Publication of 2012 Defense White Paper

Publication of 2012 Defense White Paper

A report was given on the 2012 Defense White Paper “Defense of Japan” at the Cabinet meeting held on July 31 and it was approved. The White Paper for 2012 is the 38th publication of the document, and in principle, describes events up to the end of June 2012. Keeping up the initiative from last year, an E-book version will also be published.

The main contents of the 2012 Defense White Paper are as follows.

Part I “Security Environment Surrounding Japan”

With regard to the United States, this section describes such issues as the defense strategic guidance released in January 2012 and its rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region.

With regard to North Korea, this section describes such issues as the nuclear development, the launch of the missile which North Korea calls “Satellite” in April 2012, death of Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Jong-il, and transition to new regime with Kim Jong-un as a new leader.

With regard to China, this section describes its constant increase in its defense spending, which has grown approximately 30-fold over the past 24 years, expressing that [China’s military] moves, together with the lack of transparency in its military affairs and security issues, are a matter of concern for the region and the international community, including Japan. This section mentions a view, for the first time, that relations between the Chinese Communist Party leadership and the People’s Liberation Army have been getting complex and another view that the degree of military influence on foreign policy decisions has been changing.

With regard to Russia, this section describes intensifying its military activities surrounding Japan.

Part II “Basics of Japan’s Defense Policy and Dynamic Defense Force”

This section describes the background to the formulation of the 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines, the concept of a dynamic defense force, and the stance on the structure of the SDF.

It also discusses the review processes in the Ministry of Defense pertaining to the F-35A selected as the new fighter aircraft.

Moreover, the section talks about the standards related to overseas transfer of defense equipment they were issued in December 2011 as a statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary.

Part III “Measures for Defense of Japan”

With regard to activities undertaken by the SDF, this section describes the responses to the launch of the missile which North Korea calls “Satellite” in April 2012, as well as the lessons drawn from responses to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

With regard to Japan–U.S. relations, this section describes the coordination between the two countries on the plan to realign U.S. Forces in Japan, including the joint “2+2” statement issued in April 2012.

With regard to defense cooperation and exchange with countries other than the United States, and multilateral security dialogues, this section describes recent achievements including multilateral dialogues such as ADMM Plus and the Shangri-La Dialogue, as well as bilateral cooperation and exchanges with Australia and Korea, among other countries.

Publication of 2012 Defense White Paper

The section outlining the foundation that supports the defense force (human foundation, defense production and technological bases, and interaction with the local community and Japanese citizens) describes the direction of the strategy based on the June 2012 “Final Report of the Study Group on Defense Production and Technological Bases,” as well as the exchanges between the SDF and disaster areas in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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