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People’s Daily on Japan’s Intention to Deploy “THAAD”

A Japanese news agency reported that, on March 30, the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Japanese government purchase the United States “THAAD” anti-missile system. People’s Daily published an article asking, “Korea’s ‘THAAD’ dispute has not yet cooled down. Now Japan is immediately following in Korea’s footstep. What is Japan up to?”

The article commented that Japan already had the intention a long time ago. As early as the end of 2016, the Japanese Ministry of Defense set up a Committee to hear testimony as to whether to import the U.S. military equipment for the “THAAD” anti-missile system. In January this year, Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada went to the United States Anderson Air Force Base in Guam to inspect the U.S. military’s “THAAD” system. He said Japan would finalize the blueprint for missile defense by the summer of 2017.

In an interview with the newspaper, Zhou Yongsheng, Professor at the International Relations Institute of China Foreign Affairs University, said, “North Korea’s missile threat to Japan is not so urgent. Japan claims that it is to prevent the DPRK’s ballistic missile threat, but defense is only a small part of the anti-missile system. Once the system is completed, it will greatly help Japan to achieve its strategic goal of amending its constitution, finalizing a complete military system, and becoming a military power.”

Zhou also said, “The deployment of ‘THAAD’ is also one of the means by which Japan will move closer to the United States. Arms trade is an important step for the United States to develop its strength. Japan’s purchase of the ‘THAAD’ anti-missile system is to enhance the relationship with the Trump administration and with U.S. arms manufacturers. It has also made the deployment of the U.S. global anti – missile system more complete.”

Source: People’s Daily, April 3, 2017