Japan’s security bills will create new arms race, says scholar

Want China Times
Date: 2015-09-21
By: Staff Reporter

Professor Liang Yunxiang from the School of International Studies of Peking University

The upper house of Japan's Diet approves the controversial legislation on Sept. 19. (Photo/Xinhua)

The upper house of Japan’s Diet approves the controversial legislation on Sept. 19. (Photo/Xinhua)

claims Japan’s new security legislation, which grants the nation the right of collective defense, will give rise to a new arms race in East Asia, according to Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po.

With the full support from Japan’s ruling coalition under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it is not a surprise that the new laws which clear Japanese troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War II would pass, Liang said, predicting a huge impact on the diplomatic relationship between China and Japan. It is now the responsibility for the governments of both nations to prevent this impact from escalating into real conflict, he said.

Liang told the Wen Wei Po that the controversial security legislation, passed by the upper house of Japan’s Diet on Sept. 19, will eventually force China to increase its military budget. In addition to launching more patrols around the disputed Diaoyutai islands in the East China Sea (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan, which controls them), China is likely to hold more joint naval exercise with Russia in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

Though the legislation does not have any direct effect on relations across the Taiwan Strait, it is likely to be considered a great encouragement to advocates of Taiwan independence, Liang said, as they may be encouraged that Japan might come to their aid if China attempted to achieve unification by force. “Only those supporting Taiwan independence want to see China in tension with Japan and the United States,” Liang said. “However, Beijing will do its best to prevent itself from having trouble with Washington, Tokyo and Taipei simultaneously.”

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