Japan defence minister warns invasions can begin without troops

23-Oct-2021 Intellasia | FreeMalaysiaToday | 5:02 AM Print This Post

In a veiled reference to China’s recent aggressive moves on Taiwan, Japan’s defence minister pointed to Russia’s annexation of Crimea as an example of how an invasion can begin without deploying troops.

Russia’s act was an “illegal annexation of Crimea.” Nobuo Kishi said today in a video message to the 18th CSIS/Nikkei Symposium. “An invasion may begin without anyone realising it, and a war may be fought without the use of military forces.”

Information control and cyberattacks became prominent before Russian troops took control of the Crimean region in 2014.

Kishi’s comments come as China ratchets up pressure on Taiwan. Earlier this month, Beijing flew a record number of warplanes near the island it claims but has never ruled, and Taiwan’s defence minister warned that China already has the ability to invade and will be capable of mounting a “full scale” invasion by 2025.

Kishi, the younger brother of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, told the forum that freedom and democracy are threatened in Asia and other parts of the world due to attempts to “unilaterally change the status quo by force or coercion.”

He stressed the need to adopt new technologies in the cyberspace and outer space sectors to cope with threats from China and other powers.

On top of China deploying coast guard vessels near Japan’s Senkaku Islands, which Beijing claims and calls Diaoyu, and its aerial incursions near Taiwan, North Korea is testing a wider range of missiles that are more difficult for intelligence agencies to monitor and detect.

“Powerful nations are continuing to strengthen their military power to gain dominance in space and cyberspace,” Kishi said. “North Korea has not only existing missiles but also advanced technology. Democracy is in danger everywhere in the world.”

Kishi’s warnings come as so-called hybrid warfare and grey zone tactics increasingly attract global attention. These include disinformation, economic manipulation, use of proxies and insurgencies and diplomatic pressure.

Competition in space is intensifying with China, Russia, and the US building space stations.

The Financial Times reported this week that the Chinese military conducted two hypersonic weapons tests over the summer, with sources saying a rocket launched in July used a “fractional orbital bombardment” system to propel a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle around the earth for the first time.

Meanwhile, countries are competing to gain an edge in electronic warfare using the electromagnetic spectrum the frequency bands of all electromagnetic waves, including radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and infrared, used in everything from GPS, to missile precision attacks and advanced radar.

“With regard to these new areas, (Japan’s) Self-Defence Forces are in a position to follow the world as we have just taken a step forward. We need to proactively embrace advanced technology,” Kishi said.

The minister, who highlighted the need to increase the country’s defence budget, also argued that Japan’s efforts in cyberspace, outer space and the electromagnetic spectrum would bolster the Japan-US alliance.

“The US is ahead of us in technology, and currently Japan may seem dependent on the US, but I hope Japan can make a contribution with its unique technology,” he said, noting that the country has foundations of cutting-edge science and technology.

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Category: Japan

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