In early April, Japan deployed its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) abroad to join a multinational force not connected to the United Nations. This is the first time that SDF personnel will participate in overseas peacekeeping operations not under UN control. The difference may not seem important, but it is.
May 3, 2019 Foreign Policy
Recent meetings and otherwise relative calm between China and Japan may give the impression that their ties are improving. But because of their strategic competition and fundamental differences, it is more likely than not that their current rapprochement will fail.
Dec 7, 2018 Debating Japan (CSIS)
Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has significantly increased capabilities to meet increasing regional security challenges. But Tokyo may need to do more to manage the complex security environment surrounding Japan.
Dec 6, 2018 War on the Rocks
Japan may never be a global leader in a way comparable to the United States. But Tokyo does have the power to provide critical leadership that will sustain key elements of the crumbling international order.
Oct 30, 2018 Foreign Policy
Shinzo Abe has cemented his position as Japan's prime minister for the next three years. Now he is expected to make a concerted push for revising the Constitution, which has not been amended since 1947. But the Japanese public is not convinced of the need to revise the Constitution, making his efforts likely to fail.
Oct 10, 2018 The Japan Times
Japan has not possessed an aircraft carrier in more than 70 years. But that may soon change as the Japanese government is debating retrofitting a class of destroyers to turn them into aircraft carriers. Considering both operational needs and resources limitations, does an aircraft carrier for Japan make sense?
Oct 5, 2018 Defense One
For nearly 20 years, Japan has used the North Korea threat as a legitimate rationale to build its missile defense system and cooperate closely with the U.S. in its development. This argument remains as true today as it was before the flurry of regional diplomacy began earlier this year.
Aug 20, 2018 Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan has stakes in the outcome of regional diplomacy involving North Korea. It could play a role far beyond simply writing checks for an agreement, but has not held any bilateral meetings with the other actors. Diplomats hoping to fit their approach to the realities of the geopolitical situation could benefit from Japan's active involvement.
Jun 27, 2018 The Japan Times
After a year and half of relative stability, the The United States and Japan now must talk about difficult issues in which they have vested interests. As allies, and close friends, they could both benefit from reconfirming common goals and establishing a set of strategies to deal with challenges.
Apr 17, 2018 CNN
Despite Abe’s legislative majority, it is unclear whether he has enough political capital to convince the public of the need for a constitutional revision on the Self-Defense Force. Japan’s security policies are heavily constrained by legal and normative constraints and Abe’s plan would likely do little more than codify the status quo.
Mar 21, 2018 War on the Rocks
The countries of the Quadrilateral Security Framework are the region's four most capable maritime powers, and are naturally concerned with China's assault on international rules and norms. If ever put in place, the Quad could contribute to the maintenance of security and order in the Indo-Pacific maritime commons.
Feb 22, 2018 Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (CSIS)
Washington may need to encourage Seoul to find ways to cooperate with Tokyo in confronting threats from the region's revisionist actors, rather than picking fights with Japan.
Jan 7, 2018 The Diplomat
After Japan's election, observers immediately began speculating about its impact on constitutional reform. While parties in favor of constitutional revision have secured enough seats to pass the legislative hurdle needed to revise Japan's basic law, the road ahead is much more complicated.
Oct 31, 2017 Foreign Affairs
Japan's pacifist constitution allows it to exercise force only when its survival is threatened and there are no other means to repel the attack. But North Korea's advancing military capabilities have drastically changed the threat environment. Japan no longer has the luxury to be complacent about its security threats.
Oct 23, 2017 Defense One
What happens in Japan's election carries enormous consequence for the United States and its interests in the region. U.S. Asia policy begins and ends with America's critical alliance with Japan.
Oct 21, 2017 Newsweek
After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Prime Minister Abe has proposed a change to Japan's constitution to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces, and it's long overdue.
Jun 20, 2017 The Japan Times
Being a proactive contributor to peace involves risk if a country is serious about gaining real-world experience. Pulling out of South Sudan deprives Japan's Self-Defense Force of crucial operational experience and sends a confusing message to the United States and the international community.
Jun 8, 2017 The Diplomat
Sixty-four years ago, the Korean War was suspended by a cease-fire. A peace treaty was never signed. Standing ready to formally end this old war may be the key to dismantling North Korea's nuclear program without starting a new one.
Jun 8, 2017 New York Times