National Security Strategy (NSS)

Defense policies that Japan carries forward under the Constitution had been based on the Basic Policy on National Defense, which was approved by the National Defense Council and the Cabinet in 1957. To replace this, Japan’s first ever NSS was approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 17, 2013.

The NSS represents Japan’s basic policy on national security with a focus on diplomatic affairs and defense policy based on a long-term view of its national interests. The NSS specifies, as Japan’s fundamental principle of national security, that J apan will contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability, and prosperity of the international community, while achieving its own security as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation.

The NSS states that defense capability is the ultimate guarantor of Japan’s national security, and Japan will build a comprehensive defense architecture to firmly defend Japan. Based on the NSS, the MOD will develop a highly effective joint defense force, strive to ensure operations with flexibility and readiness based on joint operations, and advance coordination within the government and with local governments and the private sector. At the same time, the MOD will actively promote bilateral and multilateral security cooperation with other countries, while strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, in close coordination with Japan’s foreign policy.

[Reference] Basic Policy on National Defense

The objective of national defense is to prevent direct and indirect aggression, but once invaded, to repel such aggression, and thereby, to safeguard the independence and peace of Japan based on democracy. To achieve this objective, the following basic policies are defined:

  1. Supporting the activities of the United Nations, promoting international collaboration, and thereby, making a commitment to the realization of world peace.
  2. Stabilizing the livelihood of the people, fostering patriotism, and thereby, establishing the necessary basis for national security.
  3. Building up rational defense capabilities by steps within the limit necessary for self-defense in accordance with national strength and the national situation.
  4. Dealing with external aggression based on the security arrangements with the United States until the United Nations is able to fulfill its function in stopping such aggression effectively in the future.