"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] National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and beyond

[Place] Tokyo, Japan
[Date] December 17, 2013
[Source] Ministry of Defense of Japan
[Full text]

National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and beyond

December 17, 2013

I. NDPG’s Objective

In light of the current security environment surrounding Japan, the Government of Japan sets out the "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and beyond" as new guidelines for Japan’s national defense, based on "Defense Capability Build-up in FY2013" (approved by the Security Council and the Cabinet on January 25, 2013) and the “National Security Strategy” (approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 17, 2013).

II. Security Environment Surrounding Japan

1. As interdependence among countries expands and deepens, there is a growing risk that unrest in the global security environment or a security problem in a single country or region could immediately develop into a security challenge or destabilizing factor for the entire international community. The multi-polarization of the world continues as a result of shifts in the balance of power due to the further development of countries such as China and India and the relative change of influence of the United States (U.S.). At the same time, the U.S. is expected to continue to play the role in maintaining world peace and stability as it retains the largest national power.

There are ongoing regional conflicts involving various countries as well as an increase in the number of so-called “gray-zone” situations, that is, neither pure peacetime nor contingencies over territory, sovereignty and maritime economic interests.

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles continues to be a deep concern despite non-proliferation efforts by the international community. The presence of countries with weak governance and failed states feeds the expansion and spread of international terrorism. These problems continue to pose imminent security challenges.

In the maritime domain, piracy acts have taken place in various parts of the world, and there have been cases where coastal states unilaterally asserted their rights and took action based on their own assertion concerning international maritime law, thereby unduly infringing the freedom of the high seas.

Securing the stable use of outer space and cyberspace as global commons is becoming a significant security challenge for the international community including Japan against the backdrop of rapid technology innovation. In addition, military strategies and military balance in the future are anticipated to be significantly affected by the progress and proliferation of technologies such as those related to precision guided munitions, unmanned vehicles, stealth capability and nanotechnology.

2. In the Asia-Pacific region, including areas surrounding Japan, countries are enhancing and strengthening their cooperative relationships to resolve security challenges. Specific and practical cooperation and collaboration have progressed to settle challenges particularly in non-traditional security fields. In the meantime, gray-zone situations over territory, sovereignty and maritime economic interests tend to linger, raising concerns that they may develop into more serious situations.

North Korea is military-focused and deploys a massive military force. It is also proceeding with the development, deployment and proliferation of WMDs including nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles which may be used to deliver such weapons, and it maintains a large-scale special operations force. Through these activities, North Korea is maintaining and strengthening its asymmetrical military capabilities.

North Korea has also repeatedly heightened tension in the region by conducting military provocations in the Korean Peninsula and by escalating its provocative rhetoric and behavior against Japan and other countries. Such North Korean military trend constitutes a serious destabilizing factor to the security not only of Japan but of the entire region and the international community. Therefore, Japan needs to pay utmost attention to such activities.

In particular, North Korea's ballistic missile development has presumably entered a new stage, as technological improvements have been made to extend the range and increase the accuracy of its missiles through a series of missile launches. Also, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests in defiance of calls for restraint from the international community, so the possibility cannot be ruled out that it has successfully miniaturized nuclear weapons for warheads and equipped them on ballistic missiles. North Korea's nuclear and missile development, coupled with its provocative rhetoric and behavior, such as suggesting a missile attack on Japan, pose a serious and imminent threat to Japan's security.

As for China, while it is greatly expected to play an active role in a more cooperative manner in the region and the world, it has been continuously increasing its defense expenditures and has been rapidly reinforcing its military in a wide range of areas. As part of such effort, China is believed to be making efforts to strengthen its asymmetrical military capabilities to prevent military activity by other countries in the region by denying access and deployment of foreign militaries to its surrounding areas. However, China has not clearly stated the purposes and goals of the military buildup and therefore, transparency concerning its military and security is not fully achieved.

In addition, China is rapidly expanding and intensifying its activities in the maritime and aerial domains in the region including in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. In particular, China has taken assertive actions with regard to issues of conflicts of interest in the maritime domain, as exemplified by its attempts to change the status quo by coercion. As for the seas and airspace around Japan, China has intruded into Japanese territorial waters frequently and violated Japan’s airspace, and has engaged in dangerous activities that could cause unexpected situations, such as its announcement of establishing an "Air Defense Identification Zone" based on its own assertion thereby infringing the freedom of overflight above the high seas.

China is also expanding and intensifying its activities in the maritime and aerial domains farther offshore than before. For example, Chinese military vessels and aircraft routinely enter the Pacific Ocean, and are expanding their operational areas which include areas north of Japan.

As Japan has great concern about these Chinese activities, it will need to pay utmost attention to them, as these activities also raise concerns over regional and global security.

As for Russia, it is observed that the country is proceeding to reform and modernize its military forces mainly by strengthening their readiness and introducing new equipment. The activities of Russian armed forces have been active.

The U.S. has clearly manifested its strategic decision to put greater emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region (the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region) and is maintaining and strengthening its engagement and presence in the region despite fiscal and various other constraints in order to maintain the stability and growth of the region while enhancing its relationships with its allies and expanding cooperation with partner countries. In addition, the U.S. has made its stance clear to prevent coercive actions that aim at changing the status quo in the region in cooperation with allies and partners.

3. Japan is surrounded by the sea, and has a long coastline, numerous remote islands and a vast Exclusive Economic Zone. Japan is a maritime state and dependent largely on international trade for its supply of food and natural resources. Therefore, securing the safety of maritime and air traffic, through strengthening an "Open and Stable Seas" order based upon such fundamental principles as the rule of law and the freedom of navigation, constitutes the basis of peace and prosperity.

Japan also faces security vulnerabilities resulting from concentration of industry, population and information infrastructure in urban areas and from the presence of a large number of key facilities, such as nuclear power plants, in coastal areas.

In the event of another massive earthquake like the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan may suffer enormous damage and the impact may spread not only nationwide but also to other countries. The possibility of future huge earthquakes such as a Nankai Trough earthquake or a Tokyo inland earthquake makes it increasingly necessary to take every possible measure to prepare for large-scale disasters.

