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More on Japan's Defense Review….

Japan’s new National Defense Program Guidelines “will shape Japan’s defence policy for the next 10 years.”

A BBC article today outlines the crux of Japan’s most compelling strategic document:

Defences will be scaled down in the north, where they have been deployed since the Cold War to counter potential threats from the former Soviet Union.

The military focus will now be in the south of Japan, closer to China and remote flashpoint islands near Taiwan.

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.

“These movements, coupled with the lack of transparency on China’s military and security issues, the trend is a concern for the region and the international community,” the new guidelines say.

With the bulk of the review calling for a shift in emphasis away from ground forces to air and maritime defense capabilites, the review also addresses the impending threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea. Accordingly, the Japanese Government will expand its Patriot missile defenses along with shipborne anti-ballistic missile platforms.

While the report envisages China’s military buildup as a “matter of concern”, the U.S.-Japanese relationship is viewed as “indispensable.”

Read the full article here: