"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


[Date] December 18, 2018
[Source] Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

I. NDPG's Objective

Japan since the end of World War II has consistently treaded the path of a peace- loving nation. This has been accomplished by the persistent efforts of our forerunners under the principle of maintaining peace.

The most consequential responsibility of the Government of Japan is to maintain Japan's peace and security, to ensure its survival and to defend to the end Japanese nationals' life, person and property of its nationals and territorial land, waters and airspace. This is the foremost responsibility that Japan must fulfill as a sovereign nation. Carrying out this responsibility by exerting efforts on its own accord and initiative is at the very heart of Japan's national security. Japan's defense capability is the ultimate guarantor of its security and the clear representation of the unwavering will and ability of Japan as a peace-loving nation. And maintaining Japan's peace and security is an essential premise for its prosperity.

At present, security environment surrounding Japan is changing at extremely high speeds. Changes in the balance of power in the international arena are accelerating and becoming more complex, and uncertainty over the existing order is increasing. In addition, rapid expansion in the use of new domains, which are space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum is poised to fundamentally change the existing paradigm of national security, which has prioritized responses in traditional, physical domains, which are land, sea and air.

Even under these circumstances, Japan will vigorously march forward as a peace- loving nation. To do so, Japan, amid the dramatically changing security environment, needs to fundamentally strengthen its national defense architecture with which to protect, by exerting efforts on its own accord and initiative, life, person and property of its nationals, territorial land, waters and airspace, and its sovereignty and independence, thereby expanding roles Japan can fulfill. Today, no country can preserve its security by itself alone. Strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance as well as security cooperation with other countries are critical to Japan's national security, and this cannot be achieved without Japan's own efforts. The international community also expects Japan to play roles that are commensurate with its national power.

In strengthening its defense capability, Japan must squarely face the aforementioned realities of national security and ensure necessary and sufficient quality and quantity so as to build a truly effective defense capability that does not lie on a linear extension of the past. In particular, it has become essential that Japan achieve superiority in new domains, which are space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum. To build a new defense capability that combines strengths across all domains, Japan needs to engage in a transformation at a pace that is fundamentally different from the past, completely shedding the thinking that relies on traditional division among land, sea, and air. On the other hand, given the rapidly aging population with declining birthrates and severe fiscal situation, Japan cannot strengthen its defense capability without thorough rationalization that does not dwell on the past.

The Japan-U.S. Alliance, together with Japan's own defense architecture, continues to be the cornerstone of Japan's national security. As stated above, Japan's fulfillment of its foremost responsibility as a sovereign nation is the very way to fulfill its roles under the Japan-U.S. Alliance and further enhance the Alliance's ability to deter and counter threats, and is a foundation upon which to strategically promote security cooperation in line with the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific.

Based on the foregoing thoughts, the Government, in line with "On National Security Strategy" (approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 17, 2013, and hereinafter referred to as "National Security Strategy"), hereby sets forth the "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and beyond" as the new guidelines regarding how Japan's national defense ought to be to form the foundation of Japan's future.

II. Security Environment Surrounding Japan

1. Characteristics of current security environment

In the international community, interdependency among countries further expands and deepens. On the other hand, thanks to further growth of national power of such countries as China, changes in the balance of power are accelerating and becoming more complex, thereby increasing uncertainty over the existing order. Against such a backdrop, prominently emerging are inter-state competitions across the political, economic and military realms, in which states seek to shape global and regional order to their advantage as well as to increase their influence.

These inter-state competitions occur on a continuous basis: In conducting inter- state competitions, states leverage various means such as undermining other country's sovereignty using military and law-enforcement entities, and manipulating foreign country's public opinion by exploiting social media. Also, the so-called gray-zone situations are becoming persistent over a long period of time, playing out as part of inter- state competitions. They may possibly further increase and expand.

Such gray-zone situations harbor the risk of rapidly developing into graver situations without showing clear indications. In addition, methods employed to alter the status quo, such as "hybrid warfare," that intentionally blur the boundaries between the military and non-military realms are forcing affected actors to take complex measures not limited to military ones.

