Sunday, November 09, 2014

Myth and Truth in East Asia 1

11:10 pm, November 06, 2014 The Yomiuri Shimbun Index 1 Senkakus - tense waters 2 The Long Road to Collective Self-Defense 3 Chilly Ties with South Korea 4 Investigating Reports on 'Comfort Women' Foreword East Asia is currently driven by tension as never before. Elements creating instability in this region include North Korea's provocative actions involving its nuclear and missile development, China's military rise and heightened Japan-China tensions over the Senkaku Islands, and friction between Japan and South Korea over so-called comfort women and other issues. Making matters worse, rather than holding talks directly with Japan to ease tensions and repair ties, China and South Korea have expanded their anti-Japan propaganda campaigns in the United States and other nations. This has made resolving these problems even more complicated. SLIDE 1 OF 2PREVNEXT "Japan created this tension by nationalizing the Senkaku Islands. China has simply been forced to respond in the way it has." "The Abe administration refuses to acknowledge acts of barbarity committed by the former Japanese military forces, including the comfort women issue, and is trying to revise history." "Japan has not seriously reflected on its past war of aggression, so allowing it to exercise the right of collective self-defense is dangerous." These arguments put forward by China and South Korea are not based on fact. Rather, they are distortions of the truth intended to implant self-serving perceptions in the opinion of the international community. We believe this will become evident upon reading this booklet, which contains selected stories and serialized articles on these topics from The Japan News, the English-language newspaper published by The Yomiuri Shimbun. Unlike the propaganda being spread by China and South Korea, the articles in this booklet adhere to a cardinal principle of journalism: Convey the truth by examining and verifying actual occurrences and episodes. We hope this booklet will become a valuable material for determining what is really happening in East Asia. October 2014 Takashi Sadahiro Managing Editor, The Japan News 1 Senkakus-tense waters Quantity vs. logic in 'propaganda war' On Sept. 11, 2012, the Japanese government purchased three of the Senkaku Islands, which are Japan's sovereign territory, from the then owner and nationalized them. China, which claims territorial rights over the islands in Okinawa Prefecture, reacted fiercely. Since then, China has repeatedly engaged in dangerous, provocative behavior against Japan. Japan must return to China all the territories it has stolen, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during his visit to the historical city of Potsdam, Germany, on May 26, 2013. At the site of the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, which set the terms for Japan's unconditional surrender at the end of World War II, Li criticized Japan with strident words. For China, the site of the Potsdam Conference was the most appropriate place to spread the image of "a Japan that challenges the postwar international order" to the world. The reasoning behind China's demand for Japan to "return" the Senkaku Islands can be summarized as follows: -Japan took the Senkakus from China during the Qing dynasty. -Japan, defeated in World War II, must return the land it stole to the original holder states. -Therefore, Japan does not possess territorial rights over the Senkakus. It is important for China to launch a "propaganda war" to spread its argument to the world. Its approach is to "use all possible means." The Olympic Games, which should be a festival of peace, is no exception. "Japan will have to keep a low profile before the Olympics to avoid any military conflicts [with China]. This will guarantee the stability and peace of the East China Sea, which will be beneficial to the whole of East Asia," wrote the Global Times on Sept. 9, 2013, just after Tokyo was chosen as the venue for hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2020. It criticized Japan over heightened military tension with China over the Senkaku issue. The paper, published under the auspices of the People's Daily, is an official organ of the Chinese Communist Party. China has been waging an extraordinary propaganda war against Japan. An incident in autumn 2012 shocked Japan's Foreign Ministry. Advertisements criticizing Japan were carried around the world in such major newspapers as The Washington Post and The New York Times, one after another. They included newspapers in surprisingly small or lesser-known countries including an island nation in the Pacific and a country in Africa, according to a senior ministry official. Chinese diplomats frequently appeared on TV programs in various countries to criticize Japan. Against China's "media blitz," using a great amount of resources and various media outlets, Japan made "logical" counterarguments through diplomats stationed in foreign countries. One of them was late Ichiro Komatsu, who was dubbed "Mr. International Law" because of his expertise on international law. In 2012, when he served as Japan's ambassador to France, he assembled French journalists and explained in detail, in French, that Japan's territorial possession of the Senkaku Islands poses no problems under international law. He died in June 2014 after serving as director general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau. Keiichi Hayashi, the ambassador to Britain, contributed a commentary to the Nov. 14, 2012, issue of the Financial Times of Britain with the headline: Time for China to calm down and stop bullying. The commentary contains important keywords: "Japan stands firm and calm against China's attempt to challenge the postwar international order over the Senkaku Islands by coercion and intimidation." This response to China's attempt "to change the status quo by coercion" has been the main pillar of the Japanese government's claims in the "propaganda war." If China continues its provocative behavior against Japan, and even if it took over the Senkaku Islands by military force, Japan can keep making appeals to the world that Japan is justified in claiming sovereignty over the islands. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been advocating the stance as a leader during his visits to other countries. China continues provocative actions China first claimed territorial rights over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture in 1971. Two years earlier, the then U.N. Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East compiled a report identifying possible undersea oil reserves near the islands. The report is believed to have spurred China to assert its claim over the islands. In 1992 China passed the "territorial water law" and unilaterally added the islands to its territories. In 2012 it was revealed that then Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara had been negotiating the purchase of three of the Senkakus with their owner. The then Democratic Party of Japan-led administration of Yoshihiko Noda feared the islands would become "metropolitan estates" under Ishihara, a hard-liner against China. Before the purchase by the metropolitan government was carried out, the central government bought the islands and nationalized them on Sept. 11, 2012. The Chinese government reacted fiercely against Japan's action. Since then it has taken provocative actions, such as dispatching China Coast Guard ships into Japan's territorial waters. A growing number of Chinese fishing boats has also intruded Japanese territorial waters near the Senkakus. Chinese military assertiveness has been growing increasingly conspicuous. China advancing into Pacific On July 25, 2013, a P-3C patrol plane of the Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted five Chinese military vessels, including a destroyer, sailing in waters about 100 kilometers northeast of Miyakojima island, southwest of Okinawa's main island. It was later confirmed that the Chinese ships had entered the Pacific Ocean by way of Soya Strait between Hokkaido and Sakhalin Island after conducting joint live-ammunition firing exercises with the Russian Navy in the Sea of Japan off Vladivostok. That meant the Chinese military vessels had, for the first time ever, circumnavigated the Japanese archipelago. A day before the passage through Soya Strait, a Chinese early warning plane, Y-8, had flown in the airspace between Okinawa's main island and Miyakojima island. It was also the first time that a Chinese military plane had crossed over China's self-designated "first island chain" to intrude into Japan's airspace over the Pacific. The first island chain is what the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Navy has designated in reference to a series of island groups spanning the southern part of Kyushu, the Nansei Islands, Taiwan and the Philippines. What it refers to as the "second island chain" comprises the line stretching from the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands, both administered by the Tokyo metropolitan government, over to Papua New Guinea, by way of Guam and Saipan. At that time, then Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera happened to be on an inspection tour of the Maritime Self- Defense Force's Kanoya Air Field, and he revealed the Chinese early warning plane's flight between the Okinawa main island and Miyakojima island to reporters accompanying him. "From this point onward, China will most likely make advances into the Pacific Ocean," Onodera warned. It was believed the Y-8 plane may have engaged in an exercise over the Pacific in tandem with the five Chinese military vessels. Joint action between military vessels and aircraft in a region far from mainland China would be impossible without a certain amount of preparation. Pointing to this, a senior Defense Ministry official noted that, China's moves this time "must have taken not only the first island chain but also the second island chain into account." This reasoning can be substantiated by remarks made by those with ties to the Chinese military. In July 2013, Ou Chienping, chief of the military forces construction institute of the PLA's National Defense University, emphasized in an online program sponsored by the People's Daily that the Chinese Navy needs "the capability to cover great distances, as we have to get out into the Pacific by going beyond the first island chain." The Nansei Islands, including the Senkaku Islands, and Okinawa Prefecture are situated along the route that Chinese naval ships will traverse on their way to the Pacific Ocean. China's strategy The Chinese Navy has adopted the so-called anti-access/ area denial (A2AD) strategy. China regards waters from mainland China to its first island chain as "China's waters," where missiles, highperformance fighter jets and drones are deployed to prevent an intrusion by the U.S. military and to attempt to keep such an intrusion outside the second island chain. Thus the strategy is intended to prevent U.S. troops from reaching mainland China in the event of a conflict. According to Japan's Defense Ministry, A2AD has already entered an operational stage. On Sept. 8, 2013, an H-6 of China's air force, a large bomber capable of carrying nuclear missiles, flew across the first island chain for the first time. It is considered only a matter of time before China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, makes its way into the Pacific Ocean. Regarding the motivation behind Chinese military's advance into the Pacific, Timothy Keating, then commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, made an interesting remark during his testimony before Congress in 2008. He said a high-ranking Chinese military officer he met the previous year had proposed dividing control of the Pacific between the two countries, with the sea east of Hawaii controlled by the United States and the ocean west of Hawaii by China. During a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on June 7, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly made a comment to the effect that the Pacific Ocean is a vast, open space with sufficient room for both the great powers of China and the United States. China's former top leader Deng Xiaoping is said to have left behind a maxim in four Chinese characters that says, "Sharpen your claws while you