Established in 1974, the Journal of Japanese Studies features original, analytically rigorous articles from across the humanities and social sciences, including comparative and transnational scholarship in which Japan plays a major part

Hughes 50:1


Japan’s “Three National Security Documents” and Defense Capabilities: Reinforcing a Radical Military Trajectory

Japan’s government argues that its 2022 three national security documents are at the same time transformational and yet maintain overall continuity in military and security policy.  This article through investigating pivotal aspects of the defense reforms—perceived threats and strategy, defense budgets, counterstrike doctrine and capabilities, first island chain defense, and domestic policy and public resolve for implementation—weighs the strength of arguments for essential continuity versus step change.  It concludes that the three documents fundamentally change Japan’s exclusively defense-oriented policy and the division of labor in the U.S.-Japan alliance, further accelerate Japan’s radical military trajectory, and pose important implications for regional security.

Volume 50, Number 1 (Winter 2024)
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