How Japan Can Finally Say "No"
In 1990, the controversial right-wing Governor of Tokyo, Ishihara Shintaro, published "The Japan That Can Say No: Why Japan Will Be First Among Equals". Nearly 20 years later, many Japanese are still pondering if or when Japan can "say no" on the United States, the target of Ishihara's book. Considering that the end of World War II (WWII), Japan spent some time working closely with the Usa on issues of East Asian security. Still, if America isn't careful in addressing Japanese concerns, particularly in regard to North Korea, this may create a tipping point in U.S. - Japanese relations, where Tokyo significantly breaks with Washington over foreign policy. Japan
Many inside the Japanese government have long wished to take a harder line with North Korea. Some hardliners have even suggested a full remilitarization of Japan, including nuclear capability. Although the majority of the population is still anti-nuclear and support keeping the military (SDF) as a defense force, the percentage of those who do is declining yearly. This reflects the growing number of Japanese who not feel burdened together with the legacy of The second world war Japanese Imperialism or the demand of an American security umbrella.
In Asia, Japan's military funding is second simply to China's. It is also highly regarded internationally, especially for its naval capabilities. Currently, the SDF has about 240,000 uniformed troops. Due to constitutional restrictions, written in by America after WWII, asia military has been limited to defensive capability only. Force projection technologies, like aircraft carriers, are prohibited.
Considering that the first Gulf War, America has become encouraging the Japanese to push the definition of "defense", not to promote an unbiased Japanese foreign policy, much more to offset the costs to America in mounting these types of operations. There is more to the contemporary relationship compared to multi-billion dollar ballistic missile shield being executed to prevent a potential strike by North Korea (or China). Lately, america and Japans' joint military trainings have devoted to coordinated attacks; an art that would be needed for the Japanese to contribute to missions just like what the U.S. has undertaken in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the last few years, Japan has sent its navy for the Red Sea to battle pirates as part of an international force, to monitor North Korean missile activity, and also to aid the refueling of ships within the Indian Ocean. Japan has additionally sent ground troops to Iraq to supply humanitarian aid. This variation is partially a result of Japan having been criticized for "checkbook diplomacy" due to not committing troops to Desert Storm. This is a reason for contention, as the Japanese government feels the war would not have been possible without their financing. Japan in addition has given the second largest quantity of wartime assistance to Iraq between 2004 and 2006 and a similarly large amount to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2006.
On April 5, 2009, the North Korean government launched, what it claims to have been, the experimental communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 with an Unha-2 rocket. Since 1957, most ICBMs started out from satellite launchers, and this too, was likely a cover for a Taepodong-2 or 3 ballistic missile test, containing the ability to strike anywhere in the Japanese archipelago. In fact, the missile flew over Japanese airspace. This became North Korea's first long-range missile test since its two failed attempts in 2006 and 1998. North Korea's 1998 missile test prompted the UN Security Council expressing concerns in an informal press statement. The 2006 tests led to the Security Council adopting a resolution to prohibit North Korea from conducting testing.
North Korea's test was not happenstance; it was a purposeful ploy to escalate tensions. Its northern border wants to solidify its status being a nuclear power by demonstrating its capability to launch ballistic missiles capable of transporting a nuclear warhead. Kim Jong Il also wants to play China and Russia off contrary to the new Obama Administration, Japan, and The philipines to gain negotiating leverage at any renewed 6-party talks. The missile site at Tongchangri was outfitted to file for both intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and satellites. It can also test launch missiles with out them flying over Japanese airspace. Instead, North Korea launched from Musudan-ri. Even though missile test was a failure it appeared to travel further than previous missiles.
The cash strapped Kim Regime also offers incurred a current account deficit for 50 years. In earlier decades, the Soviet Union primarily funded these deficits, speculate its collapse, China and The philipines have become its major reasons for subsistence, along with U.S. currency counterfeiting; weapons sales; drug trafficking; and remittances from Japanese born Koreans (Zainichi). Kim needs these cash infusions to secure the loyalty of the military and party members. Cash flows are becoming even worse in recent years due to sanctions and the decrease of Libya and Pakistan as weapons buyers after 9-11. A Japanese newspaper, Sankei Shimbun, reported that 15 Iranians come to North Korea to see the latest missile test; it's likely they are potential buyers.
Japan government's response to it has been typically subdued. Japanese Pm Taro Aso has said that a launch by North Korea will be a violation of Un resolution 1718. At the most recent G20 meeting in London, he also called for a whole new UN resolution against North Korea. There will also be an extension of Japanese sanctions against North Korea, such as a ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports and importation coming from all North Korean goods, as well as a crack down on bank transfers from the Zainichi community. Tokyo has refused to join one other six-party members in providing fuel oil to North Korea beneath the "denuclearization-for-aid deal", citing a lack of progress on the "abduction issue", North Koreans having kidnapped Japanese citizens through the Cold War. This long-standing dispute has become a major obstacle to normalizing between Japan and North Korea.
