Ishihara says U.S. can’t win war with China, calls U.S forces incompetent


Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 07:57 JST
WASHINGTON — Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara used a speech in the U.S. capital Thursday to convey his views on China, arguing that economic containment is the best strategy because the United States would “certainly” lose a war with China, which he said would not hesitate to sacrifice its people on a massive scale when fighting against an enemy.
“In any case, if tension between the United States and China heightens, if each side pulls the trigger, though it may not be stretched to nuclear weapons, and the wider hostilities expand, I believe America cannot win as it has a civic society that must adhere to the value of respecting lives,” Ishihara said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that was primarily focused on China.
The governor, an outspoken politician known for his nationalistic views, also said U.S. ground forces, with the exception of the Marines, are “extremely incompetent.”
“Therefore, we need to consider other means to counter China,” he said. “The step we should be taking against China, I believe, is economic containment.”
Ishihara said while China would begin a war without hesitation at the cost of massive human casualties, the United States has found that the deaths of only 2,000 troops in Iraq has created major domestic problems.
“I believe we are placed in a high degree of tension that poses greater danger than the Cold War structure between the United States and Russia posed,” he said.
Ishihara said China would be unlikely to use the conventional nuclear tactic of pinpointing attacks on nuclear facilities instead of cities out of fear of retaliatory strikes.
China would attack major cities even at the cost of retaliatory U.S. nuclear strikes on such cities as Shanghai, which would entail a huge loss of civilian lives, Ishihara said.
Noting some American politicians believe China will move toward democracy and that some people say there will be elections in the near future, Ishihara said, “I believe such predictions are totally wrong.”
As for Japan building up its own defense capability, Ishihara said the United States is the country most opposed to such a move, while China is next in opposition.
Ishihara also said the security treaty between Japan and the United States is “so undependable.”
Later in the day, Ishihara held talks with U.S. Defense Deputy Undersecretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Richard Lawless to discuss the realignment of the U.S. military presence in Japan.
The governor has been calling for civilian use of Yokota Air Base in Tokyo.
Ishihara, who arrived in Washington on Wednesday, will move to New York on Friday to watch Sunday’s New York City Marathon to prepare for a large-scale marathon in Tokyo in February 2007.
© 2005 Kyodo News. All rights reserved. No reproduction or republication without written permission.

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