Despite Japan’s post-World War II constitution absolutely forbidding even to use the words army, navy or air force regarding the nation’s Self-Defense Forces, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (phonetically pronounced “Ah-bay“) has made quite clear he fully intends to move forward with amending the so-called Peace Constitution as so his East Asian nation could be a military key player on the world stage. In the wake of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) Islamist terrorists beheading Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa, Prime Minister Abe has no intention of backing down to the blood-soaked jihadists, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 25, 2015.
While the al-Qaeda spawned group may have shortened their nom de guerre islamique to simply the Islamic State, their penchant for both ransoming captives and/or decapitating the same hasn’t lessened. While Japanese nationals Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa were until recently held captive for a $200 million payout demanded by the killers, Prime Minister Abe viewed an ISIS internet video of a reported English accented terrorist beheading self-described military contractor Haruna Yukawa.
Before the butchering of Yukawa, ISIS accused Abe’s promise of $200 million to “help curb the threat” the jihadists pose to various Middle Eastern nations as nothing less than Japan wanting “to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims.” Since the execution of Yakawa, ISIS has dropped their monetary demand for the remaining hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, opting instead for the release of a yet to be named to the public ISIS operative held by the Jordanian government.
Perhaps confident that his proposed constitutional changes will be accepted by the Japanese Parliament, Abe has been beefing up the nation’s officially designated Self-Defense Forces for possible offensive action overseas. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (for all intents and purposes, the Imperial Japanese Army) has worked-up what many in military circles consider one of the world’s premier Special Forces groups.
Also, the nation has all but in name only forged ahead in initiating an their version of an independent Corps of Marines. As the US Naval War College notes, “Prime Minister Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party has expressed its desire to increase defense spending and to strengthen the nation’s defense posture in response to growing Chinese assertiveness in the East China Sea, making an amphibious capability increasingly relevant.”