Japan

August 18, 2006 at 1:52 pm (Blogs, International community, Military, War)

Many people think Japan would be the last state in the world to acquire nuclear weaponry. Such thoughts are very well justified, especially considering Japan’s very strident and unyielding anti-nuclear weapon policies and rhetoric. But this is not entirely the complete picture.

I remember a few years ago that a storm of controversy enveloped Japan when a member of the government suggested that Japan should seek and obtain offensive nuclear technology. All such talk was quickly denounced and shoved into the corner but it reveals something not many would realize: there is support in Japan for nuclear weapons by Japan. Granted this is something that mainly members of the government and Japanese nationalists/rightists support, but this is significant in itself.

Why is this significant? Two words: North Korea.

Another common perception is that Japan does not have a military. Technically, this is true. But in reality Japan does have a military. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces are less a band of armed men to protect the state and more an actual military force. This is not something that has escaped The United States’ government’s attention. It would not take a lot of time or effort to make what is de facto into de jure. This is certainly something The United States very much likes as this means that The United States would have to commit fewer people to the region in the event of an armed conflict, and that Japan will have the ability to defend itself (and even act in an offensive manner) should the need arise.

Take these two facts–the very real potential that Japan can seek and obtain nuclear weapons and that Japan does have a military–and combine it with another fact, that Japan takes its defense very seriously, and we get a situation that works against the interests of China and North Korea. If Japan is willing to use nuclear weapons to protect itself (whether as a deterrent or as an actual option of engagement), China needs to take the North Korean issue very, very seriously. The United States would rather not have Japan officially militarized (in that it has a military) or having nuclear weapons, but both would be gladly supported and provided if the situation in the region spirals out of control.

Accordingly, this post (“Memo to Zhemin”) by HayZeus of HayZeus, Inc., is very relevant.

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