Release of the defense White Paper, “Defense of Japan 2011”

Defense of Japan 2011
Defense of Japan 2011

The defense White Paper for FY2011, “Defense of Japan 2011,” was reported to, and approved by, the Cabinet Meeting on August 2.

Based on then Defense Minister Kitazawa’s instructions, the Paperwas complied so that it is easy to be understood and accessible to many.For the first time, an e-book version has also been made available for free downloads.A Special Feature was included at the beginning of the Paper, entitled “Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.” It describes the relief activities carried out by the Ministry of Defense and SDF alongside numerous photographs.

It was also complimented that the U.S Forces conducted “Operation TOMODACHI” as well as the disaster relief and the nuclear disaster relief conducted by the SDF was the largest scale operation in the SDF history.

“Part I: Security Environment Surrounding Japan” details various trends observed in the past year that have raised concern. These include the disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility by North Korea as well as provocative actions such as artillery firing at Yeonpyeong Island, and Chinese military activities.

Detail Pages

This section of the Paper also points out the new security issues arising in recent years in the areas of marine, space, and cyberspace, bringing about risks to the stable use of the international public property known as “global commons.” For instance, this section deals with numerous cyber attacks on government agencies and armed forces overseas ,and stresses that responding to cyber attacks is a critical issue for the armed forces of each country. In addition, this section explains on the transfer and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons, as well as on the trends of international terrorism.

“Part II: The Basics of Japan’s Defense Policy and Build-up of Defense Capability” introduces the new National Defense Program Guidelines and the new Mid-Term Defense Program approved by the Cabinet Meeting at the end of last year. This section provides an easy-to-understand explanation for the “Dynamic Defense Force” concept laid out in the new National Defense Program Guidelines, as well as for strengthening defense posture in the southwestern region—one of the policies under the new Mid-Term Defense Program.

“Part III: Measures for Defense of Japan” explains the regular surveillance and patrol operations carried out by the SDF in the air and sea spaces around the country, as one of examples of selfdefense operations. With regard to the strengthening of Japan— U.S. Security Arrangements, this section describes the Japan— U.S. Security Consultative Committee ( “2+2” ) convened in June this year, as well as Japan— U.S. joint exercises, among others.

Interim report by the Study Group on Defense Production and Technological Bases

An expert council under the Ministry of Defense, the Study Group on Defense Production and Technological Bases has conducted six meetings since December last year. It consolidated its interim report, and made its recommendations to the Ministry of Defense on July 6 this year.

The interim report points out the increasing difficulties for defense industries to maintain their research and manufacturing departments for defense equipment, with no significant increase in defense expenditure being expected and the amount of procurement has been declining. At the same time, it also discusses the importance of setting forth a strategy to maintain and develop defense production and technological bases in order to prevent disruptions of the maintenance of defense capability, and provides a direction for continued discussion.

The followings are the important issues that would be a basis for the discussion on the direction of the strategy. Since July this year, further discussions on the strategy for defense production and technological bases, centered on these points of discussion, have been promoted.

1. Basic ideas toward the formulation of the strategy

Necessary equipment for the defense of Japan ought to be developed and produced principally in Japan, so priority areas that need to be developed and maintained within Japan will be selected in order to realize domestic or international cooperative development and production.

2. Judgment criteria for selection and concentration

Six items, including “ Strategic assurance,” “Confidentiality”, and “ Operability” have been proposed as judgment criteria for specifying the areas of importance.

3. International cooperative development and production

In the areas of advanced equipment, as both performance and prices levels have been rising, international collaboration is indispensable in the course of development and production. However, there is a need to take care in such instances, as the participation of many countries gives rise to the possibility that projects may not necessarily go as Japan’s requirements and expectation.

4. Acquisition reform

In order to maintain and develop defense production and technological bases, it is important to review the procurement system as well as the framework for such development and maintenance, so as to create win-win relationships between the Government and industries.

5. Industrial organization

In order to develop and maintain defense production and technological bases in light of the severe fiscal situation and with a view to taking part in future international cooperative development and production, it is essential to explore an industrial organization that will be the most effective under the structure and features of Japan’ s defense industry.

6. Necessary measures for the implementation of the strategy

The implementation of the strategy will be carried out by necessary deregulation and implementation of special measures, such as the review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports for participation in international cooperative development and production in cooperation with the relevant ministries and authorities.

Report from the Committee for Promotion of the Structural Reform of Defense Capability

The Ministry of Defense’ s Committee for Promotion of the Structural Reform of Defense Capability drew up and submitted its report to then Defense Minister Kitazawa on August 5. The report is based on the development of a “dynamic defense force,” as stipulated in the National Defense Program Guidelines formulated at the end of last year, and is a result of the Defense Minister’s instructions for the structural reform of defense capability through fundamentally streamlining and rationalizing the Self-Defense Forces, with a view to achieving the build-up of a dynamic defense force. To that end, the report reviews the enhancement of functions through integration and the posture of the Forces, the consolidation and optimization of resource allocation from a cross-sectional view of the organization, promotion of a fundamental, systemic reform of the human infrastructure, promotion of comprehensive procurement reform, and enhancement of medical functions. It also summarizes the future direction, and provides an indication of the progress schedule of the Mid-Term Defense Program.

The report considers the organic and unified response of the respective self-defense forces against increasingly complex situations, including invasions against Japan’s offshore islands and ensuring the safety of the surrounding air spaces. In addition, it provides an indication of the direction of the Ministry and the Forces that reflects lessons drawn from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Furthermore, it looks at the utilization of private-sector transportation capabilities in order to complement the transportation capability of the three self-defense forces, and incorporates databases with the aim of reviewing the order of priority for the efficient achievement of targets through the selection and concentration of necessary resources. With regard to comprehensive measures aimed at achieving high-performance and low-cost equipment procurement to support the dynamic defense force, the report also looks into measures that take into consideration proposals such as the review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports.

  • back
  • next