Japan’s Self-Defense Force to Undergo a ‘Significant Transformation’

Japan released three strategic documents at the end of last year revealing that the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force “will undergo the most significant transformation in the coming decade,” War on the Rocks reported on February 14.

The government believes that the Japan Self-Defense Forces should possess sufficient capabilities and capacity to deny any potential adversaries from invading Japan. The level of capabilities and capacity to do this needs to be based on the capabilities of potential adversaries and also take into account recent developments about the characteristics of warfare.
—Col. Yusuke Kawachi, officer in the Ground Self-Defense Force

The Ground Staff Office’s plans to modernize include:

  • The development and enhancement of cyber and electronic warfare units, as well as other cross-domain operations
  • Expanding surface-to-ship missile artillery and creating two new battalions equipped with high-velocity gliding projectiles and two battalions armed with hypersonic cruise missiles
  • Creating drones to strengthen its kill chain targeting, making it easier to identify attackers and strike back
  • Releasing new watercraft units that can quickly transport troops to remote islands
  • Reorganizing the Ground Self-Defense Force divisions and brigades to make them more deployable and efficient

Reasons to fear: Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, Japan has claimed that it needs to develop its military in case China or North Korea challenges it in a similar way. Japan also views Russia itself as more of a direct threat, particularly given rising tensions over the Kuril Islands.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in June of last year, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “In light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, countries’ perceptions on security have drastically changed around the world. … I myself have a strong sense of urgency that Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow.”

Because of this increasing fear, Japan’s National Defense Strategy is undergoing rapid changes. The Bible shows that these rapid changes will lead to Japan fully remilitarizing in the near future. To understand more, read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Japan’s March Toward Militarism.”