BEIJING, Nov. 29 (ChinaMil) -- Japan recently followed in ROK's steps to set about introducing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system battery from the US.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, at its regular press conference on November 28, urged the Japanese side to act with caution and play a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in the region, rather than the opposite.
Japan can deploy THAAD without Diet's approval
According to Japanese media, the Japanese Defense Ministry has set up a panel to discuss ways to reinforce its missile defense system, including the introduction of THAAD and other new military equipment from the US.
Sources familiar with the matter at the Japanese government said on November 20 that Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada plans to visit Guam in mid-December to hold final talks about THAAD deployment.
The US put THAAD into use on its homeland in 2008. On year later, Japan's Mainichi Shimbun broke news that the Japanese Defense Ministry was discussing the possibility of purchasing THAAD from the US.
Lv Yaodong from the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences confirmed Japan's plan to deploy the THAAD system in an interview, and said that according to the decision-making procedures in Japan, the proposal would be submitted by the Defense Ministry to the National Security Committee formed by the Cabinet for approval and then be implemented. It doesn't need to be discussed at the Japanese Diet.
Unlike the ROK, Japan hasn't selected a location for THAAD yet, but after the Guam tour, Tomomi Inada may submit a plan to the Cabinet to discuss from a technical point of view how to deploy THAAD and whether to deploy it in Guam.
Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, said in an interview that Japan revealed earlier its plan to join the ROK in deploying the THAAD, and now this plan is put in motion.
DPRK is just an excuse
According to Japanese media, the Defense Ministry will introduce THAAD to deal with "missile threats" from the DPRK.
But Lv Yaodong said that Japan's real purpose is to intensify deterrence against surrounding countries including China and Russia.
Open information shows that the THAAD system is equipped with X-band radar, which has a detecting range of 2,000km and can quickly detect newly launched long-range ballistic missile. The system isn't just an anti-missile intercepting device because its monitoring scope is far beyond Japan's defense demand.
The ROK and Japan just signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), under which they can share information directly and quickly. Lv said that after the two countries realized software connectivity, THAAD will push their hardware connectivity too and the establishment of the US-Japan-ROK anti-missile alliance.
The anti-missile system is always a part of the "Asia Pacific rebalancing" strategy promoted by the Obama administration. According to Lv Yaodong, the anti-missile system was accelerated in the last days of Obama's term, and it will threaten the security and strategic interests of some countries in Northeast Asia.
China calls for caution
A reporter asked a long question at Chinese Foreign Ministry's regular press conference on November 28: "The Japanese Defense Ministry has set up a panel to discuss ways to reinforce its missile defense system. Issues including the introduction of THAAD and other new military equipment from the US will be discussed. Japan is also expected to nail down a blueprint on missile defense by next summer. What is China's response to that?"
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang answered that China is concerned about the report and hopes the Japanese side will act with caution.
He said China's position on the deployment of THAAD is clear and unchanged. Due to what happened in the history, Japan's move in the field of military and security is closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. China hopes that the Japanese side will act with caution and play a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in the region, rather than the opposite.
The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive. Relevant parties should act in the interest of regional peace and stability and stay committed to resolving the relevant issue through political and diplomatic means, instead of making use of the issue in pursuit of things harmful for security of other countries and stability of the region, added Geng.
Disclaimer: The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author named Yue Feifei from the Beijing Youth Daily and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.