wait for the right opportunity." Having achieved economic development, China has launched a mission to build a new relationship between great powers with the United States. The Japan-China row over the Senkaku Islands is closely intertwined with the national strategy of China, which is also looking beyond Japan to keep a close eye on the United States. China claims Japan agreed to 'shelving' Senkaku issue Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is known as being well-informed about Japan, as he is fluent in Japanese and has served as Chinese ambassador to Japan. Such a person is sending a message to the international community that Japan and China agreed in the past to "shelve" the territorial issue over the Senkaku Islands. On Sept. 20, 2013, Wang told the audience during a lecture at a think tank in Washington: "Forty-one years ago, when China and Japan achieved the normalization of diplomatic relations, leaders of the two nations reached a very important agreement...that is...we can set aside our difference [on the Senkaku issue] and take care of it or resolve it at some later date." What does China's "shelving" agreement claim mean? To understand what Wang intended to say, one must look back at how the issue unfolded. The Senkaku Islands were included in Japan's territories in January 1895, after the nation confirmed the islands were not under the control of China, or the Qing, at that time. The confirmation came after Japan conducted research over a decade or so. Following Japan's defeat in World War II, the nation lost its overseas territories in line with the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. However, 48 nations, including the United States-which signed the treaty-considered the Senkaku Islands as part of Okinawa and put them under U.S. administrative control. Under the Okinawa Reversion Agreement signed on June 17, 1971, the islands were returned to Japan. However, after a U.N. research team brought up the possibility of oil reserves being located near the Senkaku Islands in 1969, China and Taiwan began to assert territorial rights over the islands in 1971 for the first time. Under such a delicate situation, Japan and China formally established diplomatic relations in 1972. Wang argues that the two nations agreed to "shelve" the settlement of the dispute over sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands during the normalization talks. Following this logic, it becomes Japan that broke the agreement through nationalizing the islands in 2012. Such a stance was also taken by former Chinese "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping. In October 1978, when Deng came to Japan to exchange the instruments of ratification of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, he said at a press conference at the Japan National Press Club: "We call the Senkaku Islands the Diaoyu Islands. [Japan and China] have different names for them and call them differently. At the time of normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, the two sides pledged not to touch on the issue. Also this time, during the negotiations of the peace and friendship treaty, [the two nations] agreed not to touch on the issue. "I think it doesn't matter if this kind of problem is shelved for some time. It will be fine if it is shelved for a decade. People in our generation lack wisdom. Those in the next generation will be wiser than us. Then, they will be able to find a good solution that is acceptable for everyone." Deng's remarks can be interpreted as saying the confrontation should be shelved for the sake of friendly relations of the two nations, but it should be noted that China claims the issue has been set aside on the premise that sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands has yet to be determined. Prof. Akira Kotera at the University of Tokyo, an expert on international law, compared China's claims to a situation where one person passes in front of another person's house and suddenly declares it to be "my house." This is because China did not make any objection to Japan's sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands for nearly two decades after the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. If Japan accepts China's "shelving" agreement claim, "Japan will have to negotiate with China over the territorial rights, and that will eventually lead to a situation where the islands would be put under joint control," Kotera said. For Japan, there is a grudging acknowledgement that the "shelving" agreement claim had never been clearly dismissed. Takakazu Kuriyama, former Japanese ambassador to the United States who was involved in the diplomatic normalization talks with China as the director of the Treaties Division of the Foreign Ministry, expressed the view in an article of the December 2012 issue of Ajia Jiho (Asia times) that there was tacit approval because the Japanese government did not directly reject China's claim that the issue had been "shelved." However, Kuriyama also wrote, "It's too one-sided for China to claim there existed a clear agreement between Japan and China to shelve the issue." Currently, the Japanese government maintains that there is a pledge neither to touch on the Senkaku issue, nor shelve the issue, as stated by Deng, either during the negotiations to normalize bilateral diplomatic relations or during the negotiations for the bilateral peace and friendship treaty. This stance was clearly shown in a government statement, approved by the Cabinet on Oct. 26, 2010, in the form of a reply to a lawmaker's question. However, a former Japanese government official admitted to the existence of the "shelving" agreement, complicating arguments on the issue. Quotes stitched together to make 'shelving' claim On Sept. 23, 2012, a Japanese person appeared on a program of state-run China Central Television to talk about the Senkaku issue. His name is Ukeru Magosaki, former head of the Intelligence and Analysis Bureau of the Foreign Ministry and a former professor of the National Defense Academy. On "Xinwen Lianbo," a nationally televised news program, Magosaki said, "I think there was an agreement [between Japan and China] to shelve the Senkaku