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Why is Japan Worried by Worsening Crisis on the Korean Peninsula?

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With the ongoing tensions in the Korean Peninsula, Japan is keen to maintain close collaboration with Russia and China on the issue of North Korea. This decision on the Korean Peninsula was stated at a press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We will continue close cooperation with Russia and China on the North Korean problem,” Abe emphasized. The Japanese PM added that that Tokyo, in collaboration with other UN members, will continue to maintain firm adherence to all resolutions implemented by the UN Security Council on North Korea.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to be extremely tense. Recently, North Korea launched more than 20 ballistic missiles in response to American instigation of constantly carrying out large-scale naval drills with Japan and South Korea. Both the US and North Korea exchanged threatening statements, which has only deteriorated the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Will Diplomacy Win at the Korean Peninsula?

The Japanese PM also noted that the government of Japan in the coming year will aggressively work towards diplomacy intended at making the North Koreans change its current confrontational course. “We will continue to pursue an active diplomatic policy aimed at transforming Pyongyang’s approach” Abe said.

Additionally, PM Abe said that Japan will boost its own defence capabilities against the background of an escalating missile threat from North Korea. During the recent visit of US President Donald Trump to Japan, PM Abe said that Japan plans to acquire a plethora of weapons from the US (including missiles defence systems), amid the deteriorating situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Recently, Japan  opted to deploy two American missile defence systems – Aegis Ashore in the north and southwest of the Japanese island of Honshu, which, according to Tokyo, should safeguard the country from ballistic and cruise missiles from North Korea. These missile defense systems are being procured from the US and are projected to be operational by 2023.

The situation on the Korean peninsula again inflamed at the end of November 2017, when Pyongyang carried out the first rocket launch in two and a half months. As a result of the launch, it was announced that the missile could carry a nuclear warhead, and that the entire US mainland was within its reach.  The UN Security Council countered this aggressive move by unanimously approving a resolution on intensifying sanctions against the North Korean regime.

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