4. In light of the above, while the probability of a large-scale military conflict between major countries, which was a concern during the Cold War era, presumably remains low, various security challenges and destabilizing factors are emerging and becoming more tangible and acute. As a result, the security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe, since the formulation of "National Defense Program Guidelines, FY2011 and beyond" (approved by the Security Council and the Cabinet on December 17, 2010). As the security challenges and destabilizing factors are diverse and wide-ranging, it is difficult for a single country to deal with them on its own. Under these circumstances, it is increasingly necessary not only that the military sector cooperate with the non-military sector but also that countries which share interests in responding to shared security challenges cooperate and actively respond to maintain regional and global stability.

III. Japan's Basic Defense Policy

1. Basic Policy

In light of the National Security Strategy, Japan will strengthen its diplomatic and defense capabilities along the policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation, thereby expanding the role it can play. At the same time, Japan will contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community while achieving its own security as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region by expanding and deepening cooperative relationships with other countries, with the Japan-U.S. Alliance as its cornerstone.

Under this basic principle, Japan will build a comprehensive defense architecture and strengthen its posture for preventing and responding to various situations. In addition, Japan will strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance and actively promote bilateral and multilateral security cooperation with other countries while closely coordinating defense and diplomatic policies. Japan will also seek to establish an infrastructure necessary for its defense forces to fully exercise their capabilities.

When implementing these measures, under the Constitution, Japan will efficiently build a highly effective and joint defense force in line with the basic principles of maintaining an exclusively defense-oriented policy, not becoming a military power that poses a threat to other countries, while adhering to the principle of civilian control of the military and observing the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.

With regard to the threat of nuclear weapons, the extended deterrence provided by 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 closely cooperate with the U.S. In addition, Japan will take appropriate responses through its own efforts, including ballistic missile defense (BMD) and protection of the people. At the same time, Japan will play a constructive and active role in international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts so as to achieve the long-term goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons.

2. Japan's Own Efforts

Recognizing that a country's security depends first and foremost on its independent efforts, Japan will make full-scale efforts on its own initiative to prevent various situations and will seamlessly respond to them as the situation evolves with the National Security Council as the control tower, while maintaining cooperation with its ally, partners and other countries concerned.

(1) Building a comprehensive defense architecture

Given the increasingly severe security environment, Japan will efficiently develop a highly effective joint defense force and make efforts to employ it with a high level of flexibility and readiness based on joint operations. Japan will also ensure close regular interagency cooperation in normal times. In the event of various situations, the Government, under strong political leadership, will appropriately and promptly make decisions. Japan will seamlessly respond to situations as they unfold, in a whole-of-the-government approach, to ensure the protection of the lives and property of its people and the sovereignty of Japan’s territorial land, waters and airspace, in coordination with local governments, private sectors, and others.

Japan will also continue to develop various systems to respond to a variety of disasters and protect its people and will enhance the capability to quickly evacuate Japanese nationals from foreign countries in an emergency situation and ensure their safety.

In order to take such approaches appropriately, Japan will increase the effectiveness of its situation and disaster response posture by systemizing various related plans and formulating and reviewing them as well as expanding the use of simulations, comprehensive training and exercises.

(2) Japan's defense forces - building a Dynamic Joint Defense Force

Japan's defense forces are the ultimate guarantee of national security, and represent Japan's will and ability to deter threats from directly reaching Japan and defeat them if threats should reach Japan.

In the times of an ever-changing security environment surrounding Japan, defense forces need to be constantly reviewed to adapt to the environment. To this aim, Japan needs to allocate limited resources in a focused and flexible way to prioritize the functions and capabilities from a comprehensive perspective, identified through joint operation-based capability assessments of the Self-Defense Force’s (SDF's) total functions and capabilities against various situations.

Amid the increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, the SDF, in addition to its regular activities, needs to respond to various situations, including "gray zone" situations which require SDF commitment. The frequency of such situations and the duration of responses are both increasing. Therefore, Japan will regularly conduct persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (hereinafter "ISR") activities. Moreover, the SDF will conduct strategic training and exercises in accordance with the development of the situation and swiftly build a response posture including advance deployment of units in response to the security environment and rapid deployment of adequate units. Thus Japan will demonstrate its will and highly developed capability to prevent further escalation. In dealing with situations, depending on their development, minimizing damage by effective response through achieving maritime supremacy and air superiority is essential in safeguarding the lives and property of the Japanese people, and the sovereignty of Japan’s territorial land, waters and airspace.

Therefore, Japan will enhance its deterrence and response capability by improving the mission-capable rate of equipment and its employment to conduct tailored activities swiftly and sustainably based on joint operations, as well as by developing defense capabilities adequate both in quantity and quality that underpin various activities to realize a more robust defense force.

At the same time, from the perspective of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation, Japan will strengthen its bilateral and multilateral cooperative relationships in order to ensure the stability of the Asia-Pacific region, which is closely related to its own security. Japan will also engage in international peacekeeping and other similar activities (peacekeeping operations by the United Nations, non-traditional security initiatives including Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR), and other internationally collaborative activities to improve the international security environment) and other efforts more proactively than before as efforts to address the global security challenges, in light of the diversified roles and increased opportunities of the defense force.

From these viewpoints, given the changes in the security environment, the defense force based on this NDPG should prioritize particularly important functions and capabilities through optimal resource allocation as a whole. The defense force also must be an effective one which enables conducting a diverse range of activities to be seamless as well as dynamic and adapting to situations as they demand. To that end, Japan will build a Dynamic Joint Defense Force, which emphasizes both soft and hard aspects of readiness, sustainability, resiliency and connectivity, reinforced by advanced technology and capability for C3I, with a consideration to establish a wide range of infrastructure to support the SDF's operation.

3. Strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance

The Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, together with Japan's own efforts, constitute the cornerstone for Japan’s national security. The Japan-U.S. Alliance centered on bilateral security arrangements functions as public goods that contribute to the stability and prosperity not only of Japan but also of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Under its policy of strategic rebalancing towards the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. is maintaining and strengthening its engagement and presence in the region while enhancing its partnerships and cooperation with its allies, including Japan, and partner countries. As the security environment surrounding Japan becomes increasingly severer, it has become more important than ever for Japan’s security to strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance and make it more balanced and effective.

