Defense Posture Review Interim Report
(Provisional Translation)

Given the following developments, GOJ decided to review the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) by the end of 2013, and the MOD established the “Defense Posture Review Commission” in January.

  • -Regional security environment has become more tense, as seen by China’s increasing activities in Japan’s vicinity as well as North Korea’s missile launches
  • -The U.S. is emphasizing its presence in the Asia-Pacific in cooperation with allies including Japan
  • -Lessons from SDF’s activities following the Great East Japan Earthquake need to be addressed
  • -The Commission focused on development of joint operations and made an interim report about the directions and issues through its deliberations. The report is reported to the Defense Council on July 26.

Summary of Interim Report

  1. Security environment:
    Global and surrounding security environment of Japan
  2. Japan’s own efforts:
    Strengthen government-wide comprehensive efforts
  3. Strengthen Japan–U.S. alliance:
    • -Further strengthen defense cooperation through discussions of roles and missions Japan should carry and review of Guidelines for U.S.–Japan Defense Cooperation
    • -Steadily proceed with realignment of U.S. Forces Japan, maintain U.S. deterrence while mitigating local impact in particular on Okinawa
  4. Promote cooperation in Asia-Pacific region and stabilize global security environment:
    • -Strengthen cooperation with U.S., Australia, South Korea; promote dialogue and exchanges with China and Russia; expand capacity building assistance
    • -Stabilize security environment in cooperation with international community including NATO; actively promote international peace cooperation activities
  5. Defense posture:
    • -Conduct capability assessment based on joint operations to ensure effectiveness of defense posture in responding to various contingencies. Based on the assessment so far, areas to be emphasized for defense build-up are as follows:
    • Strengthen ISR capabilities
    • Respond to BM and guerilla attacks
    • Respond to large-scale natural disasters
    • Strengthen intelligence capabilities
    • Strengthen capability to operate overseas
    • Respond to attacks on remote islets
    • Respond to cyber attacks
    • Strengthen joint operations
    • Promote use of outer space
    • Active efforts for maritime security
  6. Foundations for defense capabilities:
    • -Exercises and training: Continuously verify various contingency response plans through regular exercises in peacetime; make full use of environment that enables sufficient exercises (i.e. Hokkaido)
    • -Operational foundation: Strengthen resilience of bases and others; maintain facilities/lodgings; secure ammunition; raise operational rate
    • -Human resources: Deepen consideration of various human resource management measures (including expanding reserves)
    • -Military medicine: Modernize and functionally upgrade military medicine; improve medevac capabilities in contingency situations
    • -Defense production and technology base: Maintain and strengthen defense production and technology base; examine status of implementation of three principles on arms exports and take necessary measures; conduct future-oriented R&D including on unmanned equipment such as robots, cyber, and outer space
    • -Strengthen cooperation with local communities: consider status of local offices
    • -Public relations
  7. Linkage with MOD reform:
    • -MOD reform being discussed in separate “MOD Reform Commission” established in February this year
    • -To prevent recurrence of incidents of misconduct and make SDF more active and efficient, promote reforms to ensure that civilian and uniformed staff work together, strengthen joint operations, and pursue an efficient workflow and organization for defense build-up with optimal resource allocation from joint and whole-of-SDF perspective. (Beyond individual service-led resource allocation)
  8. Point of note:
    • -Annex table for force structure should be maintained from perspective of defense build-up from mid- to long-term outlook
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