Rearming A Forbidden Military: Japan’s Self-Defense Force & Constitutional Revisions

With a record $47bn defense budget, a total order of 150 F-35s coupled with the first aircraft carriers since 1945, and a House of Counsillors election in July, 2019 will be a busy year for Prime Minister Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). These enhancements to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF), a military organization not directly permitted by the Japanese Constitution, accompany shifting power dynamics in Asia. For the past seven years, though, the LDP has sought constitutional amendments to the war-renouncing Article 9. These revisions cannot be treated separately from Japan’s military buildup of recent years; together...

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