(1) Strengthening deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance

In order to ensure Japan's national security by maintaining and strengthening the commitment of the U.S. towards Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, Japan will revise the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, further enhance Japan-U.S. defense cooperation and reinforce the deterrence provided by the Japan-U.S. Alliance and the alliance’s contingency response capabilities, while strengthening Japan's own capabilities as a premise for these efforts.

At the same time, in response to the increasingly severe security environment, while increasing the presence of Japan and the U.S. in the western Pacific region, Japan will build seamless cooperation with the U.S. ranging from situations on a day-to-day basis to various situations, including cooperation in responding to "gray-zone" situations.

To that end, Japan will continue to expand joint training and exercises, joint ISR activities and the joint/shared use of facilities and areas with the U.S. It will also tighten the Japan-U.S. operational cooperation and policy coordination including contingency response and medium-to long-term strategies, such as BMD, bilateral planning, and Extended Deterrence Dialogue.

(2) Strengthening and expanding cooperation in a broad range of fields

The Japan-U.S. Alliance will contribute to the peace and stability of the world, including the Asia-Pacific region, by strengthening cooperation not only in the fields of anti-piracy efforts, capacity building assistance, HA/DR, peacekeeping and counter terrorism but also in maritime affairs, outer space and cyberspace.

As for disaster response, Japan will further strengthen its cooperation between the SDF and the U.S. forces within and outside Japan in light of the fact that the U.S. forces, including its USFJ facilities and areas, greatly contributed to the safety of the Japanese people during the Great East Japan Earthquake.

In addition, Japan will constantly strengthen and expand the Japan-U.S. cooperative relationship over a broad range of fields, including efforts for intelligence cooperation and information security, and cooperation in the field of defense equipment and technology, to build a firmer and effective alliance.

(3) Steady implementation of measures relating to the stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan

Japan will provide stable support for the smooth and effective stationing of U.S. forces in Japan through various measures, including Host Nation Support (HNS). At the same time, efforts will be made to steadily implement the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and mitigate the impact on local communities while maintaining the deterrence provided by U.S. forces. In particular, Japan will seek to mitigate the impact on Okinawa, located in a critically important location in terms of national security and where the stationing of U.S. forces significantly contributes to the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, by realignment, consolidation and reduction of USFJ facilities and areas including through the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma as well as the dispersion of the impact and other measures, in light of the heavy concentration of such facilities and areas there.

4. Active Promotion of Security Cooperation

(1) Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region

In the Asia-Pacific region, specific cooperative measures have been taken mainly in non-traditional security fields, including disaster relief. Multilateral frameworks such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the East Asia Summit (EAS) have been developed and the regional integration initiative led by ASEAN has been making progress. However, security challenges are becoming more serious than ever in North East Asia. Japan will promote a variety of further cooperative initiatives in a multi-layered manner to ease the atmosphere of confrontation and the sense of curiosity toward one another in the region.

Japan will promote close cooperation with the Republic of Korea (ROK), which is in a position to support the U.S. presence in North East Asia together with Japan, and will make efforts to establish a foundation for further cooperation with the ROK, for example by concluding an agreement on security information protection and an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement.

Japan will further deepen its relationship with Australia, with which Japan shares security interests and security cooperation has been advancing, and strengthen cooperation in fields such as international peacekeeping activities. Japan will also actively conduct joint training and other activities so as to improve interoperability with Australia.

Moreover, efforts will be made to promote the partnerships among U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region by strengthening cooperative relationships under trilateral frameworks among Japan, the U.S. and ROK and among Japan, the U.S. and Australia.

As Chinese activities have a significant impact on regional security, Japan will promote security dialogue and exchanges with China in order to enhance mutual understanding and will develop confidence-building measures to prevent unexpected situations. Japan will maintain a calm and firm stance in dealing with the rapid expansion and intensification of Chinese activities on the sea and in the air surrounding Japan.

Japan will promote security dialogues with Russia, including the Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations ("2+2"), high-level exchanges, and unit-to-unit exchanges in order to deepen understanding about the intention of Russian military activities and develop mutual trust with Russia. In addition, Japan will enhance bilateral training and exercises with Russia to promote regional stability.

Japan will also further strengthen its relationships with partner countries in the region, including Southeast Asian countries, and will actively promote joint training and exercises and capacity building assistance. In addition, Japan will strengthen its cooperation with these countries in the field of disaster management in light of the increasing frequency and growing scale of disasters in the region. Japan will strengthen its relationship with India in a broad range of fields, including maritime security, through joint training and exercises as well as joint implementation of international peacekeeping activities.

As capacity building assistance is effective in stabilizing the security environment and strengthening bilateral defense cooperation, Japan will promote it in full coordination with diplomatic policy initiatives, including the Official Development Assistance, and aligning it with joint training and exercises and international peacekeeping activities. Japan will also strengthen cooperation with relevant countries which actively provide such support, thereby expanding the range of countries receiving support as well as its scope.

Under ongoing multilateral security cooperation and dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan in cooperation with the United States and Australia will proactively contribute to building cooperative relationships in the region. Moreover, Japan will actively participate in multilateral joint training and exercises and play a major role in enhancing confidence-building measures among countries in the region, attaching importance to multilateral frameworks such as the ARF and the ADMM-Plus.

(2) Cooperation with the international community

It is very difficult for a single country to respond to global security challenges on its own. Moreover, as the roles of military forces have diversified, there are increasing opportunities for such forces to play an important role not only in preventing and responding to conflicts and maintaining peace but also in supporting post-conflict reconstruction, building peace and promoting confidence-building and friendly relationships.

Therefore, Japan will promote various initiatives to improve the global security environment on a regular basis in cooperation with the international community.

Japan will continue and strengthen various initiatives concerning arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation and capacity building assistance in order to respond to global security challenges, including regional conflicts, expansion and spread of international terrorism, failed states, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and problems related to the sea, outer space and cyberspace, while regularly cooperating with its ally and relevant countries with which it shares security interests and with international organizations and other relevant bodies. In this respect, Japan will further strengthen its cooperation with the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and with the United Kingdom, France and other European countries and will work with them in responding to these challenges. Japan will also promote cooperation and exchanges with regard to equipment and technology with these countries and organizations.

