Is Japan’s Military Secret About to Come Out? Tokyo and Washington Update Military Cooperation Pact

The Military cooperation pact between Japan and the United States is undergoing big changes. As a result, for the first time since World War II, Japan could soon officially be allowed to have first-strike capabilities against potential threats.

Last Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry met with their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo to discuss the regional security pact between the two sides. It is significant that while all previous meetings about the defense pact were called by the U.S., this one was called by Japan.

Japan’s real purpose in calling for the update was to expand its own military role in the region. A joint statement released after the meeting showed that Tokyo made progress toward that goal. Washington “welcomed” Japan’s efforts to lift its ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense, the statement said.

In the lead-up to the conference, an unnamed Pentagon source said the two sides would also “start the process for reviewing” the lifting of another, more significant ban: the one outlawing Japan’s first-strike capabilities. Although statements released after the meeting made no mention of lifting this ban, the wheels of this monumental change may well be in motion.

To avoid stirring fears of a resurgence in Japanese militarism, post-war Tokyo has relied on Washington for security guarantees. Now, however, three factors are making Japan less concerned about trying to allay global fears about a revival of its militaristic nationalism: Japan’s dwindling faith in America’s security promises; its rising tensions with China and the Koreas; and its desire to be looked upon as a world power in its own right, complete with the ability to defend its national interests militarily.

These factors have prompted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other nationalists to intensify efforts to define Japan’s military as a full-fledged force. Now, as the unnamed Pentagon official’s report indicates, U.S. authorities are responding to those efforts.

The updates to the security pact and other shifting tides in Asian geopolitics have sobering implications for the short term, but Bible prophecy makes plain that they immediately precede the most hope-filled event ever to occur. To understand more, read “The Fiction of Japan’s Defense Force.”

Full article: Is Japan’s Military Secret About to Come Out? Tokyo and Washington Update Military Cooperation Pact (The Trumpet)

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