By Theodore Shoebat
The US had a war with Japan and won, but today we are seeing a complete reversal of the initial policy set by the victor for the land of the rising sun. Japan was not suppose to have an army, but this has been reversing for years, as if the status quo is being rebelled against, as if we are witnessing history rhyming. Now, for the first time in thirty years, Japan is conducting a massive military exercise with around 100,000 soldiers, 20,000 vehicles and 120 aircraft. Japan’s New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida just recently called for an increase in Japan’s military capability and spending. The Military Times wrote:
“Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for increases in Japan’s military capability and spending in response to what he described as growing threats from China and North Korea in a public debate with eight other political party leaders ahead of upcoming national elections.”
He claims this is a response to what he referred to as a growing threat from China and North Korea. Every time Japan — with its ultra-nationalist, Right-wing government — wants to expand the strength of its military, it will always point to China as the reason for this. Kishida wants Japan to have the ability to strike enemy bases with missiles. “We have to prepare for realistic possibilities to protect our people and discuss a wide range of options,” Kishida said, calling China a “new threat”. The popularity for the Liberal Democratic Party (the party Kishida belongs to) is not surprising, since it is has been in power almost continuously since its founding in 1955, and its militarist stance continues to gain favor, especially now that the majority of people in Japan have a negative view towards China. According to the South China Morning Post:
“The Japanese think tank The Genron NPO worked with the China International Publishing Group (CIPG) in China to survey 1,000 Japanese and 1,547 Chinese interviewees between August and September.
In all, 90.9 per cent of those in Japan said their impression of China was “not good”, a slight rise from last year’s 89.7 per cent and the fourth-worst level since the poll was launched in 2005.”
In the midst of such tensions, Japan is seeking to expand its military capabilities. According to Birzhan Valiev, “the new Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, allowed the development of the potential of Japanese troops for preemptive strikes against missile bases of potential adversaries. Earlier, the head of the Japanese government announced Tokyo’s sovereignty over the southern Kuril Islands.” While the Kuril Islands belong to Russia, the Japanese still believe that the islands belong to them. Just as Turkey believes that the Imia Islands of Greece belong to it, Japan believes that the Kuril Islands and the Sakhalin — which are under Russia — belong to it. Japan and Russia are still (technically) at a state of war and have never signed a peace agreement to conclude World War Two, and Japan is making such a peace conditional upon Japan getting ownership over the Kuril Islands (also known as the Northern Territories). As Prime Minister Fukio Kishida said in October of 2021:
“The sovereignty of our country extends to the northern territories (the Japanese name of the Southern Kurils) … We must address this issue, not leave it to future generations. The government intends to sign a peace treaty with Russia, which addresses the issue of the sovereignty of these islands. ”
Disputes over islands — be it between Japan and Russia, or Japan and China over the Senkaku, or between Greece and Turkey over the Imia — are not abating and really underline a real global trend towards war. When it comes to Asia, the country that Westerners fright over the most is China. But, regardless of how much this dead horse has been beaten, is China’s military really as powerful as those voices — who incessantly warn about a rising China — say it is?
CHINA IS BEING HYPED
This “rising” China’s air force has relied heavily on copying the technologies of other countries. The Chinese fighter jet, the Chengdu J-10, is reportedly a copycat of the Israeli IAI Lavi and, by extension, the American F-16. The Chinese jet fighter, Shenyang J-11, is a clone of the Russian Su-27. The Chinese combat aircraft, the J-17 Thunder, is a modern rendition of the Soviet MiG-1. Another Chinese fighter jet, the Chengdu J-20, according to Robert Farley, bears an uncanny resemblance to the F-22, and finally, the J-31 is widely believed to rely heavily on technology appropriated from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.”
