January 7, 2016

Japanese pre-emptive strike on North Korea possible future option

Japanese Defence Minister Nakatani would have been very busy in the last 48 hours given all the bad news from North Korea. (Photo courtesy newslookup(dot)com)


North Korea's latest nuclear test and SLBM ejection test has stimulated ongoing discussions on possible future responses. These North Korean intentions or nuclear advances have put strategic relations with Japan under some strain and review.

Submarine launched Tomahawk missiles are something the US and UK have used in the Middle East though only against countries with weak or no real military forces. Russia has recently launched Tomahawk-like Kalibr missiles but only against weak enemies. 

As North Korea has ballistic missiles well within range of Japan, Japan may consider developing quick striking ballistic missile forces. See the last section Japanese Ballistic Missiles/Rockets of this post.


While many Japanese comments on pre-emptive strike on North Korea have been deleted from the Internet some remain. 

“Abe was expected to tap Gen Nakatani for the defense portfolio in a nod to worries about growing threats from nuclear-armed North Korea and China.” [Nakatani was subsequently appointed Defence Minister. "Gen" is just a first name not a former military high command position.].

“Nakatani is a former defense minister who is in favor of Japan having the ability to hit enemy bases pre-emptively in the face of imminent attack.”

“"If you think what would happen if the United States withdrew, we must consider (acquiring) the ability to respond, because we cannot just sit idly and await death," Nakatani told Reuters earlier this year [2014].”


"TOKYO, Sept 10 [2014] (Reuters) - Japan and the United States are exploring the possibility of Tokyo acquiring offensive weapons that would allow Japan to project power far beyond its borders, Japanese officials said, a move that would likely infuriate China.

While Japan's intensifying rivalry with China dominates the headlines, Tokyo's focus would be the ability to take out North Korean missile bases, said three Japanese officials involved in the process.

They said Tokyo was holding the informal, previously undisclosed talks with Washington about capabilities that would mark an enhancement of military might for a country that has not fired a shot in anger since its defeat in World War Two.

The talks on what Japan regards as a "strike capability" are preliminary and do not cover specific hardware at this stage, the Japanese officials told Reuters.

Defense experts say an offensive capability would require a change in Japan's purely defensive military doctrine, which could open the door to billions of dollars worth of offensive missile systems and other hardware. These could take various forms, such as submarine-fired cruise missiles similar to the U.S. Tomahawk.

U.S. officials said there were no formal discussions on the matter but did not rule out the possibility that informal contacts on the issue had taken place. One U.S. official said Japan had approached American officials informally last year about the matter."

Japanese Ballistic Missiles/Rockets

See Submarine Matters:

and earlier



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Nakatani should think twice before he speaks. Japan had conducted pre-emptive strike against USA 75 years ago, i.e. Attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack caused not only unconditional surrender of Japan finally but also a sense of fear of pre-emptive strike by enemy in USA of the Post World War II.


Peter Coates said...

Hi S
(you sound like the Real S now :)

I don't think you should worry too much about Pearl Harbour. American Presidents needs the Myth of Being Stabbed in the Back to save face/embarrasment over military-intelligence failures or intentions.


1898 - sinking of great power USS Maine warship in the Havana Harbour of a weak colony of weak power Spain justified US colonial "Manifest Destiny" takeover of old Spanish empire in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Philippines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Maine_(ACR-1)#Sinking

1964 - Gulf of Tonkin Incident (US warship in the middle of a conflict very near North Vietnamese coast) was developed against North Vietnamese Navy to justify escalation of superpower US buildup against "fifth rate raggady ass" N Vietnam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident#Distortion_of_the_event

But 1941 Pearl Harbour was a fair fight. Much of US reaction against Japan (and Japanese civilians in the US) was racist.

In that regard good market potential /ethnic compatibity absolved blame on Britain for the War of 1812 which included British invasion of Washington DC "that resulted in the British burning of the White House, the Capitol, the Navy Yard, and other public buildings, in the "Burning of Washington". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812#Course_of_the_war

Pre-emptive strike (First Strike) doesn't mean a Pearl Harbour but I see it as removing deadly enemy weapons that Japan would know (through intelligence) are about to be used to destroy Japan.