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US navy chief: Strong Japanese essential to confront N. Korea, China

WASHINGTON D.C.: Last week, the highest-ranking US navy officer, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lauded Japan’s controversial choice to double its protection spending over the following 5 years, calling it essential to confronting North Korea and China.

Japan’s efforts to enhance its cruise missile protection, early warning missile programs and air capabilities will assist the US counter North Korea’s push for a nuclear missile program able to pinpoint-targeting the US mainland, in addition to China’s rising aggression towards Taiwan, he harassed.

“China has invested enormously in their military and aspires to be the regional hegemon in all of Asia, really probably in the next 10 to 15 years,” Milley mentioned.

“That could become very unstable; it could become very dangerous, and I think having a powerful Japan, a militarily capable Japan that has a close alliance with the US and other countries, will go a long way to deterring war,” he added.

However, in Japan, the necessity for a powerful navy amid home and regional wariness has been seen by many as overly aggressive.

Japan’s finances for the approaching fiscal 12 months has allotted a file 6.8 trillion yen ($50 billion) in protection spending, up 20 p.c from final 12 months and together with 211.3 billion yen ($1.55 billion) for deployment of US-made long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles.

This protection finances is the primary installment of a five-year, 43-trillion-yen ($315-billion) navy spending plan, which is a part of Japan’s new National Security Strategy introduced in December.

The new spending goal meets NATO requirements and can ultimately push Japan’s annual protection finances to about 10 trillion yen ($73 billion), the third largest globally, after the US and China.

“I have no doubt that the Japanese military could rapidly expand in scale, size, scope and skill, very, very fast,” Milley mentioned.