China’s Rise Remilitarizes Japan?


China’s Rise Remilitarizes Japan?

The Diplomat, January 21, 2011

Last year was a bad one for China’s soft power. Will Japan’s response prompt a dangerous spiral of arms spending—and spark conflict?

China's Rise = Remilitarizing Japan?

Saying publicly for the first time what they’ve thought privately for years, Japanese defence planners in December announced a new defence posture that fingered China’s military rise as justification for a new, more proactive approach, including a refocusing of forces from Japan’s north to its southernmost islands.

Unfortunately, China’s response was as predictable as it was unhelpful: it issued a blunt statement saying that no country had the right to make irresponsible comments about its development.

From a distance, it’s hard not to be alarmed at the three trends that have dominated the region over the last decade: the growth of Chinese power, the relative decline of US power and the resulting remilitarisation of Japanese power. Indeed, given the growth in importance of the region to the global economy, these trends are as alarming as they are dangerous since they have the capacity to be self-fulfilling, driving a cycle of mistrust and spiralling arms spending. And, since Japan’s defence posture automatically includes the United States (which is obliged by treaty to come to Japan’s defence) any potential conflict has all the ingredients for a ‘great power war.’

How did this happen to a China that seemed intent on managing a history defying ‘peaceful rise’? How did this happen to a United States that has sought to reassure China and give Beijing a seat at the table? And how did it happen to a pacifist Japan, led by a newly-elected political party that looked intent on building closer ties with China? A complicated mix of security dynamics, historical grievances and major shifts in aggregated power mean there’s no easy answer.

The relationship between Japan and China has long been complex. Traditionally, the junior partner and recipient of culture, religion and writing from the 19th century on, Japan developed more quickly the tools, institutions and weapons that ultimately felled its giant neighbour. Following the 1853 US intrusion on its sleepy isolation, Japan began its rise as a great power by focusing on economic and military power.

Using the slogan Fukokyu Kohei, ‘rich country, strong military,’ Japan emulated the strategic thinking of the West, with particular focus on the kind of naval power projection discussed by Alfred Thayer Mahan. Japan’s quicker development reversed its historic relationship with China, and by the time of the Boxer Rebellion in 1899, Japan was fighting alongside British, French and German forces and carving out its own trade empire on the Chinese mainland.

While China’s rise over the last 20 years has done much to restore the historic balance between the two states, it’s more than possible this historical experience continues to shape current Chinese policy and the attitudes of policy-making elites. Defence spending, for example, has surged—doubling every five years—with much going into developing China’s blue-water naval capabilities. (When pressed on this issue, Chinese diplomats tend to point to China’s past vulnerability to naval-borne threats).

To finish this article please go to the link.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Syrian Intifada

a-shab yurid iskat an-nizam

Jeremy S. Maxie

Energy & Political Risk Consultant

In Pace

Peace in Korea and beyond

southseaconversations 讨论南海

China comments on the South (China) Sea disputes

Christopher Phillips

Academic, Writer, Commentator

tokyocooney

(does america)

Philosophical Politics

political philosophy of current events

Minh Thi's blog

pieces of me

North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

National Post

Canadian News, World News and Breaking Headlines

Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy.

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

Moscow-on-Thames

Sam Greene - London & Moscow

kirstyevidence

Musings on research, international development and other stuff

The Rights Angle

Francesca Pizzutelli's blog on human rights and human beings

Bayard & Holmes

If you're in a fair fight, you're using poor tactics

Grand Blog Tarkin

A roundtable of strategists from across all space and time.

Sky Dancing

a place to discuss real issues

Oscar Relentos

Welcome to my catharsis

mkseparatistreport

A Blog Focused on Bringing Policy and Chinese language Translations Relating to Separatists and Terrorism

playwithlifeorg

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Variety as Life Spice

Words by a post-90s in Hong Kong

KURT★BRINDLEY

WRITER★EDITER★PRODUCER★CONSULTANT

Foreign Policy

the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

Eleanor Robinson-Yamaguchi

Specialist in Japanese History and Culture

ABDALLAH ATTALLAH

Futurist | Disruptor | Coach | Reformer

Anglo-Japan Alliance

A new type of alliance

Small House Bliss

Small house designs with big impact

Europe Asia Security Forum

European perspectives on Asian security, and vice-versa

Shashank Joshi

Royal United Services Institute | Harvard University

secretaryclinton.wordpress.com/

A PRIVATE BLOG DEVOTED TO FOREIGN POLICY & THE SECRETARY OF STATE

Adventures in (Post) Gradland

Thoughts on life after the PhD

springdaycomedy

Just another WordPress.com site

James Strong

Junior academic working on British foreign policy

Justice in Conflict

On the challenges of pursuing justice

Politics: Middle East

an analysis of the contemporary middle east

Sino-NK

Sino-NK is a research website for Sinologists and Koreanists.

%d bloggers like this: