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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 June 1 - 7  > All conservative parties favor arms buildup which will drag Japan into vicious cycle of military escalation
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2022 June 1 - 7 TOP3 [POLITICS]

All conservative parties favor arms buildup which will drag Japan into vicious cycle of military escalation

June 6, 2022

Akahata editorial (gist)

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong at a gathering held on May 26 in Tokyo said, “Asian countries should think how to be better prepared if a conflict unfortunately arises, but also how to work together before trouble happens in order to maintain peace and stability in the region and reduce the chances of such crises escalating out of control.” He warned, "If we only look at regional security from individual national perspectives, we may end up with an arms race and an unstable outcome."

Contrary to Lee’s statement of concern, Japan’s conservative parties are calling in unison for the procurement of a “preemptive strike capability” which violates the Japanese Constitution as well as for a substantial increase in military spending by taking advantage of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

The Liberal Democratic Party proposes that Japan’s military spending be raised to more than 2% of GDP which amounts to eleven trillion yen, and that Japan acquire a counterstrike capability to prevent or respond to an attack against Japan.

Regarding the promise Prime Minister Kishida had made to the U.S. president to possess an enemy base strike capability; increase Japan’s military strength; and boost Japan’s military spending, Chief Representative of the Komei Party Yamaguchi Natsuo stated in Komei Shimbun on June 2, “We will examine what we really need for Japan’s defense capabilities and then will compile the necessary budget.”

The “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party in its election pledge released on June 2 promotes an increase in defense spending to 2% of GDP; a review of Japan’s conventional policy of “exclusively self-defensive defense”; the start of discussions on “sharing” the possession of nuclear weapons; and a stipulation about the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 of the Constitution.

The Democratic Party for the People includes “acquisition of strike capability in self-defense” and “an increase in defense spending” in its campaign platform released on May 20.

The lesson Japan should learn from the ongoing Ukraine crisis is to say no to a military buildup. It is more important than ever for Japan to advance an independent peace diplomacy while making the best use of the war-renouncing Article 9 in order to bring about a truly peaceful world.
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