Japan played up the "China threat" in an attempt to strengthen the army and expand its armed forces

7 days ago • 5 pageviews

Source: Economic Daily

According to reports, the amount of budget request for fiscal 2024 recently determined by the Japanese Ministry of Defense has increased significantly, reaching a record high. The 2023 edition of the Defense White Paper issued by the Ministry of Defense, entitled "Defense", actually forcibly exaggerates international tensions, hypes up the "China threat" with "the greatest strategic challenge ever", grossly interferes in China's internal affairs, and finds excuses for its own military expansion in order to achieve the real purpose of accelerating its own military rightward shift, which must attract the attention and vigilance of the international community.

One of the main purposes of the "China threat" is to try to "blame" its military expansion. In December last year, the Japanese government proposed to increase defense spending to 43 trillion yen over the next five years, an increase of more than 50% over the previous five years. Japanese people don't buy it. According to the survey, about 60% of the Japanese people oppose measures to increase defense spending, and 80% oppose the tax increase policy to secure the source of defense funds. Even the Japanese media published an editorial saying, "In order to justify the defense expenditure totaling 43 trillion yen over five years, the gesture of blindly promoting a sense of crisis is eye-catching." It seems that the Japanese government has seen the "China threat" as a "reasonable" excuse for the people to "pay for it obediently."

Playing up the "China threat" is to endorse its accelerated lifting of the ban on military operations. The number of articles on defense policy in the 2023 edition of the Defense White Paper has increased by seventy percent compared with the 2022 edition, and a special explanation is also made on "the ability to attack enemy bases". Whether it is "defense" or "counterattack", is it intended to carry out military operations "preemptively" just because the military strength of neighboring countries has increased? Japanese media commented that "whether this will become an attack in violation of international law and whether it will trigger an arms race with neighboring countries, similar questions and concerns have never been eliminated." ”

Over the years, in disregard of the opposition of the international community, the Japanese Government has "selectively" forgotten the disasters brought to the people of the world by its historical acts of aggression, and has tried to amend Article 9 of the Constitution under the guise of "self-protection" to lift the ban on the right of collective self-defense, and finally achieve the effect of "passive defense" becoming "active attack". For example, the "New Security Act" was passed in 2015 to eliminate Article 9 of the Constitution, and in 2021, amendments to the National Referendum Law were passed to set a timetable for amending the Constitution. After the current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came to power, he continued the idea of "actively shaping the crisis in exchange for lifting the military ban", danced with the United States against the background of the Sino-US game and the Ukraine crisis, acted as the forward command of the United States in Northeast Asia, "led wolves into the house" to pull NATO into Asia, clamoured that the so-called "something in Taiwan is something for Japan", stirred up tensions in Northeast Asia, revised the "three security documents", publicized the necessity of "attack on enemy bases", and brought Japan's military rightward shift to a new level. What is more worth pondering is that on the one hand, Japan emphasized the construction of a nuclear-free world at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, but on the other hand, it sought a "nuclear umbrella" from the United States and tried to build an "extended deterrent" against China. One wonders, who is the biggest regional threat?

In order to achieve its political goals, Japan's behavior of not hesitating to create regional tension and constantly touch the "high-voltage line" of the Taiwan issue is destined to not be recognized by the international community. It is hoped that Japan will "turn back to the shore" and stop using the spurious "China threat" to "blame" its military rightist behavior.