Japan is going through a phase of militarization unprecedented in its postwar history, and its government has released a new version of its National Security Strategy. For the first time throughout the post-war period, it declared its intention to ” actively respond ” to what was happening in the region.
Under these goals, Tokyo has approved a record-breaking US $51 billion (approximately RMB) military budget since 1945 and plans to increase it to 2% of GDP (approximately 1076 billion U.S. dollars, which will be the third highest in the world after the United States and China ). In particular, it will be used to “counterattack” the Chinese missile system.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited East Asia in January. As a result, the head of the US military department announced the modernization and quantitative improvement of the contingents stationed in the Japanese archipelago. A month later, Japanese Defense Minister Koichi Hamada announced the imminent purchase of 500 Tomahawk missiles. In addition, information was leaked to the media about the planned deployment of the American LRHW hypersonic system, which has a flight range of up to 2,775 kilometers.
The Japanese are most concerned not with Russia but with two other close neighbors: China and North Korea.
It’s China’s activity in the East and South China Seas, the long-running dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, and the associated discussions about the boundaries of the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Air Defense Identification Zone, and in general, and more overtly in recent years, China’s tough rhetoric.
At the same time, in the eyes of the United States, Japan is an extremely important link in the island’s geopolitical strategy, and its purpose is to contain China.