In my last posting on Monday, I alluded to the situation around the world, but refused to directly address it. While I would like to move on to the more mundane things closer to home, it just might be worth taking a minute and mentioning what is so unique about Japan’s latest stance. This past weekend, Japan’s Defense Minister announced that the Japanese Defense Forces, more specifically their Navy, have been ordered to intercept any missile launched by North Korea. There is little question that the Japanese Navy has the capability, skill, and training to make this a reality. What makes this truly unique to me is that it is a departure from the more pacifistic stance which the Japanese Government has taken since World War II. There has been a great deal of debate in Japan here of late, regarding their involvement around the world in operations related to piracy, drugs, etc., and now we’re hearing for the first time a specific order to take a more aggressive defense action against a foreign power. It is my opinion that the paradigm shift is beginning to gather a little speed in Japan, and it will be interesting to see how far they will step up their efforts over the next few years to address their regional role. Certainly, a growing Chinese Military presence in the region is part of the equation, while the disputed territory in the South China Sea is another part. Regardless, this will be one more thing to watch as we move forward in the Pacific Region. ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.