Abe Seeks Military Expansion to Deter Rising China
Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants his country to deploy forces overseas for the first time since WWII to check China’s growing military power.
According to Korb, the United States would certainly benefit from Japan taking on a larger role in the region, but Washington is not the primary driving force behind Tokyo’s military buildup. “I think it’s Abe… if you look both at his economic plan and his military plan,” Korb explained. “The Chinese are increasing their military capacity and the Japanese feel they have to increase theirs.”
Abe wants to ensure that the Japan can defend itself if China starts military action, a fear that has been fueled by the Senkaku islands territorial dispute and China’s perceived aggressive behavior in the South and East China Seas.
The Japanese prime minister, Korb argued, believes that World War II ended 70 years ago and it is time to broaden the interpretation of his country’s constitution so Japan can adequately defend itself.