A recent article by The Hill suggests Japan is “muscling up and locking arms with allies” in an effort to resist China should push come to shove.
Japan is expected to double national defense spending over the next five years as part of a new national security strategy, and this is due in part to a volatile Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that is preparing for war in the region over the island of Taiwan.
Having served as the first Marine Liaison Officer to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force during his career, Col. Grant Newsham (USMC-Ret.) tells American Family News that Japan is “scared” of China’s plans for the region and to Japan, its hated longtime enemy, in particular.
Newsham, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, turned his expertise about the Pacific threat into a new book, "When China Attacks: A Warning for America."
As far as Japan, the threat from China has existed for at least 15 years, Newsham says, and the Japanese Self-Defense Force is “well aware of it,” but politicians have pretended the danger didn’t exist. Now that the threat is understood, there is another problem: What to spend the money on.
Japan, the colonel explains, “has little idea of what's required to fight a war and what sort of hardware, resources, weapons, and capabilities are needed.”
Even worse, Newsham advises, even smart prioritizing about defense spending won’t necessarily improve Japan’s self-defense capabilities against an attack. That is why a retired Japanese admiral has called the spending to a “pile of sugar” because defense contractors – most of them foreign – are getting self-defense dollars but there is really no plan in action.
Rather than meeting with war planners and prioritizing the Japan Self-Defense Force, the retired Marine officer expects “a lot of spending on high-priced shiny objects and so-called 'magic weapons.”
Long-range weapons good investment
However, Japan did reveal that counter-strike missiles will become part of their defense arsenal, and Newsham considers this a wise decision.
“Japan knows it needs long range weapons—missiles in particular—that allow them to reach out and hit enemy targets,” he explains. “They can't allow their enemies—China and North Korea in particular—safe havens from which to strike Japan.”
Without long-range capability, Newsham says, “Japan's military has near-zero deterrent value.”
And looking through the lens of the enemy, if the Chinese and North Koreans don’t want Japan to have counter-strike weapons, that’s a good reason to invest in them.
“Getting these weapons will also, in theory, require the JSDF to better link with U.S. forces and their systems,” the retired colonel says, “and this is a very good thing.”
But Japan must not fall into the trap of thinking that specific weapons are enough to ensure its defense, Newsham warns.
China is not Japan’s only threat, as Newsham indicates, “North Korea can lob missiles into Japan—and probably nuclear armed missiles as well—and that's not a good thing.” But he considers it important to point out that “only China can seize Japanese territory, sink Japanese ships, and defeat the JSDF to bring Japan under Chinese domination.”
As a result, he concludes, China remains the bigger problem for Japan than North Korea because the Chinese Communist Party wants Japan and all of its territory.
After two centuries of fighting and war, China wants revenge and “pay back” from its neighbor, Newsham says.