The Defense Ministry unveiled its first basic policy on the use of artificial intelligence on Tuesday, as Japan looks to stave off a manpower shortage and keep pace with China and the United States on the technology’s military applications.

The focus on AI comes as the Self-Defense Forces grapple with concerns about recruitment and its abilities to harness the power of new technologies.

“In our country, where the population is rapidly declining and aging, it is essential to utilize personnel more efficiently than ever before,” Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told a news conference after the policy’s release. “We believe that AI has the potential to be one of the technologies that can overcome these challenges.”