Japan sees deepening China-Russia ties as top threat

The Defence Ministry report noted that the international community is currently facing its greatest trial since WWII…reports Asian Lite News

A annual report released by the Japanese defence ministry has identified Russia and China as a major threat, stating that the deepening military cooperation between the two, including joint air and navy drills, is raising security concerns in the region.

In the report released Friday, the Defence Ministry noted that the international community is currently facing its greatest trial since WWII.

 “It is not an exaggeration to say that we have entered a new period of crisis in the twenty-first century. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shocked the world, with the loss of countless innocent civilians’ lives giving rise to deep indignation and grief,” the report said.

“In particular, China continues to unilaterally change or attempt to change the status quo by coercion in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The country’s ties with Russia, an aggressor nation, have deepened in recent years, with joint navigations and flights being conducted in the areas surrounding Japan by both Chinese and Russian vessels and aircraft. Furthermore, China has made clear that it would not hesitate to unify Taiwan by force, further increasing tensions in the region,” the report added.

This defiance of international order is not just Europe’s problem. “As strategic competition between nations becomes more apparent against the backdrop of changes to the global power balance, the existing order is being exposed to serious challenges, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, which is at the center of this competition.”

The report also raised the issue of North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and provocations toward the international community.

“It has also defended Russia in respect of the latter’s aggression against Ukraine, asserting that the fault for this situation lies with the United States and other Western countries,” the report added.

The defence report goes on to state that Japan is currently working on drawing up a new National Security Strategy under which the Kishida government will establish new strategies boldly and creatively.

The report says that the government will think flexibly beyond existing paradigms in order to preemptively deter changes to the status quo by force and to also be fully prepared for modern warfare, including information warfare and cyber warfare, both seen during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“To constantly defend Japan in a resolute manner and ensure continued regional and international peace and prosperity, as well as international order based on universal values, which has come to support this peace and prosperity thus far, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will continue to decisively deal with any and all difficulties to push through this time of trial,” it added.

(XinhuaLi XuerenIANS)

Using coercion

Expressing grave concerns, the annual report also said that China is trying to heighten tensions by relentlessly continuing to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and South China Sea by coercion.

“China continues to unilaterally change or attempt to change the status quo by coercion in the East China Sea and South China Sea. China has made clear that it would not hesitate to unify Taiwan by force, further increasing tensions in the region,” the Japan’s MoD said in its Annual Report 2022.

 It added that for over 30 years, China has been growing its defence budget at a high level and rapidly improving its military power in qualitative and quantitative terms with focus on nuclear, missile, naval and air forces, which is raising strong concerns.

“China is ramping up “Civil-Military Fusion” (CMF is the fusion of military and civilian resources), and intelligentization (use of AI, etc.), with the aim of building a “world-class military,” it added.

It pointed out that China may be trying to develop military forces that are equal to, or, in some cases superior to the US forces. The report also raises concerns over intrusions into the territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands by China Coast Guard and other vessels.

The reports further stresses over the strategic competition between the U.S. and China and says that such inter-state competition is constantly occurring through a variety of means, including social networks (SNS), and sometimes even through “hybrid warfare” that combines military and non-military measures.

“The Indo-Pacific region in which Japan is situated has been significantly affected by changes to the global balance of power and faces various security challenges. In particular, the tension between the U.S. and China is becoming more pronounced in Taiwan and the South China Sea,” the Japanese MoD stated.

It adds that considering the scenario it will be important to closely monitor related trends with intense interest. “The Biden administration has focused on reestablishing US dominance and prevailing in strategic competition with China,” it continued saying. (ANI)

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