Driven by rapid technological innovation in information & communications and other fields, military technologies are showing remarkable advances. Against the backdrop of such technological advances, contemporary warfare increasingly features capabilities combined across all domains: not only land, sea and air but also new domains, which are space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum. Aiming to improve overall military capability, states are seeking to gain superiority in technologies that undergird capabilities in new domains. Since space and cyber domains are widely used for civilian purposes, if stable use of these domains is impeded, it may entail serious consequences for the safety of state and its citizens.

Due to advances in military technologies, a variety of threats can now easily penetrate national borders. States endeavor to develop weapons that leverage cutting-edge, potentially game-changing technologies. They also engage in research of autonomous unmanned weapon systems equipped with artificial intelligence (AI). Further technological innovations hereafter are expected to make it difficult still to foresee future warfare.

In the international community, there is a broadening and diversifying array of security challenges that cannot be dealt with by a single country alone. With respect to space and cyber domains, establishing international rules and norms has been a security agenda. In maritime domain, there have been cases where country unilaterally claims its entitlements or take actions based on its own assertions that are incompatible with existing international order. These have generated undue infringement upon freedom in high seas. In addition, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and ballistic missiles as well as worsening international terrorism remain grave challenges for the international community.

Against such background, qualitatively and quantitatively superior military powers concentrate in Japan's surroundings where clear trends are observed in further military build-up and increase in military activities.

2. Situations by country and region

While remaining to possess the world's largest comprehensive national power, the United States, with inter-state competitions in a range of areas prominently emerging, has acknowledged that particularly important challenge is strategic competition with China and Russia who attempt to alter global and regional order.

To rebuild its military power, the United States is engaged in such efforts as maintaining military advantage in all domains through technological innovations, enhancing nuclear deterrent, and advancing missile defense capabilities. The United States upholds defense commitments to allies and partners and maintains forward force presence, while calling on them to share greater responsibility. The United States frames the Indo-Pacific as a priority region where it adopts a policy of strengthening alliances and partnerships.

Member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) including the United States are reviewing their strategies to deal with coercive attempts to alter the status-quo as well as "hybrid warfare." In view of changes in the security environment, NATO member states have been increasing their defense expenditures. With an aim to build "world-class forces" by the mid-21st century, China has sustained high-level growth of defense expenditures with continued lack of transparency. China has engaged in broad, rapid improvement of its military power in qualitative and quantitative terms with focus on nuclear, missile, naval and air forces. In so doing, China attaches importance to ensuring superiority in new domains: it is rapidly advancing capabilities in cyber and electromagnetic domains with which to disrupt opponent's command and control; and continues to enhance space domain capabilities through developing and experimenting anti-satellite weapons. China is also improving missile defense penetration capabilities and amphibious landing capabilities. Such capability enhancement serves to improve the so-called Anti-Access/Area Denial ("A2/AD") capabilities -- capabilities to deny access and deployment of foreign militaries to one's surrounding areas and to disrupt their military operations therein -- as well as to build capabilities with which to conduct military operations over greater distances. In addition, China is promoting civil-military integration policy in areas of national defense, science & technology and industry, and actively developing and acquiring cutting-edge technologies of potential military utility. Also, maritime law enforcement agencies and the military are improving their collaboration.

China engages in unilateral, coercive attempts to alter the status quo based on its own assertions that are incompatible with existing international order. In the East China Sea and other waters, China is expanding and intensifying its military activities at sea and in the air. Around the Senkaku Islands, an inherent part of Japanese territory, Chinese government vessels continually violate Japanese territorial waters despite Japan's strong protests while Chinese naval ships continuously operate in waters around the Islands. China is also expanding its military activities in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. In particular, the Chinese military in recent years has frequently advanced to the Pacific, with its navigation routes and unit composition becoming more diverse. In the South China Sea, China has forcibly conducted large-scale, rapid reclamation of maritime features, which are being converted into military foothold. China in the South China Sea is also expanding and intensifying its maritime and air activities.

Such Chinese military and other developments, coupled with the lack of transparency surrounding its defense policy and military power, represent a serious security concern for the region including Japan and for the international community. Japan needs to continue to pay utmost attention to these developments. China is eagerly expected to play active roles in a more cooperative manner in the region and the international community.

North Korea in recent years has launched ballistic missiles at unprecedented frequency, rapidly improving its operational capabilities such as simultaneous launch and surprise attack. Given technological maturity obtained through a series of nuclear tests, North Korea is assessed to have already successfully miniaturized nuclear weapons to fit ballistic missile warheads. Although North Korea expressed its intention for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and blew up in public its nuclear test site, it has not carried out the dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner: There has been no essential change in North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities.

North Korea is assessed to possess large-scale cyber units as part of its asymmetric military capabilities, engaging in theft of military secrets and developing capabilities to attack critical infrastructure of foreign countries. North Korea also retains large-scale special operation forces.

Such military developments of North Korea pose grave and imminent threats to Japan's security and significantly undermine peace and security of the region and the international community. Through United Nations Security Council resolutions, the international community also has made it clear that North Korea's nuclear- and ballistic missile-related activities constitute a clear threat to international peace and security.

Russia is enhancing its military posture by continuing force modernization efforts with a focus on nuclear forces. Russia is in sharp confrontation with Europe and the United States over issues including situation in Ukraine. Russia's military activities are trending upward in the Arctic Circle, Europe, areas around the United States and the Middle East, as well as in the Far East including Japan's Northern Territories. Close attention therefore needs to be paid to its developments.

3. Characteristics of Japan

Surrounded by sea on all sides and with long coastlines, Japan possesses numerous islands remote from the mainland and is blessed with vast Exclusive Economic Zones: spread widely therein are life, person and property of its nationals, territorial land, waters and airspace, as well as various resources, all of which Japan must defend to the end. For

Japan, a maritime nation dependent on overseas trade for the bulk of energy resources and food supplies, fundamental to its peace and prosperity is to ensure the safety of maritime and air traffic by strengthening the order of "Open and Stable Oceans," an order based on fundamental norms such as rule of law and freedom of navigation.

Japan is prone to natural disasters that exact heavy damage. Industry, population and information infrastructure concentrate in Japan's urban areas, and a large number of critical facilities such as nuclear power plants are located in coastal areas.

In addition, Japan is undergoing population decline and ageing with dwindling birthrate at unprecedented pace. Severe fiscal conditions continue as well.

4. Summary

In light of the foregoing, while the probability of a large-scale military conflict between major countries, which was of concern during the Cold War era, remains low, Japan's security environment is becoming more testing and uncertain at a remarkably faster speed than expected when the "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and beyond" (approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 17, 2013 and hereinafter referred to as the "former Guidelines") was formulated.

To prevent threats to Japan from materializing to menace life and peaceful livelihood of its nationals, it behooves Japan to take measures that are in line with these realities.

III. Japan's Basic Defense Policy

In line with the National Security Strategy and from the perspective of "Proactive Contribution to Peace," Japan has enhanced its diplomatic strength and defense capability. Japan has also expanded and deepened cooperative relationships with other countries, with the Japan-U.S. Alliance being a cornerstone. In so doing, Japan under the Constitution has adhered to the basic precept of maintaining the exclusively defense- oriented policy and not becoming a military power that poses threat to other countries, ensured civilian control of the military, and observed the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.

Japan under these precepts will ever not change the course it has taken as a peace- loving nation. Based on this premise, Japan, even amid the realities of security environment it has hitherto never faced, must strive to preserve national interests identified in the National Security Strategy -- defend to the end Japanese nationals' life, person and property, territorial land, waters and airspace, and its sovereignty and independence. To that end, the Government will identify national defense objectives and the means to achieve them, and proactively and strategically promote measures with added variety.

National defense objectives are: first, to create, on a steady-state basis, security environment desirable for Japan by integrating and drawing on the strengths at the nation's disposal; second, to deter threat from reaching Japan by making opponent realize that doing harm to Japan would be difficult and consequential; and finally, should threat reach Japan, to squarely counter the threat and minimize damage.

