January 12, 2023

Ukraine, Japan and the Korean War’s 21st-Century Parallel

When Russian forces surged into Ukraine in February 2022, the conflict seemed to spell calamity for the U.S.-led order in Asia. Just as Washington was turning its attention to the Indo-Pacific, a conflagration in Europe promised to distract America from the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party. But nearly a year later, the Ukraine war hasn’t doomed the balance of power in Asia; instead, it may be stabilizing it.

Rather than foreshadowing deadlier and more destructive wars to come, Ukraine’s struggle could provide the path to averting them.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Japan, whose prime minister, Fumio Kishida, visits the White House Friday following historic changes in Tokyo’s national-security and military strategies. Among the bold moves announced last month: a pledge to double defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product by 2027 and to add powerful new capabilities such as long-range missiles to its arsenal. This means that Japan, currently the world’s ninth-largest military spender, could move to third place within five years, behind only the U.S. and China. Already this year its defense budget is due to grow more than 25%.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.

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