National Dec 28, 2004

Defense Agency to retain civilian buffer around chief

The Defense Agency said Monday it would maintain the current system that allows only civilian officials to directly advise its director general. Self-Defense Forces officers and some lawmakers had demanded that uniformed officers be given more say in the operations of the nation's military. In August, ...

National Dec 25, 2004

Constitutional revision draft broke no law: probe

The Defense Agency has concluded that a senior Ground Self-Defense Force officer's recent drafting of a constitutional amendment did not breach the principle of civilian control over the military. The officer handed the draft to Gen Nakatani, a House of Representatives member and former Defense ...

National Dec 15, 2004

Tokyo, Washington sign missile-tech exchange agreement

Japan and the United States signed a pact Tuesday allowing "comprehensive cooperation" on transfers of technologies related to missile-defense systems. The agreement is expected to ramp up business between Japanese and American defense companies, which are eager to design, produce and sell missile defense systems ...

National Dec 11, 2004

Defense policy overhauled to meet new global threats

The government announced Friday plans to conduct a sweeping overhaul of its defense policy, adjusting Japan's armed forces to better handle new threats such as terrorism and giving them a greater global role. China and North Korea are identified in the review as key threats ...

National Dec 11, 2004

SDF set to shed its 'nonmilitary' shell

Since their establishment in 1954, the Self-Defense Forces have never had to be mobilized to defend Japan from attack. The forces over the last five decades of Cold War peace have instead often engaged in nonmilitary tasks as disaster relief. SDF elements have participated in international ...

National Dec 10, 2004

Long-range missile quest off defense buildup plan

The government will not begin controversial research into long-range precision missile technology, according to the fiscal 2005-2009 midterm defense buildup plan handed to the ruling bloc Thursday. The plan was to be approved Friday by the Cabinet together with the new National Defense Program Outline. The ...

National Dec 8, 2004

Japan to lift arms-export ban for U.S. missile shield project

The government's new basic defense policy will limit arms exports to missile defense-related products developed with the United States, and America would be the only recipient, politicians and government officials involved in this issue said Tuesday. The policy will be adopted later this week. The officials ...

National Dec 1, 2004

Arms export shift turns low key

The government will not stipulate the planned lifting of its self-imposed ban on arms exports when in the next week or so it adopts a new basic defense policy, according to politicians who attended the ruling coalition's security panel meeting Tuesday. Instead, the new policy ...

National Nov 25, 2004

Lack of action here gives human-trafficking low profile: ILO

Public awareness of human-trafficking is low in Japan because of slow government action and a lack of legislation that directly addresses the problem, according a draft report by the International Labor Organization obtained Wednesday. The report, "Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Japan," was compiled ...