issue." He also offered his own view that there must be a hidden reason the Japanese government does not acknowledge this now. On what grounds does Magosaki say there was an agreement to shelve the Senkaku issue? As evidence for his argument, he introduced records of meetings between then Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in September 1972 in his book titled, "Nihon no Kokkyo Mondai: Senkaku, Takeshima and Hopporyodo" (Japan's border issues: Senkaku Islands, Takeshima islands and northern territories) in the Chikuma Shinsho series published by Chikumashobo Ltd. The book says on Page 74: Zhou: "Japan and China should seek major common interests and overcome minor differences." Tanaka: "I can basically understand what Premier Zhou is saying well. I side with Premier Zhou's opinion that we should put aside minor differences on specific issues and seek major common interests." Tanaka: "What do you think about the Senkaku Islands? Some people say things about them to me." Zhou: "I don't want to talk about the Senkaku Islands at this time. It's not good to discuss this now. It became an issue because of the oil out there. If there wasn't oil, neither Taiwan nor the United States would make this an issue." Official record shows different context According to the database of Japanese Politics and International Relations of the University of Tokyo's Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, which covers disclosed records of the Tanaka-Zhou meetings, however, one cannot help but notice the way Magosaki quoted their conversations could cause misunderstanding. The Tanaka-Zhou meetings were held four times over four days. Zhou made the remark-"Japan and China should seek major common interests"-during the first meeting on Sept. 25, 1972, while Tanaka's "I side with" remark was made during the second meeting the next day. Furthermore, those remarks were made in contexts unrelated to the Senkaku issue. It was during the third meeting on Sept. 27 that Tanaka asked Zhou about his recognition of the Senkaku Islands and Zhou replied, "I don't want to talk about..." Magosaki stitched together quotes from the talks between Tanaka and Zhou. On Page 76 of his book, Magosaki also said, "It was the meeting between [then Chinese Vice Premier] Deng Xiaoping and then Foreign Minister Sunao Sonoda held at a time of negotiating the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship that had the most in-depth discussions between the two countries over the Senkaku issue." The treaty was signed on Aug. 12, 1978. Sonoda was in charge of negotiating with Beijing. Sonoda did indeed say at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives on May 30, 1979, "The Chinese side has its own assertion over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands." "I think an idea of leaving the situation as it is would also be good for Japan's own interests," he said. However, Sonoda clearly said at the lower house's plenary session the following day, "The issue of the Senkaku Islands is neither a condition nor agenda for the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The territorial issue is not being discussed." A senior Foreign Ministry official brushed aside Magosaki's assertion, saying, "If [Japan and China] agreed to shelve the Senkaku issue, China must have made some document on that." Senkaku 'choke points' to check China's Pacific advance In October 2013, about one month before China established an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, the People's Liberation Army Navy carried out a large-scale military drill called Maneuver-5 on the high seas about 700 kilometers south of Okinawa main island. All three major fleets of the PLA Navy-the North Sea Fleet, East Sea Fleet and South Sea Fleet-participated in the drill, which was one of the largest naval exercises China had ever carried out in the Pacific Ocean. The PLA Navy has demonstrated "the unswerving will and determination of the PLAN to safeguard China's national sovereignty and maritime interests," Rear Adm. Liao Shining, the navy's deputy chief of staff, said proudly. China has adopted an anti-access/area denial (A2AD) strategy, with which it aims to prevent U.S. forces from coming close to the mainland. The primary focus of the strategy is to prevent direct attacks on Beijing by keeping the U.S. forces' powerful strike capabilities, including those of aircraft carriers, at a distance from the mainland. In addition, if Chinese nuclear-powered submarines can freely enter the Pacific Ocean, China will be able to attack the U.S. mainland, giving it a major advantage in negotiations with the United States. "The ultimate goal of Maneuver-5 exercise was to secure naval supremacy in the northwestern Pacific. The maximum range of U.S. cruise missiles is 3,000 kilometers. The sea area where Maneuver-5 was conducted matches the area including points where the U.S. forces are assumed to fire cruise missiles at Beijing [if the United States has to attack Beijing]," said Keiichi Kawanaka, former associate professor at the National Defense Academy. However, there are two major hurdles that the Chinese Navy must overcome to move around freely in the western Pacific. One is to establish "air superiority" to a degree where Chinese battleships would not be attacked by U.S. fighter jets. During the period of the Maneuver-5, Chinese Y-8 airborne early warning aircraft and H-6 bombers participated in the drill, passing over the high seas between Okinawa Island and Miyakojima island of Okinawa Prefecture daily. Such moves by Chinese military aircraft into the airspace over the Pacific have been conspicuous since the summer 2013. Setting up the ADIZ in the East China Sea is the first step to securing air superiority, some experts say. "China deepened its confidence over air command in airspace distant from the mainland during the Maneuver-5. This became a strong motive for the country's setting-up of the ADIZ," Kawanaka said in his analysis. Another hurdle is to secure safe passage in the Nansei Islands, including the Senkaku Islands. At a symposium hosted by a U.S. Navy-related organization on Jan. 16, 2014, in a Washington suburb, retired Vice Adm. Yoji Koda, former