The Military Strategy of Japan


Japan’s defence strategy set for a boost after PM attends the annual military review ceremony. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reviewed troops from the country’s Ground Self-Defence Force on Saturday, November 27, 2021, saying he will consider strengthening its capability. According to South China Morning Post, the inspection was part of the country’s annual review ceremony, which was scaled down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Kishida expressed concerns over national security, citing military build-ups in North Korea and China. On Friday, the government approved plans to add US$6.75 billion to military spending. The extra funds will be used to fast-track upgrades to air and maritime defences. 

Moreover, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that he will consider enemy base strike capabilities to boost defense despite critics saying it violates the country’s pacifist constitution.

Japan’s new guidelines for overseas operation by the country’s Self-Defense Forces are not aimed at Russia or China. On the other side, Japan’s pro-active policy serves the maintenance of the balance of power in East Asia, which in its turn fits the interest of Russia and China. Japan is obliged also not to possess any nuclear weapons, while its neighbors are building up huge potentials

The Japanese government even under the current Constitution may use a minimum of military force to remove the threat. However, the constitution forbids the country from having armed forces, not to speak of sending them abroad. The Constitution states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes,” and that “in order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.” The reality, however, is different: Japan, the Constitution notwithstanding, de facto possesses modern and highly efficient Self-Defense Forces.

The reasoning behind this is that immediately after World War II the United States wanted to deprive Japan of all armed forces, and imposed the article above. Soon thereafter, however, Washington began to have second thoughts, and eagerly helped Japan to rearm for use in the Korean War. Then, the “Self-Defense Forces” were hastily formed – on a presumption that “self- defense” was not “a war activity” and thus did not constitute a violation of the Constitution. Nevertheless, Japan refused to send those forces to Korea, pointing to the Constitution which had been imposed by the Americans. In other words, Japan utilized the U.S. pressure to regain a means for “individual self-defense”, but did not agree to “collective self-defense,” that is joint military action with the United States. Since then the United States had been complaining that Japan was a “free rider” in security affairs.

Finally, Japan started to augment its contribution to the U.S. security efforts, in order to keep the Japan-U.S. alliance intact. Japan passed a law, which allowed sending the Self Defense Forces abroad for UN peace-keeping operations and during the Iraq War the Japanese government had a special law adopted by the Parliament designed to allow deployment of the Self Defense Forces to Iraq to take part in the multi-national force authorized by the UN.


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