Japan will strengthen each of the means by which to successfully achieve these national defense objectives: Japan's own architecture for national defense; the Japan-U.S. Alliance; and international security cooperation. These efforts, including achieving superiority in new domains, which are space, cyberspace, and electromagnetic spectrum, must be carried out swiftly and flexibly in order to deal with increasingly complex security environment that is changing at accelerating speeds.

In dealing with the threat of nuclear weapons, U.S. extended deterrence, with nuclear deterrence at its core, is essential: Japan will closely cooperate with the United States to maintain and enhance its credibility. To deal with the threat, Japan will also increase its own efforts including comprehensive air and missile defense as well as civil protection. At the same time, towards the long-term goal of bringing about a world free of nuclear weapons, Japan will play an active and positive role in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

1. Strengthening Japan's own architecture for national defense

(1) Building comprehensive architecture for national defense

In order to squarely address the realities of security environment that it has hitherto never faced and to securely achieve national defense objectives, Japan will build national defense architecture that in all phases integrates the strengths at the nation's disposal: this structure enables not only Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Self-Defense Forces (SDF) efforts but also coherent, whole-of-government efforts; and enables cooperation with local governments and private entities. In particular, Japan will accelerate its efforts and cooperation in such fields as space, cyberspace, electromagnetic spectrum, ocean, and science & technology, and also promote measures concerning the formulation of international norms in fields such as space and cyberspace.

Japan will further advance steady-state efforts such as strategic communications by systematically combining all available policy tools.

In order to address a range of situations including armed contingencies and "gray- zone" situations, Japan has been strengthening its posture under the principle of civilian control of the military. Japan further needs to seamlessly deal with various situations in a coherent, whole-of-government manner by way of swift and pertinent decision-making under even stronger political leadership, which will be assisted by enhanced support mechanism. In view of protecting the life, person and property of its nationals, Japan will also continue to strengthen organization for disaster response and civil protection, and, in cooperation with local governments, work to secure evacuation facilities. Japan will build a posture fully prepared to evacuate Japanese nationals overseas during emergencies and ensure their safety. Japan will promote measures to protect infrastructure critical to people's daily lives such as electricity and communication as well as to protect cyberspace.

In addition to making aforementioned efforts, in order to ensure the effectiveness of various policies and measures, Japan will, on a steady-state basis, devise and review relevant plans while systematizing them; also, expand the use of simulations and comprehensive training and exercises to improve the effectiveness of emergency response posture.

(2) Strengthening Japan's defense capability

a. Significance and necessity of defense capability

Defense capability is the ultimate guarantor of Japan's national security. Defense capability represents Japan's will and ability to: deter threat from reaching Japan; and should threat reach Japan, eliminate the threat and, as a sovereign nation, by exerting efforts on its own accord and initiative, defend to the end Japanese nationals' life, person and property as well as territorial land, waters and airspace.

At the same time, defense capability is essential for Japan to play on its initiative its roles in the Japan-U.S. Alliance at all phases from peacetime to armed contingencies. Strengthening Japan's defense capability to provide for national security is none other than strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Defense capability is essential also for advancing Japan's efforts in security cooperation with other countries.

Defense capability is the most important strength for Japan in retaining self- sustained existence as a sovereign nation amid security environment it has never faced before. Japan must strengthen this capability on its own accord and initiative.

b. Truly effective defense capability – Multi-domain Defense Force

To be able to deter and counter qualitatively and quantitatively superior military threats in increasingly testing security environment, it has become vitally important to adapt to warfare that combines capabilities in new domains -- space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum -- and traditional domains -- land, sea and air.

Japan needs to develop, while qualitatively and quantitatively enhancing capabilities in individual domains, a defense capability that can execute cross-domain operations, which organically fuse capabilities in all domains to generate synergy and amplify the overall strength, so that even when inferiority exists in individual domains such inferiority will be overcome and national defense accomplished.

