Japan’s Strategic Approaches to National Security
To ensure national security, Japan needs to first and foremost strengthen its own capabilities and the foundation for exercising those capabilities. Japan must also steadily fulfill the role it should play and adapt its capabilities to respond to future developments.
Enhancing Japan’s resilience in national security, through reinforcing its diplomatic power and defense force, as well as bolstering its economic strengths and technological capabilities, contributes to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the international community at large. This belief forms the core of the strategic approaches in the Strategy.
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Moreover, in order to overcome national security challenges and achieve national security objectives, as well as to proactively contribute to peace in cooperation with the international community. Japan needs to expand and deepen cooperative relationships with other countries, with the Japan-U.S. Alliance as the cornerstone. At the same time, Japan needs to make effective use of its diver’s resources and promote comprehensive policies.
In light of this, Japan will take the following concrete strategic approaches, centering on diplomatic policy.
Strengthening and Expanding Japan’s Capabilities and Roles
(1) Strengthening Diplomacy for Creating a Stable International Environment
The key of national security is to create a stable and predictable international environment, and prevent the emergence of threats. It is thus necessary for Japan to realize an international order and security environment that are desirable for Japan, by playing an even more proactive role in achieving peace, stability and prosperity of the international community as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation.
This strategic approach first requires the capability to analyze the constantly changing security environment and the course that the international community is taking. On top of this, Japan must have the power to take the lead in setting the international agenda and to proactively advance its national interests, without being confined to a reactionary position to events and incidents after they have already occurred. In doing so, it is necessary to enhance diplomatic creativity and negotiating power to deepen the understanding of the garner support for Japan’s position in the international community, through effectively utilizing all strengths features of the nation. In addition, by highlighting Japan’s attractiveness, Japan needs to strengthen its soft Power that would benefit the international community. Japan also needs to strengthen its capacity to promptly and accurately identify the needs of Japanese nationals and firms to support their overseas activities.
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Furthermore, it is the responsibility of Japan as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” to make even more proactive contributions to international organizations such as the U.N., including through increasing the number of Japanese staff in such institutions. In order to advance such vibrant diplomacy, Japan will strengthen the institutional capabilities through which it undertakes diplomacy. Such overall strengthening of diplomatic capability is critical to ensure the security of Japan.
(2) Building a Comprehensive Defense Architecture to Firmly Defend Japan
Japan’s defense force is the final guarantee of its national security which deters direct threats from reaching Japan and defeats any threat that reaches it. Japan will steadily develop its defense force.
To ensure peace and security in Japan amid the severe security environment surrounding the country, Japan will efficiently develop a highly effective and joint defense force, adapting to the change in strategic environment with consideration of its national power and the political, economic, and social situations: and strive to ensure operations with flexibility and readiness based on joint operations.
Japan will also advance not only the coordination within the government, but also coordination with local governments and the private sector. In doing so, even in peacetime, Japan will maintain and improve a comprehensive architecture for responding seamlessly to an array of situations ranging from armed attacks to large-scale natural disasters.
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In developing the structure of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF), which plays a central role in the above-mentioned efforts, Japan will develop a streamlined planning and programming process, which includes the National Defense Program Guidelines and the Medium Term Defense Program, based on the Strategy to enhance its defense structure for deterrence and response to various situations, prioritizing important functions from a joint and comprehensive perspective.
In addition, with regard to the threat of nuclear weapons, the extended deterrence of the U.S. with nuclear deterrence at its core is indispensable. In order to maintain and enhance the credibility of the extended deterrence, Japan will work closely with the U.S., and take appropriate measures through its own efforts including ballistic missile defense (BMD) and protection of the people.
(3) Strengthening Efforts for the Protection of Japan’s Territorial Integrity
To fully protect its territories, in addition to building a comprehensive defense architecture, Japan will enhance the capabilities of the law enforcement agencies responsible for territorial patrol activities and reinforce its maritime surveillance capabilities. Furthermore, Japan will strengthen coordination among relevant ministries and agencies to be able to respond seamlessly to a variety of unexpected situations.
Japan will also make a constant review on issues that are relevant to ensuring the security of its territories, and take effective measures.
In addition, Japan will proactively engage in the protection, management, and development of remote islands near national borders. Furthermore, from a national security viewpoint, Japan will study the situation of land ownership in areas such as remote islands near national borders and areas surrounding defense facilities, and review issuers related to the use of such land.
(4) Ensuring Maritime Security
As a maritime state, Japan will play a leading role, through close cooperation with other countries, in maintaining and developing “Open and Stable Seas,” which are upheld by maritime order based upon such fundamental principles as the rule of law, ensuring the freedom and safety of navigation and overflight, and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with relevant international law. More concretely, Japan will take necessary measures to address various threats in sea lanes of communication, including anti-piracy operations to ensure safe maritime transport and promote maritime security cooperation with other countries.
Japan will strengthen its maritime domain awareness capabilities that are necessary for the above-mentioned measures, in a comprehensive manner that involves the use of outer space, while paying attention to the establishment of international networks. At the same time, Japan will strive to enhance the frequency and the quality of bilateral and multilateral cooperation on maritime security such as joint exercises.
In particular, sea lanes of communication, stretching from the Persian Gulf, the Strait if Hormuz, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the surrounding waters of Japan, passing through the Indian Ocean, the Straits of Malacca, and the South China Sea, are critical to Japan due to its dependence on the maritime transport of natural and energy resources from the Middle East. In this regard, Japan will provide assistance to those coastal states alongside the sea lanes of communication and other states in enhancing their maritime law enforcement capabilities, and strengthen cooperation with partners on the sea lanes who share strategic interests with Japan.
(5) Strengthening Cyber Security
Japan as a whole will make concerted efforts in comprehensively promoting cross-cutting measures to defend cyberspace and strengthen the response capability against cyber-attacks, so as to protect cyberspace from malicious activities threatening cyber security; to ensure the free and safe use of cyberspace; and to guard its critical infrastructure against cyber-attacks, including those in which state involvement is suspected.
To this end, Japan will strengthen public-private partnership in the areas of system design, development and operations based on risk assessment, as well as identifying incidents, minimizing damages and their expansion, and analyzing the causes of and preventing similar incidents. In addition, Japan will comprehensively consider and take necessary measures with regard to expanding the pool of human resources in the security field, protection of control systems, and response to the issues of supply chain risk.
Furthermore, Japan will strengthen inter-agency cooperation and define the roles of relevant agencies so that it can reinforce its capability to protect cyberspace and respond to incidents as a nation at large. At the same time, Japan will promote a range of measures, including enhancing the ability and function to oversee, assess, apprehend, analyze, and internationally coordinate on cyber incidents, as well as reinforcing relevant agencies in charge of those tasks.
In promoting these measures, strengthening international partnership in sin a wide range of areas is essential. For this, Japan will take measures at technical and operational levels to enhance international cooperation. Japan will also strengthen information sharing and promote cyber defense cooperation with relevant countries.
(6) Strengthening Measures against International Terrorism
Japan will first and foremost strengthen its domestic measures against international terrorism such as ensuring the security of nuclear facilities in Japan. Moreover, in order to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals living abroad, Japan will strengthen such measures as building a network where risk information held by private sectors can be shared more effectively and efficiently; and reinforcing the structure for analyzing the situation of international terrorism and overseas information-collecting capabilities.
(7) Enhancing Intelligence Capabilities
In order to appropriately support decision-making on national security policies, Japan will fundamentally strengthen its information-collection capabilities from a diverse range of sources, including human intelligence, open source intelligence, signals intelligence, and imagery intelligence. In addition, Japan will promote the utilization of geospatial intelligence with which various types of intelligence are combined.
Moreover, Japan will enhance its intelligence analysis, consolidation, and sharing capabilities by bolstering its human resources, including developing highly-skilled intelligence experts. Japan will thereby promote all-source analysis that makes use of the array of information-collecting means at the Government’s disposal.
Furthermore, Japan will operate the intelligence cycle more effectively through the timely provision of materials and intelligence to the NSC, which serves as the control tower of foreign and security policy, and through the appropriate utilization of intelligence in policy formulation. In addition, under the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (*provisional English translation), Japan will strengthen its counter intelligence functions by developing such intelligence protection system in order to facilitate intelligence functions throughout the Government.
(8) Defense Equipment and Technology Cooperation
In cases that contribute to peace and international cooperation, there are increasing opportunities to cooperate in a more effective manner, including through the utilization and provision of heavy machinery and other defense equipment carried to disaster-stricken countries and sites by the SDF. Moreover, internationally, it has become mainstream to participate in international joint development and production projects in order to improve the performance of defense equipment, while dealing with the rising costs of defense equipment. In this context, from the perspective of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, Japan is required to contribute more proactively to peace and international cooperation including through utilizing defense equipment, and to participate in joint development and production of defense equipment and other related items.
Against this backdrop, while giving due consideration to the roles that the Three Principles on Arms Exports and their related policy guidelines have played so far, the Government of Japan will set out clear principles on the overseas transfer of arms and military technology, which fit the new security environment. In this context, considerations will be made with strict examination; and ensuring appropriate control over transfers in terms of unauthorized use and third party transfer.
(9) Insuring the Stable Use of Outer Space and Promoting its Use for Security Purposes
The stable use of outer space is not only fundamental to the lives of the people and the economy, but is also crucial for national security. Japan will therefore maintain and improve the foundation of science, technology and industry that supports the development and utilization of outer space, and promote the utilization of outer space from a security perspective.
In particular, Japan will engage itself in enhancing the functions of information-gathering satellites and in making effective use of satellites, including ones Japan possesses for the operation of the SDF units, information-gathering and analysis, maritime domain awareness, telecommunication, positioning, navigation and timing. In addition, Japan will enhance a system for space situational awareness.
Furthermore, Japan will promote the development and utilization of outer space in a manner that contributes to national security in the medium-to long-term, including the development of technologies such as satellite manufacturing.
(10) Strengthening Technological Capabilities
The advanced technology of Japan constitutes the foundation of its economic strength and defense forces, and is also a valuable resource that the international community strongly seeks from Japan. Therefore, Japan should encourage the further promotion of technologies, including dual use technologies, thereby strengthening Japan’s technological capabilities.
In promoting measures for strengthening its technological capabilities from a national security viewpoint, Japan will constantly grasp science and technology trends, including information on technology development. Japan will also make effective use of technology in the area of security, by combining the efforts of industries, academia, and the Government.
Furthermore, Japan’s outstanding energy-saving and other environment-related technologies play an important role in Japan’s efforts to tackle global issues together with the international community. Therefore, Japan will proactively utilize these technologies in diplomacy as well.