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Japan considers North Korean strike
Posted by: McQ on Monday, July 10, 2006

Wow!

That is news.
Japan said Monday it was considering whether a pre-emptive strike on North Korea's missile bases would violate its constitution, signaling a hardening stance ahead of a possible U.N. Security Council vote on Tokyo's proposal for sanctions against the regime. The vote itself could be delayed for several days, a news agency reported.
While Japan has increased its military presence and participation in the world a little more recently, since WWII Japan has been completely reticent to engage in any military action which might be construed as offensive action.

Obviously Japan is very concerned. Japan's military forces are strictly held to a defensive role. Even Japan's contingent in Iraq was unarmed and worked strictly on humanitarian projects.

So this tell us that Japan is deeply concerned about potential North Korean aggression to the point that they're talking about preemptive action.
Japan's constitution bars the use of military force in settling international disputes and prohibits Japan from maintaining a military for warfare. Tokyo has interpreted that to mean it can have armed troops to protect itself, allowing the existence of its 240,000-strong Self-Defense Forces.
There's one problem with this sort of talk though, as the article points out. Lack of capability on behalf of the Japanese Self-Defense force to act offensively:
A Defense Agency spokeswoman, however, said Japan has no offensive weapons such as ballistic missiles that could reach North Korea. Its forces only have ground-to-air missiles and ground-to-vessel missiles, she said on condition of anonymity because of official policy.

Japanese fighter jets and pilots are not capable of carrying out such an attack, a military analyst said.

"Japan's air force is top class in defending the nation's airspace, but attacking another country is almost impossible," said analyst Kazuhisa Ogawa.

"Even if Japan's planes made it to North Korea, they wouldn't make it back ... it would be an act of suicide," he said. "Japan has no capacity to wage war."
So other than an extreme example of how concerned Japan is about North Korea's missile tests, there's really nothing militarily they can do about it ... at least in a conventional sense. But it is most interesting to see them even discussing the possibility of preemption.

It may also be a bit of positioning for the upcoming 6-party talks, where Japan will take on the role of "bad cop" with the US then stepping into the role of conciliator. The US has offered bi-lateral talks with North Korea if they agree to 6-party talks. This change of roles may provide the impetus necessary for North Korea to agree.

Meanwhile Japan is aggressively pushing a UN Security Council Chapter 7 resolution against North Korea. Naturally, China and Russia appear to be against it.
 
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A Defense Agency spokeswoman, however, said Japan has no offensive weapons such as ballistic missiles that could reach North Korea
I’m sure we can help them out with that little problem...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
What about Ghidra and Mothra? Much less Godzilla? Mechano-Kong might be vulnerable to seawater corrosion.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
where Japan will take on the role of "bad cop" with the US then stepping into the role of conciliator
I just got a very funny image of a very angry Japanese interrogator working over a prisoner with Jack Bauer being nice.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Interesting that they are positioning themselves to front the UN with a ’if you don’t do something about it, we maintain our right to do so’ proposition.

All them secret anti-monster weapons are being inventoried in the basement of those secret mountain bases they maintain to see which can be most easily converted.
Seriously though - I recall that artillery tubes became bunker busting bombs a few years back, fast and in a hurry, before we rely on the phrase ’Japan has no capacity for such an attack’.

They may go and prove out the old sayings, where there’s a will, there’s a way and ’necessity is the mother of invention’.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I would think that Japan would have little difficulty in rapidly obtaining an offensive capability....especially with US assistance. In fact, the US should express its sympathy with the Japanese position and offer its assistance if the North Koreans do not back off. Then watch China jump on poor old Kim to do the right thing. The absolutely last thing that China wants is a Japan that has offensive war making capabilities.....
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
RAZ that may be precisely the ploy being worked here, who knows, but it would appear an effort is afoot to make NoKo react is some way or another and soon.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well Japan has a very professional military, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into even a LATENT capacity against North Korea. Do their aircraft have the RANGE to reach the targets? (From the article, No.) If not where will the tanking capacity come from? Does the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force field the correct munitions for an attack, simply possessing JDAMS or JSOW is NOT the same as having integrated them into your training and tactics and force. Does the JASDF have the planning and Intelligence assets, the Command and Control Assets? Simply having some planes, some bombs, and a desire is NOT the same thing as having a REAL capacity to deal with North Korea.

I believe that in the medium- to long-run Japan COULD develop the capacity to strike at North Korea, and hence the PRC. I believe McQ is correct that these discussions are REALLY aimed at the PRC, basically saying, "Do you REALLY want a fully Re-Armed Japan as a Neighbor?" The goal to being to convince the PRC that the status quo will lead to a future state less palatable to the PRC.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Do you REALLY want a fully Re-Armed Japan as a Neighbor?" The goal to being to convince the PRC that the status quo will lead to a future state less palatable to the PRC.
Trust me ... the last thing the PRC wants is a offensively capable Japan. Check that. That would be the next to last thing they’d want. The last thing they’d want is a offensively nuclear capable Japan, but a conventionally capable Japan is a close second.

