Sunday, 22 July 2012

Understanding Japan's Defense Policy

Japan's Self-Defense Force (SDF)

Recently, the security environment around Japan and East Asia is quite challenging due to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and China’s increasing military budget and modernization. In addition, the issues of Taiwan and unification of the Korean peninsula, and maritime territorial disputes such as the Spratly Island., Paracel Islands, and the Scarborough Shoal have soured bilateral relations among some countries and continue to destabilize peace in East Asia as a whole. In general, it is a conflict-prone environment and necessary policy implications are needed to be considered in order to prevent escalation of conflicts. On the other hand, all of these issues prompt the need to have a strong multilateral security forum in East Asia and also in the Asia-Pacific, especially ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and East Asia Summit (EAS) to improve the security environment and promote trust among all countries. For Japan, as an island nation, its security issue is indispensable with Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) which is not only the route of supply for its economic activities, but also its maritime security and cooperation.