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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 9 - 15  > Outgoing Prime Minister Abe should not force his successor to hasten Japan’s ability to attack enemy bases
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2020 September 9 - 15 [POLITICS]

Outgoing Prime Minister Abe should not force his successor to hasten Japan’s ability to attack enemy bases

September 13, 2020

Akahata editorial

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo recently released his statement about a new security policy dealing with missile defense. The statement calls on forming a conclusion by the end of this year in discussions on Japan’s possession of the capability to attack enemy bases to prevent an enemy from launching missiles against Japan. Attacking enemy bases is effectively a preemptive strike which not only tramples on the Constitution but also violates international law. It is totally outrageous for outgoing Prime Minister Abe to require his successor to develop a policy leading to a radical change in the nation’s security policy.

Abe’s rush toward creation of a war-fighting nation

In the statement, PM Abe referred to the nuclear and ballistic missile development of North Korea. He then pointed out that “there is a question of whether it is possible to protect and defend the lives and the peaceful livelihoods of the Japanese people only by enhancing our interception capability” and that “it is necessary to enhance deterrence and thereby further reduce the possibility of an attack against Japan by ballistic missiles and others.” Apparently, he insisted that Japan should have an ability to strike enemy bases. Furthermore, he said that the “Government of Japan will identify policies to be undertaken by the end of this year to respond to the severe security environment surrounding Japan.”

At a press conference after the release of his statement, PM Abe said that he has no intention to tie his successor down to his statement. He, however, claimed that continuing discussion on this matter is government responsibility. Evidently, he urged his successor to take over his position to have Japan equipped with the capability to strike enemy bases.

It is unacceptable for PM Abe to pave the way to the destruction of the Constitution as the outgoing prime minister’s duty is to carry out the minimum amount of work necessary to maintain administrative functions.

It can hardly be overlooked that in his statement, PM Abe said that since the Abe administration was inaugurated seven years and eight months ago, Japan’s security policy has made significant progress. He added, “The Legislation for Peace and Security was passed, which has made the Japan-U.S. Alliance more robust.” The “Legislation for Peace and Security” is the national security legislation (or war laws) which the Abe government forced through the Diet in September 2015. The legislation enables the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to intercept military attacks against the U.S. by exercising the collective self-defense right and provide logistics support to the U.S. military in combat zones together with other various forms of assistance. These activities were regarded as unconstitutional by successive governments. The war laws opened the door for Japan to become a nation that fights in U.S. wars abroad.

As the reason to discuss ways to make Japan able to strike enemy bases, the statement asserts, “The bond of the alliance will be strengthened if each side can assist each other.” If Japan obtains such a capability, it will be able to attack an enemy independently. On top of this, Japan will apparently become more involved in the U.S. security framework and nuclear strategy.

The statement stresses that the installation of the capability of attacking enemy bases is needed to strengthen the deterrence capability.

However, as the statement points out, “North Korea retains hundreds of ballistic missiles with a range that covers Japan” and the country “is assessed to have already successfully miniaturized nuclear weapons, and to possess the capability to launch an attack on Japan with ballistic missiles fitted with nuclear warheads”. In addition, Pyongyang is believed to have up to 200 missile-launching vehicles.

Discussions regarding attacks against enemy bases will increase military tensions

It is extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact location of mobile missile launchers. Furthermore, even if Japan successfully destroys some of the launchers, it can still suffer huge damage from missile attacks from the remaining launchers. Efforts to develop an offence capability to neutralize all of them will require a military build-up and inevitably lead to much higher military tensions in Northeast Asia.

What Japan should do now is exert diplomatic efforts to prevent missiles from being launched in the first place.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike criticizes PM Abe for wanting to have capability to attack enemy bases [June 23, 2020]
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