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Japan Moves to Step Up Military Forces

Posted June. 30, 2002 22:33,   


The provocation of North Korea is expected to serve as a pretext for Japan to strengthen its military forces regardless of the intention of North Korea. It is not a mere assumption. Japan has always made use of the North provocative acts to emphasize the importance of strengthened military forces. And Japan has always succeeded.

Fukuda Yasuo, the spokesman of the Japanese government, said that Japan is gravely concerned about the incident. Nakatani Gen, the Japanese Defense Minister instructed Japan`s maritime self defense force to step up its vigilance by mobilizing P3C patrol plane right after he heard the news of the West Sea battle.

With such remarks and measures by high-ranking officials, the Japanese have become to think that North Korea is indeed a dangerous country and Japan has to take precaution. The potential `main enemy` of Japan shifted from the Soviet Union to North Korea. Thus it is persuasive that North Korea, which has criticized Japan`s rearmament, has, in turn, contributed a great deal to Japan`s military expansion.

The ruling party and the government has submitted an `emergency bill` to the Diet. The opposition parties have vehemently opposed the bill, calling it a de-facto `mobilization order for war`. It is uncertain that the Diet would pass the bill, but voices that stress the bill`s need are expected to gain strength with the inter-Korean skirmish in the West Sea.

In addition, Japan began in last December salvaging a mysterious ship presumed to be a North Korean spy boat in the Exclusive Economic Zone in China. Some have been skeptical over the necessity for pouring a huge amount of money to salvage the ship. Others have worried over a possible diplomatic conflict with North Korea. But under the current circumstances, skepticism over Japan`s military rearmament cannot but losing strength.

The West Sea battle is expected to have a negative influence on the issue of North Korean defectors, which have drawn keen attention from the world. An increasing number of Japanese have thought that they have to pay more attention to North Koreans as citizens of an economic superpower and at the humanitarian level. But this incident may arouse a psychological resistance among the Japanese against North Korea and its people.