English Reading Comprehension with Detailed Explanation – IBPS, SSC Exam (Day-12)

English Reading Comprehension with Detailed Explanation – IBPS, SSC Exams (Day-12):

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Direction (1-10): Read the passage below and answer the following questions.

Caught between North Korea’s provocative weapon testing and a tense territorial dispute with an ascendant China, Japan is being forced to confront the contradictions between its constitutionally mandated post-Second World War pacifism and the realities of its precarious topography. In the last few weeks, North Korea has tested a powerful nuclear bomb as well as sent an intermediate-range ballistic missile flying directly over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The result is a new urgency to long-held debates in Japan related to developing more muscular military capabilities, including a possible constitutional revision.

Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution explicitly states the decision to “forever renounce war as a sovereign right” and to eschew the maintenance of military forces. This pacifist stance has been facilitated by a security alliance with the U.S. that commits the latter to defending the archipelago in the event of an attack. Article 9 has been reinterpreted several times. Since 1954, Japan has had a self-defence force (SDF), which has over the decades grown into a 2,50,000-strong military, trained to use some of the most cutting-edge defence equipment in all of Asia. These include fourth-generation battle tanks, licence-built Apache attack helicopters and modern reconnaissance drones.

However, substantial cultural, legal and budgetary restrictions on Japan’s military capabilities remain in place. For example, ‘offensive’ weapons like bombers and long-range ballistic missiles are not permitted to the SDF and nuclear weapons are a huge taboo. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a nationalist for whom the country’s pacifism is misguided. In 2015, he revised the SDF law to permit “collective self-defence”, giving the green light for Japan to come to the military aid of allies under attack. This revision was met with huge public protests and Mr. Abe’s plans for a constitutional revision — he has set a 2020 deadline for it — are a major reason for which his approval ratings dropped to 20% in July. However, North Korea’s provocations are playing into the Prime Minister’s hands. A recent poll conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper shows that following Pyongyang’s latest tests, Mr. Abe’s ratings have rebounded to 50%.

The Japanese media are currently full of security experts calling for Tokyo to develop pre-emptive strike capabilities. The purchase of cruise missiles is being mulled. And the Defence Ministry has announced a record ¥5.26-trillion ($48 billion) budget for 2018, which would cover the purchase defence systems such as land-based Aegis Ashore interceptors.

Some analysts are even suggesting that Japan reconsider its aversion to nuclear weapons. Mr. Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump have responded to North Korea’s testing with avowals of mutual support. However, on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump had criticised Japan for riding on U.S. military power, suggesting that Tokyo acquire its own nuclear deterrent to avoid an over-reliance on the U.S.

By demonstrating that it can attack U.S. military outposts like Guam and possibly even drop a nuclear bomb on the U.S. mainland, North Korea has shaken the foundations of Japan’s national security. Washington’s commitment to protect Japan is based on the idea that the American mainland would remain safe from North Korean retaliation. However, this is no longer certain. What does look certain, however, is that Japanese “pacifism” is in for an update.

  1. Which of the following has been stated in Article 9 of the Japan’s Constitution?
  1. War and violence are unjustifiable and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means.
  2. Military forces should be equipped with most cutting-edge defence technology.
  3. In order to protect the sovereign rights of the country, Japan should maintain security alliances with powerful nations like the U.S.
  1. Only I
  2. Only II
  3. Only III
  4. Only I and II
  5. Only II and III
  1. Which of the following is the reason for the plunge in Shinzo Abe’s approval ratings?
  1. North Korea’s provocative weapon testing worked in favour of the Prime Minister’s ratings.
  2. Abe’s nationalist ideas were misguided.
  3. Abe planned for a constitutional revision by 2020 to strengthen the defence laws.
  4. Abe was supported by his U.S. counterparts.
  5. None of these
  1. Which of the following(s) is/are true in context of the passage?
  1. With a 2,50,000-strong military, fourth-generation battle tanks, licence-built Apache attack helicopters and modern reconnaissance drones, Japan is self-sufficient in its defence sector.
  2. The U.S. Government is now apprehensive over Japan’s aversion to nuclear weapons.
  3. North Korea was criticized for its recent nuclear tests over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido
  1. Only I
  2. Only I and III
  3. Only II and III
  4. Only II
  5. None of these
  1. Which of the following can replace the word ‘ascendant’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Divergent
  2. Principle
  3. Flourish
  4. Decline
  5. None of these
  1. What was the recent announcement made by the Defence Ministry of Japan?
  1. Announcement of  a 5.26-trillion ($48 billion) budget for the procurement of cruise missiles.
  2. Announcement of  a 5.26-trillion ($48 billion) budget for the procurement of cruise missiles.
  3. Announcement of  a 5.26-trillion ($48 billion) budget for the procurement of nuclear weapons.
  4. Announcement of  a 5.26-trillion ($48 billion) budget for the procurement of long range ballistic missiles.
  5. Announcement of  a 5.26-trillion ($48 billion) budget for the procurement of interceptor aircrafts.
  1. Which of the following is the most opposite in meaning to the word ‘aversion’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Force
  2. Desire
  3. Loathe
  4. Hostile
  5. Contemplate
  1. What can be said about Japan’s ties with other nations?
  1. The US Government has held strategic partnership with Japan.
  2. Japan has territorial dispute with China.
  3. The ‘pacifism’ policy maintained by Japan has been criticized by other nations.
  1. Only I and II
  2. Only II and III
  3. Only I and III
  4. Only II
  5. Only I
  1. Which of the following can replace the word ‘eschew’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Keep
  2. Strengthen
  3. Abstain
  4. Indulge
  5. Satiate
  1. Which of the following(s) is/are not true in context of the passage?
  1. North Korea has outgrown US in terms of nuclear weapons.
  2. North Korea has threatened US with a possible nuclear war.
  3. North Korea has tested powerful nuclear bombs and sent missiles over Japanese territory.
  1. Only II
  2. Only I and II
  3. Only I
  4. Only I and III
  5. Only III
  1. What is the most opposite in meaning to the word ‘provocative’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Anguish
  2. Nag
  3. Annoy
  4. Stimulate
  5. Soothe

 

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