Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WSJ: Tensions Flare as Japan Says China Threatened its Forces


Wall Street Journal Wed Jan 6, 2013 p. A1, A9 by Y. Hayashi, J. Page, and J. E. Barnes

[Excerpted] Japan accused China's navy of locking weapons-guiding radar onto Japanese naval forces twice in the past three weeks, an escalation of their territorial dispute that has heightened fears of a military conflict between the Asian giants....

...Most analysts say a full-blow war is highly unlikely. But one worrisome element is a lack of direct communication channels and a code of conduct between the two nations' militaries...

Majia here: I think this article needs to be read in conjunction with my other post today about the Rokkasho reprocessing plant.

I doubt either party wants war, but when you are armed to the teeth war can escalate quickly.

Japan has been building up its military arsenal for the last ten years or so.


Wall Street Journal. "Tokyo Shows Off its Missile Defense" Dec 8-9, 2012 p. A11 by Chester Dawson:
[Excerpted] the Japanese have spent $12 billion ... deploying the most sophisticated missile-defense system outside the US - and one poised for export to other nations....

The system was controversial when first proposed in 1993 due to its high cost and potential to antagonize neighboring states....

Today, Japan has 16 Patriot firing units... and four Aegis destroyers armed with ballistic-missile interceptors.

The next stage is potentially even more ambitious - and controversial. Japan and the US are set to begin tests of a new interceptor with vastly expanded speed and range . . . the US is pushing hard for Japan to transfer this technology to other allied countries with Aegis systems....

Japan officials, sensitive to domestic and foreign wariness about Japan emerging as a global weapons supplier, are quick to say that no formal decision has been made. But last year, Tokyo cleared the way by lifting a self imposed ban on arms shipments overseas dating from 1967....


Majia here: its instructive to re-examine this December 28, 2011 headline Wall Street Journal: "Japan Lifts Decades long Ban on Export of Weapons" p. A8

The article states that the Japanese ban on exports of advanced military technology was introduced in 1967 and tightened in 1976. The ban is now being lifted: "Japan's leading big-business lobby, the Keidanren,which has been one of the strongest proponents of easing the arms-export ban, welcomed the move."

Japan also plans to purchase 42 of Lockheed Martin's "pricey F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter planes to replace its Air Self Defense Force's aging fleet of 1960s era F-4 jets. Japan said it plans to spend Y1.6 trillion ($20.8 billion) on the program over the next 20 years..."

Japan hopes to reduce some of the cost by building and exporting components to other F-35 buyers.

Majia here: See also "Japan Weighs Options for Pricey Fighter Jets" Wall Street Journal print edition 12/5/2011 p. A11

"In a move expected as soon as this month, Japan's Defense Ministry will pick a replacement for its aging squadrons of Vietnam-era F-4 fighters from among three finalists, two American and one European. The order for a new fighter is expected to total 40 to 60 planes valued at an estimated $4 billion. It is one of the world's largest military contracts this year."

Majia here: The emerging "New Cold War" is enriching the merchants of death, who play important roles for lobbying for the war's development and policy trajectories.  

1 comment:

  1. This has nothing to do with a couple lumps of rock in the ocean. Japan has been a vassal state of the US since WWII. Japan is overtaking China as the #1 buyer of Treasury debt:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/06/why-china-may-no-longer-be-america-s-no-1-debt-buyer.html

    Meanwhile, China is converting its enormous portfolio of US treasury securities into US assets, buying up American companies:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/25/business/la-fi-china-us-investing-20120825

    So this has to do with US nuclear saber-rattling in response to this dire economic situation.

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