I have a love/hate relationship with Japan. On one hand, I have a great respect for the cultural emphasis on education, teamwork and responsibility.
I recall seeing a 165-yard cracking and cratering of a section of the Great Kanto Highway that was destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. In a mere six-days, Japanese engineers and construction workers finished repairs that made that same 165-yards damaged road to a better state than before the natural disasters.
It would have taken an American crew at least two months.
I’m also a pretty big fan of certain Japanese Hard Rock bands, such as Nemophila, Maximum the Hormone, and well as Band-Maid (video below).
Just me, but I also consider Japanese women to be the best looking of all the various East Asian nationalities and ethnic groups. But like I said, that’s just me.
On the other side of the coin, I’m one generation away from genocide, courtesy of the Empire of Japan.
Long story short, my mother and 20,000 other inhabitants of the US Territory of Guam lived for two-and-a-half years under a rather brutal Japanese occupation during WWII.
It was uncovered after the US liberation that Japanese officials had planned on killing the entire population. But as my mom told me years ago, one Japanese soldier would sneak food to her family (a beheading offense for both the soldier and the family receiving contraband food).
Because of that one Japanese soldier, we were taught to never hate the Japanese people.
Anyhow, as both history and my heart tell me, it’s better to have a highly armed Japan on your side than to have a highly armed Japan pissed at you.
According to a 2014 report from TheAmericanInterest.com, if Japan doesn’t already have a “Bomb in the Basement”, they certainly have the wherewithal to build thousands upon thousands in short order;
Japan doesn’t have a nuclear bomb and doesn’t plan to develop one, but the country has so much uranium and plutonium stockpiled at home and abroad that making one wouldn’t take long at all. This “bomb in the basement” is seen by some Japanese leaders as an important deterrent against China and North Korea.
Rokkasho [fast-breeder plutonium reactor] will add to Japan’s already substantial stockpile of nuclear bomb-making material, which of course isn’t being used to make a bomb but could be. Japan has 9 tons of weapons-grade plutonium and 1.2 tons of enriched uranium stashed around the country, and a further 35 tons of plutonium stored in France and the UK. That’s enough for 5,000 nuclear bombs. Rokkasho will produce 8 tons of plutonium a year, which is enough for 1,000 Nagasaki-sized weapons.
Now a couple of articles in regard to the meat and potatoes of Japan becoming the world’s newest #3 in spending for national defense.
As cited by reporter William Gallo of the VOA (Voice of America);
Under a new defense spending plan, Japan aims to purchase missiles that can hit military targets in other countries.
The spending means the world’s third-largest economy will no longer spend the ninth-most on weapons and defense.
The new plan will increase Japan’s spending from one percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to two percent over the next five years. If this happens, Japan will move to third in the world in defense spending.
Japan will center its early spending on what it calls “counterstrike capability,” or the ability to hit targets in other countries.
Also as reported by Hana Kusumoto of the Stars and Stripes news service;
Starting next year, Japan plans to increase its defense spending to a total of 43 trillion yen, or about $324.2 billion, over the next five years. That sum is about 1.6 times current five-year total spending, according to the Defense Buildup Plan.
The increase is necessary, the budget states, to cope with new threats surrounding Japan, such as China’s attempt to unilaterally change the regional balance of power by force, North Korea’s record-breaking run of missile tests this year and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, along with its increasingly frequent military activities in the Far East.