USA-Japan: Military Pact Against China on the Horizon

Japan wants to arm itself with offensive capabilities to be able to strike military targets in foreign territories from North Korea to China and even in the Far East of the Russian Federation

Joe Biden e Fumio Kishida

On April 10, US President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House. As the Japanese press expects, “the summit will announce the largest renewal of the security alliance between Tokyo and Washington since 1960, the year the two countries signed a mutual defense treaty.” Japanese newspapers unreservedly state that this is “a clear move aimed at countering China’s growing military power.” Specifically, “plans to restructure and strengthen US military command in Japan and enhance military operational planning between Tokyo and Washington should be announced.”

In particular, the Kyodo news agency writes that “the US military will significantly strengthen and expand the functions of its headquarters in Japan,” located at Yokota Air Base, east of the capital Tokyo, where more than 14,000 troops, officers, soldiers, and civilian specialists currently serve. To facilitate cooperation between the American military and the Japan Self-Defense Force, as the Japanese armed forces are to be called after their defeat in World War II, the two countries will have to agree on a fundamental revision of their command and control of operations. But at the center of future agreements to be concluded at the Biden-Kishida summit will be a maxi-program aimed to “strengthen joint military response capabilities.”

The agreements would further Japan’s decision in 2022 to “arm itself with the capability to strike military targets in foreign territories.” Theoretically, potential targets could be found in North Korea, China, and the Russian Far East. Japan’s current “defensive doctrine,” which China immediately labeled as a “revival of the Japanese militaristic spirit,” has no precedent since Japan’s “pacifist” constitution was adopted on May 3, 1947. Nearly 80 years after the end of World War II, Russia and Japan, which continues to claim part of the Kuril Islands, the southernmost and closest to its shores, have yet to sign a real peace treaty.