U.S. worried by aggressive military posture

Visiting official relays warning about angering regional community by acquiring strike ability


The United States has expressed concern about Japan’s desire to acquire the ability to attack enemy bases in an overhaul of defense policies pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a government source said in Tokyo.

One of the American officials attending bilateral talks on foreign and defense policy cooperation late last month in Tokyo asked the Japanese side to consider the possible negative fallout on neighboring countries if the Abe administration embarks on such a policy shift, the source said Tuesday.

The U.S. official conveyed Washington’s message that Tokyo should not further worsen relations with China and South Korea, which have been plagued for months by territorial rows, as well as the issue of Japan’s wartime aggression.

The government is currently compiling new defense guidelines, and an interim last month stated that Japan should take on a greater regional security role and reinforce its defense capabilities, including enabling the Self-Defense Forces to attack enemy bases.

The proposal comes as Japan faces North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats. The government is planning to agree within the year on the long-term guidelines, which would also mention the need to counter China’s increasing military assertiveness.

At the working-level talks July 25, Japanese officials briefed their American counterparts on the interim report. The U.S. officials called for further explanation on what countries and measures Japan is considering while seeking to acquire the ability to strike enemy targets, the source said.

The U.S. side also said that Japan must carefully work to obtain understanding for the policy from neighboring countries, and the Japanese officials replied they will make efforts to that end, the source said.

“Japan needs to enhance its ability to respond to ballistic missile attacks in a comprehensive manner,” the interim report said in reference to the option of attacking enemy bases.

Some officials in Tokyo have said such an attack could possibly use U.S.-made Tomahawk cruise missiles. But other officials say difficulties remain in introducing such a measure, including the need to clarify what would be considered self-defense.

“We cannot easily decide on that,” a senior Defense Ministry official said.

  • Mark Garrett

    Can’t have Japan cutting into Uncle Sam’s trillion dollar business.

    • 思德

      RIght? When you realize how much of the world we occupy and keep under control with our military, it is absolutely crazy. We talk about having withdrawn from Iraq and the future withdrawal from Afghanistan… we ever withdrew from Europe and Japan in the first place!

      At least the Philippines had the sense to put us at arm’s length.

      • RoadShow

        OMG you people need a history lesson.

        After World War 2 the US said “Never Again”. Never again shall we sit by and let a country exterminate it’s own people.

        Europe is supposed to be working on a European only coalition that would be able to respond to threats quickly instead of the US coming in and cleaning up for them.

        The problem is that almost none of the European countries can decide on anything, I think it was Czechoslovakia that the US sat back and was going to let Europe handle the situation…they did nothing and hundreds of thousands of people needlessly died. We could have prevented that.

        Europe has also gotten lazy, they are used to US protection. They certainly have the money and capabilities to protect themselves but have become lazy and are used to the US doing it for them.

        Basically the US didn’t want to be involved in WW2. We were begged to enter and as a result the US basically became the world police.

        It isn’t about money, it isn’t about oil. The US does not get discounted oil from the middle east and if you look at where their oil goes only a small percentage of it goes to the US. Most of middle east oil goes to Europe, Japan and Korea. All US Allies and all perfectly capable of protecting themselves. The US pays a high price to protect the world in both money and lives.

        It would be great to be able to consolidate our forces and close our worldwide bases but no one will step up and protect anyone.

  • 思德

    The US doesn’t care about diplomatic fallout with neighbors; we just don’t want our precious client state / anti- communist meat shield to become territorially sovereign. It sucks that there are so many deniers of war crimes in the ranks of those who want Japan to be militarily sovereign, however.

  • vasu

    what US expects Japan to turn into a monk ?

  • Paul Midford

    Another sign the Obama administration is skeptical about the Abe cabinet´s defense plans for being overly provocative, especially in view of the way Abe´s missteps on the history issue and relations with South Korea and China. The US-Japan alliance was stronger under Kan and Noda, the domestic narrative in Japan notwithstanding.

  • Bien Carcellar

    china and north korea should be blame on this arm race

  • Steve Novosel

    The world frequently frets over the US’s desire to strike enemy bases as well.

  • Jay Wilson

    Japan has the right to defend itself without relying on the US for protection all the time

  • socali

    China has occupied the entire South China sea and is encroaching on Japanese waters. Heck, the Chinese navy just navigated around Japan. What does the US expect Japan to do? Play nice while the Chinese bully takes everything away from its neighbors?

    • regretted

      You should know why US is trying to protect Chinese by now. Our government sold the land of US to China, Tyson food, Smithfield food and lot more.

    • Allen Lee

      And US never did the same?

  • LockOn

    China’s fault for teasing them and bullying, now Japan is ready.

  • Murasaki

    So let me get this right …

    The US can strike any country without a reason and it is OK.

    Japan wants to be able to strike a military base of a country that poses a direct threat to Japan and its security and the Americans are upset?

    America should start minding its own business and keep its nose out of other countries affairs, then maybe 80% of the world would not be so anti-American.