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What Abe wants with his defense white papers?

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

07-06-2015 14:31 BJT

By Han Xudong, strategic teaching & research department, National Defense University

The Kyodo News Agency on July 1 reported the outline of the forthcoming 2015 Japanese defense white paper. Although the white paper has not been fully disclosed, those partial contents open to the public view have aroused international concern. This is the third defense white paper issued by the Shinzo Abe administration.

Japan has issued this kind of white paper each year since Abe became the 96th prime minister in 2012. The release of the papers follows its own special process.

Firstly, the contents are disclosed gradually. All three defense white papers were exposed partially first, the whole later.

The reason is simple. Every year, the defense white paper contains some inappropriate wording and improper criticisms. Even when they don't conform to Japanese identity, Abe still interferes.

This partial disclosure process displays Abe's trickery, using graduation as a litmus test to probe acceptance by the outside world. This is a careful performance conducted with a guilty conscience. 

If the outside world responds meekly to the partially released content, Abe insists on keeping it. If the outside world responds strongly, Abe may make some technical adjustment. Overall, Abe sticks to his stance.

Secondly, Abe's administration projects a continually rising national security threat. The Japanese government always adjudges this threat as hugely important when composing the white paper.

In recent years, the Abe administration has come to describe the national security environment differently. In the outline of the 2015 white paper and previous white papers, Japan has insisted that the severity of the external threat has grown, especially in the Asia-Pacific. As described in the third white paper: "The severity of Japan's security environment has further increased."

In this way the Abe administration provides excuses for formulating a new national defense policy, evidence for remolding self-defense forces and for amending the allegedly pacifist constitution. Its direct purpose is to concoct reasons for lifting a ban on collective self-defense and passing bills related to so-called "security."

Thirdly, the announcement of the white paper is an important stimulus for the Abe administration. Since Abe succeeded as prime minister in December 2012, the administration has continuously adopted stimulus measures to strive towards the goal of a lifting of the ban on collective self-defense and amending the pacifist constitution.

It can be expected that once this new defense white paper gets through, it will facilitate the passage of security bills and Abe’s administration will move one step further towards the ultimate goal.

Abe's strategy is to take small, fast steps. All these little tricks aim at one final massive achievement. Peace-loving people should remain on alert.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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