A Japan-U.S. interim report proposes that geographical restrictions on the activities of the Self-Defense Forces in support of U.S. military operations be removed as part of a tremendous shift in Japan's defense posture.
The Defense Ministry's fiscal 2015 budgetary request of ¥5.05 trillion is the largest ever and represents a 3.5 percent rise from the current year's budget. It is the third-straight year-on-year increase.
The Abe administration must consider whether its new policy that relaxes Japan's long-standing prohibitions against weapons exports could increase tension with other countries and thereby reduce national security.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera indicated Saturday that he will consider rearranging the ministry's so-called defense officers posted in Japanese embassies to enhance its intelligence-gathering operations abroad.