Aegis Ashore Japan targets Korea, China and Russia

nikkei 2017 08 17 illustration
(Illustration Nikkei Asian Review)

By Song Jong Ho

Original title: Japan's military buildup what for?

Japan's moves to build up military capability are giving rise to serious concern of neighbouring countries.

Recently, the Japanese defence ministry made public that it was going to organize a special space unit involving a hundred personnel under the Air Self-Defence Force. Despite the strong opposition of the locals, it is now trying to carry on the deployment of the ground-based missile defence system Aegis Ashore.

Aegis Ashore, which can mount SM-3 Block 2A new-type intercepting missiles, is known as a weapon system that can intercept ballistic missiles in outer space.

As this missile defence system includes a vertical launching system, it can easily turn into an offensive weapon if it is loaded with Tomahawk cruise missiles. Japan specified the possession of long-range cruise missiles that can attack the enemy in its defence programme which was instituted at the end of last year.

Given that the range of Tomahawk is 2 400 km, Northeast China and the southern Russian Far East come within its range, to say nothing of the Korean peninsula.

Aegis Ashore to be deployed in Japan, both in name and reality, targets not only the Korean peninsula but also China and Russia.

On December 19 last year, Japan's Asahi Shimbun said in an article entitled "The defence programme goes beyond the boundary line" that the main object of the defence programme is to cope with the threat of China which is pushing military upbuilding, adding the decision to deploy the missile defence system is aimed at coping with China's missiles.

Japan also spends lots of money to secure attack and strategic weapons.

It is working to purchase 56 SM-3 Block 1B intercepting missiles that can be mounted on Aegis-class warships and high-performance air-to-air missiles and relevant parts for F-35 stealth fighters.

A helicopter-carrying escort ship, which is engaged in a military drill with US forces in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, is to be rebuilt into the first aircraft carrier of Japan. Japan plans to remodel the large escort ship Izumo into the one capable of carrying F-35B stealth fighters. Accordingly, it is trying to possess F-35B stealth fighters, air-to-ground and air-to-ship cruise missiles, precision guided weapons, and other military hardware.

According to information released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute of Sweden, Japan's military expenditure ranked ninth in the world last year.

Japan's buildup of defence capabilities aims to control surrounding countries and realize its reinvasion on the basis of military upper hand.

(Pyongyang Times -  August 2, 2019)
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