2019 is coming to a close, offering observers a chance to take stock of what the year has meant for Japan's security.

There is a lot to digest, whether it was the inclusion of a new economic unit in the National Security Secretariat, the lingering rift between Japan and South Korea since the P-1 radar lock incident last December or the initiation of Japan's F-35 operations from Misawa Air Base, among others.

From this observer's vantage point, there were three issues of particular note in Japanese security heading into 2020, or as I label them: The good, the bad, and the ugly.