Japan Gets Serious

It takes a lot to scare Japanese into action. Evidently one drunk Chinese ships captain, and the Chinese reaction that followed was enough to get the Japanese to begin to take the Chinese threat seriously.

Mr Azumi declined to discuss such specifics, but says the new policy will stress in particular the need for greater military mobility so that forces can be deployed quickly by air or sea to wherever they might be needed.

“Island defence is not just a matter of stationing 500 or 1,000 men on an island,” the vice-minister says. “As we know from our tough fight against the US in the (1941-45) Pacific war, it’s no use leaving them standing on their own. You need to have a lot of back-up and support.”

That’s the first time I have seen a Japanese referring to the lessons of the Imperial armed forces that fought in World War II. That alone tells me that something is seriously out of whack in East Asia.

The thing about the Japanese is that they resist change to a ridiculous extreme, but once that limit is reached, the change flows quickly. But has it quieted down the Okinawans?

UPDATE: StrategyPage reports the obvious:

Reacting to an American suggestion, Japan and South Korea are planning the use of Japanese forces to help defeat another North Korean invasion of the south. This cooperation was long considered impossible, because of Korean hatred for brutal Japanese occupation from 1905-45. The brief North Korean occupation of South Korea in 1950 left a mark as well, a more vivid one at that. Japan, however, is more concerned with China, and is expanding its navy, and defense ties with Australia and the United States, to improve its defenses against possible Chinese aggression.

Real Politic 101: Find a stronger but distant ally to guard against a stronger, closer enemy.

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