The threat that North Korea poses to Japan is “more serious than ever”indicated this Friday the latest “white paper” on defense, referring to Pyongyang’s alleged ability to launch nuclear missiles.
The Japanese Ministry of Defence’s annual report, which lists the most pressing military threats and ways to ensure the country’s stability, underlines the importance of the recent Significant increase in the defense budgetat a time when the world is entering what it calls “a new era of crisis”.
While the document mainly focuses on China’s growing military power and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pyongyang also emerges as a great concern for Japan.
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North Korea’s military activities represent a even greater threat and more imminent than ever for Japan’s security,” the report reads.
“It starts from the principle that North Korea has the capability to attack Japan with nuclear weapons mounted on ballistic missiles.”he adds.
The “White Paper” was approved by the Government of the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, at a time when Pyongyang has been increasing its missile tests.
On Thursday, North Korean state media published photographs of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showing the Russian Defense Minister the most advanced weapons in the countryincluding intercontinental ballistic missiles and new military drones.
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Pyongyang’s recent missile launches, the latest of which took place on Monday, come as Tokyo, Seoul and Washington step up military cooperation to counter the North Korean regime’s growing nuclear threats and the China’s influence in the region.
The “White Paper” points out that China’s military activities represent “a strategic challenge unprecedented” for Japan, which is also concerned about the Russian-Chinese military exercises.
The international community is facing the Biggest test since World War II and we have entered a new era of crisis,” said Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, quoted in the document.
The document also reiterates Tokyo’s commitment to increasing military spending and capabilities.
For decades, Japan has limited military spending to around 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the Kishida Government approved a new security plan, in late 2022, which includes increasing the Defense budget to 2% of GDP by 2027.