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Report on Japanese Military Power 2012 (17)

(People's Daily Online)

10:57, July 19, 2013

B. Trend of development after the revision of “Three Principles on Arms Exports”

In December, 2011, the Noda administration agreed to relax significantly the ban on arms exports, based on “Three Principles on Arms Exports”, allowing Japan to participate in international joint development and production of defense equipment and to provide equipment to humanitarian operations. According to various analyses at the time, the revision was intended not only to tackle domestic industrial and economic problems, but also to promote and extend defense cooperation between Japan and Southeast-Asian countries, European countries, Australia, and India. What followed proved that such analyses were right. The world is concerned with what Japan would do in terms of arms exports after the revision.

In 2012, Japan made substantial progress in arms exports and international joint R&D. As mentioned earlier in the report, Japan provided defense equipment including patrol ships to the Philippines and Vietnam with ODA. It was reported by TBS in May, 2012 that Japan would provide patrol ships to the Philippines and Vietnam as part of strategic ODA. The Japanese authorities confirmed in July, 2012 that Japan would provide 12 advanced patrol ships to Philippine Coast Guard in order to improve its maritime capabilities. Relevant consultations between the two countries have already begun. Also, on April 10th, 2012, Prime Minister Noda and his British counterpart Mr. Cameron reached an agreement on joint R&D of weapons equipment, the first such agreement since Japan significantly eased the “Three Principles on Arms Exports”. In line with this new development, in September, 2012, the ministerial-level defense talks between Japan and Australia laid out the guidelines for joint weapons R&D between the two countries. After that, “Japanese Economic News” reported on February 18th, 2013 that Japanese Ministry of Defense was considering transferring submarine technology to Australia. In addition, it was reported by Kyodo News Service on July 7th, 2012 that Japan had begun negotiating with France on joint R&D of weapons equipment, hoping to cooperate with France which has already possessed cutting-edge technology for high-performance fighters. Again, according to Yomiuri Shimbun report on March 25th, 2013, the Japanese government expressed on the previous day its intention to export US-2 rescue hydroplanes to India, and the two countries were now engaged in negotiations on the export.


What can be concluded from the above analysis and assessment of Japanese military buildup in 2012 is that Japanese military force is essentially a well-equipped, highly-trained, medium-scale armed force with a large defense budget and advanced technologies although it is supposed to be restrained by the Peace Constitution and is titled a “Self-Defense Force”. It is now undergoing significant transformation. Japan has been expanding the objectives and enriching the approaches for its security and defense strategies. It seeks to ensure its national security interests by way of self-reliance and multi-layer cooperation. In terms of the trends of military buildup, Japan formulated the concept of “Dynamic Defense Force” in support of U.S. strategic rebalance towards East Asia; it also promoted “Dynamic Defense Cooperation” between Japan and the U.S., focusing on rapid maneuver, active response, and dynamic deterrence. As a result, Japan has become increasingly more active and offensive in its military operations. In terms of foreign security cooperation, Japan continues to enhance multilateral security cooperation between Japan and the U.S., ROK, Australia, India, and ASEAN countries in the form of “Japan plus X” or “Japan-U.S. plus X” on the basis of Japan-U.S. alliance. In terms of its policy towards China, while emphasizing military exchanges between the two countries, Japan has intensified its efforts to contain and hedge against China. Specific measures include enhancing surveillance and reconnaissance of China, reinforcing military deployment on “Southwestern islands”, highlighting military means in dealing with disputes over the Diaoyu Islands, and being proactively engaged in the South China Sea issues. These measures and trends of development have imposed pressure on China’s peripheral as well as regional security environment. They have also brought uncertainties and negative impacts on the healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】 【6】 【7】 【8】 【9】 【10】
【11】 【12】 【13】 【14】 【15】 【16】 【17】

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:ZhangQian、Chen Lidan)

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