Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Let the real work of modernizing Japan’s defense begin

Japan has been engaged in the steady – some would say “relentless” – modernization of its national security policies and processes for more than a decade.

This evolution has largely focused on identifying the challenges the country faces in an increasingly dangerous world. The seminal moment in this transformation, what some are calling “a historic shift,” was the publication in December 2022 of three documents – the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy and the Defense Build-up Program – that outlined how Tokyo saw the world and the steps it would take actions to respond to this threat environment.

Now the government must turn that vision into reality. This promises to be even more difficult than formulating the new strategy, because it will require a restructuring of the defense bureaucracy, endanger vested interests, exacerbate budgetary problems, intensify competition for funds and, ultimately, raise real, heretofore abstract concerns about Japan’s assumption of a more prominent regional position. and global security role.

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