Japan’s decision to reinterpret its pacific constitution to allow the right to collective defence has angered China. It is crafting a more active role in security and defence in response to rising instability in Northeast Asia.
ON 1 JULY 2014, the Japanese cabinet decided to “reinterpret” its post-World War Two pacifist constitution by allowing the right to collective self-defence. This marks the end of Japan’s self-imposed ban on military assistance to an ally under attack and would allow the overseas deployment of the Japanese military. China immediately condemned the decision.
The Abe government has taken significant steps to boost Japan’s defence posture. It has strengthened Japan’s navy and air force, enhanced its patrol and surveillance capabilities and is building an amphibious capability. Japan and the US are in the process of revising the US-Japan Guidelines for Defence Cooperation for the first time since 1997. These measures are supported by Abe’s defence budget increases, which reversed the 11-year trend of reducing defence budgets.
… Barry Desker is the Dean, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Bhubhindar Singh is an Associate Professor at RSIS.A version of this commentary was published in The Straits Times.
Last updated on 17/07/2014