Japan intends to construct more ammunition depots at Self-Defense Forces (SDF) installations in the 2024 fiscal as it acquires long-range counterstrike capabilities. Meanwhile, China has reportedly threatened to Nuke Japan if it attempted to hinder its plan of annexing Taiwan.
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Japan is working to increase 130 such depots from roughly 1,400 at present by fiscal 2032, Japan-based publication Japan Today reported, citing informed sources. The move represents a significant shift in the pacifist nation’s security strategy in response to the growing military threats in the region.
According to the information provided by the source, the country has planned nine Ground Self-Defense Force facilities across the prefectures of Hokkaido, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa. These will be in addition to the four depots already being constructed at the SDF facilities in Aomori and Oita prefectures.
As part of its agenda for modernizing its military and acquiring lethal offensive and defensive capability, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has requested 12.4 billion Yen to build the depots under the fiscal 2024 budget, which will be drafted in December 2023. Tokyo begins its new fiscal year in April.
The move comes months after Japan unveiled its most significant military build-up since the Second World War 2 in December last year, with a US$ 320 billion plan that would allow it to buy missiles capable of striking regional enemies like China, North Korea, and Russia, and prepare it for sustained battle.
Japan has since been making efforts to acquire these missiles. In April this year, the Japanese MoD announced it had awarded contracts to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop and mass produce long-range missiles, including upgraded variants of Mitsubishi’s Type 12 missiles for surface, sea, and air launches. In addition, a hypersonic ballistic missile for the defense of remote islands is also in the works.
Japan has also secured approval from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to sell stealthy air-launched standoff cruise missiles to Tokyo. Under this possible deal, Japan will buy 50 Lockheed Martin AGM-158B/B-2 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles with Extended Range through the Foreign Military Sales route.
Moreover, Japan announced sometime in February this year that it was planning to acquire the latest version of the Tomahawk, which was delivered to the US Navy in 2021. The precision-guided missile flies at low altitudes and has a range exceeding 1,600 kilometers. Reports noted that Tokyo was seeking at least 400 Tomahawks from the US.
This has been possible due to Japan’s National Security Strategy, which was updated by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet last year. The strategy, a strategic defense blueprint, calls for acquiring a “counterstrike capability,” which can thwart attacks from outside forces.
As it acquires this capability before the end of this decade, Tokyo, which has abstained from war for the past 77 years, will have the capability to immediately strike another country’s land in case of an emergency if the security situation around Japan becomes unstable due to threats from China, North Korea, and Russia. For that, the additional missile depots are an indispensable requirement.
Although China has lambasted the decision to accrue this long-range counterstrike capability, Japan has stayed on course while highlighting the challenge it faces from China in the region and with the strengthening military cooperation between China and Russia.
Tokyo’s security concerns may not entirely be misplaced or misjudged, as Beijing believes. An investigative journalist recently accused China of planning a nuclear attack on Japan in what could deeply unsettle the world.
A Chinese Nuclear Attack On Japan?
On September 17, an independent journalist who keenly follows Chinese affairs and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) posted a mortifying video on Platform X (previously Twitter) in which a Chinese military channel threatened the use of nuclear weapons against Japan.
Going by the username’ Inconvenient Truths By Jennifer Zeng,’ the social media account belonging to the journalist noted that the Chinese channel said that the CCP would break its past pledge to refrain from using nuclear weapons if Japan were to interfere in the CCP’s “liberation” of Taiwan, which they contend is an outdated promise now.
A #Chinese #military channel claims that if #Japan dares to intervene in the #CCP’s ‘liberation’ of #Taiwan, the CCP will abandon its prior commitment of refraining from initiating the use of #nuclearweapons. They argue that this is an outdated promise.
Instead, the CCP threatens… pic.twitter.com/Nf2avs5AF2
— Inconvenient Truths by Jennifer Zeng 曾錚真言 (@jenniferzeng97) September 16, 2023
Instead, the channel reportedly noted that the CCP has threatened to continuously strike Japan with nuclear weapons until it gives up unconditionally. She observed in the post, “While these threats may lack military rationale, they shed light on the CCP’s mindset.”
Jennifer Zeng informed that the military channel “Liu Jun Tao Lue,” which roughly translates to “Wisdom and Strategies for Six Armies,” had produced the video. She also noted that the channel has 2.47 million on the Chinese video-sharing website “Xi Gua Videos.” It was not immediately clear where she picked the video, but it may have been this particular channel.
EurAsian Times could not independently establish the veracity of this video. It has been removed from the internet by relevant authorities.
The journalist is a member of the International Press Association and has more than 240K followers on Platform X. She noted in another post on the platform that the video, which had since been deleted, was reposted by the official and verified account of the Politics and Law Committee of the CCP in Baoding City, Hebei Province in China.
Due to its proximity to Taiwan in the region, Japan is believed to inevitably become a party to any conflict involving Taiwan. Earlier this month, Tokyo appointed a serving government official as its de facto defense attaché in Taiwan. Since Japan does not have official diplomatic relations with the self-ruled island, this was seen as a move to elevate security ties.
Japan also announced that it was expanding a military base on a small island east of Taiwan months after the Chinese military’s ballistic missiles landed near its shores last year. Moreover, China’s persistent intimidation and increased military activity in the Taiwan Strait have further led to some bickering in the Japanese MoD.
On its part, although China refrains from making direct official threats to its adversaries, similar propaganda videos have been reported in the past. However, insinuating a nuclear strike may be a stretch, especially against the only country in history that has borne the brunt of a horrifying nuclear attack.