In order to stabilize the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and improve the global security environment based on the policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation, Japan will actively promote various international peace cooperation activities, including international peace cooperation assignments and emergency relief activities, in a multi-layered manner. To this end, Japan will ensure close cooperation between the defense and foreign affairs authorities, with comprehensive consideration given to the significance of the dispatch of SDF units, the situation of countries accepting SDF units and Japan's political and economic relationships with recipient countries.

With regard to international peace cooperation activities and other similar activities in particular, Japan will continue to actively conduct activities utilizing the SDF's capabilities and will increase the number of SDF personnel it dispatches to assume positions of responsibility at organizations such as the local mission headquarters and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. In addition, Japan will conduct a study on various challenges it has to overcome to enable the dispatch of SDF personnel in a broad range of fields, and take necessary measures. Japan will also contribute to the training of domestic and foreign personnel engaging in peacebuilding by making use of the SDF’s experience and knowledge.

IV. Future Defense Forces

1. The Role of the Defense Force

Japan's future defense forces will be developed as described in III. 2 (2) above, and will be capable of effectively fulfilling the expected roles in the following fields, and will maintain the necessary posture.

(1) Effective deterrence of and response to various situations

In order to respond to various situations in a timely and appropriate manner, and certainly protect the lives and property of its people and the sovereignty of its land, sea and airspace, Japan will achieve intelligence superiority through persistent ISR activities in an extensive surrounding area to constantly gain an understanding of military developments in other countries and to detect any signs of development at an early stage.

Through such activities, Japan will clearly express its resolve not to tolerate the change of the status quo by force, thereby preventing various situations from occurring.

At the same time, Japan will swiftly and seamlessly respond to situations including gray zone situations, and will establish the necessary posture to continuously address a protracted situation.

Moreover, Japan will implement an effective response tailored to each situation, even in cases when multiple events occur in a consecutive or concurrent manner.

When implementing the initiatives above, the following points are emphasized in particular:

a. Ensuring security of the sea and airspace surrounding Japan

In addition to persistent ISR in an extensive area around Japan, Japan will immediately take appropriate measures to deal with any incursions into its territorial airspace. Japan will respond effectively and promptly to gray-zone situations or any other acts that may violate its sovereignty. Furthermore, should the acts in question become protracted or escalate, Japan will respond seamlessly as the situation evolves, taking all possible measures for the defense and security of the sea and airspace surrounding Japan.

b. Response to an attack on remote islands

In responding to an attack on remote islands, Japan will intercept and defeat any invasion, by securing maritime supremacy and air superiority, with the necessary SDF units swiftly deployed to interdict, in addition to the units deployed in advance in accordance with the security environment. Moreover, should any remote islands be invaded, Japan will recapture them. In doing so, any ballistic missile or cruise missile attacks will be dealt with appropriately.

c. Response to ballistic missile attacks

Japan will promptly detect any signs of a ballistic missile launch and facilitate a swift, sustained response by establishing a multi-layered defense posture. Should any damage result, Japan will take steps to minimize it. Moreover, in the event of an attack by guerrillas or special operations forces concurrent with a ballistic missile attack, Japan will protect key facilities including nuclear power plants and search and destroy the infiltrating units.

d. Responses in outer space and cyberspace

In regard with outer space and cyberspace, Japan will build up persistent ISR capabilities to prevent any acts that could impede efficient action by the SDF.

Furthermore, should any situation arise, Japan will identify the event without delay and swiftly repair any damage, while taking necessary steps to contain it. Moreover, in light of society's growing dependence on outer space and cyberspace, Japan will make effective use of the SDF’s capabilities when endeavoring to strengthen collaboration with relevant organizations and clarify the division of roles, thereby contributing to comprehensive, government-wide initiatives.

e. Responses to major disasters

Should a major disaster occur, Japan will swiftly transport and deploy the requisite units and take all possible measures as part of its initial response, and maintain its presence in the longer term, when required. Moreover, as well as providing a meticulous response to the needs of disaster-stricken citizens and local government bodies, Japan will engage in appropriate partnerships and cooperation with local governments and the private sector, in order to save lives, carry out emergency repairs, and provide livelihood support.

(2) Stabilization of the Asia-Pacific and improvement of global security environments

Through persistent ISR in the area surrounding Japan and the timely and appropriate implementation of training, exercises, and various other activities, Japan will ensure the stability of the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole including the vicinity of Japan.

Moreover, working in partnership with its ally and partners, Japan will promote multi-tiered initiatives, including bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and exchange, joint training and exercises, and capacity building assistance, effectively fulfilling its key role in initiatives focused on the stabilization of the security environment, including the building and strengthening of intra-regional cooperative frameworks in the Asia-Pacific region.

As the roles played by military capacity diversify, in order to respond appropriately to global security issues including regional conflicts, the expansion and spread of international terrorism, failed states, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Japan will strengthen various initiatives focused on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as actively promote international peace cooperation activities, anti-piracy initiatives and capacity building assistance, thereby working on improvement of the global security environment.

Japan will attach importance to the following in particular, when engaging in the aforementioned initiatives.

a. Holding training and exercises

As well as the timely and appropriate implementation of SDF training and exercises, Japan will promote bilateral and multilateral joint training and exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, proactively and visibly demonstrating our nation’s resolve and advanced capabilities focused on regional stabilization. In addition, it will build and strengthen cooperative relationships with relevant countries.

b. Promoting defense cooperation and exchange

Enhancing mutual understanding and relationships of trust with other countries and international organizations is the cornerstone of efforts to stabilize the security environment. Japan will take further steps to promote multi-layered defense cooperation and exchange, such as building and strengthening cooperative relationships focused on wide-ranging security issues of common interest including HADR and ensuring the stable use of the seas, outer space and cyberspace.

