Japan shifts gear to counter Chinese, North Korea aggression

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2020, 10:08 PM(IST)

Shinzo Abe Photograph:( Reuters )

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"The japanese people forever renounce war and the threat or use of force." Today's Japan led by Shinzo Abe wants to change this.

World War II  ended with US forces occupying Japan and the country's constitution adopted pacifism.

"The japanese people forever renounce war and the threat or use of force." Today's Japan led by Shinzo Abe wants to change this.

North korea launched two ballistic missiles that fell in Japanese waters last year. Over the last 100 days, Japan had to peacefully watch China send its longest dispatch of vessels to Senkaku Islands in east China sea. Senkaku belong to Japan. Instead of engaging China with military might, Japan went to international media to raise its concerns. Abe believes japan can no longer hide behind the weak shield of pacifism.

North korea's nuclear program and China's military incursions add weight to his arguments. Since his election in 2012, Abe has introduced a series of 'war bills'. The most sweeping changes made to defence laws since the end of world war II. China hasn't been pleased. In 2013, Abe announced a five-year military expansion plan, calling it "Proactive pacifism''. In 2015 -- despite public opposition -- Japanese military legislation was passed. This allowed Japan to participate in foreign conflicts, to help out allies.

Earlier it could go to war only in self-defence. In 2018, Abe activated Japan's marine unit, which had been disbanded after world war. In the same year, they conducted Japan's biggest ever military exercise simulations of air combat, ballistic missile defense and, amphibious landings. All aimed at countering North Korea and China. In 2019, Japan began developing supersonic guide bombs and hypersonic missiles.

Japan is a nuclear state but in 1976, Japan promised not to use a nuclear weapon But, even before his election. Abe said Japan's constitution does not ban possession of nuclear weapons. He wants to keep a minimum set of tactical, nuclear war-heads.

This is the modern Japan. Equipped to the hilt and ready to strike but hesitant due to a gruesome past.

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