Japan - ut av skyggen av amerikansk militærmakt?
The report finds that Japan is moving away from restrictions on the use of military power imposed after the defeat in World War II. The Self Defense Forces now have more robust rules of engagement and geographical limitations on their use have been lifted. Moreover, Japan is moving more rapidly operationally than the slow constitutional reform process would suggest. The military normalization, however, does not mean that Japan has abandoned the security arrangements of the last 60 years. On the contrary, the move towards military normalization is a deliberate Japanese policy to maintain its existing security arrangements, particularly the alliance with the USA. Consequently, the Japanese relationship with the United States is stronger than it ever has been. The area of closest cooperation is missile defense, attempting to address Japan’s most serious security challenge: North Korea. Japan has also been able to use the American alliance to reform its defense without unduly alarming its neighbors. Nevertheless, the enhanced legal and operational capacity does give Japan an increased freedom to act. It also makes Japan more likely to play an active role in international peacekeeping operations.