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Biden Administration Tramples on Japan’s Post-World War II Pacifist Constitution By Pushing Country’s Rearmament

Covert Action magazine, By Sara Flounders, January 9, 2023 

Main target is China in dangerously provocative policy that faces no visible domestic opposition in the U.S.

On December 16, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a new defense strategy that doubled Japan’s military spending by 2027. Japan further agreed to acquire offensive weapons and reshape its military command structure for its expanded armed forces.

On December 23, the draft budget was approved by Kishida’s cabinet.

Japan’s dangerous military expansion should set off international alarm bells. This major escalation is taking place based on intense U.S. imperialist pressure. It is the next step in the “Pivot to Asia,” aimed at threatening and surrounding China and attempting to reassert U.S. dominance in the Asia Pacific. 

The movements opposing endless U.S. wars must begin to prepare material and draw mass attention to this ominous threat.

The plan to double military spending will add $315 billion to Japan’s defense budget over the next five years and make Japan’s military the world’s third largest, after the U.S. and China. Defense spending will escalate to 2% of gross domestic product, equal to the goal the U.S. sets for its NATO allies. Japan’s economy is the world’s third largest. 

The Japanese government plans to buy up to 500 Lockheed Martin Tomahawk missiles and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM), procure more naval vessels and fighter aircraft, increase cyber-warfare capabilities, manufacture its own hypersonic guided missiles and produce its own advanced fighter jets, along with other weapons. The plan shifts from relying solely on missile defense to also embracing “counter strike” capabilities. 

………………………………………………… Although the U.S. occupation force, after defeating Japan’s military in World War II, imposed a “pacifist” constitution on Japan, for decades U.S. strategists have pressured Japan’s government to aggressively rearm, to buy U.S.-made weapons, and to act as a junior partner to U.S. efforts to dominate the Asia-Pacific region. 

Article 9 of the imposed Japanese constitution prohibits Japan from maintaining an army, navy and air force. To get around this, the “Japanese Self-Defense Forces” (JSDF) have since 1952 been treated as a legal extension of the police and prison system. The U.S. occupiers considered the JSDF an essential repressive tool defending capitalist property relations against the workers’ movement.

The decision for aggressive military expansion is in open violation of Japan’s supposedly pacifist constitution………………………………………….

The present doubling of the defense budget will be funded by raising taxes. A huge military budget will inevitably mean severe cuts to the country’s limited social spending. ………………….

Targeting China

Japan’s military expansion fits in with Washington’s aggression aimed at China, the DPRK and Russia. U.S. strategists’ goal is to use the U.S. alliance with Japan, South Korea and Australia, just as it uses the U.S.-led NATO alliance in Europe……………………………..

China is Japan’s largest trading partner in both imports and exports. Previous National Strategy Documents said Japan was seeking a “mutually beneficial strategic partnership” with China. Suddenly Japanese strategists started labeling China “the greatest strategic challenge in ensuring the peace and security of Japan.” (U.S. Institute of Peace, December 19)………….,………

A U.S.-Japan alliance is now defined as a “cornerstone” of Japan’s security policy. (Japan Times, December 17)

U.S. Praise of Japan’s Rising Militarism

The U.S. media praised Japan’s new security strategy document as a “bold and historic step.” U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan praised the defense spending hike, which “will strengthen and modernize the U.S.-Japan alliance.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Japan an “indispensable partner” and cheered that the changed security documents reshape the ability to “protect the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.” (quotes, whitehouse.gov, December 16)

U.S. corporate power is the immediate beneficiary of this sharp turn in policy, built on military threats and economic sanctions. …………………………………………………… more https://covertactionmagazine.com/2023/01/09/biden-administration-tramples-on-japans-post-world-war-ii-pacifist-constitution-by-pushing-countrys-rearmament/?mc_cid=8da2f4a668&mc_eid=65917fb94b

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January 13, 2023 - Posted by | Japan, weapons and war

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