Blunt Talk From Japan's Defense Minister

Japan's Minister of Defense Satoshi Morimoto speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta(not in the picture) at the Pentagon, Washington D.C.,the United States, Aug. 3, 2012. U.S. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

'We Face a Very Serious Chinese Military Threat' -- Isaac Stone Fish, Foreign Policy

Japan's former defense minister talks to FP about cyberattacks, the East China Sea face-off, and whether North Korea's Kim Jong Un is a puppet dictator.

Over the weekend, when President Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's territorial disputes came up in conversation. The most pressing is China's claim on the Diaoyu, a small island chain administered by the Japanese, who call it the Senkakus. It's probably the most dangerous flashpoint in China's often tense relationship with Japan, and a big worry for Satoshi Morimoto, Japan's defense minister from July 2012 to December (he's now a professor at Takushoku University). The first defense minister since World War II who was not a member of the Diet, Japan's parliament, Morimoto is a defense expert, not a politician. In September, his government nationalized the Senkaku Islands, inciting protests across China; that a political outsider like Morimoto now calls China "an obvious threat" is all the more worrying.

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My Comment: He is blunt in his assessment that China is "an obvious threat" to Japan.

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