Hawks within Japan’s Abe government have been eager to build up their military force on any pretext, having ditched the nation’s post-WW2 disarmament. The possibility of a US war with North Korea, however, appears to be the latest excuse for this.
Japanese officials and hawkish analysts in the country are pushing for the idea of buying or in some other way acquiring cruise missiles, in an attempt to build up a big enough arsenal to carry out a “limited preemptive strike” against North Korea.
The argument they’re presenting is that North Korea’s “threat” is growing and that Japan needs a bigger preemptive capability to respond to that. Even a cursory examination of this, however, shows that the argument is a bad one.
Much as with the US possible attacking North Korea, there’s no such thing as a “limited’ war with North Korea. This is a case for the US not attacking, but even moreso for Japan, as they’re well within range of broad swathes of North Korea’s conventional retaliatory capabilities. Japan would already sustain massive damage in a US-provoked war, but far moreso if they started it themselves.
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