"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary

[Date] December 10, 2004
[Source] DEFENSE OF JAPAN 2007, pp475-477
[Full text]

1. The Government of Japan approved the "National Defense Program Guidelines, FY 2005-" (the new NDPG) and the "Mid-Term Defense Program, FY 2005-FY 2009" at the Security Council and the Cabinet Meeting today.

2.In light of the new threats and diverse situations presented by today's security environment, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, international terrorism, and other various situations that affect peace and security, the Government has developed the new NDPG in recognition of the need to set new guidelines for shaping Japan's future security and defense.

3. The new NDPG spell out both Japan's vision for future defense forces as well as the basic principles of its security policy which underlie that vision. Japan has two basic security policy objectives: (a) to prevent any direct threat from reaching Japan and, in the event that it does, to repel it; and (b) to improve the international security environment in order to prevent any threat from reaching Japan in the first place. The new NDPG make it clear that,in particular, improving the international security environment is one of the major pillars of the security policy of Japan, whose prosperity and growth depend heavily on the security of sea lane of communication.

The new NDPG point out that it is necessary to achieve these goals by both its own efforts as well as cooperative efforts with the United States, Japan's alliance partner, as well as with the international community. At the same time, we will continue to firmly uphold the basic principles of our defense policy that we have ascribed to in accordance with the Constitution of Japan.

4. In implementing this policy, the Government of Japan will employ all available means to prevent any threat from reaching the country.Should a threat reach Japan, the Government will take an integrated response, swiftly making appropriate decisions, bringing together all relevant organizations, and having them cooperate fully. The new NDPG have clearly stated that relevant organizations such as the Self-Defense Forces, the police, and the Japan Coast Guard will utilize all available means and work closely together to protect Japan and its people. In addition,as a part of its own effort, Japan will engage in diplomatic and other activities to improve the international security environment so as to prevent the emergence of any threats. Japan's defense forces - the ultimate guarantee of its national security - should be capable of effectively responding to any new threats and diverse situations,while inheriting the elements of the Basic Defense Force Concept that still remain valid. Japan's defense forces should also be capable of actively participating in international peace cooperation activities in order to improve the international security environment. While roles that the defense forces have to play are multiplying, and fiscal conditions continue to deteriorate, Japan's future defense forces should be multi-functional, flexible, and effective while, at the same time, more rationalized and streamlined.

Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements are indispensable to the security of Japan as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on the Arrangements, close cooperative relations between Japan and its alliance partner, the United States, play an important role in facilitating international efforts to effectively address new threats and diverse situations. Japan will proactively engage in strategic dialogue with the United States on wide-ranging security issues such as role-sharing between the two countries and U.S. military posture, including the U.S. forces structure in Japan, while working to harmonize our perceptions of the new security environment and appropriate strategic objectives in it.

Regarding its cooperation with the international community, Japan will utilize its Official Development Assistance (ODA) strategically and actively participate in international peace cooperation activities. The new NDPG has clearly defined these activities as part of our effort to improve the international security environment.

5. Regarding the future defense force, Japan will develop highly responsive and mobile defense forces capable of dealing effectively with new threats and diverse situation, and deploy them appropriately in accordance with Japan's geographical characteristics. Japan's future defense forces should be capable of coping with ballistic missile attacks, attacks carried out by guerrillas and special operations forces, and invasion of offshore islands. They should also be able to execute patrol and surveillance in the sea and airspace surrounding Japan, and respond to the violation of airspace, the intrusion of armed special-purpose ships and other similar vessels, and large-scale and/or special-type (nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological) disasters. Should such a situations emerges, the defense forces will respond in smooth and close collaboration with the police and other relevant organizations, thereby providing a seamless response to the situation in accordance with circumstances and designated roles.

Since, in our judgment, the likelihood of full-scale invasion of Japan has declined and will remain modest for the foreseeable future. Thus,based on a fundamental revew, we have decided to reduce the personnel and equipment earmarked for coping with such a contingency. However, because the original role of our defense forces is to cope with full-scale invasion and reconstructing these forces can not be accomplished in a short period of time, Japan will continue to maintain the most basic capabilities of its defense forces, while also taking into account developments in neighboring countries and making use of technological progress.

In our effort to improve international security environment, we will establish infrastructure and make necessary arrangements to engage in international peace cooperation activities. Japan will continue to strongly promote activities conducive to international peace and stability, such as security dialogue and defense exchanges.

6. We will continue to firmly maintain its policy of dealing with arms exports control carefully, in light of Japan's basic philosophy as a peace-loving nation on which the Three Principles on Arms Exports and their related policy guidelines are based.

If Japan decides that it will engage in joint develoment and production of ballistic missile defense systems with the United Stats, however, the Three Principles will not be applied, under the condition that strict control is maintained, because such systems and related activities will contribute to the effective operation of the Japan-U.S. security arrangement and are conducive to the security of Japan.

In addition, through the process by which the NDPG were depeloped, questions were raised regarding how to handle cases of joint development and production with the United States (other than those related to the ballistic missile defense system) as well as those related to support of counter-terrorism and counter-piracy. Decisions will be made on the basis of individual examination of each case, in light of Japan's basic philosophy as a peace-loving nation that aims at avoiding the escalation of international conflicts.

7. Based on the new NDPG, the Government will devise Japan's vision for international peace cooperation activities, and take legal and other necessary measures concerning Japan's security and defense policy, including placement of international peace cooperation activities in Self-Defense Forces' mission priorities, and operational issues pertaining to the ballistic missile defense systems.

8. To clearly indicate the target period in which the planned defense force level will be achieved, the new NDPG provided the vision for our defense forces for the next decade. In addition, in order to better adjust our defense policy to the changing security environment, we will review and, if necessary, revise the NDPG in five years.

9. The "Mid-Term Defense Program, FY 2005-FY 2009" was formulated to achieving the defense forces level that Japan should possess as provided for in the new NDPG. We expect the total defense-related budget for the new Mid-Term Defense Program to be approximately 24,240 billion measured in constant FY 2004 yen.

10. The Government of Japan will report today's decision to the Diet. I would sincerely hope that the people of Japan will understand and give their support to the decision.