c. Promoting capacity building assistance

Utilizing the capabilities of the SDF, Japan will continuously engage in capacity building assistance such as human resource development and technical support on a regular basis in order to enhance the ability of developing countries themselves, thereby improving the security environment with particular focus on active creation of stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

d. Ensuring maritime security

As it is particularly vital for Japan as a maritime state to maintain an "Open and Stable Seas" order which serves as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity, Japan will take all possible measures to secure the safety of maritime traffic. Japan will also conduct anti-piracy activities in cooperation with countries concerned, and will promote various efforts including capacity building assistance of coastal states in this field and enhancement of joint training and exercises by taking various opportunities in waters other than those surrounding our country.

e. Implementing international peace cooperation activities

Working in partnership with non-governmental organizations and other relevant organizations, Japan will actively engage in international peace cooperation assignments and emergency relief activities to meet diverse needs, from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, placing greater emphasis on playing more of a leading role. In doing so, as well as enhancing its readiness posture to facilitate rapid overseas dispatch according to the situation, Japan will strengthen its sustainable preparedness for a protracted overseas deployment.

f. Cooperating with efforts to promote arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation Japan will be actively involved in arms control and disarmament activities undertaken by the United Nations and other bodies. In doing so, Japan will make active, effective use of the SDF's knowledge, including through personnel contribution. Moreover, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles that can serve as their means of delivery, as well as the proliferation of arms and goods and technology which could be diverted to military use pose severe threats to the peace and stability not only of Japan but also of the international community as a whole. Thus, Japan will cooperate with relevant countries and international organizations and other relevant bodies in promoting nonproliferation initiatives.

2. Priorities in strengthening architecture of the Self Defense Forces

(1) Basic approach

The SDF will maintain an appropriate structure to effectively fulfill the abovementioned roles of defense forces. As such, Japan has conducted capability assessments based on joint operations in relation to various potential contingencies to identify the functions and capabilities that should be prioritized in order to pursue more effective build-up of the defense force.

Based on the results of the capability assessments, in the defense capability buildup, the SDF will prioritize the development of capacities to ensure maritime supremacy and air superiority, which is the prerequisite for effective deterrence and response in various situations, including defense posture buildup in the southwestern region. Furthermore, the SDF will emphasize the establishment of rapid deployment capabilities with a consideration to establishing a wide-ranging logistical support foundation.

At the same time, in terms of preparation for a Cold-War era style invasion such as the landing of large-scale ground forces, the SDF will possess the minimum necessary level of expertise and skills required to respond to unforeseen changes in the situation in the future and to maintain and inherit them, and thereby further promote efforts to achieve even greater efficiency and rationalization.

(2) Functions and capabilities to be emphasized

From the perspective of efficiently developing an effective defense force, the SDF will selectively strengthen the following functions and capabilities in particular, paying attention to enhance joint functions with interoperability with the U.S. forces.

a. ISR capabilities

In order to ensure effective deterrence and response to various situations, while utilizing unmanned equipment, Japan will implement extensive persistent ISR on objectives such as aircraft and vessels in the seas and airspace surrounding it, and the SDF will adopt a flexible approach to boosting its ISR posture according to the developments of situations.

b. Intelligence capabilities

Japan will strengthen its system for intelligence collection, processing information, and analyzing and sharing the collected information, so that the SDF can promptly detect and swiftly respond to signs of various situations and take necessary measures based on medium-to long-term military trends mainly in its vicinity.

In doing so, the SDF will seek to augment its various information collection capabilities, including HUMINT, OSINT, SIGINT, and IMINT, as well as persistent ISR capabilities using unmanned aerial vehicles. Also, the SDF will engage in integrated efforts to strengthen its geospatial intelligence capabilities to combine various types of intelligence on images and maps to exploit them in a sophisticated manner, while establishing a framework for the integrated and systematic nurturing of highly capable personnel in information gathering analysis.

c. Transport capability

In order to secure swift and large-scale transport and deployment capability, and to swiftly deploy and move necessary units, the SDF will strengthen integrated transport capacity including maritime and airborne transport capacity, with collaboration with the civilian transport sector. In doing so, the SDF will avoid redundancy in functions by clarifying roles and assignments among various means of transport, considering their respective characteristics.

d. Command and control, and information and communications capabilities

In order to establish a command and control system that can manage units nationwide in a mobile, joint integrated manner, the SDF will take steps to deploy the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) personnel in the main headquarters of each service, making effective use of the knowledge and experience held by each respective service. Furthermore, the SDF will facilitate swift, resilient nationwide operation of the GSDF’s units such as basic operational units (divisions and brigades) through the establishment of a new central headquarters to control all of the regional armies, as well as greater efficiency and streamlining of the command and control function in each regional army headquarters, and other measures.

Moreover, the SDF will strive to enhance and strengthen its information and communications capabilities that are prerequisites for supporting nationwide operation, starting with the communications infrastructure on remote islands and data link functions among the three services.

e. Response to an attack on remote islands

In order to ensure maritime supremacy and air superiority which is a prerequisite for effective response to an attack on remote islands, the SDF will strengthen its ability to deal with attacks by aircraft, naval vessels, and missiles, etc.

Moreover, while strengthening the integrated capabilities to seek to interdict any attack on Japan’s remote islands at sea, the SDF will newly develop sufficient amphibious operations capability, which enables the SDF to land, recapture and secure without delay in the case of an invasion of any remote islands.

Furthermore, the SDF will enhance its logistical support capabilities, so that SDF units can swiftly and continuously respond in the event of a situation in the southwestern region.

In addition, the SDF will also examine the desirable air defense posture in remote islands in the Pacific.

f. Response to ballistic missile attacks

To counter North Korea’s improved ballistic missile capability, Japan will pursue comprehensive improvement of its response capability against the threat of ballistic missiles.

With regard to the BMD system, Japan will enhance readiness, simultaneous engagement capability and sustainable response capability to strengthen the capability to protect the entire territory.

Based on appropriate role and mission sharing between Japan and the U.S., in order to strengthen the deterrent of the Japan-U.S. Alliance as a whole through enhancement of Japan’s own deterrent and response capability, Japan will study a potential form of response capability to address the means of ballistic missile launches and related facilities, and take means as necessary.

g. Responses in outer space and cyberspace

While strengthening information collection capability using satellites equipped with a variety of sensors, and reinforcing command, control and telecommunications capabilities, the SDF will secure effective, stable use of outer space so that satellites can continuously exercise their capabilities even in contingencies by enhancing the survivability of satellites through such initiatives as space situational awareness. In implementing such initiatives, the SDF will form organic partnerships with research and development institutions in Japan, as well as with the U.S.

