How Japan might use its military in the future


The Abe administration’s reinterpretation of the war-renouncing Constitution to allow greater use of military force in defending other countries is one of the biggest changes ever to Japan’s postwar security policy.

The administration has given a range of examples as to how the Self-Defense Forces might used when related laws are updated later this year. They include scenarios in which troops might:

Defend U.S. warships.

Troops could protect U.S. warships under attack from a third country near Japanese waters, before an imminent, direct attack on Japan, because cooperation with the U.S. military is considered essential to secure Japan’s own survival.

Intercept ships for inspection.

Troops might forcibly stop vessels for inspection when they are believed to be carrying weapons to a third country that is attacking U.S. warships in the region, when the battle seems likely to spill over to Japan — a step currently considered unconstitutional and prohibited as use of force.

Shoot down a missile fired at the U.S.

The SDF could intercept a ballistic missile that is flying over the Japanese archipelago heading toward Hawaii, the U.S. territory of Guam or the U.S. mainland, and when requested by America to do so.

Protect peacekeepers abroad.

SDF personnel could rescue civilians engaged in U.N.-backed peacekeeping operations that come under attack, using weapons if necessary to defend those civilians.

Minesweeping in the Middle East.

A plan still being contemplated would allow Japanese forces to participate in U.N.-led multinational minesweeping efforts to secure sea lanes in the Middle East, such as in the Strait of Hormuz, arguably crucial lifelines for resource-poor Japan.

  • wada

    It was a big relief to change interpretation. It is time to repulse armed provocations.

    • Patrick Lovell

      Your comment is pretty cryptic. Changing the interpretation of the Japanese Constitution — Article Nine — is a big relief to whom? It is certainly not a big relief to me or to the millions of Asians that Japan ran over in the Pacific War. Nor is it justified. and it i time to repulse armed provocations? What in the world are you talking about?
      Lets get real here. Does Abe really believe that Japan needs this revision to help the US Navy?
      This argument is laughably absurd and shows just how far this dangerously right-leaning government will go to change a constitution that has been working pretty well for almost 70 years.
      This marks the beginning of a slippery slope toward irradiating Article Nine altogether and nothing more. Abe is counting on the people of Japan to continue to keep their collective heads buried in the sand and will not stop until they get the modifications they want so dearly and arm Japan — including nuclear weapons.
      Japan should remember that the last time they went out onto a slippery slope things didn’t work out very well!

      • wada

        Nice to meet you. Thank you for reply.
        I deeply think this article thanks to you.

        Patrick Lovell said:”Changing the interpretation of the Japanese Constitution — Article Nine — is a big relief to whom? ”

        Patrick Lovell said:”It is certainly not a big relief to me or to the millions of Asians that Japan ran over in the Pacific War. ”
        I understand your comment. But you mistake the Japan.

        Patrick Lovell said:”What in the world are you talking about?”
        I live in Japan in the earth. Where do you live in a space?

        Patrick Lovell said:”Lets get real here.”
        I agree with you. I show you the real.

        Chinese official ship has intruded the territorial waters of Japan since 2008.
        Chinese intrusion amounts to 304.
        The emergency takeoff to China amounts to 415 in 2013.

        If you don’t live in Japan, you don’t worry about Chinese military power.
        Chinese army troops: 160 million people.
        Chinese navy ships: 970 vessels.
        Chinese air force: 2580 fighters.

        And Chinese hold a lot of the nuclear weapons

        But Japan self-defense force is lower than China and don’t hold the nuclear weapons.
        Japan army troops: 1.4 million people.
        Japan navy ships: 141 vessels.
        Japan air force: 410 fighters.

        THIS IS REAL. What is your real?

        Patrick Lovell said:”Does Abe really believe that Japan needs this revision to help the US Navy?”
        I don’t answer your question correctly. You will visit his official site and ask this question again.

        Step 1: you put “Abe shinzou” into Google.
        Step 2: you fine the “衆議院議員 安倍晋三 公式サイト”.
        Step 3: you click “お問合せ” at the top right in the official site.
        Step 4: you fill in “お問合せ内容”, “お名前(匿名可)”, “年齢”, “性別”.

        you write your question on “お問合せ内容”.
        you write your name or nick name on “お名前(匿名可)”.
        you write your age on “年齢”.
        you write your sex on “性別”.

        After that, you click “入力確認画面へ”. Then confirmation page will appear. You clike “送信する” and finish!
        I hope that your question will be solved.

        Patrick Lovell said:”Japan should remember that the last time they went out onto a slippery slope things didn’t work out very well!”
        Thank you very much for worry about Japan. I hope that the East Asia will be keeping pacific.

        Have a nice day.

      • Patrick Lovell

        Mr Wada,
        Please refrain from commenting on my posts as you do not address any of the issues or points that I make either because you do not understand what I am saying or because I cannot make any sense out of your English. And for your information, I live in Japan and have for over 40 years, so please do not pull the race card on me.

      • wada

        Mr. Lovell.

        My purpose is not to blame you. I deleted your comment at my 2nd comment.

        Have a good Friday night.

  • Upageya

    Yes, Wada, that is so true.

    After all, it is the Chinese with North Korean support of course, who have loads of nuclear weapons just a few miles from the US coast stationed, while the US army never leaves the homeland, or even starts wars or invades other countries.

    Right on! USA! USA! USA!

    On the other side, of course, the Japanese people of course have the right vote in a government like this one, that is all for Japan remaining the largest aircraft carrier of the US. If Japan’s people that is what they want to be, fair enough….

  • Enabling SDF to exercise the right of collective self-defense is a long-awaited dream for Prime Minister Abe.
    Prime Minister Abe promises that Japan never will go into any wars.
    As a matter of course, China and Korea are against the current movement of Abe regime.
    However, it is good way to be prepared for any contingencies, whatever they are unrealistic.
    In this way, possibility of being at war might be fostered.
    Holding national referendum may be better way.

  • Gerard White

    So Japan will assist American troops at war? Now lets see, which wars in the past 50 years are worth sacrificing Japanese lives? The illegal war in Iraq? The pointless war in Afghanistan? Perhaps the illegal war against Nicaragua, Napalm kids in Vietnam? 500Lb Daisy cutters on villages in Cambodia?
    I wonder, if Abe were to ask the people of Japan; What would you rather spend trillions of Yen on, building homes for the thousands of citizens still living in temporary shelters and school gymnasiums since the tsunami / nuclear disaster March 2011 or on military equipment to send your children to be killed in battle supporting capitalist wars against any socialist country.
    Does any right thinking person seriously think China would start war with America? Why on earth should they, if they wanted America all they have to do is foreclose on the trillions of US$ treasury bonds it holds, enough to buy all the real estate in America, all the companies on the American stock exchange and fund a new political party which gave Americans a fair share of the wealth the country creates instead of allowing tax breaks for the privileged 1%

    It’s far more likely that America, would start war with China, and to do so, they would need the financial support of Japan, just as they have in Kuwait 1991, Afghanistan, 2001, Iraq 2003. So now instead of simply funding American wars, Abe is saying the Japanese will send Japanese children to fight and die in American wars too?

    Abe should hold a referendum of the Japanese people, you want to send your children to die fighting for the country that dropped nuclear bombs on Japan, or do you want to save your treasure to spend on building homes and infrastructure needed by so many thousands who’s lives were devastated in 2011.