When Japan surrendered to the United States and her allies at the close of World War II, the Americans forced the Japanese to include in their newly drafted constitution that the East Asian country never again raise again a formal army, navy and air force.
Yet as reported by The Washington Post, while Kim Jong-un continues to sling ballistic missiles towards Japan, some very powerful members of the nation’s ruling party are calling for a pre-emptive first strike against the provocative North Koreans.
As the threat from North Korea’s missiles grows, so the calls in Japan for a stronger military response are getting louder.
An influential group of politicians is publicly arguing for technically pacifist Japan to acquire the ability to strike North Korea instead of having to rely on the United States for its defense.
“Japan can’t just wait until it’s destroyed,” Hiroshi Imazu, the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s security committee and a proponent of the idea, said in an interview. “It’s legally possible for Japan to strike an enemy base that’s launching a missile at us, but we don’t have the equipment or the capability.”
Gen Nakatani, defense minister until last year and a member of the committee, agrees. “I believe that we should consider having the capacity to strike,” he told The Washington Post.
Their public pronouncements have not come out by accident, analysts say. Such senior members of the powerful ruling party would not raise the issue unless it was being promoted at the highest levels.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe publicly supports consideration of the idea. “I’d like to encourage the party to have this discussion and am keeping an eye on how it’s going,” he said in the Diet (Japan’s parliament) on Friday when asked whether he was in favor of acquiring the capability to strike.
Prime Minister Abe has long been seeking to amend the nation’s constitution that bars a standing armed forces, to possibly allow Japan to more fully participate in various overseas contingencies.
Under Abe’s leadership, his country has recently expanded its Self-Defense Force to include the founding of their own amphibious assault force modeled after the US Marine Corps.
Even the most ignorant of military affairs individuals understands that an amphibious force-in-readiness certainly doesn’t qualify as a “defensive” branch of any armed forces.
With nearly unanimous agreement in global military and diplomatic circles, few things scare the North Koreans and the Chinese more than a nuclear armed Japan.
Especially a nuclear armed Japan with no constitutional or American restraint.
There has already been whispers that the Tokyo government is already a de facto member of the nuclear club due to the poorly kept secret that Japan is already in possession of a “bomb in the basement,” according to NBC News.
As noted by the Peacock Network, a mere five to 10 kilograms of plutonium is the amount needed for a single nuke warhead.
As of their 2014 article, NBC cites that Japan already “has 9 tons of plutonium stockpiled at several locations in Japan, and another 35 tons stored in France and the U.K. The material is enough to create 5,000 nuclear bombs.”