As for cyberspace, Japan will enhance integrated persistent surveillance and response capabilities and expertise and latest equipment will be continuously developed and secured in order to prevent actions that hinder efficient SDF activities.

h. Responses to major disasters, etc.

In the event of a large-scale natural disaster such as a Nankai Trough earthquake, or an atypical disaster such as a nuclear emergency, it is of vital importance to respond swiftly from the initial stages of the impact and carry out such tasks as information gathering on the extent and nature of the damage from the air by aircrafts, rescue operations and emergency repairs. In this regard, the SDF will develop a response posture sustainable for long-term operation, through swift transportation and deployment of appropriately size units, and by establishing a rotating staffing posture based on a joint operational approach.

i. Responses focused on international peace cooperation activities and other similar activities

In international peace cooperation activities and other similar activities, the SDF will strengthen the necessary protective capabilities to carry out its operations, ensuring the safety of personnel and units. Moreover, the SDF will work on enhancing transport and deployment capability, information communication capability with a view to long term activities in Africa and other remote locations, and strengthening logistic and medical service structure for smooth and continuous operation.

From the standpoint of carrying out international peace cooperation activities more effectively, Japan will consider measures for making more effective use of the SDF Operational Facility for Deployed Air Force for Anti-Piracy Operation in Djibouti.

Furthermore, while strengthening intelligence gathering capability required for operations, the SDF will enhance its education, training and personnel management systems in order to facilitate the continuous dispatch of adequate personnel for overseas cooperation activities.

3. Architecture of each service of the Self-Defense Forces

The organization, equipment and disposition in each service of the SDF are outlined in (1) to (3) below. The specifics of major organizations and equipment in the future are as shown in the Annex table.

(1) Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF)

a. In order to be able to respond swiftly and deal effectively and nimbly with an attack on offshore islands and various other situations, the GSDF will maintain rapidly deployable basic operational units (rapid deployment divisions, rapid deployment brigades and an armored division) furnished with advanced mobility and ISR capabilities. In addition, the GSDF will maintain mobile operating units sustaining specialized functions in order to effectively perform such operations as airborne operations, amphibious operations, special operations, air transportation, defense against NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) weapons, and international peace cooperation activities.

Keeping in mind that the role of these highly-proficient rapidly deployable basic operational units is to swiftly deploy and move via the integrated transport capacity referred to in 2 (2) c. above, the GSDF will maintain half of these in Hokkaido, given the excellent training environment there.

The defense posture in the remote islands of the southwestern region will be enhanced and strengthened via the permanent stationing of the units where the SDF is not currently stationed, the deployability of the aforementioned units, and the establishment of organic partnerships and networks with the MSDF and ASDF.

b. The GSDF will maintain surface-to-ship guided missile units in order to prevent invasion of Japan's remote islands while still at sea, as far as possible.

c. The GSDF will maintain surface-to-air guided missile units in order to effectively provide air defense to protect operational units and key areas, working in tandem with the surface-to-air guided missile units referred to in (3) d. below.

d. The GSDF will review the organization and equipment of the basic operational units (divisions and brigades) other than the rapidly deployable ones referred to in a. above, with a particular focus on tanks/howitzers and rockets. Following thorough rationalization and streamlining, these units will be deployed appropriately, according to geographical characteristics.

(2) Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF)

a. The MSDF will maintain destroyer units and ship-based patrol helicopter units strengthened by increased numbers of equipment, including the new destroyers, with additional multifunctional capability and with a compact-type hull, in order to effectively conduct persistent ISR and antisubmarine operations etc., thereby facilitating agile response in such areas as the defense of the seas surrounding Japan, the security of maritime traffic, and international peace cooperation activities etc.

Along with the surface-to-air guided missile units referred to in (3) d. below, the destroyer units will maintain Aegis-equipped destroyers capable of providing Japan with multi-layered defense against ballistic missile attacks.

b. The MSDF will maintain submarine units strengthened by increased numbers of them, in order to effectively conduct patrol and defense of the seas surrounding Japan, as well as regularly engage in broad underwater intelligence gathering and warning and surveillance in those seas.

c. The MSDF will maintain fixed-wing patrol aircraft units in order to effectively conduct patrol and defense of the seas surrounding Japan, as well as regularly engage in broad maritime intelligence gathering and warning and surveillance in those seas.

d. The MSDF will maintain minesweeper units in order to effectively conduct minesweeping operations in the seas surrounding Japan in collaboration with the new destroyers with additional multifunctional capability and with the compact-type hull referred to in a. above.

(3) Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF)

a. The ASDF will maintain air warning and control units consisting of warning and control units and air warning units. Warning and control units will be equipped with ground-based warning and control radar that can detect and track any ballistic missiles flying into Japanese air space, as well as providing persistent ISR in most air space over Japan and the surrounding areas. Air warning units will be enhanced in order to conduct effective warning, surveillance and control in the air over long periods in the event of "gray zone" situations.

b. The ASDF will maintain fighter aircraft units reinforced by highly capable fighter aircrafts in order to provide aerial defense for Japan based on a comprehensive posture that brings together fighter aircrafts and relevant support functions. In addition, the ASDF will maintain enhanced aerial refueling and transport units that will enable fighter aircraft units and air warning units, etc. to carry out various operations sustainably in the air space surrounding Japan.

c. The ASDF will maintain air transport units in order to effectively carry out the mobile deployment of ground-based units etc., and international peace cooperation activities etc.

d. The ASDF will maintain surface-to-air guided missile units providing multi-layered defense for Japan against ballistic missile attacks, together with the Aegis destroyers referred to in (2) a. above, as well as protecting key areas in tandem with the surface-to-air guided missile units referred to in (1) c. above.

V. Basic Foundations for SDF

To ensure that the diverse activities required of the SDF are carried out in a timely and appropriate manner, it is not sufficient simply to upgrade the main elements of the organization and its equipment; it is also imperative to strengthen the various foundations underpinning the defense force, in order to ensure that it can function as effectively as possible. The key aspects of this are as follows.

