Japan is now considering future weapon transfers to other Asian countries as it builds alliances for a potential war with China.
Soldiers of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force training in Oct. 2008.
Earlier today in Okinawa, Japanese officials met with representatives from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to expand technological and defensive cooperation between the countries.
Although Japan and ASEAN discussed joint cooperation in response to natural disasters and anti-terrorism, Japan’s Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense revealed that the true intent of the meeting was to bolster defense against China’s “unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.”
As part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to “deepen and enhance cooperation” with ASEAN, a ministry official told Kyodo News that Japan is currently looking to ease its policy on arms exports, a clear indication that the island nation is taking the threat of war with China seriously.
“China appears to be at the forefront of Abe’s defense vision, bolstering the case for Japan to strengthen ties with ASEAN,” the newspaper reported.
ASEAN consists of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Bruei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.