Japan has announced a 5 year plan to rearm itself which sees it acquiring its own marines, drones and F-35s in response to the massive military buildup on the mainland.
Japan’s newly unveiled “national security strategy” (or more accurately, its “beat China by ourselves when the US abandons us” strategy) features a modest 2.6% increase in military spending over the next 5 years compared to the 10% year on year increases China has been busying itself with in recent years.
Of more significance than this paltry increase is what Japan intends to spend it on – for the first time, the self defence forces will establish a unit of marines capable of amphibious assaults on islands, supplemented by drones, stealth fighters in the form of 28 F-35s, and even 17 of the hated Osprey.
The navy also gets two new destroyers and five new subs, and, of course, the rest of its “escort destroyers” – which it surely has no intention of using to launch its new F-35s.
A redeployment of additional Japanese forces from Hokkaido to Okinawa and a promised re-evaluation of the ban on the joint-development and exports of military systems round out the plan.
Notably however, anti-missile systems are absent from the plan, as is a “first-strike” capable force – for now at least.
China as usual consider all this a sign of rampant Japanese nationalism with no possible connection to its own actions:
“Japan’s unreasonable criticism of China’s normal maritime activities and its hyping up of the China threat has hidden political motives.”