What’s in the Japanese Defense White Paper? Emphasize security concerns

The Defense White Paper, published annually by Japan’s Cabinet Office, highlights China as the biggest strategic challenge to Japan. Concerns about Chinese intervention in Taiwan, an important source of semiconductors for Japanese industry, are prompting Japan to redesign its defense priorities.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

This paper condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a serious violation of international law. The incident prompted Japan to reconsider its commitment to pacifism and build up its military might.

North Korea is an imminent threat

The document also highlights North Korea as an imminent threat. North Korea has significantly increased its missile launches, raising fears of an attack, whether intentional or accidental. Japan is taking steps to defend against these threats and ensure regional stability.

Increased military cooperation with South Korea

Japan recognizes the need to fundamentally strengthen its military and work closely with countries like South Korea to maintain regional stability. Efforts are underway to improve frosty relations between South Korea and Japan as the two countries face an increasingly uncertain security environment.

Prioritizing active diplomacy and reducing vulnerability to hostile states

While Japan is taking steps to strengthen its military, the white paper emphasizes the priority of active diplomacy in its national security efforts. Japan is also working with the United States on industrial policy to reduce its vulnerability and dependence on China.

Japan’s diplomatic influence and ambitions

Japan’s diplomatic influence extends beyond the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is seeking deeper NATO involvement in East Asia to counter China’s regional influence. The agreement on cybersecurity and space policy with NATO aims to take the relationship to a new level. Concerns have been expressed about increased military cooperation between China and Russia, including joint exercises near Japan.

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