On Sunday, he told troops the "security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe".
"You will have to completely rid yourselves of the conventional notion that just the existence of a defence force could act as a deterrent."Global Times weighed in with a ferocious editorial addressing Abe's remarks to the Wall Street Journal:
Should one drone of China be fired upon, hostility between Beijing and Tokyo will be fully activated and the situation of Northeast Asia will topple like dominoes. The outbreak of a regional war is possible. Although the US' support to Japan is obvious, it's uncertain how the US will interfere. There is too much variance concerning where a China-Japan military clash will go.
China has not been involved in war for a long time but a war looms following Japan's radical provocation. China's comprehensive military power, including the navy, air force and the Second Artillery Force of the PLA, is stronger than Japan's. Once a war breaks out, China will also be able to bear the economic blow better than Japan.
Japan will stand up to China, says PM Shinzo AbeJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says other countries want Japan to adopt a more assertive leadership role in Asia to counter the growing power of China.Mr Abe told the Wall Street Journal there were "concerns that China was trying to change the status quo by force, rather than by the rule of law".…China said on Saturday that if Japan shot down Chinese drones, this would be considered "an act of war" by Beijing.The statement was referring to reports that Mr Abe had approved defence plans that envisaged using air force planes to shoot down unmanned Chinese aircraft in Japanese airspace.…In the interview, Mr Abe said he had realised that "Japan is expected to exert leadership not just on the economic front, but also in the field of security in the Asia-Pacific".He promised policies to counter Japan's waning influence.Other countries wanted Japan to stand up to China, Mr Abe said without naming any."There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won't be able to emerge peacefully," Mr Abe says.
"So it shouldn't take that path, and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community."The interview comes days after Mr Abe was reported to approved defence plans to intercept and shoot down foreign unmanned aircraft that ignore warnings to leave Japanese airspace.On Saturday, China's defence ministry responded saying: "If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war."We will undertake decisive action to strike back, with every consequence borne by the side that caused the trouble," spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry's website.
Abe Warns China on Island Spat as Japan Dispatches JetsJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned he wouldn’t permit China to use force to resolve territorial spats, as the renewed presence of Chinese aircraft near disputed islands led its neighbor to dispatch fighter jets.
Japan sent up fighter jets for a third day yesterday after Chinese aircraft flew between its southern islands without entering Japanese airspace, the Self-Defense Forces said on their website. [emphasis added]