Japanese scholar Shimada Yoichi, a former advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, recently suggested that Japan’s military should strengthen its “beheading” capability to fundamentally subdue the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and North Korea in order to bring peace in Asia.
In recent years, China’s aggressive military deployment to the Asia-Pacific region, its threat to forcibly unify Taiwan, and North Korea’s test launch of hypersonic missiles make Japan antsy.
Experts believe that Japan’s intention to develop weapons to deter the CCP is a sign that the restriction on Japan’s military development after World War II might be officially unlocked. It would be significant if the Japanese technology was released for military use.
Maintain Peace by ‘Beheading’ Military: Japanese Think Tank
On Feb. 7, a member of Abe Shinzo’s think-tank, Professor Shimada Yoichi at Fukui Prefectural University, said in an interview with New Tang Dynasty that Japan now has the double threat of attack from North Korea and from China, and it is not enough to protect Japan’s security by just enhancing its capability to attack enemy bases or by military exercises.
Japan is currently unable to intercept North Korea’s hypersonic missiles that have a maximum speed of more than 10 Mach. If Japan were to be attacked by such a missile, it would need to be able to launch a retaliatory attack on the North Korean command. “The only way for Japan to contain North Korea is to have this capability, there is no other way,” he said.
Shimada also said that Japan should carry out a destructive attack on the CCP command center (a “beheading”) if the regime invades Japan, which would be the sole effective defense.
Shimada is also a council member and planning committee member of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, vice president of the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, and a columnist for the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun.
His comments further clarify the attitude Japan should have toward the threats posed by China and North Korea.
Shimada emphasized that the “beheading” may be controversial, but it would be the least costly and most effective, and would make the CCP and the North Korean regime fearful. He believes it is the only way to bring peace to East Asia.
On the subject of Shimada’s comments, U.S.-based current affairs commentator Shi Shan told The Epoch Times, “As I understand it, what Shimada Yoichi means is that Japan cannot take passive defense anymore: Japan can even use a ‘beheading military move’ to deter the CCP.”
Japan Must Upgrade Military Power to Deter the CCP: Expert
Lan Shu, political affairs commentator, told The Epoch Times that Shimada Yoichi has expressed his strong concern for the Japanese people because of the CCP’s expansion.
“With its economic expansion and its support for North Korea’s constant provocations in Northeast Asia, the CCP and North Korea have actually threatened Japan’s security,” Lan said.
Lan believes Shimada “is actually appealing for the Japanese government to produce weapons that can act as a deterrent to the CCP, and Japan should consider starting an arms race with the CCP for its own security concerns.”
On Jan. 22, 2021, the CCP promulgated the Marine Police Law, which allows the marine police to evict any foreign vessel it determines is illegally in Chinese waters, and to use weapons when the vessel does not comply with orders.
According to Japan’s Coast Guard, in the last two years (2020 and 2021) there were at least 660 days when China Coast Guard vessels sailed into Japan’s territorial waters, and in 2021, 34 cases of Chinese vessels intruding into the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, an increase of 10 cases from the previous year.
On Sep. 16, 2021, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told CNN that Japan would respond to the CCP’s threat in the Senkaku Islands and other areas in the East China Sea, “… the government of Japan is resolutely defending our territory with a greater number of Japanese coast guard vessels than that of China.”
Japan’s Military Capability Might Be Released: Expert
“Japanese think tank is calling for the Japanese government to have ‘beheading’ ability weapons against the CCP, which can be estimated that the U.S. might have opened the ‘dragon lock’ on Japan’s head,” Shi said.
The “Dragon Lock,” according to Shi, is the restrictions on the use of military power contained in Japan’s constitution, which the United States drafted during the occupation after Japan was defeated in World War II. Japan was forbidden to have naval, ground, and air forces, and could only have a self-defense force; the United States was responsible for Japan’s national defense, its military industry was strictly regulated and supervised, and it was forbidden to develop offensive weapons or deploy troops for combat outside Japanese territory.
Japan’s military strength was ranked second in the world during World War II, ahead of Germany and second to the United States.
According to Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress, released on April 6, 2021, “in the 1950s and 1960s, the United States assumed most of the responsibility for Japan’s defense. Over the decades, however, this partnership has shifted toward more equality as Japan’s military capabilities and policies have evolved.” The U.S.-Japan alliance has been enhanced since Trump’s administration “in countering China’s dramatic rise in economic and military power, as well as responding to the threat from North Korea.”
In 2013, Japan announced a new national security strategy. On Sept.19, 2015, the Diet approved Legislation for Peace and Security. In 2018 Japan adopted a ten-year defense plan and a midterm procurement plan. These efforts by the Shinzo Abe administration have proven to be aimed at normalizing Japan’s three armed forces into an active defense model.
On July 9, 2020, The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that the U.S. Department of State approved the sale of 105 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment to Japan—the sole country to receive such military aircraft from the United States at the time.
If Japan were to decapitate the CCP and the North Korean regime and defend the Asia-Pacific region as a major power in the U.S.-Japan alliance, as Shi estimates, Japan would need to develop missiles for precision strikes.
“If Japanese technology is released for military use, it would be something significant,” Shi said, because the U.S. Army relies on Japanese semiconductors for most of its radar and guidance technology. The hardware, that is, all the equipment, is basically provided by the Japanese, “so if Japan will build such weapons themselves, it could be very powerful.”
According to Japanese media Sankei News on December 2020, a new anti-ship missile being researched and developed by the Japanese government will have a range of about 2,000 kilometers (about 1,243 miles) that can reach continental China and North Korea, with stealth capabilities to reduce radar detection and be highly maneuverable to prevent enemy interception. In addition to ground launch, it could be launched from ships and aircraft.
In 2021 Japan’s overall military power ranked fifth in the world behind the United States, Russia, China, and India, and its defense budget ranked sixth out of 140 countries according to data by the Global Firepower Rating Site.