Military Review

Vassal of the United States. Japan does not want to play on its own, even with a strong army


Eastern troika

In the previous article in this series (“The growth of China helped to normalize Russian-Japanese relations”) I talked about the most serious player in the East - the People's Republic of China. About the changes that have been and are taking place today in the defense policy of this state. On military reform in the PLA. About new forms of confrontation with the enemy, developed in this state.

Today we will talk about another player - about Japan. More precisely, about the players. Simply because today it is difficult to call Japan independent. The military power, the navy and the self-defense forces of this country are a priori intended only to hold down the enemy forces in the event of a major war. Before the main US forces approach. Or to resolve some conflicts at sea arising in connection with the creeping aggression of the PRC.

Why Japan has lost the status of an independent adversary

Have you ever wondered why, quite recently, powerful states, one of the features of which was their insular position, quickly began to play secondary roles in international relations?

What is the reason for such a rollback from leading roles to secondary roles?

Agree, Great Britain at the end of the XNUMXth - beginning of the XNUMXth centuries and (also) the end of the XNUMXth - beginning of the XNUMXst centuries are completely different countries.

The islanders have no chance

The answer to this question, it seems to me, lies in the development of weapons systems: the emergence of missile weapons, aviation long-range and strategic aviation.

The insular position has turned from an advantage into a disadvantage. There are no air defense or missile defense systems in the world that guarantee 100% protection.

This means that with a massive enemy attack, the islanders have no chance.

Big brother addiction

Today Japan is well aware of its own dependence on the "big brother", on the United States. To confront China or Russia in a direct battle for this state is like death.

Moreover, today the PRC is much more dangerous for the Japanese. Simply because it possesses weapons systems that will directly affect the country's territory from mainland China.

How did it happen? Where did the Japanese and the Americans go wrong? Indirectly, Russia is to blame for this. More precisely, the Soviet Union. Remember the time when there were really two great powers in the world? Did they flex their muscles in front of each other, completely oblivious to everyone else? We played our "chess game" and were happy or sad because of every correct or questionable move.

There was Europe - the arena where we openly confronted each other. Hectic Asia, where the order of the last century reigned, at least. Africa, where no one (even the Africans themselves) knew what they really want. That is why we built our own socialism there, and the Americans built their capitalism. Periodically changing each other, after the next military coup. Were forgotten by all Australia and Oceania. Although they were nominally considered the sphere of US interests, they were quite legitimately used by the Soviet fleet.

And there was the east of Eurasia. Where huge, but underdeveloped countries, militarily did not pose a serious threat. Probably, many remember an anecdote from Soviet times:

“The Chinese aviation will not participate in the offensive. The pilot got sick. "

The Americans had exactly the same attitude.

We just knew that in this zone, the Americans did something economically. The very famous "Asian tigers" have appeared, which pose some danger to us. After all, we represented Japan as a powerful economic power. A leading country in the development and production of the most modern electronics, including military ones. South Korea was also nearby.

We limited some types of weapons. Or banned by others. And those whom we did not consider to be serious players did not. The same INF Treaty? How we cried. And how the Americans rejoiced. And what is the bottom line for today? Most countries have short- and medium-range missiles. But this also directly applies to Japan. She suddenly found herself under attack from such PLA missiles.

Imitation of pacifism or Japanese foxes deceive the whole world

Probably, there is no person who has ever been interested in Japanese foreign and domestic policy, who would not know that, according to Article 9 of their constitution, Japan has no right to have its own army. There are some self-defense forces that are not an army. And there is a certain navy to defend the coast.

The Japanese have long used the restriction from Article 9 as an excuse to reduce defense costs. Moreover, the Americans insisted on the inclusion of this particular article in the Basic Law. In particular, the Korean War of 1950-1953 (by the way, the war was never officially over) precisely because of this article saved huge funds for Japan and saved the lives of Japanese citizens. No army, no war.

But the United States did not intend to spend alone on wars in the interests of the Japanese. Therefore, a very beautiful combination was legally carried out, the result of which was the emergence of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). If you do not go into details, these forces were born quite quickly and directly bypassing the constitution.

In 1950, the National Police Reserve was established. 75 thousand people armed with small arms. In 1952, the reserve was renamed the National Security Forces (NSB, 110 thousand people). And in 1954, it was the NSB that began to be called the Japan Self-Defense Forces. According to various estimates, the number of SDF reaches from 240 to 250 thousand people.

The figure of 247 people (according to Japanese official documents) is conditional, since the SDF is officially a civilian structure and, accordingly, can hire or fire employees (as a civil organization) under a contract and under a one-time contract.

Thus, the bluff that some still believe in today (about the pacifist position of Japan, about the absence of the army, and the Navy, as well as the Japanese Air Force) is just a big deception. The ground forces of Japan (we will support the official position of the Japanese government) are more than 150 thousand people. 9 infantry divisions. 17 brigades, including airborne. 3 air defense groups. Training regiment and artillery group.

