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Japan Increasing Security March 16, 2007

Posted by David in China, Japan, North-East Asia.
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Although it constantly states that it poses no threat to the world, China must really wonder if the message is actually getting through… Especially after Japan and Australia recently agreed to, and signed, a Security Pact set to benefit both nations.

The Pact is the second arrangement on permanent security cooperation for Japan, the first being with the USA, and will undoubtedly serve to counter China’s growing military presence in the Region. Of course, both Japan and Australia “have expressly denied the pact is intended to contain Japan’s giant neighbour” (Japan Times 14-03-2007).

Qin Gang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, wants “assurances from Japan and Australia that their new bilateral security accord is not targeted at the country.” He goes on to say, “Beijing does not pose a military threat to others. We will not invade others, and not threaten others.”

At this point,  a country called Taiwan should immediately come to mind, and maybe places like the Tibet too.

In order to strengthen its security, and Japan is seeking closer ties and greater co-operation with other countries that “share common basic values of democracy, human rights and the market economy.” Australia more than fits that description, and is a very logical choice.

A BBC News article published 14-03-2007 mentions that this latest pact “reflects the fact that Japan is moving to develop a more assertive defence and foreign policy.”

“The bilateral arrangement is also a boost to Canberra’s long-term efforts to make more friends in Asia.”

“Australia wants to engage more with its neighbours in Asia for two main reasons: to pursue economic opportunity and to enhance security.”

According to the Japan Times article, “the United States will be a key component of the Tokyo-Canberra security setup.” The draft statement states, “the U.S., Japan and Australia will strengthen trilateral diplomatic and defence co-operation.”

In my opinion this latest Security Pact does indeed strengthen Japan, and will allow it to develop assertive foreign policies, and help protect its interests in the Region, more effectively.

I’ve always been in favour of these types of agreements between democratic states. Umm… Here’s a thought (not a new one though), get rid of the United Nations, and create the United Democratic Nations instead.

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Comments»

1. Shingen - March 19, 2007

I am sceptical as to how far the declaration goes. Sure, it wouldn’t hurt Japan to engage with its closest ally (bar the US) in the region, and it certainly would help Japan to have more training facilities and to benefit from Australian bases and cooperation. However, how much further this agreement goes is yet to be seen and I’ll reserve my praise until something comes of it..

Anyway, there is a great article in the vein of your post, maybe you’ll be interested in it: http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2385

2. canexafish - March 19, 2007

Thanks for the link Shingen. I’ll make sure to read it ASAP.

As for your “wait and see” attitude concerning the new agreement, I must admit that you make a good point.


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