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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 May 18 - 24  > PM Kishida’s further military buildup promise to US harmful to people’s livelihoods and peace in East Asia
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2022 May 18 - 24 TOP3 [POLITICS]

PM Kishida’s further military buildup promise to US harmful to people’s livelihoods and peace in East Asia

May 24, 2022

Akahata editorial

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on May 23 held talks with visiting U.S. President Joe Biden in Tokyo. Not only in the talks but also in the joint statement released after the talks, PM Kishida promised President Biden further discussions on Japan’s “possession of the enemy base strike capability”, a drastic improvement of Japan’s military strength, and a considerable boost in Japan’s military spending. This aims to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and counter China. It is necessary to oppose China’s hegemony. However, moving toward a further military buildup will create a vicious cycle of “military actions for military actions”, which may lead to war. Going headlong into a dangerous strategy which adversely affects peace in East Asia is unacceptable.

Japan will increase its military spending considerably

PM Kishida in the talks said that in order to strengthen “the deterrence and response capability of the Japan-U.S. alliance”, Japan will “fundamentally reinforce the nation’s defense capabilities and secure a substantial increase of its defense budget needed to effect it.” In addition, he reportedly explained to Biden that he will discuss all options, including the capability to counter missile threats.

PM Kishida made these remarks based on the Liberal Democratic Party’s proposal for the review of the national security strategy which the Kishida government plans to conduct by the end of 2022.

The LDP proposal calls on the government to replace the expression "enemy-strike capability" with "counterforce capability" and to actually acquire such a capability. Furthermore, the proposal points to not only enemy bases but also facilities with command/control functions as attack targets. This proposal is really dangerous as it may pull Japan in the direction of all-out war.

In addition, the LDP proposal calls for increasing Japan’s defense expenditures with the target of 2% of GDP in mind. The 2% target, if applied, will more than double the FY 2022 military budget which is 5.4 trillion yen. The government may bulldoze through an increase in the consumption tax rate to cover the costs of a further military buildup. If that happens, it will cause serious financial hardships on people’s livelihoods.

The two leaders in the talks confirmed that it is decisively important to ensure that the U.S. provision of extended nuclear deterrence to Japan continues to be credible and powerful. This is also serious.

Nuclear deterrence is a logic that to hold a nuclear capability will discourage an enemy to conduct a nuclear attack, and that a retaliatory strike will be allowed in the event of a nuclear attack by an enemy. This argument is based on the premise of the use of nuclear arms and even refuses to not repeat the inhumane consequences that Hiroshima and Nagasaki experienced.

Furthermore, amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, President Putin takes a position of not hesitating to use nuclear weapons even though many Russian casualties may be brought about due to retaliatory attacks. This proves that the nuclear deterrence theory is worthless.

Sticking to nuclear deterrence

PM Kishida at a press conference after the talks announced that he chose Hiroshima City as a venue for the 2023 G7 Summit to be chaired by Japan. Explaining the reason, he said that he made this choice in order to appeal to the world for the need to make a promise that mankind will never cause another catastrophe brought about by the actual use of nuclear weapons. This explanation contradicts his stance of sticking to the nuclear deterrence theory. The Kishida-Biden joint statement calls on China to work for nuclear disarmament, but such a request will not be accepted by China.

The need now is for Japan to shift away from the nuclear deterrence theory, participate in the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and work to create a peaceful East Asia through diplomacy based on Article 9 of the Constitution.

Past related articles:
> Taking advantage of Ukraine crisis, LDP seeks to double military spending to more than 2% of GDP [May 2, 2022]
> Shii criticizes LDP's proposal to attack enemy's military nerve center [April 22, 2022]

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