Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been in office since 2021, pushing for the rearmament and remilitarisation of the Japanese home islands.
Currently, Japan has no capacity outside of the support of the United States to launch counterstrike’s against China and Korea.
Its missile range is limited to 200 km outside of the Japanese islands; to have the capacity to attack Beijing and Pyongyang, Japan will need a capacity of 16,000 km.
The Japanese have allowed their military capabilities to dwindle for two main reasons: Japan’s pacifist constitution was enforced at the end of World War II in 1945 and implemented in 1947.
Part of this constitution was the Japanese would not launch offensive operations and would only fight wars in self-defence.
Why Japan is Rearming
The Japanese government is now changing this policy, stating that Japan will only launch a first strike if its sovereign independence is at stake.
They are further stressing that the only reason it would launch a pre-emptive strike is if they had reliable military intelligence that they are facing an immediate attack from a hostile nation.
The second reason the Japanese demilitarised after World War II was the United States being a guarantee of global shipping lanes and its allies willingly or unwillingly in the case of Japan giving over its foreign policy to the United States in return for protection.
It has been over 78 years since the end of World War II, and the United States was able to maintain this monopoly and control over its ally’s foreign policy because the United States created the international system and globalisation which enabled all nations to have access to resources outside of the home nations territory.
One of the key reasons why the Japanese started their imperialism project and took swathes of territory in the Pacific and on the Eurasian continent was the lack of natural resources inside the Japanese home islands.
So, in an imperialist and the survival of the fittest international environment, the Japanese chose to survive and prosper by taking lands and resources from others.
The Americans changed this by protecting global trade and enforcing global peace amongst their allies.
Since the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Japanese have seen the Americans consistently vote into office individuals who are increasingly isolationist and disinterested in global affairs.
With America drawing this disenfranchisement in the American project of globalisation and internationalism that is causing American allies to start implementing their own foreign policy based upon their national interest, nations like Japan need to rearm.
In some respects, the American withdrawal from the world and being overstretched with the conflict in Ukraine and the possibility of a war in Taiwan in the next five years can be likened to the Roman Empire when it was heading towards its decline, having to defend far-flung provinces and overstretched militarily and financially.
Currently, the USA only has 150 destroyers and 11 supercarriers, which is not enough ships to protect global shipping lanes, which will see, according to the geopolitical analysis Peter Zilhan, more disorder happening in the increasingly deglobalised world.
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