In order to ensure national defense in increasingly uncertain security environment, it is also important for Japan to be able to seamlessly conduct activities at all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies. To date, Japan has endeavored to develop a defense capability that allows to engage in diverse activities in a swift and sustainable manner. In recent years, however, SDF has had to increase the scope and frequency of its steady- state activities such as maintaining presence, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) activities: This is exacting a chronic burden on its personnel and equipment, generating a concern that SDF may not be able to maintain proficiency and the volume of its activities.

Japan needs to: improve quality and quantity of capabilities that support sustainability and resiliency of various activities; and develop a defense capability that enables sustained conduct of flexible and strategic activities commensurate with the character of given situations.

Further, Japan's defense capability needs to be capable of strengthening the ability of the Japan-U.S. Alliance to deter and counter threats as well as promoting multi-faceted and multi-layered security cooperation.

In light of the foregoing, Japan will henceforth build a truly effective defense capability, "Multi-Domain Defense Force," which: organically fuses capabilities in all domains including space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum; and is capable of sustained conduct of flexible and strategic activities during all phases from peacetime to armed contingencies. The development of "Multi-Domain Defense Force" will be done while honing the attributes of "Dynamic Joint Defense Force" under the former Guidelines.

(3) Roles that defense capability should play

In order to create a security environment desirable for Japan and to deter and counter threats, Japan's defense capability must be able to serve the roles specified below in a seamless and combined manner. In particular, in view of protecting the life and peaceful livelihood of Japanese nationals, it is all the more important for Japan's defense capability to fulfill diverse roles on a steady-state basis.

a. From peacetime to "gray-zone" situations

SDF will enhance its presence on a steady-state basis by actively engaging in, among others, joint training and exercises and overseas port visits, thereby demonstrating Japan's will and capability. SDF will, in close integration with diplomacy, promote strategic communications including aforementioned activities by SDF units. SDF will leverage its capabilities in all domains to conduct wide-area, persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (hereinafter referred to as "persistent ISR") activities around Japan. SDF will prevent occurrence or escalation of emergencies by employing flexible deterrent options and other measures. Leveraging posture in place for these activities, SDF will, in coordination with the police and other agencies, immediately take appropriate measures in response to actions that violate Japan's sovereignty including incursions into its territorial airspace and waters.

SDF will provide persistent protection against incoming ballistic missiles and other threats, and minimize damage should it occur.

b. Attack against Japan including its remote islands

In response to attack on Japan including its remote islands, SDF will quickly maneuver and deploy requisite units to block access and landing of invading forces while ensuring maritime and air superiority. Even when maintaining maritime and air superiority becomes untenable, SDF will block invading forces' access and landing from outside their threat envelopes. Should any part of the territory be occupied, SDF will retake it by employing all necessary measures.

Against airborne attack by missiles and aircraft, SDF will respond in a swift and sustained manner by applying optimal means and minimize damage to maintain SDF's capabilities as well as the infrastructure upon which such capabilities are employed.

In response to attack by guerrillas or special operations forces, SDF will protect critical facilities including nuclear power plants and search and destroy infiltrating forces.

c. Space, cyber and electromagnetic domains during all phases

In space, cyber and electromagnetic domains, to prevent any actions that impede its activities, SDF will conduct on a steady-state basis persistent monitoring as well as collection and analysis of relevant information. In case of such event, SDF will promptly identify incidents and take such measures as damage limitation and recovery.

In case of armed attack against Japan, SDF will, on top of taking these actions, block and eliminate the attack by leveraging capabilities in space, cyber and electromagnetic domains.

In addition, in light of the society's growing dependence on space and cyberspace, SDF will contribute to comprehensive, whole-of-government efforts concerning these domains under appropriate partnership and shared responsibility with relevant organizations.

d. Large-scale disasters

In case of large-scale disasters, to protect the life, person, and property of Japanese nationals, SDF will swiftly transport and deploy requisite units to take all necessary measures for initial response, and, as required, maintain its posture for disaster response for a longer term. SDF will carefully address the needs of affected citizens and local governments, and engage in life saving, temporary repair and livelihood support in appropriate partnership and cooperation with relevant organizations, local governments and the private sector.

e. Collaboration with the United States based on the Japan-U.S. Alliance

In all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies, in line with the "Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation," Japan will effectively conduct activities described in 2. by playing on its initiative its own roles in the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

f. Promotion of security cooperation

SDF will actively engage in efforts for enhanced security cooperation as stated in 3.: In accordance with policies that are tailored to individual regions and countries, SDF will strategically promote defense cooperation and exchanges such as: joint training and exercises, cooperation in defense equipment and technologies, capacity building assistance, and service-to-service exchange.

2. Strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance

The Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, together with Japan's own national defense architecture, constitute a cornerstone for Japan's national security. The Japan-U.S. Alliance, with the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements as its core, plays a significant role for peace, stability and prosperity of not only Japan but also the Indo-Pacific region and the international community.

As inter-sate competitions prominently emerge, it has become all the more important for Japan's national security to further strengthen relationship with the United States, with whom Japan shares universal values and strategic interests. The United States also views that cooperation with its allies has become more important.

While the Japan-U.S. Alliance has been reinforced through activities including those that were made possible by the Legislation for Peace and Security, Japan needs to further enhance the Alliance through efforts under the "Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation" in order to achieve its national defense objective as security environment surrounding Japan becomes more testing and uncertain at remarkably fast speeds.

In further strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, it is an essential premise that Japan strengthen its own defense capability on its own accord and initiative. Fulfilling this premise, Japan needs to press ahead with efforts such as: bolstering the ability of the Alliance to deter and counter threats; enhancing and expanding cooperation in a wide range of areas; and steadily implementing measures concerning the stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan.

(1) Strengthening ability of Japan-U.S. Alliance to deter and counter threats

In all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies as well as during disasters, Japan will enhance information sharing with the United States, conduct effective and smooth bilateral coordination involving all relevant organizations and take all necessary measures to ensure Japan's peace and security.

For these purposes, Japan will further deepen various operational cooperation and policy coordination with the United States. In particular, Japan will expand and deepen cooperation in: space and cyber domains; comprehensive air and missile defense; bilateral training and exercises; bilateral ISR operations; and bilateral flexible deterrent options. Japan will also promote formulation and renewal of bilateral plans and deepen the Extended Deterrence Dialogue. In addition, Japan will even more actively conduct activities such as logistic support for U.S. force activities and protection of U.S. ships and aircraft.

(2) Strengthening and expanding cooperation in a wide range of areas

In order to create a desirable security environment including maintaining and enhancing free and open maritime order, and with an eye on increasing Japanese and U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan will conduct bilateral activities such as capacity building assistance, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) and counter-piracy.

In order for Japan and the United States to be able to fully leverage their capabilities during bilateral activities, Japan will enhance and expand cooperation with the United States in such areas as equipment, technology, facility, and intelligence as well as information security.

In particular, Japan will promote standardization of defense equipment that contributes to Japan-U.S. bilateral activities, and sharing of various networks. In order to support sustainable U.S. force activities around Japan as well as to ensure high operational availability of SDF equipment, Japan will build capacity for in-country maintenance of U.S.-made equipment.

To efficiently improve Japanese and U.S. capabilities, while facilitating common understanding of respective priorities in defense capability enhancement, promote measures such as effective acquisition of advanced U.S equipment through optimized Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Japan-U.S. joint research and development.

With respect to SDF facilities and U.S force facilities and areas including training facilities and areas, Japan will promote cooperation on joint/shared use and efforts for improved resiliency.

(3) Steady implementation of measures concerning stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan

Japan will provide stable support for smooth and effective stationing of U.S. forces in Japan through various measures including Host Nation Support (HNS). Japan will also steadily implement the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan to mitigate impact on local communities while maintaining deterrence provided by U.S. forces.

Okinawa is located in areas critically important to Japan's national security and

U.S. force stationing in Okinawa greatly contributes to deterrent the Japan-U.S. alliance provides: At the same time, facilities and areas of U.S. forces in Japan are highly concentrated in Okinawa. In light of this, Japan in recent years has been furthering its efforts to mitigate impact on Okinawa including returns of U.S. facilities and areas. Japan will continue to work to mitigate impact on Okinawa by steadily implementing such measures as realignment, consolidation and reduction of facilities and areas of U.S. forces in Okinawa including the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma as well as the dispersion of impact on Okinawa.