The problem with basing one’s military technology on that of others is that the copier does not have the money (hence why he is copying) to completely replicate the desired weaponry, and thus he contents himself with substandard components that make the final product not as proficient as its original. For example, when China began to reverse engineer Russian jet engines in the 1990s and 2000s, what they were left with were engines with very short life spans. This dilemma of a weak engine still troubles China. In 2018, China’s very first fifth-generation fighter jet, the J-20 (which, as was already stated, is a mimic of the American F-35) was set for use, but its engine lacked power and it did not have the oomph that its Chinese engineers were hoping for. In 2018, the South China Morning Post reported that the production of the J-20 was rushed and thus “its capabilities will be severely limited, affecting its manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency as well as its stealthiness at supersonic speeds.” The J-20 was given an inferior engine, but regardless of this the Chinese did not hesitate to affirm that their “Mighty Dragon” (a name they gave to the J-20) was combat ready. The Mighty Dragon, even now, still has a weak thrust as it continues to rely on engines inferior to those of the US Air Force. Ridzwan Rahmat, a principle defense analyst, said in September of 2021 of the J-20:
“A significant number of airframes in service still rely on Russia-supplied engines … This engine can produce only about 125 kilonewtons of thrust, which pales in comparison with fifth-generation fighters operated by China’s rivals, such as the F-22 and the F-35. … The thrust produced is an important parameter because it determines the types of manoeuvres that can be performed by the aircraft, and the number and types of weapons that it can carry. When caught in a dogfight, the aircraft with better thrust will be in a better position to come out on top.”
In other words, the thrust of an air force such as Japan’s — which gets its air defense technology mainly from the US — would dominate the Chinese’s “Mighty Dragon” in a dog fight. Zhou Chenming, a military expert based in Beijing, also agrees that the J-20 is unreliable: “China cannot rely only on J-20s to rule the sky, which can only be achieved if Beijing has enough transport aircraft and bombers,” he said. “Without these vital aircraft, China won’t have long-distance attacking and logistics capabilities.”
In September of 2021, China recently showed off a J-20 jet powered by the recent WS-10C engine, which is considered to be an advancement from the standard use of Russian engines. But the ultimate reason why the Chinese are using the WS-10C is because the engine they really wanted to put to use is the WS-15 which still has a bad performance. The South China Morning Post quoted a source that stated: “The use of WS-10C to replace Russian engines was caused by the failure of WS-15 to pass its final evaluation in 2019. … The air force is not happy with the final results [of WS-15], demanding that engine technicians modify it until it meets all standards”.
One thing that the Chinese air force is lacking is the technology that indicates from which angles enemy radars are detecting them, allowing for pilots to know what to evade so as not to get detected by the enemy. As National Interest noted in March of 2021:
“One area that the Chinese are almost certainly lacking is what Air Combat Command commander Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle once described to me as “spike management.” Fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-22 and F-35 have cockpit displays that indicate to the pilot the various angles and ranges from which their aircraft can be detected and tracked by various enemy radars. The pilots use that information to evade the enemy by making sure to avoid zones where they could be detected and engaged. It is a technology that took decades for the United States to master—through a lot of trial and error.”
And then there is the talk about China’s “hypersonic missile” which has recently been echoed in headlines since a report from the Financial Times came out claiming that China launched a rocket carrying a hypersonic missile and flew it through low-orbit space before guiding it down towards its target (which is supposedly missed by two dozen miles). The only source that we have for this are anonymous voices supposedly coming from US intelligence; other than this, we have nothing. Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks global space launches, told the New York Times: “There’s nothing we know from reliable sources … Every aspect of this story has question marks”. The launch was supposedly done in August, but, as McDowell pointed out, the US military unit that is in charge with reporting on such orbits made no public statements that matched with what this British media claim states. But China denies that this ever happened. China’s Foreign Ministry said that what took place was not a missile launch but a flight test of a reusable space vehicle. In a routine news briefing, Zhao Lijian, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, called it a standard test. “There are many companies all over the world that have conducted similar tests,” he said. What makes the Financial Times report even more questionable is its quoting of a supposed intelligence source (again, anonymous) as saying that US intelligence was so surprised by the Chinese launch: “We have no idea how they did this”. Even the New York Times doubted this statement:
“Is it true that this test launch was a surprise? Probably not. The story’s most eye-catching aspect — that China’s weapon circled the globe before speeding toward its target — is old stuff. The technology was pioneered in the 1960s by the Soviet Union.”
