Following the end of World War Two, Japan was occupied by the Allied Powers and administrated by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur. While occupying the nation, the US oversaw the drafting of a new constitution that prioritised democracy, individual freedoms and pacifism. Japan’s shift towards pacifism is enshrined in Article 9 of its Constitution and formed a central part of its foreign policy for decades. This research paper seeks to understand how Japan has shifted away from Article 9 and began the process of remilitarisation. Despite maintaining a small military capability, the Japan Self-Defence Force, Japan has relied heavily on its alliance with the US to protect its interests internationally. In recent decades, Japan has taken further steps to increase the size and strength of its military for defensive purposes but also to protect its essential interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Armed conflicts have contributed to environmental degradation for thousands of years” (Palczewska, 2022, p. 100). The war in Ukraine is no exception; the conflict already has an immense impact on the soil, water and air quality as well as the biodiversity of the largest European country.
This Info Flash examines the historical background to provide a comprehensive analysis of the US-Japan military cooperation. It delves into the current security situation shaping the Asia Pacific region, serving as the driving force behind the ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military collaboration between the two nations. Despite their complex shared histories, the United States and Japan have significantly bolstered their military cooperation. The primary catalyst behind this strengthening of defence collaboration is the mounting instability within the Asia Pacific region. Japan confronts a multitude of challenges as the increasingly assertive China, which is pursuing a more aggressive regional security policy, and the persistent threat posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear capabilities, including their missile launches targeting Japanese territory. Moreover, the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia contributes to the volatility in the region. The resulting instability underscores the paramount importance of the alliance between the U.S. and Japan, emphasizing the need to modernize their forces and project their combined influence. This is crucial for promoting stability and upholding the rule of law in an international system that is growing increasingly turbulent.
This Info Flash outlines the development of the EU-Japan cooperation that saw several improvements over the last few years in politics, development, strategy, and security. Their bilateral agenda has been constantly dominated by digital and technological issues in order to improve the degree of global connectivity. Despite the many challenges raised by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian War, the digital partnership between the EU and Japan has broadened from public services and digital infrastructures to technological skills for citizens and innovation businesses.
On December 5th, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence (Ministerstvo Oborony Rossii) declared that Russia had deployed mobile coastal defence missile systems – K-300P Bastion Systems – on the northern Kuril Island of Paramushir (Japan Today, Dec 6, 2022). The Russian Bastion missile system is known to be an effective mobile launch platform of the supersonic anti-ship P-800 Oniks (NATO codename SS-N-26 Strobile) that have reportedly been launched in the southern districts of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion (The Eurasian Times, Dec 5, 2022).