Rule Five Rising Sun Friday

While China is showing more and more hubris in the West Pacific every day, Japan is not-so-quietly dialing their military in.  Excerpt:

Japan’s recently published Defense of Japan 2022 booklet outlines a series of critical time sensitive initiatives aimed at strengthening its force posture in the Pacific and specifically increasing the ability of its Self Defense forces to deter China. 

Defense of Japan 2022

The text of the document cites particular concerns with what it describes as Chinese “coercion” and efforts to “change the status quo” in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

This has long been a concern for the US, Japan and its many SouthEast Asian allies, and it is something compounded and exacerbated by increased Russian-Chinese collaboration.

“The country’s ties with Russia, an aggressor nation, have deepened in recent years, with joint navigations and flights being conducted in the areas surrounding Japan by both Chinese and Russian vessels and aircraft,” the text of the Defense of Japan 2022 document says.

Certainly increased training and cooperation between Russia and China may be taking on new urgency in light of Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. Perhaps of greatest concern to Japan, the Russian-Chinese cooperation has been quite active in the Eastern part of Russia closer to Japan.

“In the vicinity of Japan, Russia has made moves to strengthen cooperation with China, such as through joint bomber flights and joint warship sails involving the Russian and Chinese militaries, as well as moves to portray such military cooperation as “strategic coordination.” These trends warrant concern and must continue to be closely watched in the future,” the Japanese document describes.

What the document doesn’t describe is the almost-certain feeling of unease in Japanese military circles that the United States doesn’t have their backs any more.  While the post-WW2 picture in the West Pacific has been… well, evolving for some time, the weakness and fecklessness of the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration has to have the Japanese Self-Defense Force’s leadership sweating just a little – after all, they are much, much closer to China and Russia than the U.S. is, even us folks here in Alaska.

And, frankly, Japan should be able to take care of their own defenses.  They may be rediscovering their martial tradition, and that’s not a bad thing in today’s uncertain world.

Here’s an interesting tidbit from the report:

“In order to secure technological superiority, Japan has decided to significantly increase investment in potentially game-changing technologies, and has increased R&D expenditure to a record high,” the Japanese 2022 Defense Report says.

Few people do R&D better than Japan these days.

But here’s my concern:  Manpower.  This report, as described, doesn’t make any mention of Japan’s aging population or the demographic cliff the country is jumping off of.  Japan’s young people are not reproducing – not a problem unique to Japan – and while Russia and China face similar issues, both of them have a larger base to start from.  Technology is a great force multiplier and can make up some of that, but not all of it.

It’s no secret that Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. are fond of the Land of the Rising Sun.  We like visiting Japan, and hope Japan stays independent.  To maintain that independence, you have to be ready to defend it.  It’s good to see some in Japan realizing that; but how they deal with their population issues is going to be a whole different problem.