Chuck Hagel

US assures that it is capable to recapture the Seknaku Islands

Stars and Stripes online edition reports Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Japan confirming that the US is capable of recapturing Senkaku Islands should China invade it.

Wissler also mentioned that it might not be even needed to actually deploy troops on the islands.

During his meeting with the Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan on Jul 8 US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed that based on the Japan-US Security Treaty US is fully committed to defend the Senkaku Islands.



Editorial – Japan and America act in accord at Asia Security Conference

Looking at China’s strong reaction to PM Shinzo Abe’s and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s speeches openly criticizing China about trying to change the existing world order by force one can see that China does see Japan and America getting close as an imminent threat to its expansion in the East and South China seas.

Other countries at Asia Security Conference in Singapore also supported Japan trying to play more active part maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Does it mean that America is really serious about its proclaimed power shift to Asia? Does America really count on Japan and expect for it to play more important role in the Pacific, sharing responsibility, costs and influence in the region? So far the steps of Obama’s administration seem to be logical – US defense budget was drastically cut, America is supportive of Abe’s strategy of ‘proactive pacifism’ and the plans to make the right for collective self-defense possible.

Still it is yet to be seen how far America is ready to go in order to keep China’s ambitions in check. On the other hand, for Japan it does not really matter because it is to become the major power in the Pacific not for America, but for itself.

by naokawa

The doubtful safety of the US nuclear umbrella

American Defense Secretary Hagel during his last visit to Japan “supported” the right to collective self-defense promoted my PM Abe and reaffirmed that the Senkaku Islands from the US point of view are administrated by Japan and fall under Japan-US Security Treaty.

With China getting militarized year by year it is definitely a good news. On the other hand, US Secretary of State John Kerry thinks that US diplomacy task is to stop Japan from trying to develop its own nuclear weapons. For Japan that is being protected by the American nuclear umbrella it is time to re-think its nuclear strategy.

There is an understanding in America that both Japan and Korea feel a threat from North Korea developing its nuclear missiles and this could lead both countries to start developing its own nuclear weapons. It seems that America is afraid of Japan starting to develop its own nuclear weapons.

Japan’s policy at the moment is not to develop, not to possess, not to import nuclear weapons. It fully relies to US protection. If Japan is to be attacked with nuclear weapons by China or North Korea it will not be able to protect itself and will not be able to retaliate. Instead the US will take up this role.

The basis for this approach is assurance that America will certainly retaliate with nuclear weapons. However, this assurance is not that sure. Japan at the official meetings is trying to make the American government officials to speak up about protecting Japan so that this “assurance” could be once again broadcasted to both Japan citizens and the rest of the world. But the times when America’s nuclear umbrella had overwhelming power are now gone. Now China has nuclear weapons and the North is developing it. American nuclear umbrella may not be that much of assurance any more.

Obama’s administration is aiming at “the world without nuclear weapons”. Possessing nuclear weapons costs a lot, then there is a risk of terrorist organizations like Al Quaeda acquiring nuclear weapons. So it may be understandable that America is revising its nuclear strategy. But can Japan really embrace it?

China is already a threat. It is not only aiming at supremacy in air and sea but is also deploying its submarines in the East China Sea and South China Sea. Nuclear missiles from these submarines can reach the mainland US. The North Korea also proclaims to hold “the new type of nuclear tests”. Basically the nuclear weapons situation around Japan is worsening day by day.

Japanese government welcomes Hagel’s commitment to protect Japan, but can we be content with this? While China can target New York and Washington DC, will America really stand for Japan and retaliate with nuclear weapons? Will Obama, who is proclaiming “the world without nuclear weapons” be able to actually use it? How far the situation should go before the US decides to use its nuclear weapons? The former Defense Minister official points out that it is the time for Japan and America to seriously discuss the nuclear strategy.

by naokawa & source