Japan’s defense ministry warned on Friday (07.22.2022) that it is alarmed by threats from Russia and increasingly concerned about Taiwan, in an annual report released at a time when Tokyo is considering a sharp increase in its military spending.
The document includes a chapter on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which he warned could send the wrong message that “it is acceptable to unilaterally try to change the status quo by force.”
He assesses global security and specific threats to Japan, with concerns that Russia will “further increase and deepen its ties with China.”
It also warns that Moscow may rely on its nuclear capabilities as a deterrent, signaling an increase in activity around Japan, where Russian nuclear submarines are often deployed.
Japan has supported US and EU sanctions against Moscow, and has seen increased Russian military activity around its border.
In May, after a meeting of the Quad alliance (Australia, Japan, India and the US) in Tokyo, Chinese and Russian military aircraft conducted joint flights near Japan.
China and North Korea are serious threats
As for Taiwan, the document makes a detailed assessment of the island’s security situation and notes that “since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan has worked to strengthen its security.”
According to the report, China is “a strong security concern” while North Korea poses a “serious and imminent threat”.
The document was released at a time when a sharp increase in Japan’s military budget is expected.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has publicly supported an increase in military spending, and his party has set a budget target of 2% of GDP.
The Japanese constitution does not officially recognize its armed forces, and its expenditures are limited to its defense capability.
gs (afp, Reuters)
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