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Ridiculous of former Japanese defense minister to call for military spending increase confronting China

来源:China Military Online责任编辑:Lin Congyi
2022-09-21 17:40
File Photo: Nobuo Kishi, former Minister of Defense of Japan

By Zhang Wang and Wang Hui

According to a report released on Sept. 19 by Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese daily newspaper, Nobuo Kishi, former Minister of Defense of Japan and incumbent special advisor to Prime Minister, called on Japan to increase the defense budget to top 2% of GDP, and clamored for the need to consider what Japan could do if "something happens to Taiwan" in an interview with the paper.

Being asked about what should be focused on in the revision of Japan's National Security Strategy (NSS), Nobuo Kishi claimed that Japan faces "Triple-threat by China, Russia and DPRK" and no other country is surrounded by such strong military existence. Therefore he said that "Japan must acknowledge its weakness of self-defense and improve its defense capability to be able to fight back and deter."

When it came to the reason for increasing Japan's defense budget to over 2% of GDP, Nobuo Kishi said, "China's fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets are about four times of Japan's and the number of its submarines is about 2.6 times that of Japan. It is also necessary for Japan to keep a certain amount of equipment. However, the Japanese academic community has a strong sense of resistance to applying high-tech to national defense. To smoothly adopt excellent civilian technologies, I think it is in need of eliminating the (academic community's) sense of rejection to and avoidance of engaging in national defense."

When it came to the situation across the Taiwan Strait, Nobuo Kishi said that Japan is close to Taiwan in geological location, therefore Japan should think about what it could do and fully communicate with the US against the scenario of so-called Chinese mainland's attack on Taiwan.

According to Hu Jiping, vice president and researcher of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), in an interview on September 20, Nobuo Kishi's speech has been misleading. First, the logic of expanding military spending on the grounds that China's weapons are several times that of Japan's in number is wrong. There is a significant gap between China and Japan in terms of national territorial area, and China's legitimate defense needs are thereby not of the same level compared with Japan. Moreover, national security cannot be safeguarded by weapons alone. Second, Cross-Strait unification belongs to China’s internal affairs. Japan has clearly recognized that there is only one China since 1972. The so-called concept that "issues of Taiwan are those of Japan" is a violation of Japan's diplomatic principles.

As the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan is approaching, it seems that senior Japanese government officials haven't proactively created a good atmosphere, but repeatedly made negative remarks against China instead. On September 9, the 10th anniversary of the so-called nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands by the Japanese government, Matsuno Hirokazu, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, once again falsely claimed that the Diaoyu Islands "have been Japan's inherent territory." On September 15, during the talks between Japan's Minister of Defense Yasukazu Hamada and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington, the two sides once again made irresponsible remarks on the Taiwan question.

Hu said that judging from the atmosphere this year, Japan has been relatively passive in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In previous years, the Japanese Embassy in China used to hold a reception, and no such plan has ever been heard this year. The commemorative activities held in Japan were jointly organized by the Japanese non-governmental organization Keidanren and the Chinese Embassy in Japan. As the Japanese public sector holds impassive gesture toward the event, it is not surprising that right-wing politicians like Nobuo Kishi expressed themselves as such in public. It is reported that Japan may revise its National Security Strategy (NSS) by the end of 2022, which may position China as a "major threat". If it is true, such action will be unprecedented.

Editor's note: Originally published on huanqiu.com, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.aoi-futsal.com.

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