3. Strengthening security cooperation

In line with the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific, Japan will strategically promote multifaceted and multilayered security cooperation, taking into account characteristics and situation specific to each region and country. As part of such efforts, Japan will actively leverage its defense capability to work on defense cooperation and exchanges which include joint training and exercises, defense equipment and technology cooperation, capacity building assistance, and interchanges among military branches. Furthermore, Japan will also contribute to address global security challenges. In implementing these initiatives, Japan will position the Japan-U.S. Alliance as its cornerstone and will work closely with the countries that share universal values and security interests, through full coordination with its diplomatic policy.

(1) Promoting defense cooperation and exchanges

With Australia, to further improve interoperability and by utilizing frameworks such as Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations ("2+2"), Japan will further promote joint training and exercises and defense equipment and technology cooperation, and advance cooperative activities such as bilaterally-aligned capacity building assistance to third parties. Japan will also strengthen cooperative relations under trilateral framework among Japan, Australia and the United States, which share universal values and strategic interests.

With India, in view of enhancing strategic partnership and by utilizing frameworks such as "2+2," Japan will promote joint training and exercises and defense equipment and technology cooperation in a broad range of areas including maritime security. Japan will also strengthen cooperation among Japan, India and the United States.

With Southeast Asian countries, Japan will continue to support efforts for strengthening the centrality and unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is the key to regional cooperation, and promote practical bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including joint training and exercises, defense equipment and technology cooperation, and capacity building assistance.

With the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan will promote defense cooperation in a broad range of fields and strive to establish the foundation for collaboration. Japan will also continue to strengthen trilateral cooperation among Japan, the ROK and the United States to maintain peace and stability in the region.

With the United Kingdom and France, to contribute to the stability of maritime order in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan will, while leveraging such frameworks as the "2+2," promote efforts including more practical joint training and exercises, defense equipment and technology cooperation and bilateral collaboration on third-party engagement. Japan will strengthen cooperation with European countries as well as NATO and the European Union (EU).

With Canada and New Zealand, Japan will promote efforts including joint training and exercises as well as bilateral collaboration on third-party engagement.

With China, in order to enhance mutual understanding and trust, Japan will promote multi-layered dialogues and exchange. In so doing, Japan will continue to encourage

China to play responsible and constructive roles for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, comply with international norms of conduct, and improve transparency regarding military capability enhancement. In order to avoid unexpected situations between the two countries, Japan will utilize the "Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the defense authorities of Japan and China" in a manner that contributes to building a trusting relationship between the two countries. Japan will calmly and firmly deal with Chinese activities at sea and in the air around Japan.

With Russia, in order to enhance mutual understanding and trust, Japan will promote security dialogues with Russia including the "2+2," high-level interactions and broad unit-to-unit exchanges, and deepen joint training and exercises.

With island nations of the Pacific Ocean, Japan will promote port and airport visits by SDF as well as exchanges and cooperation that utilize capabilities and characteristics of each service of SDF.

With countries in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, in order to build and strengthen cooperative relations Japan will promote exchanges at all levels, including high level, and cooperation in such fields as capacity building assistance related to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.

Regarding multilateral frameworks, Japan attaches importance to the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) that provide significant foundations for discussions, cooperation and exchanges related to security field in the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, Japan will contribute to strengthening cooperation and mutual trust among the countries in the region.