The military fleet (more precisely, the naval self-defense forces) is also not small: 4 helicopter carriers, 9 URO destroyers, 32 destroyers, 6 frigates, 22 submarines, a minelayer, 3 sea minesweepers, 3 landing helicopter ships, 2 MDK, a floating base of minesweepers and a bunch of boats, including missile. In terms of power, this civilian navy is second only to the US 7th Fleet in the region.

Air Force or Air Self-Defense Forces: F-15 (combat and combat training) 197 units, Mitsubishi F-2 (fighter-bombers) - 65 units, Phantom II F-4 (decommissioned, but still on the wing) - 78, Lockheed Martin F-35 - 11 pcs. (and 44 ordered and will be delivered in the coming years), training aircraft - 264 units, transport - 42 units. (and 20 ordered), special planes - 57 units, helicopters - 55 units.

Well, in order to finally dispel the myth about the absence of an army in Japan, I will give one more fact. Since 1992, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have been actively involved in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN. This is such a civil self-defense. And in terms of defense spending, Japan is among the top ten countries - $ 50 billion.

Japan renounced claims to dominance in the region

If you listen to Japanese politicians today, you might get the impression that the Japanese are no longer satisfied with practically vassal relations with the United States. The Japanese want to free themselves from dependence on the United States. Even the movement was formed "Japan will do everything by itself."

On the one hand, it is possible to understand the supporters of this movement. A large, densely populated and economically powerful country that does not solve anything in the region. At the same time, along with China and Russia, to which the Japanese are accustomed as enemies, an economically worthless, undemocratic North Korea emerged, with which the Americans reckon much more than Japan. It's a shame.

But, on the other hand, decades of life "under the US umbrella" taught Japanese society that the main task of the state is stable economic growth, social programs, and the creation of a comfortable living environment for citizens. That is, according to the principle: I work and earn money, pay taxes to the state, and for this it creates ideal living conditions for me.

Most Japanese today do not even consider the option of complete independence for Japan. I would say more precisely: the Japanese fear their own independence much more than vassal dependence on the United States. Politicians and opinion leaders are well aware of this. That is why, regardless of the results of the next vote, the status quo in Japan-US relations remains.

In fact, Japan has abandoned its leadership in the region, its ambitions. The country is satisfied with the fact that the main issues of relations between states are resolved directly between the United States and these countries. Hence the instability caused by the succession of the presidents of the United States. And the wariness of Japan's political elite.

Tokyo out of the game

Japan's foreign and domestic policy largely depends on the policy of the United States of America. Hence the following conclusion: the aggravation of the question of the ownership of the disputed islands arises only when it is beneficial to the United States.

In Japan itself, the question of the ownership of the islands is supported artificially among the right-wing radicals. It is these groups that are used at the right time to stir up public outcry.

At the moment, no exacerbation is observed. The reason for this situation, in my opinion, is the uncertain status of relations between Washington and Beijing. If Biden refuses trade and other wars with the PRC, questions about the islands will arise quite predictably. He will not refuse - everything will remain in the same uncertain status.

Tokyo is out of the game.
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  1. nnm
    nnm 27 November 2020 16: 22
    Suggestion for the author: relations should not be considered only in the chain Japan - China, Russia. In the medium term, Japan is more likely to face off against South Korea. Moreover, hatred and competition in the defense industry are mutually mutual there.
    But the fact that they will wait for the moment of our weakness is, of course, an indisputable fact.
    1. Rock616
      Rock616 8 December 2020 19: 31
      The castrated samurai do NOT have any disagreements with South Korea, since Yu. Koreans, these are the descendants = henchmen (policemen) of the Japanese (and later the "light elves" because of the puddles), which they were during the occupation of Korea by the Yap, but the northerners remember this very well, since it was with the southerners that they fought that those (southerners) were collaborators (in fact, they still remain)
  2. Odysseus
    Odysseus 27 November 2020 16: 30
    Well, Japan lost its independence as a result of the defeat of 2 MB. Moreover, they fought to the last, it is difficult to blame them for lack of effort. After that, going into conflict with the United States would have been madness for them. Their economic successes were very great, but within the framework of the world market controlled by the West, they cannot become a leader. In the 80s, the United States slowed them down. Now, after the rise of the PRC, it is completely foolish for them to leave the American umbrella. An alternative to it is an alliance with the PRC against the West. But given the experience of the war with the United States and historically difficult relations with China, they are unlikely to go for it.
    PS And, of course, the article was not without the caps. Japan has no chance against Russia. It's funny. First: the only resource of the Russian Federation against Japan is nuclear weapons. Secondly, no one is going to "resist" the Russian Federation there. We are talking about bargaining - the Russian government is discussing the return of 2 islands in exchange for investment and a peace treaty. Japan wants 4. And calmly waits until the Russian Federation reaches such a state that it will give everything. Looking at the rapid degradation and extinction of the Russian Far East is a completely reasonable strategy.
    1. bessmertniy
      bessmertniy 27 November 2020 17: 13
      Undoubtedly, relying on the venality of the Russian political elite in resolving the Kuril issue is Japan's main trump card in its speculations around the islands, which returned to Russia as a result of World War II. negative
      1. Baloo
        Baloo 27 November 2020 17: 27
        The Japs understand that the sixes die first, without the Americans they won't be able to scare us.
        There are other shocking news from Japan as well. Armenian radio reports:
        After talking teapots (the newest invention of Japanese scientists) went on sale, the number of patients in psychiatric hospitals increased dramatically.
      2. Odysseus
        Odysseus 27 November 2020 20: 31
        Quote: bessmertniy
        Undoubtedly, reliance on the venality of the Russian political elite in solving the Kuril issue is Japan's main trump card.

