September 11 just before leaving, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced his idea
on the missile defense plan. It implies acquiring of capabilities to strike
adversary’s military bases, thus the premier practically gave instructions to
the next administration to review the current national security strategy. That
means eventual relinquishment of Article Nine of the constitution, which provides
renunciation of a war as a means to settle international conflicts and prohibition
of possessing war capabilities.
debates after abandoning Aegis Ashore interceptors
Japanese government planned to station the ground-based Aegis Ashore
interceptors at the Self Defense Forces bases in Akita
and Yamaguchi Prefectures with an assumption that
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may launch ballistic missiles.
Minister of Defense Kono Taro, however, announced June 15 a decision to abandon
the plan. The reason was a risk of falling boosters, according to the military official,
who added that it would take too much time and cost to resolve technical deficiencies.
to the proclamation of suspension and relevant military strategy changes, the
government and the ruling party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) began to work on
feasibility of capabilities to hit a military base of adversaries, which has
been maintained by the bloc for years. The government held a meeting of the
National Security Council (NSC) June 24 to discuss an alternative missile
defense policy, confirming the scrapping of the Aegis Ashore program.
the LDP set up a task force, the Team to Debate on Missile Defense Program, to issue
a proposal July 31. Receiving the report, ex-Premier Abe told August 4 that he
would ‘take tough initiative to fulfill the duty’. The recent remark reconfirmed
Defensive Posture collapsed
theory to strike enemy’s base emerged in 1956 under the Hatoyama Government.
But the idea was rejected virtually by the succeeding governments. The 1970
Fiscal Defense White Paper says: the basic policy lies in an exclusively defensive
posture, which affects on equipment and military strategies, with an assumption
might be targeted of aggression.
continues: to prohibit possession of assault-type aircraft carriers and
long-range bombers and to entail on removal of in-flight refueling component of
aircraft. Later in the first decade of 2000, however, the theory reemerged
during the debates participated by both ruling and opposition parties to cope
with missile firing tests conducted by DPRK. As the recent government’s explanations
are unprecedentedly pragmatic, they step into a constitutionally forbidden
few ministers will work
LDP’s proposal specifies; if a possibility is judged to be fairly high that Japan should be
hit by an adversary, the country would launch a first strike at the moment when
the adversary should start on military offensive. The document says the DPRK
possesses hundreds of ballistic missiles that may cover the entire
archipelagoes of Japan
within the range.
first strike will trigger a full-scale war. According to the government’s plan,
only nine ministers in the NSC would involve in the information analysis and
judgment process, which is a risky, flawed design.
key is to work diplomatically so that Japan may not have an enemy,
relying on the constitution: to keep an exclusively defensive stance instead of
provoking tensions in vain in the Eastern Asian region.