commander in chief of the Self-Defense Fleet of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, emphasized, "From China's A2AD strategy point of view, Japan's Nansei Islands constitute to be 'hard choke points' against the PLA forces' advancement into the Western Pacific in trying to realize the strategy." He said in the same context, "Stable and firm control of these 'choke points' will surely be one of most important roles and missions of Japan and the SDF under the Japan- U.S. alliance to counter and suppress China's challenge to realize the A2AD strategy." If Japan steadily defends the Nansei Islands, continuing to allow the SDF to be deployed at any time, Chinese military vessels will be unable to easily venture out to the Pacific, as they fear attacks, including those using antiship missiles. For such military strategy-based reasons, China has been adamant about changing the status quo of Japan's effective control over the Senkaku Islands. China eager to develop, deploy China has been eagerly advancing the development and deployment of weapons and equipment needed to realize A2AD. Preliminary stage deployment of the antiship ballistic missile Dong Feng (DF)-21D has already begun, according to the U.S. Defense Department. The PLA Air Force is reportedly developing next-generation stealth fighters J-20 and J-31, with a timetable for practical deployment seen within several years. There were reports in 2013 that there had been a test flight of the stealth combat drone Ligian (Sharp Sword). China has been hastily developing unmanned vehicles, it was also reported. The PLA Navy has been moving forward with the deployment of its first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier, a version of the Aegis destroyer known as Chengdu, as well as submarines. The Chengdu is seen as an important part of an aircraft carrier battle group. Chinese military forces are also equipped with the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), a Chinese own version of the Global Positioning System (GPS), designed to improve the precision of missiles and operate drones. The BDS already covers almost all of Asia, the western Pacific Ocean and Australia. Employing fishing boats equipped with the BDS, the Chinese military has been gathering intelligence on foreign naval vessels and aircraft. 2 The Long Road to Collective Self-Defense Japan-U.S. pact to enter new stage "The Japan-U.S. alliance will enter into a different sphere, as the exercise of the right of collective self-defense will become a great deterrent." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could hardly contain himself as he made this comment to his aides in late June 2014, as the government saw its prospects of changing the interpretation of the Constitution to allow the nation to exercise this right brighten. On July 1, the government decided on a reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense during a Cabinet meeting, a major turning point for the country's security policy in the postwar era. Abe sometimes complains that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is too close to China. However, considering that China has repeatedly carried out provocative and aggressive actions around Japanese territory and North Korea continues to develop ballistic missiles and other weapons, Japan has no alternative but to deepen the Japan- U.S. alliance through joint military exercises and the unification of operation plans to handle emergencies. "In several years, it may become impossible to protect the Senkaku Islands only with the Maritime Self-Defense Force. It will be too late when such a situation becomes a reality," Abe reportedly said. At the risk of criticism within the country, Abe pushed forward efforts to change the constitutional interpretation. Besides his wariness over the rise of China and outbursts from North Korea, Abe sought to realize the reinterpretation of the Constitution because he felt the U.S. position as "world policeman" had eroded. 'Not friends' When Abe spoke of changing the constitutional interpretation, he often said, "If someone cannot help his or her friend, they are not friends." The prime minister obviously meant that when the Japan- U.S. alliance based on trust is undermined, the alliance will become a worthless piece of paper. When Obama visited Japan in April 2014, Abe spoke with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who had accompanied Obama. Abe mentioned the example of "friends," and explained that under the current constitutional interpretation, Japan could not protect U.S. vessels carrying civilians escaping some disaster. In response, Rice reportedly said such a relationship could not be called an alliance, and she called on the prime minister to push forward with the review of the constitutional interpretation concerning the exercise of the right of collective self-defense. At a press conference on July 1, 2014, Abe mentioned a statement by a U.S. high-ranking official that encouraged him to work on the issue. "I was urged to seriously consider whether the U.S. public would continue to trust Japan if a Self-Defense Forces' vessel did not take any action when a nearby U.S. vessel that was protecting Japan came under attack." On the other hand, Abe stressed that the Cabinet decision will not change the basic interpretation of the current Constitution. "The existing principle that dispatching troops overseas is prohibited in general will not change at all," he said. "There will never be a case in which the Self-Defense Forces will participate in combat in wars such as the Gulf War and the Iraq War." Abe emphasized that the latest Cabinet decision will further decrease the risk that Japan is dragged into war. "I want to clearly say once again that Japan will never become a country that wages war again," he said. Points of Cabinet decision on July 1, 2014 * The use of minimum necessary force is permitted under the Constitution when an armed attack takes place against a foreign country with which Japan has close relations and there is a clear danger that the people's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be fundamentally undermined. * There are cases in which the use of force has its basis in the right of collective self-defense under international law. * Discussions will be carried out to speed up the issuance of commands and other procedures to deal with an infringement that does not amount to an armed attack. Legislation will be established to enable the Self-Defense Forces to protect weapons and other supplies used by U.S. military units engaged in defending Japan. * Legislation will be established to enable the SDF to come to the rescue of civilians or foreign troops in remote locations when certain conditions, including the provision of consent by the government of a country to which the SDF is dispatched, are met. * The SDF will be able to provide logistic support for foreign troops in areas other than those in which the "troops are engaged in acts of combat." China's defense budget quadruples Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's top security concern is China's military strength. China has increased its defense spending annually by 10 percent or more in recent years, as well as accelerating modernization of its military equipment. The defense budget announced by Beijing in March 2014, was about 808.2 billion yuan (\12.93 trillion), up by 12 percent from last year and quadruple the figure 10 years ago. Despite appeals for transparency, China has not broken down its defense budget figures. The defense spending increase is aimed mainly at the rapid modernization of its weaponry. The Chinese Navy began operating its first aircraft carrier Liaoning in 2012, and the air force is developing an advanced type of stealth fighter jet. Some experts speculate that China may be able to commission its first domestically built aircraft carrier in the early 2020s. Meanwhile, Japan's defense budget has remained flat and the United States is being forced to make significant cuts to achieve fiscal reconstruction. A senior Defense Ministry official said, "The military power of Japan and the United States is much greater than that of China now, but the gap is narrowing." The greatest concern now may be intensifying provocative actions by the Chinese armed forces. In May and June, 2014, Chinese fighter planes made extremely close approaches to Self-Defense Forces aircraft over the East China Sea. The Chinese fleet and submarines are also increasing their scope of activities around Japan and in the western Pacific. In 2012, North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile that reportedly can reach the west coast of the United States, and is now developing nuclear weapons. The security environment in East Asia is becoming increasingly hazardous. LDP's compromise for agreement with coalition partner One of the highest hurdles Abe had to clear before the Cabinet decision was to get an approval from its coalition partner, Komeito. The wishes of Komeito, which called itself a party for peace since its inauguration 50 years ago and has been reluctant to endorse reinterpretation of the Constitution, were taken into consideration when composing the final draft of a Cabinet decision on exercising the right of collective self-defense. However, the agreement left important issues to be addressed later by the Diet, including how to handle collective security. "A strictly defensive posture will be maintained and [Japan] will not become a major military power that could threaten other nations." "If a dispute takes place, the maximum possible diplomatic efforts will be made to resolve it peacefully." The final text of the Cabinet decision incorporated the above two sentences at Komeito's request. Such revisions were made in response to criticism from those opposed to "becoming a war-ready nation," and are intended to show that Japan will continue to be a pacifist country that values peaceful solutions above all else. Additions describing how the changing security environment has necessitated collective self-defense as a defensive measure, and on the importance of increasing deterrence by strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, increased the overall length of the text by 20 percent, a government source said. The government and the LDP approached the negotiations with Komeito with an attitude that "any wishes for how things are expressed would be accommodated," the sources said. In the end, it was agreed that three new conditions for mobilizing the right of self-defense could only be invoked in situations when Japan's continued existence is threatened and there is a clear danger that the people's lives and rights will be fundamentally undermined. Moreover, it was decided that when a situation arises, the government would determine whether to exercise the right of self-defense based on these conditions. Minesweeping operations in sea lanes was one point of contention on which agreement was not reached. It was proposed that participation would be allowed if the effect on Japan was to be inordinately large, but not if the effect was expected to be more minor. The LDP saw such situations as appropriate to exercising the right of collective self-defense, according to a high-ranking party member. But according to Komeito Vice President Kazuo Kitagawa, "Just having mines laid in a sea lane isn't enough to merit [invoking the right of collective self-defense]." Battle over an adverb Regarding the issue of collective security, there was a battle over a single word at a meeting of the ruling parties. Komeito deputy chief Kazuo Kitagawa criticized a provision in the final draft that said the nation's right of collective self-defense "could also be" a reason for the use of force mentioned earlier in the draft. "Does 'also' mean that collective security is included?" Kitagawa wanted to know. Komeito is cautious about collective security. The expression "could also be" was based on the LDP's position. Even if Japan independently begins minesweeping in sealanes by exercising its right of collective self-defense, that same activity would become an act of collective security in the eyes of the international community if the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution urging member nations to sweep mines in sea-lanes and take other measures. Collective security refers to the use of force