        Trump, but not the main one. And it's not just about the Kuriles, but about all the Far East. The main one is the systemic weakening of Russia due to the "course of market reforms." One of its consequences is that entire regions of the country become "unprofitable", for people there are unbearable living conditions. Only the collapse of the housing and communal services system in the Far East makes life extremely difficult there.
        It's amazing how they still endure and limit themselves to performances like the Khabarovsk. Real Russian people, others would have long ago sent the central government and surrendered to the Japanese or anyone else.
        Therefore, in my opinion, in order to protect the claims of foreign states, it is necessary not to engage in geopolitical dreams and talk about secret weapons that have no analogues in the world, but at least to start with the pipes, so that people do not sit without light and heating. That is, start dealing with the real problems of your country.
        1. Uncle lee
          Uncle lee 29 November 2020 06: 18
          Quote: Odyssey
          so that people do not sit without light and heating

          Vladivostok as an example for you!
      3. Sergej1972
        Sergej1972 30 November 2020 00: 37
        The Kuril Islands are ours, and you cannot give up any of them. But, in fairness, it should be noted that in the case of the southern ridge, there is no need to talk about a return, because they were never part of our country until 1945.
      4. EvilLion
        EvilLion 30 November 2020 08: 35
        These arguments about venality always amuse me. Boy, in the years 96-98, the islands could at least be sold, at least given to Japan, and no one in the country would have noticed this, but even then they did not. It is simply pointless to talk about it now. And one should not overestimate "venality", people who make decisions occupy such high positions that it is very difficult for them to offer something more, their well-being depends on their state, and they do not completely break it, or ruin a successful career in it will become. It was only Gorby who turned out to be some kind of fool who happily jumped from the chair of the general secretary of a superpower into pizza advertisers.
      5. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 2 December 2020 09: 48
        There is another ambush for the Japs. Rapid aging of the population. Lack of migration to them. No youngsters - no one to fight, Less aggressive population.
    2. EvilLion
      EvilLion 30 November 2020 08: 29
      Khrushchev offered the pederach of two islands, wrote a cartoon, from which the USSR then found a reason to excuse itself, and now Russia is not discussing any programs, the train left more than 50 years ago. EVERYTHING. The fact that Khrushch was signing a kind of "agreement of intent" there, well, Russia does not refuse this scribble, but in her opinion the Japanese themselves then refused, which means there is nothing to talk about.
    3. antivirus
      antivirus 6 December 2020 11: 32
      the interests of Arabs and other suppliers of oil, gas, raw materials, shipping and air transportation, export of capital and exchange of technologies were not mentioned. and trends, who is ahead of whom.
      An article about life as on the last peaceful day, June 21, 41.
  3. Andylw
    Andylw 27 November 2020 18: 07
    in terms of military power, Japan is many times superior to the RF Armed Forces in the Far East
    1. Antifreeze
      Antifreeze 27 November 2020 19: 05
      Quote: AndyLW
      in terms of military power, Japan is many times superior to the RF Armed Forces in the Far East

      For conventional weapons, yes, at the moment, but at this concentration they are very vulnerable. In addition, our leadership began to rectify the situation.
      1. aleksejkabanets
        aleksejkabanets 27 November 2020 19: 57
        Quote: Antifreeze
        In addition, our leadership began to rectify the situation.

