows a willingness to shift from Japan’s economic development role to a serious security role, suggesting a major policy shift. He said he was doing it.

According to analysts, Japan’s potential enhanced strategic capabilities help stop the enemy by imposing costs and weakening their ability to make subsequent attacks.

“Acquisition of strike capability is Japan’s ability to counterattack, which is seen as an essential step in addressing North Korea’s growing threat of missiles, filling the lack of preparedness against China, and addressing potential attacks by Russia. Ryo Hinata-Assistant Professor Yamaguchi of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, said in an email.

Kishida describes the local context as evoking a sense of urgency. The Prime Minister is concerned that what has happened in Ukraine may happen in East Asia in the future, and Japan must be prepared to face emergencies caused by countries that “trampled” the peace and security of other nations. Stated.

Mr. Kishida, without naming China, said that while international law is not being followed in the South China Sea, there are increasing attempts to forcibly change the status quo in the East China Sea, where Japan is located. He said peace across the Taiwan Strait was also threatened.

Epoch Times Photo
On August 15, 2020, the 75th anniversary of the surrender of World War II, men in Japanese Imperial Army and Navy uniforms will gather outside the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. (Philip Fong / AFP via Getty Images)

Policy changes

Experts said the changes in Japan’s defense policy were due to changes in the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, where the United States wants to share its responsibility to secure territories with other countries.

“Why does Japan want to change its policy? The reason is in the United States,” said Satoru Nagao, a non-resident fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

Mr Nagao said China has significantly increased its defense budget.

according to According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s 2010-2020 report on global military spending, China increased its military budget by 76% and the United States reduced its defense budget by 10% over the same period, but it is still the highest in the world. It remains.

“For a long time, Japan was dependent on the United States when Japan needed strike capabilities. If the United States has sufficient strike capabilities, Japan does not need strike capabilities,” Nagao said.

“But the situation in the United States has changed because the military balance between the United States and China has changed. Still, the United States has spent three times as much military spending. [than China] But the United States also calls on its allies and partners to share the security burden, “he added.

Under these circumstances, US allies and partners, especially Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines and South Korea, as well as quad members from India, Australia and Japan, have strengthened their offensive capabilities, Nagao said.

According to him, if the United States, Japan, Australia and India all have long-range attack capabilities, their combined capabilities would force China to defend in multiple ways.

Grant Newsham, Senior Fellow of the Japan Strategic Research Forum, said the speech by Fumio Kishida and his appearance in the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore are important.

According to New Siam, Japan is “active in asserting” itself and is more willing to take on a “leadership role” than ever before in the Indo-Pacific.

“He tackled the issue of” safety “and showed that Japan would play a role in ensuring a” free and open Indo-Pacific. ” Of course, that means ensuring that the region is free from threats and control of China. He didn’t use those words at all, but his meaning was clear enough, “Newsham said.

Epoch Times Photo
Aerial view of a remote island in the Sea of ​​Japan (East Sea). Ryo Hinata and Yamaguchi said that Japan’s strike capability so far was for remote islands, but now it has long-range strike capability. (Dong-a Ilbo / AFP / Getty Images)

Long-distance strike function

According to experts, Fumio Kishida’s interest in possessing “Counter-Strike Ability” means that Japan has created and possesses long-range strike capability designed primarily to defend and deter enemies. It means that you can do it.

Ryo said Japan’s strike capability so far was due to remote islands. However, if the country changes its policy, Japan will need at least 621 miles (1000 kilometers) of offensive capability for effective counterattack operations.

“Japan is considering many options, including an air-to-ground stand-off missile (JASSM-ER) with a range of 900 km. [560 miles]And extends the range of Type 12 anti-ship missiles to 900 km. [560 miles] And finally up to 1,500km [930 miles]”Ryo said.

In the long run, Japan is also considering producing cruise missiles with a range of up to 1,200 miles (2,000 km), submarine-launched cruise missiles of 1000 km, and hypersonic weapons, Ryo said.

“But Japan may need to consider intermediate-range ballistic missiles to deal with threats from China,” he said.

According to New Sham, Fumio Kishida has announced that the Japanese Navy will carry out more patrols, exercises and other activities in the region over the past 75 years, and that the Japanese Navy will send small task forces throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. .. ..

“I think submarines and destroyers will go with them. This was thought impossible, for example, five years ago. Now it’s considered” normal, “except for the People’s Republic of China. You will find that no one in Japan is complaining and no one in the area is complaining, “Newsham said.

Venus Upadayaya


Venus Upadhayaya reports on various issues. Her area of ​​expertise is geopolitics in India and South Asia. She reports from the highly volatile Indian-Pakistan border and has contributed to India’s mainstream print media for almost a decade. Community media, sustainable development and leadership continue to be her key areas of interest.