In mid-July, the Japanese Ministry of Defense issued a White Paper that attracted close attention from officials and experts from neighboring countries, as well as the United States.
There are a number of features in this document that indicate the dynamics of changes in the military-political planning of this state, indicate that along with Washington’s incitement and engagement in regional projects such as the Quadripartite Security Dialogue, Japan remains a loyal US satellite, emphasizing identical problems.
Looking at the introduction of the White Paper, one gets the impression that Japan now faces two main threats – China and North Korea.
It is said that “looking at the situation around Japan, China continues its unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas. Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels are observed almost daily in the contiguous area surrounding Senkaku Islands, an integral part of Japanese territory, and have repeatedly invaded Japan’s territorial waters. In addition, there have also been cases of CCG vessels approaching Japanese fishing vessels, invading Japanese territorial waters, making the situation more serious. Against this background, in February 2021, China’s “China Coast Guard Law” entered into force. The “China Coast Guard Law” contains problematic provisions in terms of their inconsistency with international law. Sources of inconsistency include, inter alia, ambiguity regarding geographic areas, in which the “China Coast Guard Law” is applied, and how the rules governing the use of weapons are applied. The law must not be allowed to infringe on the legitimate interests of the countries concerned, including Japan.
Moreover, the increase in tensions in the East China Sea and other maritime areas is completely unacceptable.
North Korea is also developing ballistic missiles at an extremely fast pace. It tested a new type of ballistic missile in 2021, and such military trends, including the development of nuclear and missile weapons, pose a serious and imminent threat to the security of Japan. “
It goes on to use the term “Indo-Pacific”, which was developed in the United States, and says that Japan will be committed to “a free and open Indo-Pacific.” The USA, Australia, India, Canada, New Zealand, as well as European countries, including Great Britain, France and Germany, are allies of Japan.
A number of pages are devoted to cataclysms and operations to eliminate the consequences of earthquakes and other natural disasters.
A separate block describes the importance of the space sphere, the electromagnetic spectrum and cyber capabilities.
But the Taiwanese publication drew attention to the fact that the Japanese Ministry of Defense for the first time removed Taiwan from the map of China.
In previous years, the White Paper combined Taiwan and China in one chapter and one map, which drew criticism from Taiwanese living in Japan. However, the latest version highlights the difference between the two, indicating a change in the policy of Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.
Instead, Taiwan was included in Part I, Chapter 2, Section 3 titled “Relations between the United States and China, etc.”
While the focus is on the current situation of deepening US-China antagonism, this section also includes an introduction to the military situation in Taiwan.
In the past, Taiwan was included as a “region” on the map of China in Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 2, entitled “Deployment and Size of the People’s Liberation Army”. In the new version, Taiwan is completely grayed out from the map of China and its command in the theater of operations.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense emphasized in the document that ” stabilization of the situation around Taiwan is important for the security of Japan and the stability of the international community .” The document added: ” It is therefore imperative that we pay close attention to the situation ahead of the crisis more than ever before.”
At a press briefing on July 13, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian complained about this that Japan “ grossly interfered in the internal affairs of China, unreasonably reproached China for quite normal defense construction and military activities, pointed out China’s maritime activity and fanned the so-called Chinese a threat that is wrong and irresponsible. “
The next day, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) welcomed the changes to the White Paper, thanking the Ministry of Defense for “emphasizing the importance” of stabilizing the situation around Taiwan and for “paying close attention to the situation ahead of the crisis more than ever before. or before. “
Three pages of text are devoted to Russia, at least in the digest of the English version. There are no claims that Russia poses a threat or a challenge, only a few facts are listed. For example, that Russia is modernizing its military arsenal, including nuclear weapons, developing supersonic weapons, and expanding military cooperation with China.
Several paragraphs are devoted to Russia’s activities in the “northern territories of Japan” ( as it says in the document – editor’s note ), including the deployment of S-300 air defense systems. There are also allegations that Russia has carried out cyberattacks, including specific operations related to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Links are given to resources in the US and UK. Probably, the Japanese Defense Ministry does not have its own confirmed data on cyberattacks and only copied the fabricated information of its Western partners.
Of course, one section is devoted to cooperation with the United States, from which one can learn that the American bases in Japan are unlikely to be withdrawn in the near future. They can only change their location. In particular, in Okinawa, which is the center of a constant scandal in relation to American bases, artificial lands began to be reclaimed, thus expanding the territory of the Camp Schwab base.
With regard to problem sectors, Japan is concerned about the following areas:
- defense of remote islands;
- organizing an effective response to possible missile attacks;
- the possibility of action in space;
- ensuring the security of cyber systems;
- development of the capabilities of the electromagnetic spectrum;
- response to catastrophes and natural disasters of a large scale (including the coronavirus epidemic).
It is indicative that Russia is always open to all-round cooperation, and recently President Vladimir Putin announced a special proposal to Tokyo for the joint development of the Kuril Islands. But, being a vassal state dependent on the United States, current politicians in Japan will hardly dare to act in the interests of their state and people, but will continue to follow Washington’s instructions.
By Leonid Savin Via https://www.geopolitica.ru/article/belaya-kniga-oborony-yaponii