The SDF replied to the proposed missile launch by on the grounds that it might shoot down a rocket flying over Japanese airspace. Japan's warships have Aegis combat systems, which help them to track and shoot down missiles, but the SDF quickly backtracked, stating it's going to only launch interceptors if debris from a failed Korean missile appears planning to hit Japanese territory. Japan fired no interceptors in the event the April 5th test missile few over Southern Honshu.
One among Tokyo's greatest concerns, would be that the U.S. will proceed to a de facto acceptance of North Korea's nuclear status, which is to be an unacceptable position that can sour U.S. - Japanese relations, in addition to global nonproliferation efforts. This would be the point at which Japan may well not only remilitarize but also go nuclear. Japan
In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed a framework the location where the North Koreans agreed to turn off their nuclear facilities and accept weapons inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency in return for normalized relations with the United States and large sums in aid and fuel from Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Many years later, the U.S. is still trying to get North Korea to adhere to this agreement.
Asia have made the Obama administration fully aware that Japan disagreed with the Bush Administration removing North Korea from your terrorism list and how it's complicated negotiations. Likewise, asia have been informed that the U.S. can give priority to the nuclear proliferation issue on the Japanese abduction issue. Despite this, Secretary Clinton visited with abductees families in Tokyo to be with her last visit. This signaled that the U.S. understood Japanese concerns, and not much else.
It is widely believed in Japan that the Bush Administration engaged China in the expense of Japan, particularly when Bush visited China before Japan during his last trip to the Pacific Rim. The National government, cognizant of this, sent Secretary of State Clinton to Asia on her behalf first trip abroad. Stopping first in Japan was seen as a reaffirmation of the U.S.-Japan alliance. This act was supposedly confirmed through the subsequent visit of Pm Taro Aso to the United States, but a majority of Japanese complained that this visit received little from the usual fan fair, citing this being a show of disrespect to Japan.
A Possible Future
North Korea has repeatedly violated Japanese airspace; purposefully imports illegal drugs into Japan; admitted to abducting Japanese citizens from Japanese soil; and it has made several military threats against Japan. Within the latest round of threats, North Korea claimed that "the Korean People's Army will mercilessly deal deadly blows not merely at the already deployed intercepting means but at major targets [in Japan, etc.]." If any nation behaved using this method toward the United States it might undoubtedly be considered a provocation worthy of an immediate and severe military response. Japan ought not just have to be prepared to follow America's lead. Japan can say, "No"! The best way to do this is usually to make it immediately clear how the SDF will shoot down any missile that violates Japanese airspace that will come from North Korea, because it's a violation of previous UN resolutions. Japan must not ask permission to protect its citizens along with the territorial integrity of its nation, America; Russia; and China definitely would not.
During the presidential campaign, Obama stated that he expected North Korea to live up to the terms previously agreed upon or harsh actions can be taken in addition to current sanctions. Japan should hold Obama to this promise by pressuring America to complete two things. Firstly, the U.S. should insist that the UN Security Council adopt a new resolution which makes sanctions mandatory and authorizes military enforcement be utilized if North Korea continues its present course. Any sanctions will likely be useless if Russia and China don't approve. It is highly unlikely the U.S. and Japan will be able to obtain the cooperation of Russia and China, because both of them are hesitant to say that quality violates any UN resolutions, as a result of Pyongyang's claim of a satellite launch. In spite of this, the U.S. should at the very least make the effort. Second, any Six-Party Talks agreements must contain a legal contract by North Korea to setup a joint committee with Japan to reinvestigate the abductions of Japanese citizens in substitution for Japan lifting its sanctions. The Japanese have the leverage to do this; the only question is in the event the Japanese leadership gets the will.
Japan's leverage is because of the fact that the United States needs Japan. The U.S. needs Japan to help with its triangulation strategy concerning the Indian and Australian navies, a shot to check China's ambitions within the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Japan can hurt the U.S. by offering more weight to China's wish to use IMF SDR's as a true international reserve currency to switch the dollar. Japan could also threaten to reduce its American military presence, especially in Okinawa. Japan can threaten to trade certain military technologies who's produces to China and Russia. Lastly, Japan could threaten to look nuclear if it feels the U.S. just isn't adequately promoting its national security interests in regards to North Korea.
For Japan's part, it ought to do more to create an independent international personality, outside of the financial realm. Asia can accomplish this by modifying their constitution via a campaign targeting Japanese national pride, in order to commit more troops to UN Peacekeeping operations. They must work more closely with China and function a go-between for Washington and Beijing. They've got more room to barter with China when they have a true military power status more independent from your U.S. This leverage enable you to gain a concession from China on Japan's ascension for the U.N. Security Council, however in return Japan must stop blocking greater Chinese participation in numerous international financial groups. If Japan really wants to be a leader in Asia it should speak for Asia and not just expect Washington's Asia policy to be synonymous with Washington's Japanese policy. Japan
How Japan Can Finally Say "No"