By D. S. Rajan | Eurasia Review: At a time when China-Japan relations already remain severely hampered due to contentious issues like history (Japan’s role in the World War II) and territory (East China Sea), a series of sweeping changes in the security realm being pursued vigorously by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since he assumed power in December 2012, are likely to further exacerbate tensions between the two Asian powers in the coming years.
It is clear that changes being contemplated by Abe regime are largely in response to its evolved perceptions on the current level of threats to Japan’s security. Reflecting them are the contents of Japan’s latest annual Defence White Paper (July 21, 2015), which are sure to play a role in shaping the future contours of Abe’s security and foreign policies. The document’s ranking of China as the main source of security concerns, makes certain that Abe’s approach in the coming years will become more and more China-centric. The nationalistic leader will give more teeth to and expand the role of his country’s military backed by an amended constitution. Over all, it can be said that the ongoing Abe-led security policy transformation in Japan on the basis of his “proactive pacifism” concept, will have far-reaching implications for the power balance and security in Asia. Geo-political shifts in the Asia-Pacific region look a certainty and there is an urgent need for other major regional powers like India to carefully watch and respond to the emerging trends.