Japan beefs up defence under new guidelines

Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said: “Chinese activity in the East and South China seas has been gaining pace at an unimaginable speed. With our security environment changing at such a rapid pace, it is necessary for Japan to review our defence gui
Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said: “Chinese activity in the East and South China seas has been gaining pace at an unimaginable speed. With our security environment changing at such a rapid pace, it is necessary for Japan to review our defence guidelines.”PHOTO: REUTERS

Japan stressed that it was not in breach of its post-war pacifist Constitution when it approved new fiveyear defence guidelines in which its helicopter destroyers will be modified into the nation’s first aircraft carriers since World War II.

Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said: “Chinese activity in the East and South China seas has been gaining pace at an unimaginable speed. With our security environment changing at such a rapid pace, it is necessary for Japan to review our defence guidelines.”

The new plan marks a significant upgrade to the country’s defence capabilities as it seeks to cope with an increasingly hostile security environment.

Among the key threats identified are the assertiveness of China’s and Russia’s militaries in regional waters, a North Korea that remains nuclear- armed, and other emergent areas such as cyber concerns.

SEE WORLD: Japan moves to beef up its defence capabilities

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2018, with the headline 'Japan beefs up defence under new guidelines'. Print Edition | Subscribe