Steps must be taken quickly to counter military buildup of China, N. Korea

July 27, 2015

The Japan News:

China and North Korea have been steadily expanding their military power. This calls for constant vigilance and surveillance of their activities.

Japan’s defense white paper for 2015 was recently released. It condemns “China’s attempts to change the status quo by force” as “coercive” and expresses concern that such moves “demonstrate China’s policy of unilaterally realizing its ambitions without concession.”

The assessments were made based on such developments as China’s unilateral establishment of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, as well as its land reclamation and construction of military facilities on rock reefs in the South China Sea.

…The white paper also touches on China’s development of a new type of hypersonic weapon that can be loaded on and launched from ballistic missiles. These arms are designed to outmaneuver the U.S. missile defense system, and some advances have reportedly been made in their development. It is necessary to closely monitor whether they are put into practical use.

Concerning North Korea under the administration of Kim Jong Un, the paper states “there is a possibility that it will resort to military provocations” without sufficient diplomatic efforts due to a “chilling effect” stemming from a series of purges of senior executive leaders.

The paper states that North Korea’s ballistic missiles has shown “diversified striking capabilities” and “improved first-strike capabilities.” North Korea has been conducting ballistic missile tests using a mobile launching pad, and has also announced that it successfully launched a missile from a submarine.

Noting that the nation has continued its nuclear arms development program, the white paper concludes that “the risk of ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads being deployed will increase.”

Japan lies within the range of North Korea’s Rodong medium-range ballistic missiles. If North Korea does indeed miniaturize its nuclear warheads, the threat to Japan will rise significantly.

Given such a possibility, it is more important than ever to pass security-related bills in the Diet. Exercise of the collective self-defense right can enable the protection of U.S. vessels engaged in surveillance of North Korean missiles, among other actions. Moreover, it will enhance the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance. …

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