David Wright, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has for a long time observed space developments, said that a number of the claims on the Chinese test launch have been overhyped: “Any country that can put something into space could do this… And we certainly should not be surprised that China could do this given the sophistication of its space program.” Even if the report is true, it doesn’t alter anything, since China already has a nuclear apparatus that could hit the US, as the Washington Post reported: “China’s tests do not change the basic situation: Beijing already has strategic offensive forces sufficient to overwhelm the existing U.S. missile defense system and strike the U.S. homeland with nuclear weapons.” The question is, since China already can hit the US, why haven’t they done it? Because its not in China’s interest. What would be the reason to hit the US? Because they feel like it? China has a hundred or so nukes, but the US has over a thousand with which they would kill tens of millions of Chinese people in the case of a war. Hitting the US would be suicide for the Chinese.
Hyping China Justifies The US Enabling Japanese Militarism
Regardless of all of this, America is hyping this story up, and now Japan wants to obtain hypersonic missiles. The Japanese Ministry of Defense just recently asked the US Department of Defense to think about commencing cooperation with Japan to create such weapon technology. Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defence for research and engineering (OUSD(R&E)), told reporters at the annual Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, DC:
“The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has asked the US Department of Defense (DoD) to consider areas for new co-development work, ranging from acquisition programmes to science and technology (S&T) projects, the Pentagon’s chief technology officer said on 12 October.”
While China is struggling to create an efficient military apparatus, the US is boosting up Japan’s military industrial complex while hyping up China. For example, the people within the American think-tank sphere and the US military are stating that it would be difficult to fight China in an air battle because the Asian giant is closer to the territories that the US is worried about than US air bases are. China, according to this narrative, could attack a country like Taiwan before the US could intervene due to proximity. Taiwan is just 161 kilometers from China’s coast, while US air bases in Okinawa are 700 kilometers away from Taiwan. Peter Layton, a visiting fellow at Griffith Asia Institute in Brisbane, told Voice of America: “The U.S. may gain short-term control of the air over Taiwan, but it’s too distant to do this for more than short time periods, such as an hour or two”. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told the Air Force Times in September of 2021: “We’re the dominant military power until you get within about 1,000 miles (1,610 kilometers) of China, and that starts to change”.
In December of 2017 the spokesman for China’s defense ministry, Ren Guoqiang, stated that that the U.S. strategy had “without regard for the facts, created sensational hype over the modernization of China’s defenses”. In September of 2021, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, said that the US, Australia, India and Japan “hype up the ‘China threat’”. Even China itself is arguing that the US and American allies are hyping up the Chinese.
The US is here stating openly that China does have an advantage over it, but lets not forget that the US also exaggerated the strength of Saddam Hussein’s military before the Iraq War as a way to make people fearful of Iraq, as the Independent reported:
“Exaggeration of Iraq’s strength came from contradictory sources: Iraqi propaganda extolling its military prowess and the systematic demonisation of Iraq as a threat to its neighbours and the world by President Bush and Tony Blair to justify the present invasion.”
It would not be surprising that the United States is doing the same thing with China. While it is obvious that China is not the Iraq of the early 2000s, it would not be shocking that the US is playing the same game, exaggerating the strength of China as a way to keep people fearful of the Chinese. What the is the US, ultimately doing with this policy? It is hyping up China to justify its support for a militarist pagan Japan. Its sounds far-fetched, but this is truly what is occurring. How many people know that Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumiko Kishida, is a member of a political cult that wants to revive emperor worship and the idea of Japanese supremacy? This imperial cult, Nippon Kaigai (according to Andrew Weiss), believes “in the unique spiritual superiority of the Japanese people and the religious importance of the Emperor.” Erdogan wants to revive the sultan and these elitists in Japan want to revive the cult of the emperor. We are living in a time of empire revival, be it in Turkey or Japan; it is transpiring before our eyes.
With everything, I have become disillusioned — with everything I hear nothing but a rhyming rhythm, paralleled to the sound I heard last year. What is there that is new under the sun? What should I talk about but the same thing I have said for years? Am I just bitter? Or am I simply exhausted? Exhausted with repeating what has been said; exhausted with acting outraged at every headline that reports transgressions, as if people need to hear outrage to know what is real; exhausted by negativity. Do people need to hear the same old thing? Do people need to be told repetitions their whole lives? What I know is this: Throughout history, there is the pursuit of power, domination and war. What ever revolution mankind does with the thought that it is good, only ends in blood. The US established the Japanese government after the Second World War, and the Americans today praise Japan and want to reverse everything that was done through that horrific war.