        How? Until we have a developed economy, nothing will happen.
        1. EvilLion
          EvilLion 30 November 2020 09: 00
          Is Japan's economy developed? What types of weapons does the Japanese economy produce?
    2. Cyril G ...
      Cyril G ... 27 November 2020 19: 07
      So what?
    3. EvilLion
      EvilLion 30 November 2020 08: 59
      And the rules do not allow you to transfer troops from other regions? As well as just throwing nuclear missiles.
  4. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav 27 November 2020 20: 02
    until the leadership of Russia, not only Putin's, will not say harshly that this is only our territory and this gimmick will not be subject to appeal
    1. domokl
      28 November 2020 06: 46
      Quote: Ryaruav
      until the leadership of Russia, not only Putin's, will not say harshly that this is only our territory and this gimmick will not be subject to appeal

      How many times? Between us, we have it even in the Constitution recently written
      1. Antifreeze
        Antifreeze 29 November 2020 13: 30
        Quote: domokl
        we have it even in the Constitution recently written down

        Recorded, but with some reservations. So there are legal loopholes and "room for maneuver"
        And it could be formulated unambiguously.
        1. antivirus
          antivirus 6 December 2020 11: 35
          not necessary -unambiguously.
          with any letters, they will want to or forced to hand over, they will hand over and even "we shall hand over." do not separate yourself from the whole country.
          even the "Great Rambo" was waving his fists after the fight.
  5. aleks neym_2
    aleks neym_2 27 November 2020 22: 06
    Maybe it's time to end this gimmick? Bark once and for all! One devil - we are bears for them!
    1. EvilLion
      EvilLion 30 November 2020 09: 02
      What gimmick? Who to bark at? You are really strange, for several decades you have not given anything to the Japanese, why did you decide that now someone would want to give? Even a simple question, why would anyone want to give something away?
  6. Vladimir Mashkov
    Vladimir Mashkov 28 November 2020 18: 14
    The article is not bad and correct.
    It only causes bewilderment why the card was taken as an illustration northernAnd not southern Kuril Islands?
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 29 November 2020 06: 21
      Quote: Vladimir Mashkov
      map of northern

      And our paratroopers at 45 liberated these islands in very heavy battles.
      1. Vladimir Mashkov
        Vladimir Mashkov 29 November 2020 13: 40
        Quote: Uncle Lee
        And our paratroopers at 45 liberated these islands in very heavy battles.

        I'm not going to argue in any way! And not only these (northern) islands, but all the others and half of Sakhalin. That in the Far East many settlements, ships, floating bases are well remembered, honored and named after the liberators, there are many monuments. And Cape Lopatka, Alaid Atlasovsky, and other islands, which I have walked by many times in almost all straits, are very picturesque. But only in the article it is, nevertheless, about southern Kuril Islands, not the northern ...
        1. Uncle lee
          Uncle lee 29 November 2020 15: 16
          Quote: Vladimir Mashkov
          about the southern Kuril Islands

          I agree ... I went all the Kuril Islands myself, on steamers ... And Shikotan walked on foot from b. Church to Krabovaya and back. We stood in the Church, took water.
  7. StarTroopers
    StarTroopers 29 November 2020 15: 42
    I don't understand all this hype around the Kuriles? According to all laws, legal, moral, they have no rights to them. Even historically. I read the history of relations between Russia and Japan, and according to all the agreements, they are generally in flight. Now the Japanese are guided by pre-war treaties, I don't understand who considers the treaties to be legal, after the war with a party to the contract?
  8. Sergej1972
    Sergej1972 30 November 2020 00: 34
    Yes, not only right-wing radicals exaggerate the question of the Kuriles. This question is constantly raised by the Japanese Communist Party.
  9. Pushkowed
    Pushkowed 30 November 2020 11: 38
    The statement cut a little:
    The insular position has turned from an advantage into a disadvantage.
    Indeed, the development of aviation and missile weapons has in a sense made the "islanders" and the "continents" equal. Now the second, in order to strike at the first, it is not necessary to have a fleet commensurate in strength and it is not necessary to arrange landings (as the islanders do). Now the islanders have ceased to be fundamentally unattainable, but remained simply unattainable.

    After all, the islanders also have rocket weapons. And they, too, can respond proportionately. In addition, the Douai doctrine has already proved its ineffectiveness - wars are not won by bombing alone. They are won by ground forces. And the water surface between the islands and continents has not gone anywhere. For the islanders, the sea is the path along which you can deliver your ground forces to the continent and strike the enemy anywhere, and if it fails, retreat. For continents, the sea is water barrier, which must be forced, overcoming the resistance of the enemy fleet, which plays here "in its own field." So, IMHO, it's too early to say that the insular position is a disadvantage.
  10. Rock616
    Rock616 8 December 2020 19: 24
    The castrated samurai have only one chance of survival, this is to lie under the Russian Federation, since the "light elves" will throw them (in the next 3, maximum 5 years), and in the neighborhood there are Chinese, who perfectly remember the atrocities of "samurai" in the last century and cook "dish" served cold .. wink and "samurai" know this very well.
  11. hostel
    hostel 11 December 2020 16: 52
    If you compare the Pacific Fleet and the Japanese Navy, then you want to cry. We, with our snicker corvettes, killed by projects 1164 and 1155 are just dwarfs.