Militant speeches are being made more and more frequently in Tokyo. Leading Japanese politicians are trying to forget that the Japanese constitution prohibits Japan from having armed forces. However, now, some Japanese politicians have decided that Japan needs nuclear weapons.
As the official Japanese government believes, the biggest danger for Japan is North Korea and China. As is well known, Japan received the American president’s “axis of evil speech” with irritation that was not concealed very well. No wonder, as North Korea is very close to Japan. However, on the other hand, the Japanese government seems to be using this situation in its own interests.
On April 4, Japanese Premier Koizumi asked representatives of the right-wing parties to assist in passing a bill that would empower the prime minister with extreme powers in case of a military attack on Japan. Pursuant to the bill, the prime minister of Japan will obtain control over all the local government bodies in such a case, as well as over all public organizations. Of course, the bill is far from becoming reality, but the ruling coalition has already approved it. The details are left to be coordinated.
However, this is not a point for the Japanese government to stop at. As The Times wrote, the leader of the Liberal Party, Ichiro Ozawa, claimed last week that Japan was ready to start the production of thousands of nuclear warheads in order to be able to oppose China’s growing military power. Ozawa said that Japan could produce thousands of warheads if it wishes to do so. There is enough plutonium at Japanese nuclear power plants for producing three or four thousand warheads. “If this happens, then no one will be able to overcome us from the point of view of military power,” – Ozawa said. The politician added that his speech was supposed to make China establish closer cooperation with Japan. Nevertheless, as observers say, it will most likely happen vice versa, and Beijing will perceive those words as the return of Japan’s militarism, from which China suffered greatly during World War II.
Japan’s ability to create nuclear weapons within a very short period of time does not raise any doubts. According to official information, the plutonium reserves at Japan’s nuclear stations currently make up some 30 tons. This amount is enough to manufacture six thousand warheads. However, Japan is not willing to remind the world community of that, but the technological level of development in Japan is sufficient for producing this amount of nuclear weapons within a rather short period of time.
The USA will hardly be thrilled about another country obtaining weapons of mass destruction. Japan is America’s close ally now, but the memory of the World War II is still alive. On the other hand, Tokyo may use arguments pertaining to the security guarantee for the country from a possible attack of terrorists. Six thousand warheads are surely excessive in this respect, taking into consideration the fact that, if (God forbid!) such a conflict happens, then there will be nothing left of the Japanese islands. Mr.Ozawa became a bit excited when he said that no one would be able to defeat Japan from a military point of view if Japan had its nuclear weapons. However, it is reality to establish a good army instead of a waning self-defense, especially when there are two propaganda bugaboos such as North Korea and China nearby. Relations with Russia have not been perfect lately either.
Of course, the possibility of Japan obtaining its own army is hypothetical now, but the Japanese self-defense detachments have been appearing in hotspots quite often lately. These are military doctors so far, but Japan did not send its military men abroad even for humanitarian purposes before.
In Japan, there is large resistance to the plans of greater participation of the Japanese armed forces in the operations abroad, but, judging by the latest speeches of Japanese politicians, the idea of a Japanese army to get back into the world picture has not been torn away from the country. It seems that Tokyo is now aimed at a gradual, very neat creation of its armed forces, which will underline the considerable role that Japan is playing in modern international politics, or maybe even make it bigger. However, there are no doubts that Japan’s neighbors will react negatively to the process and another arms race in the Far East is very likely to happen.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov