Faced with China and Russia, Tokyo wants to acquire a thousand long-range missiles

Of all the ongoing transformations in global geopolitics, the unprecedented strengthening of the military capabilities of the major Asian powers is unquestionably the one that will have the greatest long-term influence on global balances. In addition to China which, in a few decades, has come to tangent the American military power to the point that the latter must now increase its effort to resist it, the rise in power of the Asian dragons, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, will profoundly upset the military and political balance of power well beyond the Indo-Pacific theater alone. Thus, Seoul intends to increase its defense effort beyond 3% of its GDP, while Taiwan to increase defense spending by almost 14% in 2023. As for Japan, the third largest economy in the world with a GDP of more than $5.000 billion, twice as large as that of France, it intends to increase its defense effort to 2% of its GDP in the years to come, making the country the third military power on the planet with a budget exceeding $100 billion per year, at least from a budgetary point of view.

In parallel with this unprecedented increase in credit when the country of the rising sun had never spent more than 1% of its wealth for its self-defense forces, Tokyo also intends to profoundly change its defense industry, with the announcement of many ambitious programs in recent months, as well as its defense doctrines, including by taking certain liberties with the Constitution of the country. It is true that this one, written by a handful of American diplomats when they arrived in the country after the defeat of 1945, was particularly compelling, written under the impact of an emotion inherited from the difficult and costly campaign in the Pacific to American forces, depriving Tokyo of many sovereign attributes regarding the potential employment of its armed forces. However, the Pacific theater having been a secondary confrontation zone between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and Communist China then having no power projection capabilities, these constraints were not a major handicap for the security of the Japanese archipelago during this period.

Japanese LHD of the Izumo class which will carry F35Bs in the future Analyzes Défense | Hypersonic Weapons and Missiles | Army budgets and defense effort
The Izumo assault helicopter carrier and its sister ship, the Kaga, will be able to operate the J-35B vertical take-off fighter

The situation has obviously evolved profoundly in recent years, and like other Asian dragons, Tokyo has not suffered from the short-sightedness that affected Europeans in the previous decade, having resumed investment in its defense capabilities. from 2015 in order, in particular, to modernize and expand its fleet by acquiring new destroyers, new frigates and new high-performance submarines, as well as by transforming two of its LHDs into aircraft carriers capable of using the F-35B fighter. The country also undertook to modernize its air force with the acquisition of more than 140 F-35s, the modernization of its F-15J and the development of a new multipurpose fighter, in cooperation with the British. Finally, he engaged in the development of very high technology systems, like a railgun, directed energy systems, combat drone as well as missiles with hypersonic gliders capable of hitting naval targets or on land several hundred kilometers away. Obviously, this last program will be strategic for Tokyo, the Japanese authorities having announced that to contain the Russian and Chinese threat, they would equip themselves with a thousand of these hypersonic missiles.

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