Japan will publish its Defence White Paper today, which will include its military posture and relationships with neighbouring countries.
A previously released draft indicates the paper will focus heavily on North Korea—specifically its increasingly sophisticated missile-launching tactics that enable more precise and long-distance targeting. Furthermore, the draft details China’s increased defence budget, highlighting concerns over potential aggression from Beijing.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already secured US President Trump’s commitment to protect Japan against Pyongyang and put pressure on China. However, two DPRK launches in July have strengthened Tokyo’s long-standing wish for pre-emptive capabilities.
Accordingly, Japan is keen to bolster its own arsenal. This includes purchasing US Tomahawk missiles and F-35A fighter jets, as well as inking a deal with Germany to collaborate on land capabilities. Tokyo is also slated to increase defence research spending from $5.4 to $98 million.
The revitalisation of Japan’s security program comes as Mr Abe attempts to amend the pacifist constitution to allow for a formal military. Though he uses the North Korean threat to justify his agenda, he must first wade through military scandals which threaten to scuttle his dream’s chances.