- The National Defence Programme Guideline has been approved by the cabinet and will shape Japan’s defence policy for the next 10 years
- Japan is changing its defence policy in response to the shifting balance of power in Asia.
- The guidelines say Japan is concerned by China’s growing military spending, modernisation of its armed forces, and increased naval assertiveness in the East China and South China seas.
- Relations between Japan and China deteriorated sharply in September, after collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol boats near a chain of disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Armed forces Japan China
Submarines 18 9
Destroyers 41 27
Fighters 310 1,320
Battle tanks 876 9,840
Active personnel 237,000 2,255,000
Source: IHS Jane’s
- The review paper added that it was necessary to reduce the burden on communities hosting US bases, including Okinawa.