Japan vows to amp up military to prepare for potential aggression
Japan's security plans entail double defense spending within five years which will cause a change in the sea where the pacifist constitution limits Japan's military capacity.
In a preventive measure to prepare for future and potential aggression, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed on Sunday to amp up the capacities and capabilities of the country's navy and military.
Addressing Japan's international fleet review, he said, "We must prepare ourselves for an era when actors emerge to disobey rules and use force or threats to destroy the peace and safety of other nations," as he condemned Russia for the war in Ukraine and took a hit at the DPRK for its recent missile tests, including one on October 4 which flew over Japan, prompting rare evacuation warnings and involving a "new-type ground-to-ground intermediate-range ballistic missile."
During the fleet review, ships from Japan and 12 other countries, such as Australia, India, and the US gathered at Sagami Bay just south of Tokyo, while South Korea participated for the first time in seven years, as it attempts to amend strained relations with Japan.
DPRK has long protested against the joint US-Japan war games, arguing that the US military and Japan's alliance with Washington prevent the improvement of ties and generate further tension. In response to ongoing provocations, DPRK has lately passed legislation that declares the country a nuclear-weapon state, giving its leader, Kim Jong Un, sole authority over nuclear decisions, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing Pyongyang's state media.
This follows Japan's security plans which entail double defense spending within five years which in turn could cause a change in the sea where the pacifist constitution limits Japan's military capacity.
Kishida stated, "We will accelerate realistic discussions on what's needed to defend our people by keeping all options on the table," Kishida said, adding, "The enhancement (of Japan's naval capacity) cannot wait, including construction of new naval ships, bolstering our missile defence capacity and improvement of the work conditions and compensations for our (military) personnel."
Although China was not identified or stated by the name, the PM stated that "the national security environment surrounding our nation is growing more severe including the East China Sea and South China Sea," - the region holding disputes regarding territories between China, Japan, and their neighbors.
In light of his announcement, Kishida assured that there will be transparency concerning military spending. "Japan will maintain our way as a pacifist country as we have done so since the end of (World War II)," he said.
The US and South Korean militaries launched the largest ever military exercises on October 31, which lasted five days and with hundreds of warplanes participating in 1,600 sorties in attack preparation courses 24 hours per day, Reuters reported.
According to a US Air Force statement, Operation Vigilant Storm is the largest since 2017 intended to fend off alleged encroachments from North Korea's military.
The joint drills were condemned by North Korea as a "rehearsal for invasion and proof of hostile policies by Washington and Seoul," but per Reuters, allies consider the drills a requirement due to the North Korean military launching a high number of missiles this year, which, in their turn, were in response to growing US influence in the region alongside South Korea.