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Japan's Shift to a Proactive Defense Architecture: Challenges Faced by Industry, Government, and Society

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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As a result of the changing security environment in the Asia-Pacific, Japan is shifting to a more proactive defense policy, as outlined in the National Defense Program Guidelines NDPG. This thesis investigates the challenges faced by Japans industry, government, and society in meeting the NDPG objectives. To do this, this thesis probes the following problem areas difficulties with indigenous production of weapons systems, inability to procure and market advanced technologies, inefficient management and policies on the part of bureaucracy, budget shortfalls, industries ideological opposition, geopolitical risks, antimilitaristic roots of pacifism, and personneloperational readiness of the Japanese Self-Defense Force. Japans government manages one of the most efficient democracies in the world and its Self-Defense Force is an advanced professional organization. Despite these strengths, this thesis finds that these problems and obstacles will delaybut not preventJapans ability to achieve the NDPG objectives. Based on the findings, this thesis concludes that the following strategies will give Japan the best chance to work around the obstacles strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance, marketing technologies in which Japan has a comparative advantage, and applying bureaucratic reforms that improve collaboration with outside agencies.

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Technical Report



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