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Japan unveils record $320bn military build-up with eye on China

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces taking part in a military review in Asaka, Saitama prefecture, Japan, Oct. 14, 2018. (AFP Photo)

Japan has unveiled its biggest military build-up since World War II with a $320 billion plan to buy missiles capable of striking China, thereby flexing its muscles under the US plan to mobilize against their common foe. 

It "is my answer to the various security challenges that we face," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was quoted as saying Friday, describing Japan and its people as being at a "turning point in history."

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government expressed fears that an alleged attack by China could threaten nearby Japanese islands, disrupt supplies of advanced semiconductors and put a potential stranglehold on sea lanes that supply Middle East oil.

The government also said that in its five-year plan, it would stockpile spare parts and other munitions, reinforce logistics, and develop cyber warfare capabilities.

"The strategic challenge posed by China is the biggest Japan has ever faced," the strategic paper claimed, adding that another goal of the move is cooperating more closely with the United States and other like-minded nations who see China as a threat.

On this note, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the overhaul of Japan's defense policy announced on Friday will "strengthen and modernize" the country's military alliance with the United States. 

China has vastly upgraded its military infrastructure in recent years amid constant US threats and intervention, as well as rising tensions over Chinese Taipei, the South China Sea, and military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific.

China has repeatedly warned the US against extending its military presence in Asia and the Pacific.

Beijing says the United States military presence is a source of regional instability, reminding that Taiwan is an inevitable part of the Chinese territory and is an issue that is purely China's internal affair, which won't stand for any foreign interference.

Meanwhile, critics say the US is raking in a huge fortune by profiteering from conflicts around the world, with American-owned arms manufacturers being among the biggest winners.

US major weapons manufacturers, namely, Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, provide weapons to countries across the globe, making a great deal of money from all over the world by taking advantage of wars and conflicts.

According to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) global military spending passed $2 trillion in 2021.

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