approved under the U.N. framework. LDP members put the meaning of collective security in "also" because they worry that Japan would have to stop all its activities after the adoption of such a U.N. resolution if the use of force under collective security was categorically excluded from the draft. However, Komeito leaders opposed this, arguing it would be impossible to consolidate opinion within their party if collective security was included in the discussion. Accepting the request from Komeito, LDP agreed to change the expression to "could be" in the draft to be endorsed by the Cabinet. LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura, who chairs the meetings between the two parties, said collective security has not been an official agenda item of their discussions. If Komeito wants the wording to be changed, "also" should be taken out, Komura said. In reality, however, the government and the LDP have informally established a policy that the SDF could continue its activities even after a U.N. resolution was adopted, if those activities meet the new three conditions to allow the exercise of Japan's self-defense right and are not acts of combat to harm an enemy. The government's written answer to the Diet, which was endorsed by the Cabinet in June, 2014, also stipulates that the SDF can continue its activities even if a U.N. resolution is adopted when the individual self-defense right is exercised. Self-defense change certain to strengthen U.S. alliance The government's decision to approve the limited exercise of its collective self-defense right is certain to cement its alliance with the United States further. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed strong support for the decision at his meeting with then Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in Washington on July 11, 2014. Now, attention is being focused on what measures to enhance the alliance will be included in drafting new Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, observers said. Hagel said at a press conference held after the Japan-U.S. defense ministerial meeting at the Pentagon that Tokyo's approval for the limited exercise of the collective self-defense right allows Japan to be involved more actively in areas such as defending against ballistic missile attacks, preventing weapons of mass destruction from proliferating and participating in military exercises with U.S. forces. "We can raise our alliance to a new level [with the decision], and we intend to do that," Hagel emphasized. Onodera and Hagel have paved a way for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, which was stalled under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, and turbocharged discussions on enhancement of the Japan-U.S. alliance, said officials of both governments. Particularly, the U.S. side considers the Japanese government's new view on its national security, including the approval for the limited exercise of its collective self-defense right, as marking a new era in the Japan-U.S. alliance because it reduces restrictions on the roles the Self-Defense Forces can play and enables the two countries to carry out joint drills in peacetime, which assume integrated operations of the SDF and U.S. forces at the time of emergencies. Both Onodera and Hagel expressed their desire to enhance the Japan-U.S. alliance at the press conference. "This bold, historic, landmark decision will enable Japan to significantly increase its contribution to regional and global security and expand its role on the world stage," said Hagel. Onodera said, "Revision of the guidelines will reflect contents of the Cabinet decision and become groundbreaking." Washington expects the SDF to play a larger role because it has set a "rebalance" policy to emphasize the Asia-Pacific region but is forced to cut defense spending to rehabilitate its fiscal condition. The United States is trying to expand its trade with Asia-Pacific countries with their economies booming, but North Korea is proceeding with development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and China is intensifying its hegemonic activities, such as its aggressive advance into the East and South China seas. Furthermore, cyber-attacks allegedly committed by the Chinese military have continued against U.S. companies. Though the security environment is unstable in the Asia- Pacific region, the United States, which is already exhausted fighting in Iraq and in other wars, has found it to be too heavy a burden for it to deal with the situation alone. In reality, Washington is said to want Japan, a U.S. ally, to shoulder part of its security burden. An official at the Pentagon said that Japan will become close to a reliable ally to the United States like Britain and Australia, if the revision of the guidelines increases options in Japan-U.S. security cooperation and expands the range of activities the SDF can do. As one measure to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance, Onodera said during a lecture in Washington that cooperation in defense equipment is also significant. The SDF has decided to introduce F-35s, state-of-the-art stealth fighters, and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft. This move is expected to make joint drills smoother on the assumption that responses to emergencies can be better coordinated if U.S. forces and the SDF use common equipment, observers said. Remote islands key in guidelines During their meeting on July 11, 2014, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and his U.S. counterpart, Chuck Hagel, recon- firmed a schedule for formally deciding on the Guidelines for Japan- U.S. Defense Cooperation by the end of 2014 after releasing an interim report of the new guidelines in autumn, sources said. The focus of the bilateral defense guidelines revisions is expected to be on how the two nations will cooperate to address so-called gray-zone situations, cases that cannot be immediately judged as armed attacks. A case such as the seizure of remote islands, including the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, by an armed group disguised as fishermen is considered to be a gray-zone situation. The United States clarified its stance