Guest Post: Japan Explores War Scenarios with China

Tyler Durden's picture

Via J. Michael Cole of The,

As Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party national defense task force announced on Jan. 8 that it would increase the nation’s defense budget by more than 100 billion yen ($1.15 billion), three of five scenarios explored by the defense ministry recently involve the Self-Defense Forces squaring off against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

While contingencies involving North Korea’s ballistic missiles and Russia were among the scenarios the defense ministry explored, the top three all involved a crisis in the East China Sea. The first scenario examined a war between China and Japan over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. Earlier on Tuesday Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo for the first time since Shinzo Abe was sworn in as prime minister to protest the continued presence of official Chinese ships in waters around the islets, which are claimed by Japan, Taiwan and China.

The second scenario, meanwhile, expands on a Senkaku contingency and looks at a widening war involving PLA attempts to seize the Ishigaki and Miyako Islands west of northern Taiwan.

The third, and perhaps most controversial, scenario focuses on how Japan would react to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan in 2021, a date reportedly chosen because it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). According to the scenario, the PLA would rely mostly on amphibious vehicles, special forces, ballistic missiles, and a fighter blockade to achieve its ends.

Although the latter scenario makes it clear that the hostilities would primarily involve the PLA and Taiwanese military forces, it nevertheless raises the possibility that China would attack U.S. and Japanese bases on Okinawa, while using long-range ballistic missiles, such as the DF-21D and DF-31, to threaten aircraft carriers in the region and the Western United States should U.S. forces attempt to intervene in the conflict.

Interestingly, Japan would have a responsibility to come to Taiwan’s aid in the event the PLA engages Taiwanese forces, the Japanese-language Sankei Shimbun said in its reporting on the scenarios on Jan. 1.

There has been much speculation over the years about whether Tokyo would intervene if the PLA ever invaded Taiwan. Reports in 2007 alleged that Japanese and U.S. officials, alarmed by growing Chinese might, were considering a plan to coordinate their actions under such a contingency, with Japan providing rear-area support for U.S. forces as stipulated under the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. It is no coincidence that the efforts in 2007 also occurred when Abe, who is regarded as pro-Taiwan, was in power.

The two countries late last year also agreed to negotiate possible changes to the bilateral guidelines to better reflect changes in the strategic situation as well as give Japanese forces more room to maneuver.

While the scenarios remain in the realm of speculation, Japan’s inclusion of a Taiwan contingency again underscores the importance Tokyo places on Taiwan remaining de-facto independent. Certainly, China’s assertiveness in 2012 in both the East China and the South China Sea has done little to reassure Tokyo that it could live comfortably with a CCP-controlled Taiwan so close to its waters and territory. As such, rather than being amenable to “abandoning” Taiwan, as a handful of U.S. academics have been arguing for the sake of “improved” ties with Beijing, Tokyo may become more inclined to ensure that the island continues to serve as a natural barrier to Chinese expansion.

According to Japanese sources, the largely symbolic 100 billion yen increase in defense spending announced on Jan. 8 will serve to fund research into a new radar system and to cover fuel and other maintenance costs for early-warning aircraft. But this is only the first step, and there could be many more to come. The defense budget for FY2012 ending in March was just 4.69 trillion yen (US$61 billion), or a little more than 1 percent of GDP, leaving ample room for expansion should Japan’s strategic environment continue to deteriorate in the weeks ahead.

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knukles's picture

Just arm the Japs with Nukes and have a real good olde eugenic cleansing and carbon footprint eradication holiday.

There's a silver lining to every nucleotide cloud


(This shit is just so fucking far out of control... why can't everybody just hold hands and sing Kumbayah?)

ACP's picture

Yes...why can't we all just......get along?

Even Germany is starting to get into the fray:

lewy14's picture

If Iran is getting nukes, why not Japan?

ACP's picture

Speaking of the modern arms light of the coming (attempted) firearms confiscation......time to learn some new skills:

Harlequin001's picture
Japan Explores War Scenarios with China

and goes Ouch!!!

eatthebanksters's picture

It would make Barry happy to have Japan solve one of his biggest problems. But then, isn't that how affirmative action works? 

trav777's picture

all of the outcomes lead to an inescapable conclusion:  japan will have to move beyond just being a de facto nuclear weapons state and announce.

It's a good thing China won't have the sealift capability by 2021 to invade Taiwan, so that scenario is moot.  Japan's navy is presently FAR superior to China's and will remain so long past any of these timelines.  Operational experience in blue water combat takes generations of sailors.  You cannot just buy a bunch of ships and be a great navy.  It's been tried before and it failed miserably.

China's attempt at amphibious invasion of taiwan would provoke laughter and then a shooting gallery.  See Chuenpee and the Opium Wars.  If numerical superiority trumped tactics, the Incas would have won, so would the Armada, and the fighting King loses at Agincourt.  Nevermind Salamis and a ton of other battles where experience trumped all over numbers.

BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

Problem is Japan's Navy will be manned by OAPs.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

This war talk is strictly for Japanese domestic consumption.


jonjon831983's picture

Japan's supposed 24 hours to nuke capability?  Think they're gonna test it out?

lolmao500's picture

Like in Dr.Strangelove... a deterrent nobody knows about is WORTHLESS.

Or are they waiting for a massive Taiwan pre-invasion mobilization by China to deploy the nukes for everyone to see??

Fact is, most Japanese are against nukes. If it were made public, people would be freaking mad... and that is saying a lot from today's pussy generation of Japanese.

So me thinks they are just waiting for ``ultimate crisis time`` to make them public. They won't bring them out before they have to.

jonjon831983's picture

Debatable, there's an Israeli politician's quote out there about neither confirming nor denying posession of nuclear weapons. :)

Element's picture

The real-world impact is that Beijing is already being forced to presume Japan is nuclear-armed. There's no choice, they have to presume that is the case. Thus a nuclear test is not even required to impart sufficient diplomatic and posture effects. Ambiguity is sufficient, and that ambiguity will not be resolved as there is no gain in doing so (but there is gain in making their nuclear status more suspicious and ambiguous ... so expect it).

Ghordius's picture

"Fact is, most Japanese are against nukes." WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you might have forgotten, but the "pussy" Japanese have not

btw, name a foreign power interested in invading Japan, if you can - this spate is all about a few little islands an a lot of "territorial" waters

Element's picture

The Japanese are terrified of DPRK satellite launches. ;-) The reason of course for the serial Tokyo freak-outs is the possibility of a NORK EMP attack (they just never want to admit it ... schhh!).

The issue with China is more of a case of Tokyo fearing payback due to a feeling of unfinished business within China's perceptions, rather than a fear of invasion. So anything can lead to a desire for Beijing to put Japan on the mat militarily, and force them to negotiate a cessation of hostilities on terms that gives China some sense of retribution over past grievances. But with the possibility of nukes present, China won't try to go that far. But they may still have a serious but more limited series of high-intensity but localized naval and air skirmishes.

Interesting that the US has decided to get out of the way and let them face-off.

Ghordius's picture

excellent comments, food for thought. meanwhile Japan is nevertheless reinforcing it's economic ties with Beijing and the EU, and is having talks about ESM bonds for it's Yen dumping excercise

perhaps Japan is giving some thought about a world without that fancy yearly martial ballet called 5th Fleet Chinese Sea Manouvers?

which leads me to one question open: Bush II expected officially some 60bn expenditures for the Iraq Invasion, the real costs were a silly multiple of it

has the global hegemon started to price it's military interventions out of competition? I was shocked when Taiwan wanted some diesel-electric subs and GE and the others told Bush "we only do nuclear", as a silly example

the British Empire had a similar moment with it's expensive cruisers and dreadnoughts, and the first sea they left was... Japan's. they even made an ad-hoc naval alliance with them for that very reason. I do not see an exact repeat of that, but Asians have a long memory, as we know

trav777's picture

Japan's consitution prohibits war and nukes.

But they are a defacto nuclear weapons state anyhow.  There is a pretty sizeable chunk of the population that is not opposed to nukes even now.  Let China actually start military operations and see how the numbers increase rapidly.

Japan has something like 100 metric tons of Pu239 onshore and another 300 stored elsewhere.  All you really have to do is mash this sh!t together really hard and you have an atomic bomb, just not a good one.  Japan's space program gives them intercontinental delivery means; they lift heavy satellites into orbit all the time.  From a technology perspective, they could have top-notch thermonuclear weapons assembled and ready to fire in a week.

Nevermind how the Indians would respond to that type of belligerence. 

CPL's picture

They already did and they will, not maybe, lose most of their population from cancer and other fun side effects of radiation.



trav777's picture

BFS they will and cancer kills the elderly anyhow.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

lewy14 asked:

If Iran is getting nukes, why not Japan?

Is Iran getting nukes? Last I heard, both US and Israeli intelligence agreed that there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapon program.

Did something change?

CPL's picture

Yes, geological instability of the oil well salt dome structures.


They bomb anymore than they have to and they'll lose all of MENA as 100 mile caverns open up and swallow most of the desert.  If everyone has noted all actions have avoided dropping gaint bunker busters since Gulf War 1

knukles's picture

Probably because nobody wants to just all get along.  Everybody wants their own piece, bigger than their buddys and more humongous than their enemies who they think oughta go rot in hell, while the forces of darkness and evil incite their minions to revolt against the truth and good of men through false hopes and promises which cannot be fulfilled causing great consternation and anger which in turn is refocused upon imaginary enemies to congeal the masses for the raping of their own kind, blind to the success of the Satanic leaders .

Why can't people just get the fuck along?
Because the path of good men is constantly beset upon all sides by the inequities of the selfish, the tyranny and falsehoods of evil men.

