The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has announced it would study Japan's military capabilities to attack enemy bases to put the idea in to the new version of defense guideline that will be issued at the end of the year, and the Ministry of Defense works on the agenda, responding to the decision. Though the government uses 'threats of North Korea' as an excuse, this option heightens tension and speeds up arms race in the East Asia region.
DANGEROUS OPTION TO PRIORITIZE MILITARY STRENGTH
The LDP held a joint meeting on May 17 of its National Defense Division and Research Commission on Security to study a proposal for the new defense guideline. Decisions were made in the meeting to approve a policy to attack enemy's strategic positions by deploying sea-launch cruise missiles.
In 1956 the then-Prime Minister Hatoyama Ichiro replied in the Diet that 'it is not unconstitutional to wage an attack, if the enemy prepares to hit Japan with intercontinental ballistic missiles, because such a response is regarded within the scope of self-defense'. But this notion has been shelved for long as it contradicts with the idea of 'an exclusively defensive stance'.
Lately, however, this idea reemerges openly in the context to see North Korea and China as potential foes. The government is to formulate the notion as a basic policy. But if you analyze its meaning and find out essence, the idea is, without doubt, nothing but harmful with no benefits.
Seed of Tension and Arms Race
The government's explanation about 'preparation' for a hostile missile launch against Japan is ambiguous. If the government reacts in this direction, that means a preemptive strike. Any first strike begins with an excuse of 'defense from a threat'. Ten years ago Iraq was attacked in this context.
A boundary to distinguish 'an exclusively defensive posture' from 'preemptive strike' disappears. The Self Defense Forces (SDF), practically, will retain first strike capabilities. This is an open violation of Article Nine.
Such a stance of Japan will impact on the neighboring nations: regarding themselves as targeted with the offensive power, they will enhance capabilities to cope with 'a new threat coming from Japan'. They will build up potential to strike 'Japan's strategic points'. In other words, the island nation will ignite a fresh arms race, heightening tension in the region.
The government talks about 'strategic bases of enemy missiles'. Intermediate range missile of neighbors to head to Japan are, in most cases, deployed underground and transported by trailers at the time of actual launching.
As for a cruise missile, it takes one or two hours from a launch to hit the target. And therefore when the missile reaches, no missile will be there as it is removed.
Thus, the government tries to combine together cruise missiles, the MD network, air-to-surface attack capabilities by F35 fighters and a constant surveillance system by stationary satellites.
The neighboring nations will strengthen missile capabilities that will break through the MD network, reinforce air defense capabilities and develop ability to destroy military satellites. In East Asia these developments are actually going on.
Path to Go to War
In the said joint meeting of the LDP the members told 'it was Japan's duty to obtain some of the striking power that the United States has'.
The Abe government hopes Japan to be a military power, a nation to wage a war against others. This is a Japanese version of military priority, which triggers a vicious circle of threats and arms race in the Ease Asia region where creation of peace and cooperation are imperative and possible.
The New Socialist Party condemns a triangle cooperation of the LDP which denies and destroys the Constitution, the Ministry of Defense which seeks excuses of arms race and the military industry which pursues business.
June 11, 2013