Over the past few decades, China’s military power has been constantly growing. China’s military power has made Japan more nervous about China than it is about North Korea. China’s military power is aimed to get control of the important trade routes and becoming a world superpower. China is expected to further increase its military budget, exponentially, which has really worried Japan and thus looking to further boost their relations with India.
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Even though the increase in missile power in North Korea poses an immediate and real threat to the Japanese, Japan is more concerned about a bigger and more powerful enemy, as they plan for the future.
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China has increased its military expenditure and already has control over the South China Sea, which is of great importance to the Japanese as the bulk of its trade to Europe and the Middle East flows through there. The unrestricted passing of Chinese warships and warplanes through the Okinawan island chain will be dangerous for important sea lanes and secure the position of World superpower for China.
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Japanese defense is at par with China’s military power as of now but it won’t be so for long. Since the last 5 years, Japanese defence spending has increased by 1% per annum and is expected to follow this trend for the next 5 years at least.
According to a security treaty signed by the USA and Japan, the former’s military will protect Japan if the country is under attack. But a retired senior US Military Commander under promise of hidden identity was quoted by The Japan Times as saying that China has “essentially established de facto control over the South China Sea and the East China Sea is next” and “The United States, for its part, has been in relative retreat in the western Pacific for a decade.”
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Japanese review of its defense, which will most probably be out in December, may suggest that Japan coordinate with the US government their air, ground and naval forces. The proposal may also suggest procurement of new and more powerful weapons including amphibious ships, aerial drones, new air and ground missiles, Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 stealth planes and training more number of Ground Self Defense Force Troops tactics of marine fighting.
Japan-India Agree for Strong Military Ties
In other news, the Ministry of Defense of India and Japan are working toward strengthening Japan-India military ties. The defense minister of both the countries issued a joint statement following their meeting on April 8, 2017, expressing support for Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership which was first announced in 2006.
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During the meeting, the ministers also discussed the current scenario in the Korean Peninsula and the elevation in tension due to recent actions of North Korea.
Japan-India military relationship stresses on the need for peaceful dispute resolution. As an effort to make Japan India military bonds stronger, defense offices of both the countries participate in a number of bilateral forums like 2 +2 Dialogue, a Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard dialogue of cooperation and Defense Policy Dialogue.