TheGunslinger wrote:Uh, no.
The Japanese wouldn't be able to just turn around and develop a medium missle capability in a few days. Sure, you're probably using hyperbole, but even still their constitution forbids it.
You are, of course, right about not being able to pull missile tech out of a hat, but your point about the Japanese Constitution is not so valid.
I recently wrote a paper on why Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is becoming almost completely impotent, not least because despite not having an official military, they are one of the best armed countries in the world, being fifth in the world in terms of military expenditure in 2007. Having been involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns has brought Japan pretty much to the point where it is obvious that they have a military that is just called something else (it's actually technically a police force).
Of course, there are things that they have done to stay within the limits of the constitution, such as removing their F-4 Phantom's capabilities to refuel in mid-air so as to limit them to Japanese air space, but name me one other police force in the world that has F-4's at all.
I don't think that this is a bad thing though. Pretty much ever since the US drew up Article 9 they have wished that the Japanese could have had a proper armed force capable of being sent abroad to help in US conflicts. IMHO, it's about time they stopped screwing around and just amended their constitution. Call a spade a spade as it were. The Japanese public doesn't even really care one way or another according to numerous surveys. It's not like they would have to change much, such as their non-proliferation of nuclear weapons stance, nor would they have to have the US leave Japan.
I would be interested to see, hypothetically speaking, how the Japanese would respond to an attack on their territory. It's one thing to shoot down a missile that has entered their air space, it's another to strike back against the aggressor if he should retaliate against the loss of his missile.