The Rearmament of Japan: Increased Regional Stability in the Western Pacific or Unnecessary Increase in Tensions
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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Since its formal establishment by law in 1954, the size and capability of the Japanese Self Defense Force JSDF has gradually been increased by its government. Although growing at a small rate of an addition 1.5 per year, this expansion has been carefully observed by both Japans allies, competitors, and other surrounding states in the Western Pacific region. It is important to analyze Japanese rearmament from the perspective of the operational commander in the region for Japans largest defense ally, the United States Pacific Commander. This paper looks at the increase in arms acquisitions by the JSDF, a key U.S. ally in the Western Pacific, and how it will have a positive effect on regional stability and security operations by balancing Chinas military modernization, containing of North Korean aggression, and cultivating multinational cooperation through peacekeeping missions. Finally, the paper draws conclusions concerning the importance of Japanese rearmament to the U.S. PACOM commander, and recommends areas for future rearmament and cooperation with the United States military forces in the Western Pacific.
- Government and Political Science