Japan’s 2022 National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy

December 20, 2022 10:38 AM

The following is the provisional English translation of the December 2022 National Security Strategy of Japan and the Japanese National Defense Strategy.

From the report

The international community is facing changes defining an era. We are reminded once again that globalization and interdependence alone cannot serve as a guarantor for peace and development across the globe. The free, open, and stable international order, which expanded worldwide in the post-Cold War era, is now at stake with serious challenges amidst historical changes in power balances and intensifying geopolitical competitions. Meanwhile, a host of issues such as climate change and infectious disease crises are emerging, requiring cross-border cooperation among nations. Today, we are in an era where confrontation and cooperation are intricately intertwined in international relations.

To date, advanced democratic countries, including Japan, have devoted themselves to upholding universal values such as freedom, democracy, respect for fundamental human rights, and the rule of law, and to spearheading the effort to shape the international society of coexistence and coprosperity. Numerous countries around the world, including developing countries, have also enjoyed the fruits of international peace, stability, and economic development in this globalized world rooted in such order.

At the same time, however, dissatisfaction stemming from widening economic disparities and other factors are generating renewed feelings of tensions at the domestic level and even in inter-state relations. Guided by their own historical views and values, some nations, not sharing universal values, are making attempts to revise the existing international order. In the course of almost a century, humanity has invested itself in defining a fundamental international principle of the general prohibition of the use of force. Yet, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (hereinafter referred to as the “UN Security Council”), which has the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, has overtly trampled on this very principle.

This is coupled with ongoing unilateral changes to the status quo and such attempts at sea.
In addition, some states, not sharing universal values, are exploiting unique approaches to rapidly develop their economies and science technologies, and then, in some areas, are gaining superiorities over those states that have defended academic freedom and market economy principles. These moves challenge the existing international order, thereby intensifying geopolitical competitions in international relations. In the face of that, many developing and other nations are striving to avoid embroiling themselves in geopolitical competitions. We are even observing that some states are now following the lead of those not sharing universal values.

At a time when geopolitical competition is intensifying, issues are arising elsewhere in the world which call for global cooperation at large. We live in an era where there is a greater imperative than ever before for the international community to rally together in cooperation beyond differences in values, conflicts of interest, and others for the sake of taking on those global challenges that transcend national borders and put the very existence of humankind at risk such as climate change and infectious disease crises.

Turning our eyes to the neighboring region, Japan’s security environment is as severe and complex as it has ever been since the end of World War II. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has easily breached the very foundation of the rules that shape the international order. The possibility cannot be precluded that a similar serious situation may arise in the future in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in East Asia. Across the globe, historical changes in power balances, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, are occurring. In addition, in the vicinity of Japan, military buildups, including of nuclear weapons and missiles, are rapidly advancing, coupled with mounting pressures by unilaterally changing the status quo by force. Moreover, grey zone situations over territories, cross-border cyberattacks on critical civilian infrastructures, and information warfare through spread of disinformation, are constantly taking place, thereby further blurring the boundary between contingency and peacetime. Furthermore, the scope of national security has expanded to include those fields previously considered non-military such as economic, technological and others, and thus the boundary between military and nonmilitary fields is no longer clear-cut either.

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