It might just as well be the true time of the so called Apocalypse, for men are doing their damnedest to make it sure look and feel that way.  There is true evil abounding ever so freely in this world.

ACP's picture

The Greek Goddess of Evolution, Libertarianisis, will definitely be prominent in this world the next several decades.

max2205's picture

Japs need to lean chineeeeese. This won't end well

DeadFred's picture

Knukles my good man this is a post about Japan and China, not Congress.

secret_sam's picture

Japanese can take long-term perspective.  Overt military conflict unwise.  Announce Chinese peaceful partnership and provide nuclear power facility design and engineering services for all of mainland China.

TotalCarp's picture

Trouble is when it comes to china/jap/korean relations in this region noone is capable of thinking straight. Everyones propaganda endures the flames of hatred are not going to be extinguished. Why do you think the jap cretin Abe is making all these noises?
To focus popular anger on the foreign enemy rather then his own corrupt criminal party. Same is happening in china.
So yes it is very unwise but 1 stupid trigger happy cunt jumps the gun and we'll be off to the races in no time

johnconnor's picture

Yes, and then I'll unleash my army of terminators to rule over the survivors...

philipat's picture

Makes no sense to go to war over a few rocks. Perhaps Japan needs to divert attention from domestic problems (Expect O'Bottom to do the same shortly) and China needs a dry run for a larger piece of real estate in the South China Sea?

flattrader's picture

>>>Just arm the Japs with Nukes and have a real good olde eugenic cleansing and carbon footprint eradication holiday.<<<

Japan has nukes and they are doing a good job of killing themselves.

All China has to do is stand back and wait.

fonzannoon's picture

2021? I don't have that kind of time.

ball-and-chain's picture

Abe's a true lunatic.

The man is a hardcore nationalist.

The world would be better off with Tojo.

Economic distress always brings out the worst in people.

The Imperial Japanese Empire is back on the move.

That's just wonderful.

philipat's picture

Agreed. China should just leave Japan to self-destruct. If inflation reaches 2% as Abe wants, the interest on the national debt (250% 0f GDP) will not be available. Chink mate?

Element's picture

It's not just that, the Chinese have done many things in the last few years to make the Japs feel vulnerable and insecure, as well as challenged. It's natural that the people will demand they rouse themselves to cover that sense of pressure.  This is a trigger issue both in China and in Japan, and for sure now Japan will step up preparedness for armed defence. Who wouldn't, given all that has happened.

jonjon831983's picture

"(Japan) Defense budget rises after decade of falls"

CPL's picture

Let's see.  7500 yen buys a Melon right now.  About 85 dollars.  180 Billion yen would buy 2 billion dollars worth of oil, which would run Tokyo for about 17 hours.


They didn't increase spending at all.  180 billion yen is an obvious bribe for someone.


Japan mulls over 5 tril. yen new debt issue for extra budget


Size of extra budget may test ¥12 trillion


Japan to boost defense budget by more than Y180 bil


Gold lures Japan's Pension funds as Abe targets inflation <--- Telling me they can't afford anything they don't produce.

impermanence's picture

I'll put my money on the country that's been there forever.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Japan doesn't need a nuke. They could just load all their nuclear waste and radioactive soil in cargo

planes and drop that on the Chinese and kill two birds with one stone.

cnhedge2's picture

bilateral interest is so huge, a war is mutually destructive.

Son of Loki's picture

Flowers of War

The Flowers of War, previously titled Nanjing Heroes and 13 Flowers of Nanjing, is a 2011 Chinese historical drama war film directed by Zhang Yimou, starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Zhang Xinyi,...


Japanese are playing with a hornets nest ...hornets who have a long memory.



Global Hunter's picture

That was a good film, I really appreciated the story telling.  There was a message in the film of heroism, but it took a bit to build up.  I found it too troubling to watch at times actually.


news printer's picture

Empire of the Sun

starring Christian Bale but as a young boy

That was a brilliant film

Global Hunter's picture

The connections...Bale was in Flowers of War too.

Well Holy Shit.

trav777's picture

ROTFL.  Hornet's nest?  Who the hell has China EVER beaten decisively in a war?

China is a historical joke, dude.  Most of their current belligerence sources from small penis syndrome because the japanese stomped all over them 70 years ago; everybody did.  They were like the world's whore.

ersatzteil's picture

That's before they had anti-ship ramjet missiles made by MKB Raduga from Russia. If you come to the party using those things, the other side will be swimming home.

Global Hunter's picture

I feel very naive for asking this question, I assume because Japan is an island it can defend itself maybe but why are they given much more consideration?

jonjon831983's picture

Different reasons out there.  One of which is the encirclement of China/Russia since WW2 + CW.

Methinks Japan was called the "unsinkable aircraft carrier" of the Pacific for USA.  As a counterbalance to Chinese power and provides a friendly military port for US Navy.

And then of course there's the fact they are #1 or #2 holder of US T's.