With regard to Japanese defense power, which is also closely associated with international politics, I would like to point out just how much it differs from the defense capabilities of its neighboring countries.
As a conceptual framework to maintain international peace and order, the theory known as Balance of Power was made much of in the field of international politics, in particular after the 19th century. Mainly championed by the UK, it was inherited in the 20th century when the Cold War was taking place, and to this day, it remains influential.
The results of the research conducted by Organski, Kugler and others are well known. Upon examining the Franco-Prussian War, Russo Japanese War, World War I, and World War II and analyzing the conjectured national powers of nations 20 years prior to the outbreak of each of those wars, the political scientists found that the incidence rate of a war occurring was more than 50% between nations whose military powers varied by more than 20%.
In that case, what would we see if we compare national powers between Japan and its neighboring countries, particularly in the area of defense capabilities?
As partly shown in Diagram No. 1 of the 2010 Defense White Paper (5 pages) appearing in Fig. 51.1, North Korea’s armed forces, which was responsible for attacking Korea’s Yeonpyeongdo Island, killing many, including private citizens and soldiers, is estimated to comprise of an army of one million soldiers (27 divisions), an air force of 620 planes, along with 63 submarines and more than 10 nuclear warheads with at least 10 nuclear facilities and missile bases in eight places. The military is also in possession of dozens of missiles named Taepo Dong Type 2 and Type 1 (which are estimated to have flying distances of 6,700 km), the Nodong, the BM25 Musudan (flying distance of 3,000 km), and the Scud-B&C (flying distances of 300 km–650 km).
1. These datasets are extracted from the publicly disclosed materials of the US Department of Defense, including one titled Military Balance (2010) (For the end of 2009, the figures for Japan reflect its actual forces)
2. The land-based military force of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Japan and Korea refers to the total number of soldiers in the army and the Marine Corps.
3. With regard to combat aircraft, naval carrier-capable are included.
4. The figures in the brackets indicate the total number of basic military units, such as divisions and brigades. With North Korea, only divisions are reflected. With Taiwan, MPs are included.
5. With regard to the United States Seventh Fleet, the indicated military forces are those that have forward deployment in Japan and Guam.
Fig. 51.1 The overall situation of the military powers in the Asia-Pacific region
Source: Ministry of Defense, Intensification of international competition and the need for innovation, 2010, Defense White Paper.
Of course, China’s military capabilities are incomparably more than North Korea’s, as it has a total of approximately 1,600,000 soldiers, 10,000 marines, a naval force made up of 950 ships, an air force made up of 1,950 planes, along with 46 Intercontinental ballistic missiles ( ICBMs), 35 Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles ( IRBMs), 725 Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs) in addition to 12 submarine launched ballistic missiles. Clearly, China’s armed forces are far superior to North Korea’s forces.
Furthermore, with regard to Russia, even if we underestimate its capabilities, we can say that it possesses approximately 5,600 nuclear warheads, 489 ICBMs, 180 SLBMs, and even if we don’t take into account the rest of its military power, the nation secures a military capacity that far
outstrips that of China.
But that is not all. In both India and Pakistan, the number of nuclear warheads that Japan lacks is estimated to be at least 50. In other words, Japan’s military pales in comparison to the total military power or nuclear capabilities of neighboring countries in East Asia whose sizes show a
From the perspective of the Balance of Power theory, Japan has been totally dependent on the United States to counter the most important part of this extreme asymmetry, while walking the extremely dangerous tightrope of having to trust the good will of its neighboring countries.
Amid such a military milieu, Japan has no other options for survival but to fully trust the security provided by the American nuclear umbrella and develop super-weapons far superior to nuclear weapons, or increase the nation’s information gathering capability to an extremely high level.
One potent and simple means to strengthen and maintain this capability is to utilize a sufficient number of information-gathering satellites. Currently, Japan’s information-gathering satellites are in orbit at a height that is 400 km to 600 km higher than that of American satellites, but then
it is still necessary for Japan to have its satellites orbit at the ultra-high altitude of approximately 20,000 km like the global positioning satellite cluster and communication satellite networks, or add self-defense 310 Corporate Strategy for Dramatic Productivity Surge capabilities to counter-attack or evade enemy attacks, or continually prepare complimentary satellites.
Furthermore, in the event of an emergency, Japan must be in a state of readiness by developing a technology that can destroy satellite clusters orbiting at ultra-high altitudes. As some commentators on military affairs have suggested, the need to establish an Aerospace Self-Defense Force is necessary to aim for using the realm of outer space.
The reason for this is that if these satellite clusters and satellite networks were to be destroyed, guiding precision smart bombs and missiles, and determining positions of aircraft and vessels will become difficult, making it impossible to successfully wage modern warfare, a system that
is linked to computer networks.
Chapter 3 of Part I, Chapter 16 and Chapter 23 of Part II, Chapter 36, Chapter 42,
and Chapter 51 of Part III are all based on essays in the “Seminar” column of
THE NIKKAN KOGYO SHIMBUN. Their respective dates of publication are
8 December 2010, 3 March 2010, 19 January 2011, 12 January 2011, 5 January
2011, 15 December 2010, 22 December 2010, and 26 January 2011.
1. Kazuhisa Ogawa, Japan’s War Capability, Ascom, 2005.
2 . Nobuhiko Ochiai, Urgent warning — The Nation Will Die, Shogakukan, 2003.
3. Nobuhiko Ochiai, The Birth of a Nation with the Best Information Strategy, Shogakukan, 2007.
4. Buntaro Kuroi (editor), The Total Picture of the American Information Agency, JAPAN MILITARY REVIEW, July 2006 supplemental issue, World Intelligence, Vol. 1, JAPAN MILITARY REVIEW, 2006.
5. Masaru Kotani (editor), World Intelligence — Deciphering the information wars of the 21st century, PHP Institute, 2007.
6. Eisuke Sakakibara, Japan Will Fall, Asahi Shimbun, 2007.
7. Toshiyuki Shikata, Japan Cannot Survive in this Situation, PHP Institute, 2007.
8. Defense Research Center (compilation), International Military Data 2008–2009, ASAGUMO NEWS, 2008.
9. Gen Nakatani, The Truth About the Ministry of Defense No One Was Able to Write About, Gentosha Literary Publication, 2008.
10. Ministry of Defense (compilation), 2010 Edition: Japan’s Defense — Defense White Paper, GYOSEI, 2010. Available at http://www.clearing.mod. go.jp/hakusho_data/2010/2010/figindex.html (20110528)
This paper was excerpted from Dr. Ishikawa’s book, “Corporate Strategy for Dramatic Productivity,” published by World Scientific Publishing Company. Copyright 2013 Akira Ishikawa and WSPC (http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/8702).
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