Security policy of Japan Toshio Tsunozaki, Ambassador of Japan 2010,06,03

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1 Security policy of Japan Toshio Tsunozaki, Ambassador of Japan 2010,06,03 1. Security situation in the Far East (1) Security situation in the Far East is different from that in Europe Security environment of East Asia is quite different from that of Europe. In Europe, the cold war structure collapsed between 1989 and 91, and a vast space of common value and ideology was created from the Ural Mountains to the Strait of Gibraltar. But in East Asia, there are countries of different ideology, which means that remnant of the cold war structure still exists. We should not neglect also the unification issues as well as territorial disputes in this region. Korean Peninsula and Taiwan issues are good examples of the unification issue, while Kurile Islands are disputed between Japan and Russia, and Spratly Islands are disputed between China, the Philippines and Viet Nam. In addition, the Far East region lacks effective organization or forum to regulate military and security issues of the whole region, like OSCE or CFE in Europe. In other words, in this region, we do not find any competent institutes for confidence building or dispute regulation. One exception might be ARF (ASEAN regional forum) which consists from 26 countries from Asia and Pacific + EU. It certainly aims at confidence building as well as preventive diplomacy in Asia. But it does not have a permanent secretariat and it seems to me that the results produced in this forum are so far not tangible. It is more or less a place for discussion. (2)neighboring countries Under such circumstances, it should be noted that some countries have been increasing defense budget and strengthening military forces in recent years. Particular attention is paid to China, which has a great influence politically and economically over the region as well as the world. China announced a national defense budget for FY 2009 of approximately 473 billion yuan, 15.3% up from the previous year. Thus China s official defense budget recorded a growth rate of over 10% for 21 consecutive years. Besides, it is believed that the announced defense budget does not include all the equipment procurement costs and research and development expenses. Another concern is that there is not enough transparency in decision making process concerning security and defense matters of China in addition to clearness about reality of Chinese military forces. So it is very important to increase transparency of military situation of China. Therefore we consider it vital to strengthen mutual understanding and confidence by promoting dialogue and exchange of people with China in security and military filed. In recent years Russia is trying to streamline armed forces in accordance with its national power page 1 of 8

2 as a whole in light of recent economic development. In the Far East we notice active move of warships and aircrafts. (Korean Peninsula) The biggest destabilizing factor in this region is Korean Peninsula. The situation is becoming more serious by recent sinking of a warship Chong An. In 2006, North Korea for the first time announced their missile launch and nuclear test. International society on their part decided to carry out sanctions against North Korea with UNSC resolution 1695 and 1718, while to implement consultation for denuclearization of the peninsula in 6 party talks. Despite of these efforts, North Korea carried out second nuclear test in May International society again adopted UNSC resolution 1874 to decide additional sanction measures. In May this year South Korean warship was torpedoed by North Korean small-size submarine. This is a brief explanation of recent events in Korean Peninsula. North Korea is economically in disaster. People do not have enough food and in off season some have starved to death. 70% of its population depend on corn as their main food, and according to some information sources, corn crop of 2009 was the worst in last 12 years. Despite this tragic situation, food and other necessary materials are provided to military forces with priority. Because of the extreme poverty and hunger, many North Korean people have been leaving the country illegally. Succession problem of Kim Jong Il surfaced recently, since he is suffering from various illnesses. It is said that he is suffering from diabetes and kidney failure. It is also quite certain that he suffered from cardiac infarction in the summer of His third son, Kim Jong Um seemed to be chosen as his successor, but he is still in his 20 s. 2. Japan s perception of threat Today s Japanese security policy faces two new threats; one is renewed traditional threat and the other is non-traditional asymmetrical threat. And we also should be ready to cope with the possibility of merger of these two. One example is the cooperation between North Korea and International terrorism. For Japan the biggest traditional threat comes from North Korea. They possess missiles which cover all territory of Japan within its range. It will certainly develop capability to carry nuclear warhead in the near future, if not restricted. And this might lead to proliferation of WMD. Therefore it is not only an acute problem of East Asian region but also the concern of security in global dimension. Non-traditional threat is common in the world. They include international terrorism, proliferation of WMD, increase of failed states and their further deterioration and so on. page 2 of 8

3 Japan experienced fear of international terrorism, when Red Army of Japan high-jacked aircrafts and embassies abroad, and fear of proliferation of chemical weapons, when members of Oum-shinrikyo sect used Sarin gas in Tokyo subway. Recently the fear against failed states, which is losing governing ability, is more and more recognized. Islam extremists who were trained in Sudan or Afghanistan have repeated terrorist attack in various countries, which made us understand that the existence and laissez faire policy of failed states poses threat to the international community as a whole. 3. Security policy of Japan general outline The peace, security and independence that are indispensable for a country do not happen of their own accord. As countries become increasingly interdependent on one another, attaining peace, security and independence requires a comprehensive approach that includes diplomatic measures including cooperation with international society, improving own defense system, as well as strengthening cooperation with allies. As Japan is heavily dependent on other countries for many resources, and its development and prosperity depends on free trade, sustained peace and cooperation with the international community is of vital importance. For this reason, Japan is pursuing both regional cooperation in the Asia-pacific region and cooperation through organization such as the United Nations. Strengthening bilateral cooperation with other countries is another pillar of our diplomacy. Among them the Japan-US Alliance is the most important relations as the sole alliance nation for Japan. Japan is thus working to prevent and resolve disputes and hostilities, encourage economic development, promote arms control and disarmament, ensure maritime security, and increase mutual understanding and trust among nations. Japan has also been making the country itself more secure by making society more stable. In today s world, however, such measures may not deter real aggression by an outside force, and in the worst case, might not be sufficient to repel an attack on Japan. It is indeed difficult to guarantee national security purely by non-military means. Defense capacity is in itself an expression of nation s will and ability to repel aggression. It provides the ultimate guarantee of a country s security, and cannot be replaced by other means. Therefore, preparation for full-scale aggression is essential, which is the basic role of defense capability. Moreover the current security environment requires a defense capability that can effectively respond to non-conventional threats and various circumstances such as international terrorism and the proliferation and transfer of WMD and ballistic missiles. Therefore the Government has been strengthening its defense capabilities and upholds the Japan-US Security page 3 of 8

4 Arrangements, thereby improving the credibility of such arrangements and bolstering its defense measures. In addition, defense capabilities have become increasingly important for international peace cooperation activities and other efforts to improve the international security environment in order to avoid any threat to our country. Recognizing the important role played by its defense capabilities, Japan continues to do its utmost to protect national security, while working to achieve security in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Constraint of Japan s defense In the beginning of 20 th century, Japan became a military power, waged a war against neighboring countries, including China and was defeated. Because of this history, Japan has various restrictions on its defense. Firstly, let me explain the constitutional constraint. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution stipulates that the "Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes". And to this end the article provides that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained". This is the reason why our constitution is called "the Peace Constitution " Then naturally you want to ask a question how Japan s security will be secured without forces and without waging war? How did politicians think the nation s security is secured, when our constitution was adopted in 1946 by the Japanese Parliament? Then Prime Minister Yoshida thought that when the collective security system of U.N. will start to work, an aggression to Japan will be regarded as the hostile action to the world as a whole and responsibility will arise naturally for all peace-loving countries to rise against it. This view is very liberal, and if you consider what are happening in the world, incredibly naive. Anyway this unique character of the peace constitution of Japan has constrained in the past and constrains even now the Japanese security policy. One of them is limit of the right of collective self-defense. International law permits a state to have the right of individual as well as collective self-defense., which is the right to use force to stop an armed attack on the third country with which the state has close relations, even if the state itself is not under direct attack. Since Japan is a sovereign state, it naturally has the right of collective self-defense under international law. Nevertheless, the Japanese Government believes that the exercise of the right of collective self-defense exceeds the limit on self-defense authorized under Article 9 of the constitution. The interpretation of article 9 of the constitution put a great constraint on PKO activities of Japanese unit or personnel jointly participating with other country s unit or personnel. Personally I think it is high time to change this interpretation in order to effectively participate in PKO. page 4 of 8

5 basic principles of our defense policy. Japan, based upon the abovementioned constitution of Japan and reflecting the past, when Japan became a military power and brought tremendous victims and damage to Asian countries, abides by several restrictive principles. A. Basic restrictive principles of our defense policy are as follows:. A Exclusively defense-oriented policy This policy means that Japan will not employ defensive forces unless and until an armed attack is mounted on Japan by another country, and even in such case, only the minimum force necessary to defend itself may be used. Furthermore, only the minimum defense forces necessary for self-defense should be retained and used. This policy is a passive defense strategy that is consistent with the spirit of the Constitution. B Not becoming a military power Japan will not possess more military force than is necessary for self-defense and that could pose a threat to other countries. C The three non-nuclear principles They are that Japan: will not possess nuclear weapons, will not produce nuclear weapons, and will not allow nuclear weapons into Japan. Although possession of nuclear weapons is not explicitly forbidden in the constitution, Japan adheres to the policy as a fixed national policy. Of course Japan ratified NPT, and as a non-nuclear weapons state, is not permitted to produce or acquire nuclear weapons. D Ensuring civilian control The military is under strict civilian control. The constitution requires the Prime-minister, the supreme commander of the SDF as well as Defense minister to be civilians. You may think that those principles except C are common with many countries. But Japan realizes these principles in the reality. Thus the JSDF has very limited capabilities to operate overseas, and lacks long range offensive capabilities such as long-range surface-to-surface missiles, aerial refueling, marines, amphibious units, or large caches of ammunitions. In addition, Japanese government adheres to so called three non weapons export principles. In 1967, then prime-minister Sato declared Japan would not export weapons to (1) communist countries, (2) countries to which export of weapons is forbidden by UN resolution, (3) countries which is or can be a party of international conflict. In 1976, new restriction was brought in by then prime-minister Miki, namely, export of weapons should be maintained to above-mentioned countries, but also be refrained to other countries, and export of equipments for production of weapons is treated like weapons. Therefore in principle, Japan has not been exporting weapons, equipment or technology for weapon production. page 5 of 8

