With Japan facing a challenging regional security environment, Tokyo turned to drastically boosting the country’s defense capabilities, including that for counterstrikes, through completing a review of three key security-related documents — the National Security Strategy (NSS), the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP).

However, while there have been lots of plans announced on introducing new defense equipment such as long-range missiles, it appears there have been few discussions on the strategy itself — how Japan should fight using the increased defense spending and new defense equipment.

The government might be avoiding making the discussions public, taking into account diplomatic considerations and the sensitivity of the issue related to national security, but if a strategy becomes tacit knowledge without being put into words, people of different positions will interpret it differently and its true nature will become ambiguous.