August 3, 2017

Unpopular Abe weakening Japans arms selling ability?

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s drop in popularity leading to a weaker position in Japan’s Parliament (Diet) may reverse his successes in:
-  sending Japanese military forces overseas on UN duties, and
-  weapon sales or coastguard aid (eg. to the Philippines) to foreign countries.

Abe now seems to have a low chance of revising the pacifist constitution (especially Article 9).

Particular matters that may have weakened Abe’s push to have a normal defence force and arms industry are:
-  the resignation in late July 2017 of rightwing Defense Minister Inada
-  due to the cover-up of internal records that exposed the danger Japanese peacekeepers faced in

    South Sudan. Under Japanese political and legal rules the peacekeepers were only allowed in
    South Sudan if there was a ceasefire in force. Instead the peacekeepers had been exposed to
    combat since at least 2016.

Might the above events and Inada’s replacement on August 3, 2017 by new Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera slow down Japan’s ability to sell aircraft and submarines to foreign buyers?



GhalibKabir said...

IMHO, as someone who has resided for a long time in Japan, I think the problem runs deeper than Abe or the constitution. The constitution has certainly stopped a France like export structure from developing.

However, the key issue for Japan is that besides the handicaps on G2G negotiations, they have severe problems even with work sharing (forget ToT, this is far more basic) and are very paranoid about technology. In India, the US-2 negotiations showed the extent of difficulty they faced.they only accepted a total export of fully finished US-2s.

Imagine them deciding on what to do with Toshiba sonar technology or hull designs for Indian SSKs? even before they can come around to deciding what to do about cost negotiations, they will trip and fall...

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

(1)Ms Inada was thought to be a promissig politician, but she commited consecutively serious mistakes as follows.

PM Abe had visited Parl Harbor on Dec/28/2016 to appease the spirits of the victims by Parl Harbor Attack. Next day, then-Defense Minister Inaba had visited Yasukuni Shrine to appeas the spirit of the Japanese soldier including notorious war prisoners in World War II, and had ruined PM Abe's effort visit.

As positioning of JMSDF in the Constitution of Japan is not clear, JMSDF is very nervous to maintain the dignity. Ms Inaba, the famous fashion freak politician, did not understand meaning of dress code at all, and wore usually ostentatious or sexy dress in public neglecting advice of JMSDF senior officers. Many JMSDF members felt to be insulted.

As Ms Inada could not properly answer the questions in the Parliament, PM sometimes had to answer instead of her. And so on.

(2)New Defence Minister, Mr Onodera is ex-Defense Minister and a reliable politician.

(3)There is a rumor of a surprise visit NK by PM Abe to mediate US President and the Head of NK.

(4)Japanese flying boat, US-2 is too expensive for India


Anonymous said...

Isn't peacekeeping inherently nearly always dangerous by definition? If things are that peaceful, you would not need any force to stand in between factions, hence the political hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

On Aug/03/2017, PM Abe ordered new Defense Minister, Mr Onodera to review National Defense Program Guidline, the basic guideline of national security policy for Japan to respond recent development of ballistic missle in NK.

Ministry of Defense favorably responds to Mr Onodera, who listens to other’s opinion and has proven performance. PM Abe has wisely choosed the best option of Defense Minister.


Peter Coates said...

There seems to be emphasis in some comments on the removal of a female Defence Minister (Inada) and replacement by a male Minister. It is as though the Defence Minister is the driving force in changing Japan to a normal military and arms export position.

I think this disguises what may be a return to Japan's log held Pacifist military and (lack of) arms exports.

This return maight only be headed off by a return to popularity of Abe and his conservative wing in the Diet (Parliament)