1. Training and Exercises

Through routine training and exercises, the SDF will ceaselessly review and examine various plans for dealing with situations, as well as strive to enhance and strengthen its training and exercises in order to improve the tactical skills in each of its branches. In doing so, as well as making more effective use of the excellent training environment in Hokkaido, the SDF will work in partnership with relevant organizations and the civilian sector, in order to ensure systematic implementation of more practical training and exercises.

In the southwestern region, where there are limitations on the exercise areas, etc. of the SDF, the SDF will secure a favorable training environment through the joint use of U.S. military facilities and areas, while remaining sensitive to relationships with the local community, so that timely and appropriate training and exercises can be carried out, including Japan-U.S. bilateral training and exercises.

2. Operational Infrastructure

The SDF will improve survivability, including the recovery capabilities of military camps and bases, etc., in order to maintain the support functions that serve as the operational infrastructure for units, so that units can be deployed swiftly and respond to various situations effectively.

Moreover, in light of the fact that some SDF facilities are currently dilapidated, the SDF will implement a steady repair and maintenance program, as well as expansion of the necessary quarters in order to ensure an emergency call-up of personnel in the event of various situations, thereby enhancing readiness.

The SDF will undertake necessary deliberations concerning civilian airports and ports, including approaches to the various systems on a day-to-day basis, in order to ensure that such facilities can be used as part of the operational infrastructure for the SDF, etc. from an early stage, depending on the situation. Furthermore, it will implement various family support measures, in order to alleviate the anxieties both of troops serving away from home and of their families while they are away.

The SDF will enhance and strengthen the operational infrastructure in terms of equipment and materials, such as improving the operational availability of equipment, by taking all possible measures to maintain and upgrade SDF equipment, as well as securing and stockpiling the necessary ammunition.

3. Personnel and Education

Given that equipment has become more advanced and complex, and missions more diverse and internationalized in recent years, the SDF will implement measures to reform the personnel management system, in order to ensure the edge of its troops and the effective use of human resources amid a severe fiscal situation, taking into consideration a variety of elements, including skills, experience, physical strength and morale.

Accordingly, the SDF will implement measures to ensure an appropriate composition of ranks and age distribution, taking into account the various missions and characteristics of each branch of the SDF.

The SDF will implement measures to make effective use of human resources, such as more effective use of female SDF personnel and expansion of reappointment, and measures related to honors and privileges. In order to strengthen the joint operations structure, the SDF will enhance education and training, and, through secondments to the Joint Staff and relevant ministries and agencies, retain adequate personnel who have a broad outlook and ideas, as well as wide-ranging experience in Japan’s security-affairs, and who can respond flexibly and rapidly to various situations as part of the government.

In light of the deterioration of the recruiting environment resulting from social factors such as the declining birthrate and popularization of higher education, the SDF will promote a diverse range of recruitment measures to spread the perception that the SDF is an attractive job option.

Furthermore, as it is the responsibility of the Government of Japan to secure the livelihoods of the SDF personnel, who are compelled to resign at a younger age than ordinary civil servants, the SDF will promote support for re-employment by strengthening collaboration with local governments and relevant organizations.

In order to support sustainable operation of units in situations that are becoming increasingly diversified and protracted, the SDF will promote utilization of reserve personnel in broad areas, including those with professional skills such as aviators, and will take measures to improve the sufficiency of reserve personnel.

4. Medical

In order to keep SDF personnel in good health and enhance their ability to engage in a diverse range of missions, such as various situation responses and international peace cooperation activities, the SDF will establish an efficient and high-quality medical care structure, through endeavors including upgrading of SDF hospitals into hubs with enhanced functions, and improvements in the management of the National Defense Medical College Hospital. The SDF will also attach greater importance to securing and training of such medical staff as medical officers, nurses and emergency medical technicians.

The SDF will consider such matters as revisions of regulations of emergency medical treatment on situation responses, and improve first aid capabilities on the frontline, and will put in place a posture for rapid medical evacuation that takes into account the viewpoints of enhanced joint capabilities.

5. Defense Production and Technological Bases

Retaining an adequate level of defense production and technological bases is essential not only for the production, operation, maintenance and upkeep of equipment, but also for research and development of equipment that fits the operational environment, and for the expected potential to contribute to enhancing deterrence.

At the same time, against the backdrop of the severe fiscal situation and rises in the equipment unit price as it becomes increasingly sophisticated and complex, the numbers of units of procured equipment are on the decline. Moreover, the environment surrounding Japan's defense production and technological bases is becoming more severe. For instance, the competitiveness of foreign companies is growing, as a result of the advance of large-scale and cross-border restructuring and consolidation of the defense industry.

In this kind of environment, the Ministry of Defense will formulate a strategy that sets forth its future vision for Japan's defense production and technological bases as a whole and will promote participation in international joint development and production and adapting defense equipment to civilian use, in order to maintain and reinforce such bases without delay.

With regard to contribution to peace and international cooperation, there are increasing opportunities to cooperate in a more effective manner through, for example, the utilization and provision to disaster-stricken countries and others of heavy machinery and other defense equipment carried to sites by the SDF. Moreover, internationally, it has become the 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 the equipment. In this context, from the perspective of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation, Japan is required to engage more proactively in peacebuilding efforts and international cooperation by utilizing defense equipment in various ways, 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 regard to defining cases where transfers are prohibited; limiting cases where transfers could be allowed with strict examination; and ensuring appropriate control over transfers in terms of unauthorized use and third party transfer.

6. Efficient Acquisition of Equipment

In order to achieve effective and efficient acquisition of equipment, including in research and development activities, the Ministry of Defense will strengthen project management throughout the life-cycle of equipment through introducing a project manager system, as well as through considering the possibility of further introducing long-term contracts and further upgrading the contract system to provide cost reduction incentives to companies, aiming to improve cost-effectiveness throughout the life-cycle of equipment.

Moreover, the Ministry of Defense will try to improve readiness and response capabilities through reforms of the logistics posture through effective use of capacity in the private sector. Furthermore, it will ceaselessly pursue greater transparency in the acquisition process and increased rationalization of the contract system, and strive to achieve more rigorous procedures for the acquisition of equipment.

