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Document: Japan’s 2014 National Defense Program Guidelines

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Sailors aboard Japanese destroyer JS KONGO (DDG-173) watch pierside line handlers as the ship moors pierside Naval Station Pearl Harbor on Oct. 15, 2007. US Navy Photo

Sailors aboard Japanese destroyer JS KONGO (DDG-173) watch pierside line handlers as the ship moors pierside Naval Station Pearl Harbor on Oct. 15, 2007. US Navy Photo

From the Dec. 17, 2013 provisional translation of the Japanese National Defense Program guidelines:

While the probability of large-scale military conflicts between major countries presumably remains low, various security challenges and destabilizing factors are becoming more tangible and acute. As a result, the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly tense since the 2010 Guidelines.

As the security challenges and destabilizing factors are diverse and wide-ranging, it is difficult for a single country to deal with them on its own. It is increasingly necessary for countries which share interests in responding to such security challenges to actively respond in collaboration with each other for regional and global stability.

  • Brett Allen

    If you read the last page it seems like the JGSDF was losing quiet a few tanks and howitzers/rockets. I understand that they are introducing new tanks but why reducing from 600-300? Is this to help pay for the new ships for the JMSDF?

  • Gus

    Lots of talk about a remilitarized Japan recently, but just look at the numbers in the recent defense budgets. For example, Japan is still building one surface combatant and one submarine per year. A battalion’s worth of amphibious landing vehicles over the next five years. Even considering the new helicopter carriers and F-35 investments, the Japanese are not maintaining their regional status verses China. The proposed budget increases in FYs 13 and 14 do not bring defense spending back to what it was ten or twenty years ago. The increases will not even cover actual inflation. It appears Japan is not remilitarizing, but rather just not demilitarizing anymore.

  • gray_eagle

    Landing vehicles have their value…..but what value for Japan in the event of a conflict with China? There certainly is not going to be an invasion of China by Japan. By any accounts, it would be the other way around. Still, there is no reason for China to do such a thing. It is not in China’s interest to ruffle the feathers of Japan and the United States along with our collection of other allies in the region. Japan has sub chasers, as does the United States. Do you not think both nations are constantly on the hunt or following the activities of Chinese submarines? The United States has made it a strategic game for decades – following Soviet submarines around the world. Are we back into the MAD game? Mutually assured destruction? Our triad, boomer subs, nuclear bombers and ICBMs make any attack on the United States a suicide play by any nation. The Chinese are beefing up their military, but they have a long way to go to match the well traditioned and trained combat military and technologies of the United States. So, the Chinese can hit Alaska. The bomb had better be accurate, because it is illegal to cause avalanches in uninhabited real estate. Now, Hawaii is a different matter. There are a large number of battle boats here………..and a population of 1 million. Command and control. As the attack on Pearl Harbor was in 1941…..an attack would sting – however, not eliminate the ire and abilities of the US. The US has bases all over the Pacific – of ALL branches of the military with their respective technologies. With the military prowess of the US, the Chinese carriers would stay afloat no longer than the US will allow them to be.