The Prime Minister warned that the environment surrounding the country “is rapidly becoming more serious”, in the face of tension arising from maritime operations ordered by Xi JInping and North Korea's missile tests
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the international review in southern Tokyo (Reuters)
Japan must urgently strengthen its military capacity< /b> in the face of a deteriorating security environment in the South and East China seas, as well as North Korean threats of nuclear and missile development and Russia's war in Ukraine, the first Japanese Minister, Fumio Kishida, during an international fleet review event.
“The security environment surrounding our country, including the East China Sea and the South China Sea, is rapidly becoming increasingly dire,” Kishida said during an inspection visit. to the aircraft carrier 'Izumo'.
“There is no time to lose in this regard,” Kishida said during the inspection of the aircraft carrier, one of the 18 ships of war of 12 countries that have participated in a review of the international fleet, including the United States, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea in Sagami Bay, southwest of Tokyo. Seoul joined the event for the first time in seven years, a new sign of improvement in the tense relations between Tokyo and Seoul due to the Japanese war atrocities.
Avoid disputes and seek the Dialogue is important, Kishida said, but it is also necessary to be prepared for provocations and threats to peace and stability. The premier cited the increase in missile launches from North Korea – one of which flew over Japan last month – and growing concern about the effect of the Russian invasion on Asia, and reiterated his promise to significantly bolster military capacity. Japan within five years.
The premier talks with the US ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and other US officials aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (Reuters)
The president said that Japan should build more warships, strengthen its anti-missile capability and improve working conditions for troops.
“We have no time to lose,” Kishida said after reviewing aboard the JS Izumo, where naval officials from participating countries gathered to watch a demonstration of frigates, submarines, supply ships and fighter jets in Sagami Bay. , southwest of Tokyo.
Japan has progressively increased its international defense role and military spending over the past decade and plans to double its military budget< /b>in the next five to ten years to about 2% of its GDP. The government attributes this increase to NATO standards, threats from North Korea and China's growing aggressiveness.
The Kishida government is reviewing its national security strategy and medium- and long-term defense policy, and is considering allowing preemptive strikes, a drastic change in the principles of only defensive action established in Japan after World War II. Critics say allowing preemptive strikes would breach Japan's pacifist constitution.
The prime minister has also reiterated on Ukraine that his country considers the Russian invasion unacceptable. “Unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, such as the invasion of Ukraine, should never be tolerated anywhere in the world”, he has stated.
This Sunday, Kishida and the American ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emmanuel, visited the USS 'Ronald Reagan', the only aircraft carrier based outside the continental United States, anchored in front of the US naval base in Yokosuka.
The USS Reagan (Reuters)
Sunday's review events marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of Japan's postwar navy, the Maritime Self-Defense Force, seven years after Japan was demilitarized following its defeat in WWII. The ships and planes would later participate in joint maneuvers on Sunday and Monday.
(With information from AP and Europa Press)