The Defense Ministry on July 26 made public an interim report for the nation's new defense program outline. Its focus is apparently on China's military buildup and increased naval presence and North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development programs.

While Japan needs to cope with the region's changing security situation in a coolheaded manner, the interim report indicates a path that deviates from Japan's postwar defense-only defense posture, which has contributed to gaining the international community's trust in Japan.

The interim report represents a dangerous view that could destabilize the region by provoking other states and raising suspicions about Japan's intentions among its neighbors, including South Korea. The government should approach the issue with care.