Japanese and US militaries plot to deploy medium-range missiles to Japan

Japan’s armed forces and the US military have repeatedly plotted to help Washington deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles to the Asian country’s southwest islands in a bid to achieve “integrated deterrence” against China, said a source familiar with the matter.

Since 2021, Japanese forces and the US military have attempted to pressure Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration to cooperate with Washington’s plan to deploy missiles to deter China by bolstering the construction of the “first island channel,” an unnamed source told the Global Times. Thursday.

The source, citing state media, said Washington had begun assembly of its Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) intermediate-range land-based missiles, prioritizing deployment to the “first island chain “, which could pose a major security problem. risk for the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the source, the Japanese armed forces have significantly stepped up preliminary preparations for the US deployment of medium-range missiles, although the Kishida administration has not yet made a final public decision on such a deployment in the country.

Meanwhile, military experts have warned that the plot between Japan and the United States is not conducive to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, saying Tokyo will take the hit and suffer the consequences. .

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday that the deployment of medium-range land-based missiles in Japan would pose a serious threat to China’s national security and allow the United States to become more involved in surrounding areas of the country. .

Once missiles become a regular weapon, they will inevitably lead to an arms race, which will not contribute to peace and stability in the region, he said. The military expert said that the dangerous plot of military expansion of the Japanese armed forces with the United States, disregarding the security of the Asia-Pacific region, will seriously threaten the normal development of China-Japan relations and cause serious damage to regional peace and security. .

It’s a dangerous and malicious move and “if not brought under control before it’s too late, there will be endless trouble,” Song warned.

Japan’s relationship with China has long been plagued by conflicting claims over a group of tiny islets in the East China Sea.

China has significantly modernized its military infrastructure in recent years, amid rising tensions over Chinese Taipei, the South China Sea and military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific.

China has repeatedly warned the United States against expanding its military presence in Asia and the Pacific. Beijing says the US military presence is a source of regional instability.

In recent years, Chinese warships have sailed into waters near Okinawa, where the majority of US troops in Japan are based, in an effort to curb US military dominance as an extra-regional force in the Western Pacific.

Japan in turn used this Chinese military posture to brandish a perceived threat from China.

The United States is counting on Japan and its other main regional ally, South Korea, to support efforts to challenge China.

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