The Nikkei spoke with Miyazawa Hiroyuki, director of the Liberal Democratic Party’s National Defense Division, on the Nikkei’s discovery that China installed and destroyed a structure similar to a Japan Air Self-Defense Force Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS) in the desert area of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Below are Miyazawa’s comments.
The destruction of a structure similar to an AWACS during an exercise or drill is a serious matter that cannot be overlooked. AWACS are deployed at the ASDF Hamamatsu Base, which is in my district (Shizuoka Prefecture). Failing to enhance security will negatively affect the safety of those residing near the base, regardless of whether there is a contingency.
In its proposal to revise the National Security Strategy, the LDP described China as a “serious threat.” If it is confirmed that China installed and destroyed a structure similar to an AWACS, the government may use a stronger phrase [to describe China] in its documents.
If China is constructing a model of an important facility in another country and conducting exercises to attack it, China is telling the world it is an aggressor and not a friendly nation. I strongly condemn China.
Although we do not want to cut dialogue between Japan and China, we must urgently enhance Japan’s defense capabilities. The government will revise the National Security Strategy and other strategic documents by the end of 2022. Japan needs to urgently enhance its capabilities to respond to airborne threats, such as strengthening its missile defense system and acquiring counterattack capabilities.
Former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who was shot to death recently, worked hard to achieve the goal of raising defense spending to more than 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) within five years. We should strive to carry out this goal of his.