Japanese Defense Reform Supports Allied Security Objectives

Japan’s new defense reform legislation enables the country to play a more comprehensive global security role commensurate with its capabilities, resources, national interests, and international responsibilities. The changes, although extremely minimalist compared with what even smaller nations can do, are highly controversial with some Japanese voters who prefer the comfortable status quo of relying on other nations to defend Japanese interests overseas. China and South Korea mischaracterized these security changes as dangerous and indicative of an innate Japanese desire to resume a 1930s-style militaristic imperialism. The United States should strongly support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s initiatives and counter misportrayals of Japan’s new security posture.

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