And let’s give credit where credit is due. RAZ raised that flag first:
The absolutely last thing that China wants is a Japan that has offensive war making capabilities.....
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The last thing they’d want is a offensively nuclear capable Japan, but a conventionally capable Japan is a close second.
I’d agree McQ, but that’s what’s so puzzling here. North Korea with Nuclear Weapons MIGHT well drive Japan TO Nuclear Weapons, so why allow the conditions to worsen?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Once Japan has re-armed to protect itself from North Korea and China, it will be our military rival as well. They is no other country whose weapons are more likely to be higher-tech than ours. They are as good at technology as we are. It is not in our long term interest to let them re-arm. Once they are armed, they will ask us withdraw from our bases and then they will compete with us for oil.

Looker: One of the legacies of Gulf War II is that now everybody can and will threaten to unilaterally start a war whenever their interests are threatened. I
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
One of the legacies of Gulf War II is that now everybody can and will threaten to unilaterally start a war whenever their interests are threatened.
Oh please. The world didn’t begin in 2001.

Take a close look at Japan’s demographics. They won’t be going on the warpath.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Once they are armed, they will ask us withdraw from our bases
Possibly or possibly not, Great Britain didn’t/hasn’t...
and then they will compete with us for oil.
CindyB here’s a news flash; THEY ALREADY DO NOW. You might have missed it but it’s called the International Oil Market, for a reason. Just as the PRC competes "with us for oil", as India "with us for oil", as Europe competes "with us for oil" and yet no war emerges...or do you think Japan simply buys Cast-Off US oil, "Hah, that they-uh awl ain’t no account fer a’fuel’n mah Hummmer, so I reckons they-uht them thar Japinees kin use it."
Looker: One of the legacies of Gulf War II is that now everybody can and will threaten to unilaterally start a war whenever their interests are threatened.

Unlike BEFORE Gulf War III, when NO ONE could start a war unilaterally when their interests were threatened, except for Saddam In 1980, or 1991 or India in 1971 or Israel in 1967...but beyond those examples I’d say you were onto something there. *SIGH*
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
RAZ that may be precisely the ploy being worked here, who knows, but it would appear an effort is afoot to make NoKo react is some way or another and soon
One of the real foreign policy successes for Bush that is being dreadfully underreported (and in fact, the outcome of the story may not be written or even known for years yet)is the way GWB has been able to engage with Japan and India and use them as regional proxies/counterbalances in sticky situations.

For an administration maligned as dumb, unilateral, "cowboy" etc, this is a suprisingly shrewd and subtle move.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The difference Cindy is Japan has already seen the game played out, and is warning the UN directly - long before they even have the capacity to carry out any such threat.

So, all in all, diplomatically, I’d say they’re playing the game exactly as you’d want, diplomatically so they don’t have to get to the next phase.

I doubt the Japanese really want to undertake re-arming their country for offensive capacity. Consider we’re not likely to look favorably on any new versions of the East Asia Co-Properity Sphere and certainly not cloaked as pre-emptive defensive actions. They already know who (as if the PRC wasn’t enough for them to deal with) they will have to answer to for the sudden acts of ’aggression’ you seem to think they’re calculating. Get a grip, they’re economically way better off the way things are.

You’re acting like they WANT to spend money to create offensive capability. The weapons, training, supply and maintenace of that stuff isn’t FREE you know.
Talk about a dark vision of the world and everyone’s motivation (more guns! Ugh! War! Death good! Banzi!) - lighten up.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Well Shark, I agree with and respect Dubya, voted for him twice, but to be fair we need to give some credit where credit is due: The Islamo-Fascists and the Axis of Evil. "Thank God for our enemies." India is much more amenable to cooperation with the US becuase we BOTH face islamic terrorists. Japan was moving further away from the US, in the 1990’s UNTIL the Poofy-Haired, Pot-Bellied "Ronery Guy" began to develop, openly, nuclear weapons. Suddenly the US looked a LOT more appealing. I think it IS good and a somewhat under-reported phenomena, but it’s not just adroit diplomacy on our part.

I’m not sure it’s even under-reported... the whole "Anglosphere" thing actually includes Japan and that’s a meme/theory that’s been floating around the Web for some time. Just because Time Magazine hasn’t done a cover sotry on it doesn’t mean that it’s unknown.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
,"... they will ask us withdraw from our bases "

And why would that be a bad thing? If S Korea and Japan can defend themselves, why do we need to be there?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
O.K, here’s my own personal opinion on the whole thing: Even if the U.N doesn’t allow Japan to send pre-empative strikes against South Korea, China or Russia (Who seem to agree with Japan on the whole issue) will veto over the U.N so Japan can strike South Korea in defense.

Meanwhile, GW will use the good ’ole "South Korea was threatening the U.S with their missile lauches so we must prevent them" as an excuse to nuke the sh*t outta South Korea and then start some sort of war that the U.S shouldn’t be in when they have already got one war to fight, they don’t need another.
 
Written By: Jess
URL: http://
Jess, you mean North Korea. Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Or maybe not, possibly not knowing the difference.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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