Japan has been locked into a pacifist policy since the bloody ending of World War II. That is now changing due to emerging threats from China and North Korea.
The Japanese are adding an additional $6.75 billion to an already record defense budget. The increase will provide additional air defense and maritime capability for Japan’s Self Defense Forces. The budget will allow the Japanese to have an “enemy base strike capability” which is a very divisive policy among Japanese politicians as according to some of the dovish members of the government as it violates the war-renouncing Japanese Constitution.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has renewed his vow to consider “all options,” including the aforementioned enemy base strike capability, to protect the country amid growing threats from China and North Korea. Kishida reiterated that the threat reality “is [more severe] than ever.”
With the Chinese increasingly threatening Taiwan, the Japanese are growing concerned that this will bring the Chinese to within about 100 kilometers of their territory. This would threaten the same shipping lanes that supply the lifeblood of oil and other trade that the United States cut during the war. It would also open up the entire western Pacific to the rapidly growing Chinese navy.