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Analysis of Japan's Increased Defense Spending

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

The peace-loving culture of Japan and its recent history of technological breakthroughs are what make it famous. To modernise its military and strengthen its capacity to counter regional challenges, Japan has taken initiatives in recent years to raise the defense budget.

modern fighter jets, Japan's PM Fumio Kishida, USA President Joe Biden, Increased Defense Spending

Image Graphics by Team Geostrata

Japan's rising defense spending is mostly due to the Asia-Pacific region's shifting security environment. China has acted more assertively in the South China Sea in recent years, pursuing territorial claims that are contested by other nations in the region.

Moreover, North Korea continuously strives to enhance its ballistic and nuclear programs. Furthermore, the United States, Japan's closest defense ally, has announced its intention to withdraw from the region and concentrate on other matters, which has caused Japan to become increasingly concerned about its territorial sovereignty.

The Japanese government has acted to enhance its defense spending in response to these difficulties. For instance, Japan has expanded its military by adding new armored units and soldiers, as well as modern fighter jets (the GCAP development program between UK-Italy-Japan), amphibious vehicles, and missile defense systems like the JNAAM program supported by the British MoD. In addition, Japan has worked to strengthen its information-collecting capability and has taken steps to increase its capacity to work together on regional security matters with nations like South Korea and Australia.

Even so, Japan still has a long way to go before it can achieve its objectives. One of the major concerns is to strike a balance between its military prowess and its constitutional limitations on the use of force. The post-World War II constitution of Japan restricts its military to acts of self-defense and peacekeeping and forbids it from taking part in aggressive military actions. As a result, Japan's military capabilities and defense budget must be carefully weighed against its constitutional obligations and its global responsibilities under the United Nations Charter.

China has expressed alarm over Japan's growing defense spending and has accused Japan of trying to develop a more aggressive military posture. However, some of Japan's neighbors are worried that Japan may start to impose itself more in regional affairs due to its strengthened military capabilities. Japan must take steps to engage in communication with other nations in the region and reassure them of its intentions and commitment to regional stability in order to avert these problems.

The potential effects of Japan's increased defense spending must also be addressed. As a result of Japan's improved military capabilities, other nations may respond by enhancing their own military capabilities, which might raise the likelihood of conflict in the region. The increasing defense spending in Japan may also result in larger government debt, possibly having long-term effects on the country's economy and its capacity to address other urgent internal and international challenges.

In conclusion, Japan's increased defense spending is apparently a direct response to the changing security landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. While Japan faces significant challenges in achieving its goals, it must continue to balance its military capabilities with its constitutional and regional commitments. Ultimately, the success of Japan's policy shift will depend on its ability to navigate the aforementioned complex challenges and achieve its goals in a manner that is consistent with its culture and its commitment to regional stability.





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