Japan Arms Up

Japan map CIA fact bookJapan Arms Up

It is obvious to the most casual observer that China’s actions in the South China Sea are fueling tensions in the region. Japan has been adding to its fleet, and I don’t doubt that we will see bigger warships and larger aircraft in the next few years.

Why is this in a business ethics web site?

That’s easy. American institutions like corporations and investment banks willingness to provide money and investment to a crass totalitarian government carries risks. China’s bellicose foreign policy demonstrates just how big that risk is. In the event of a showdown with the United States and its allies, what’s going to happen to hundreds of billions of dollars of investment?

We were told and continue to be told what a great place for investment, China is.

Yeah, just keep repeating that. But watch the news, and count how many carriers the Chinese now have (three).

James Pilant

Japan should reverse course on defense policy, panel says | Al Jazeera America

A government panel will urge Japan to allow its military to help allies that come under attack, a major reversal of the country’s ban on collective defense under its pacifist constitution. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants Japan to play a greater role in international peacekeeping and step up its defense posture, citing potential military threats from China and North Korea.

The panel on Tuesday discussed ways that Japan can improve its defense capability and said it will present its near-final draft recommendation in coming weeks, before its final report is expected sometime after April.

The 14-member panel, headed by former Ambassador to the U.S. Shunji Yanai, said the revision is possible if the government alters its current interpretation of the war-renouncing constitution. Formal constitutional change involves high hurdles, though Abe eventually hopes to achieve that as well.

The constitution, written under U.S. direction after World War II, says the Japanese people “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation” and that “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” 

The government has interpreted those clauses as meaning that Japan cannot possess offensive military weapons such as ICBMs or long-range strategic bombers.

Abe and other supporters of the change believe that restrictions should be removed from the military, and that Japan’s current self-defense-only policy is inadequate as the region’s security environment becomes more challenging. 

via Japan should reverse course on defense policy, panel says | Al Jazeera America.

From around the web.

From the web site, Consortium of Defense Analysts.


Discreetly, the Japanese aren’t boasting much about the 19,500-ton Izumo, which should be ready for action in two years, but Japan’s success in producing such a vessel may diminish the Chinese challenge to Japanese control over the disputed Senkaku islands, Diaoyu to the Chinese. No one doubts that Japanese shipyards, after decades producing some of the biggest, most sophisticated commercial vessels, could turn out still more in the Izumo class – and go up in class to full-fledged aircraft carriers.