Just came across Andrew Levidis’ pondering on the tired (but still relevant) theme of Japan at the crossroads:
[...] For just as Yamagata Aritomo and his protégés interpreted the era during and after the First World War as an ‘opportunity’ the triple disaster might similarly provide the impetus for a new definition of Japanese purpose. Such a purpose rests on the construction of a robust and flexible legislative framework for national security that replaces the artifice and evasions which characterised Yoshida and his successor’s post-war choices.
Concretely it entails the reinterpretation of the meaning of ‘war potential’ and revision of the Japanese Cabinet Legislation Bureau’s interpretation banning collective security, to permit the SDF to engage in collective action alongside the United States and its regional allies. This would permit Japan to deploy a ‘full spectrum’ military force configured toward a robust expeditionary and asymmetric capability and emphasising the expansion of special forces, intelligence and drone capabilities, the acquisition of fifth generation stealth fighters, and greater power projection platforms central to sustaining out of area operations. Such operational capabilities would provide Japan with the strategic option to respond rapidly to regional contingencies on the Korean peninsula or further afield to provide disaster relief in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It would provide Japan with the capability to assist ASEAN states if threatened and to forge deeper and more expansive security partnerships with Australia, India and South Korea. And it would finally replace Japan’s postwar ambivalence and artifice with an active commitment to regional security and prosperity.
A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan.
His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch