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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 January 5 - 11  > Japan and US in 2-plus-2 talks turn their back on peaceful resolution of conflicts
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2022 January 5 - 11 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Japan and US in 2-plus-2 talks turn their back on peaceful resolution of conflicts

January 8, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

A Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting (2-plus-2) took place on January 7. Documents released jointly by the two governments criticize China's acts in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The documents state that they will work together to prevent acts which threaten regional stability and, if necessary, will respond to such acts jointly, making clear the two countries' stance of taking a military response. China's hegemonic acts in disregard of international rules are unacceptable. However, the Japanese and U.S. governments' stance of reinforcing their military cooperation to enhance military response options is also unacceptable. It will only help further intensify tensions in the region and will run counter to attempts to find a peaceful resolution to increased tensions.

The documents declare that the two countries will make the Japan-U.S. alliance even more powerful to counter China. Specifically, the documents state that they will ensure full consistency in the alliance regarding strategy. Japan's Kishida government expressed in December last year that it will work to revise the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Program Guidelines, and that it will consider every possible option needed for Japan's defense, including capabilities to counter missile threats through a process of strategy review. The capabilities to counter missile threats mean the capability to attack enemy bases which the postwar Japanese Constitution explicitly prohibits.

Reportedly, the U.S. military and Japan's Self-Defense Forces will draft a new Japan-U.S. joint operation plan on the assumption of a Taiwan contingency emerging and will set up an offensive military foothold in the Nansei Islands, including Okinawa.

This dovetails with the documents which call for the strengthening of SDF readiness in the region, including Japan's Nansei Islands as well as for more joint use of Japan-U.S. facilities. The documents also focus on the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko in Okinawa's Nago City and on the construction of a military base on Mageshima Island in Kagoshima's Nishinoomote City.

On the other hand, the documents hardly touch on considering a diplomatic approach to deal with China. The Japanese government should make diplomatic efforts to resolve conflicts through peaceful dialogue based on the UN Charter and international law, not enhance its military capability as it may lead to a catastrophic war.

It is necessary to make the best use of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in Japan's diplomacy, and not allow Japan to turn into a nation capable and willing to engage in fighting wars abroad.
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