7. Research and Development

The Ministry of Defense will ensure consistency with the priorities for upgrading defense capability when commencing research and development, in order to guarantee that research and development that meets the operational needs of the SDF is prioritized in view of the severe fiscal situation.

In conjunction with this, the Ministry of Defense will promote research and development based on a medium- to long-term perspective, taking into account the latest trends in science and technology, changes in combat modality, cost-effectiveness and the potential for international joint research and development, with a view to implementing research and development that can ensure Japan's technological superiority against new threats in strategically important areas.

From the aspect of security, it is necessary to utilize civilian technology effectively also in the field of security through regularly assessing the trend in science and technology including information related to technological development as well as consolidating the capabilities of the government, industry and academia. Under such recognition, the Ministry of Defense will strive to make effective use of civilian technology that can also be applied to defense (dual-use technologies), by enhancing partnerships with universities and research institutes, while strengthening technology control functions to prevent the outflow of advanced technologies.

The Ministry of Defense will examine its research and development initiative for achieving the aforementioned objectives.

8. Collaboration with Local Communities

The Ministry of Defense and the SDF will further strengthen collaboration with relevant organizations, including local governments, the police and the fire service, in order to enable the SDF to provide accurate response to various situations. Such close partnerships with local governments, etc. are exceedingly important from the perspective not only of the effective improvement and smooth operation of defense facilities, but also of the recruitment of SDF personnel, as well as the provision of re-employment support for them.

Accordingly, as well as continuing to advance measures targeting the areas around defense facilities, with a view to their improvement and operation, the Ministry of Defense and SDF will routinely engage in various measures such as intensive public relations activities focused on their policies and activities, in order to secure the understanding and cooperation of local governments and communities.

Given that the presence of SDF units makes a substantial contribution to the maintenance and revitalization of local communities in some areas, and supports community medicine through emergency patient transport using SDF search and rescue aircraft in others, the Ministry of Defense and the SDF will give consideration to the attributes of each area in the reorganization of units and deployment of military camps and bases, etc., in order to secure the understanding of local governments and residents. At the same time, in operating the military camps and bases, etc., the Ministry of Defense will pay attention to the contribution of the operation to the local economy.

9. Boosting Communication Capabilities

The Ministry of Defense and SDF will strengthen strategic public relations and communication to enhance the dissemination of information via a diverse range of media, in order to secure domestic and overseas understanding which is vital to effectively conduct SDF duties.

10. Enhancing the Intellectual Base

The Ministry of Defense will promote education on security-related matters at educational institutions, in order to enhance understanding of security and crisis management among the populace. Moreover, in addition to strengthening the Ministry of Defense and SDF research systems, with a particular focus on the National Institute for Defense Studies, the Ministry of Defense will promote various partnerships, including education and research exchange with other research and educational institutions within the government, as well as universities and think-tanks both within Japan and overseas.

11. Promoting Reform of the Ministry of Defense

The Ministry of Defense will further promote reforms by constantly reviewing its work methods and organization in order to foster a sense of unity among civilian officials and uniformed personnel, total optimization in building up defense capability, strengthening SDF's joint operation functions and enhancing policy-making and communication functions.

VI. Additional Points

1. These Guidelines set out the form of Japan's defense force over the next decade or so. The National Security Council will conduct regular, systematic review over the course of implementation of the various measures and programs. Smooth, swift and accurate transition to the future defense force will be facilitated through validations based on joint operational capability assessment while advancing such initiatives in a timely and appropriate manner.

2. When major changes in the situation are anticipated during the review and verification process, necessary examination of the security environment at that time will be taken into account and these guidelines will be revised adequately.

3. In light of the increasingly tough fiscal conditions, Japan will strive to achieve greater efficiency and streamlining in the defense capability buildup to curb costs, and harmonize with other initiatives in other fields to ensure that Japan’s defense force as a whole can smoothly fulfill its expected function.

(Annex Table)

CategoryPresent (as of the end of FY2013)Future
Ground Self-Defense Force Authorized Number of Personnel

Active-Duty Personnel

Reserve-Ready Personnel

approx. 159,000

approx. 151,000

approx. 8,000




Major Units

Rapid Deployment Units

Central Readiness Force

1 armored division

3 rapid deployment divisions

4 rapid deployment brigades

1 armored division 1 airborne brigade

1 amphibious rapid deployment brigade

1 helicopter brigade

Regional deployment Units 8 divisions

6 brigades

5 divisions

2 brigades

Surface-to-Ship Guided Missile Units 5 surface-to-ship guided missile regiments 5 surface-to-ship guided missile regiments
Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Units 8 anti-aircraft artillery groups/regiments 7 anti-aircraft artillery groups/regiments
Maritime Self-Defense Force Major Units Destroyer Units

Submarine Units

Minesweeper Units

Patrol aircraft Units

4 flotillas (8 divisions)

5 divisions

5 divisions

1 flotilla

9 squadrons

4 flotillas (8 divisions)

6 divisions

6 divisions

1 flotilla

9 squadrons

Major Equipment Destroyers

(Aegis-Equipped Destroyers)


Combat Aircraft




approx. 170




approx. 170

Air Self-Defense Force Major Units

Air Warning & Control Units

Fighter Aircraft Units

Air Reconnaissance Units

Aerial Refueling/Transport Units

Air Transport Units

Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Units

8 warning groups

20 warning squadrons

1 AEW group (2 squadrons)

12 squadrons

1 squadron

1 squadron

3 squadrons

6 groups

28 warning squadrons

1 AEW group (3 squadrons)

13 squadrons


2 squadrons

3 squadrons

6 groups

Major Equipment Combat Aircraft


approx. 340

approx. 260

approx. 360

approx. 280

Note1: The current numbers of tanks and howitzers/rockets (authorized number as of the end of FY2013) which will be reduced respectively to approx. 300 and approx. 300 in the future.

Note2: Regarding major equipment/units that may also serve for BMD missions, their acquisition/formation will be allowed within the number of Destroyers (Aegis-Equipped Destroyers), Air Warning & Control Units and Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Units specified above.