that Article 5 of the Japan- U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates the obligation of the United States to defend Japan, applies to the Senkaku Islands. However, some observers say Japan cannot expect the U.S. military to come to its aid when the case is a gray-zone situation. The current defense guidelines revised in 1997 have given special emphasis to dealing with emergencies on the Korean Peninsula, and they do not provide clear stipulations on how to deal with gray-zone situations. The government hopes to secure the U.S. military's involvement in defending the nation in the future by stipulating the roles of the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military in the defense of remote islands, including in the case of gray-zone situations, sources said. Regarding emergencies on the Korean Peninsula, if a restriction on SDF actions deemed inseparable from the use of force by another country is eased on the basis of the government's new interpretation of the Constitution, it will be possible to expand the scope of the SDF's logistic support to the U.S. forces. Countermeasures for cyber-attacks, as well as cooperation in space fields, including maritime surveillance using satellites will be stipulated in the revised guidelines, sources said. Onodera clarified the aims of the guidelines revisions at a press conference on July 11, 2014, saying, "We'd like to ensure the contents [of the guidelines] allow Japan and the United States to cooperate seamlessly and swiftly together in cases ranging from normal circumstances, including gray-zone situations, to emergencies." SDF at crossroads after 60 years The Self-Defense Forces marked the 60th anniversary of its inauguration on July 1, 2014, same day as the Cabinet decided on a reinterpretation of the Constitution. There was a time when the SDF was given only second-tier status due to its connection with Article 9 of the Constitution, but today it has developed into a government organization regarded favorably by over 90 percent of Japanese. Depending on the course of Diet discussions on Japan's right of collective self-defense, however, the SDF might be ordered to carry out challenging missions it has never done before. Standing at a crossroads, it is also true that men and women in uniform feel uncertain about the future of the SDF. With the enforcement of the Defense Agency and Self-Defense Forces laws on July 1, 1954, the agency and the SDF came into being. The SDF is based on the National Security Force established in 1952, which grew out of the National Police Reserve created in 1950. Currently, the three branches of the SDF have a total of 225,000 members. "I couldn't even think of wearing a uniform when I commuted to the office," Hiroshi Morishige said, recalling the early days of the SDF when the public viewed it with a stern eye. Morishige, now 86, dealt with the 1985 crash of the Japan Airlines passenger jet and other incidents as chief of staff at the Air Self-Defense Force. When he was in the ASDF, a few schools refused to enroll some children because their fathers were SDF members. In 1960, when protest movements over the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty were at their height, Morishige witnessed demonstrators, who had surrounded the Diet Building, heading to the former Defense Agency building in the Roppongi district. Fearing they might occupy the agency, he rushed to the roof of the agency to incinerate classified documents, Morishige said. He even suffered personal damage when a terrorist set his house on fire in 1992, though he had already retired from the SDF at that time. However, times have changed. According to a 2012 survey by the Cabinet Office, a record 91.7 percent of respondents said they had favorable impressions of the SDF. Photo books and TV dramas on SDF members are very popular today. "SDF members, which had put up with such slander as 'tax-money snatchers' and 'violators of the Constitution,' are steadily working on disaster aid, peacekeeping operations and daily training," Morishige said proudly. "What the Self-Defense Forces is today is the result of various achievements made over the 60 years," said Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of the Joint Staff who heads the SDF. A 21-year-old sergeant who has volunteered for a threemonth ranger training course at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Fuji School Brigade said, "I watch video footage of U.S. forces in Iraq and other places to form mental pictures" to supplement his lack of experience in real combat. Rangers infiltrate hostile areas to carry out their missions. In a five-day training program that started June 27, 2014, the sergeant and others in the ranger course were to trek through the mountains of Izu Peninsula and other places, each carrying more than 40 kilograms of gear on his back. Eight of the 24 trainees have already quit the course because they could not endure the hard training. Today, not only the GSDF but also the Maritime and Air Self-Defense forces are facing a wider range of missions. But expectations for rangers with excellent physical performances are exceptionally high in the GSDF, which faces new challenges such as establishing a unit to regain control of a remote island occupied by an enemy. The sergeant wants to be assigned to a special operations unit engaged in counterterrorism operations in the future. If he is assigned to such a unit, the sergeant could be dispatched to a dangerous area abroad. His 23-year-old fiancee, who is also an SDF member, said: "I respect what he wants to do...All I can do is pray for him to return safely if he goes on a dangerous mission." If the exercise of the right of collective self-defense is permitted in the near future, the SDF is more likely to use force overseas. A senior SDF officer expressed concern that this might cause a worsening of the favorable public impression the SDF has built up over a long time. "If we are dispatched on a mission abroad that divides public opinion," he said. "How will the public see the SDF then?" Web edition part 2 Speech Clip to Evernote inShare Myth and Truth in East Asia

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