26 July 2013

Japan Expanding Marine Role? More Drones?

A government-sponsored report on Japan's capabilities note that Japan needs to increase their numbers of marines and drones.

Under Article 9 of its post-war constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defence.

But Mr Abe has indicated he wants to re-examine the role of Japan's military to meet the changing security environment in the Asia-Pacific region.

"This will guide the focus of the direction that the Self Defence Forces should be heading going forward," Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said of the report.

Amphibious units that could be dispatched quickly to remote islands were needed, the report said, and surveillance equipment to detect "at an early stage signs of changes in the security situation".

The report also called for a strengthened ability to "to deter and respond to ballistic missiles".

"Japan needs to enhance its ability to respond to ballistic missile attacks in a comprehensive manner," Kyodo news agency quoted the report as saying.

But officials have been keen to emphasise that this does not mean Japan is eyeing pre-emptive strikes on enemy targets.

"It is necessary to consider whether we should have the option to strike an enemy's missile launch facilities," an unidentified defence ministry official told Reuters news agency.

"But we are not at all thinking about initiating attacks on enemy bases when we are not under attack."

The full report isn't due 'til late this year, but there are more details in the BBC article above.

By: Brant

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