6 Japanese government also adheres to less than 1% policy, keeping defense budget less than 1% of GDP. B. Self defense effort Let s compare defense expenditure among major western countries. Japan s expenditure is less than UK s, and about the same as France s. But if you take defense expenditure per capita, you notice that Japan s expenditure is rather small. If you compare it with GDP of each country, you see the same tendency. Japan s defense budget is limited to less than 1% of GDP, which is by far the smallest. Japanese Army consists of 138 thousands men( 8 divisions, 6 brigades, 1 armored division and central readiness force), while Chinese army consists of 1.6 million men, North Korea, 1million men, South Korea, 540 thousands men. Before the 2nd world war, Japan had a strong imperial army and fought with China and Imperial Russia. Japan is an island country and surrounded by sea. Therefore when Japan will be attacked, Japanese Navy with 44 thousands men and Air force with 45 thousands men will encounter the enemy first. So we do not need a huge army, as we used to have. Considering recent North Korea s move, Japan strengthened missile defense system. Japanese Navy acquired Aegis system equipped destroyers and Army is equipped with groups of surface-to-air guided Patriot missiles. Air force is equipped with 4 AWACS E-767, 13 AEW (Airborne early warning aircraft E2C and 202 modified F15 fighter planes. As for measures against non- traditional threat like international terrorism, I think Japan is not well prepared in comparison with other developed countries. It is also important for Japan to strengthen international cooperation against terrorism. On the other hand, Japan s ODA brought a good image of Japan in developing countries, which worked to prevent terrorist action against Japan. C. cooperation with allies Japan decided to defend its population, land and economy by forming an alliance with the U.S. If Japan decides to defend by itself, the cost of defense will be enormous and it would not be politically appropriate and would not necessarily contribute to the regional stability. Further, the overwhelming military strength of the U.S. functions as an effective deterrent against threats to Japan s security. Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty designates that Japan and the U.S. will take bilateral action in the event of an armed attack against Japan. The U.S. obligation to defend Japan in the event of an armed attack means that an attacker must be prepared to confront not only the military power of the JSDF, but also the overwhelming military strength of the U.S. This serves as an effective deterrence to potential attacks. page 6 of 8

7 Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty provides for the use of facilities and regions by the U.S. forces within Japan for the purpose of maintaining the security of Japan, and also for the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East. This provision is based on the recognition that the security of Japan is closely tied to the peace and security of the Far East region to which Japan belongs. Even in the post-cold War era of today, the region is still facing elements of instability including North Korea s development and deployment of WMD and missiles, the division of the Korean peninsula, as well as the Taiwan problem. In such a security environment, the close bonds of cooperation based on the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, as seen in the presence of U.S. forces in Japan, also constitutes the essential foundation for the maintenance of peace and security in the region. These arrangements are complemented by the alliances the U.S. has built with other countries such as South Korea and the Philippines as well as the friendly relations it has developed with other countries in the region, and continue to play an important role in preserving the peace and security of the region in the post-cold War security environment. Based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the United States stations its armed forces in Japan. Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty obliges the United States to defend Japan, while Article 6 grants the United States the use of facilities and areas in Japan. So obligations of both countries are asymmetrical, they, taken as a whole, form a balance. This differs from the North Atlantic Treaty, which provides only for shared defense by the contracting states US forces in Japan US forces have their HQ in Yokota Air base in Tokyo, and they consist with 50 thousands men. Out of them, Navy has 19 thousands men, but 13 thousands men are on board of 7 th fleet. Air force has 13 thousands men, while army has only 2,000. Marines mainly based in Okinawa has 16 thousands men. US forces are stationing in various countries. Japanese government is sharing the highest cost per soldier among major countries. In Japan 99%of overseas facilities of US Marine are located, 44%of US Navy and 33%of US Air force. So Japan is playing an important role for US forces deployment in the world... D International cooperation Japan s defense and security goals set forth in the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) are to improve the international security environment and to reduce the potential threats to Japan. the NDPG also states that Japan will work on activities that nations of the world cooperatively undertake to enhance the international security environment. Amid the current security environment, the peace and security of the international community is considered to be closely linked to the peace and security of Japan. Based on this notion, if the SDF aspires to take part in international peace cooperation activities, proactively and on its own initiative, improvements need to be made to education and training, stand-by postures of page 7 of 8

8 necessary units and transportation capabilities. In 2007, international peace cooperation activity was stipulated as a primary mission of the SDF, alongside the defense of Japan and the maintenance of public order. International peace cooperation activities by JSDF Japan participated in PKO in Cambodia in 92 for the first time. After that JSDF participated in 6 PKOs and 4 International humanitarian assistance operations till 08. END page 8 of 8

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