(2) Responding to global issues

From the viewpoint of securing the freedom and security of navigation and flight, Japan will promote cooperation to contribute to the improvement of capabilities pertaining to the maritime security of coastal states in the Indo-Pacific region, which include South Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka, as well as Southeast Asian countries. Moreover, Japan will promote such activities as joint training and exercises, unit-to-unit exchanges and active port visits at these occasions. Japan will also conduct activities such as anti-piracy efforts in cooperation with relevant countries and cooperation for strengthening capabilities of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

Regarding the use of space domain, Japan will promote partnership and cooperation in various fields including the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and mission assurance of the entire space system, through consultations and information sharing with relevant countries and active participation in multilateral exercises among others. Regarding the use of cyber domain, Japan will enhance its partnership and cooperation with relevant countries through measures such as sharing views on threat awareness, exchanging views on response to cyber attacks, and participating in multilateral exercises.

In cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations, Japan will promote non-proliferation efforts regarding: weapons of mass destruction and missiles which can serve as their delivery means; and goods and sensitive technologies of potential military use. Leveraging SDF's knowledge and human resources, Japan will engage in various activities related to arms control and disarmament undertaken by the United Nations and other bodies, including the discussion on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).

In line with the Legislation for Peace and Security, Japan will actively promote international peace cooperation activities, while giving comprehensive consideration to such factors as purposes of mission, situation in host country, and political and economic relations between Japan and host country. While making good use of past experiences to develop human resources, Japan will actively contribute through such efforts as sending embedded personnel to mission headquarters and capacity building assistance in areas that Japan excels. Regarding SDF operation facility in the Republic of Djibouti, which is used for anti-piracy efforts, Japan will work towards stable, long-term use of the facility for regional security cooperation and other activities.

IV. Priorities in Strengthening Defense Capability

1. Guiding thoughts

In order to adapt to increasingly rapid changes in security environment, Japan must strengthen its defense capability at speeds that are fundamentally different from the past. In view of aging population with declining birth rate and severe fiscal situation, it is essential that Japan use budget and personnel even more effectively.

In strengthening defense capability, Japan will enhance priority capability areas as early as possible, allocating resources flexibly and intensively without adhering to existing budget and human resource allocation, and undertake necessary fundamental reforms.

In taking these measures, SDF will further promote joint-ness of the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces in all areas and, avoiding stove-piped approach, optimize their organizations and equipment. In particular, SDF will further promote joint- ness in a wide range of areas such as capabilities in new domains, which are space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum, comprehensive air and missile defense, damage recovery, transportation, maintenance, supply, security, education, medical service and research.

With respect to hedging against invasion scenarios such as amphibious landing employing large-scale ground forces, which were assumed primarily during the Cold War period, SDF will retain forces only enough to maintain and carry on the minimum necessary expertise and skills with which to adapt to changes in situation in the future, and work further to achieve even greater efficiency and rationalization.

2. Priorities in strengthening capabilities necessary for cross-domain operations

(1) Acquiring and strengthening capabilities in space, cyber and electromagnetic domains

In order to realize cross-domain operations, SDF will acquire and strengthen capabilities in new domains, which are space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum by focusing resources and leveraging Japan's superb science and technology. In doing so, SDF will strengthen and protect command, control, communications and information capabilities that effectively connect capabilities in all domains including the new ones.

a. Capabilities in space domain

Effective use of satellites for such purposes as information-gathering, communication and positioning is essential for realizing cross-domain operations. On the other hand, threats to the stable use of space are increasing.

SDF therefore will further improve various capabilities that leverage space domain including information-gathering, communication and positioning capabilities. SDF will also build a structure to conduct persistent ground- and space-based space situation monitoring. To ensure superiority in use of space at all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies, SDF will also work to strengthen capabilities including mission assurance capability and capability to disrupt opponent's command, control, communications and information.

In so doing, SDF will actively leverage civilian technologies and work to enhance cooperation with relevant agencies including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and with the United States and other relevant countries. SDF will also engage in organization building such as the creation of units specializing in space and dedicated career field, and develop human resources and accumulate knowledge and expertise in the space field.

b. Capabilities in cyber domain

Information and communications networks that leverage cyberspace are a foundation for SDF's activities in various domains, and attack against them seriously disrupts organized activities of SDF. In order to prevent such attack, SDF will continue to strengthen capabilities for persistent monitoring of command and communications systems and networks as well as for damage limitation and recovery. In addition, SDF will fundamentally strengthen its cyber defense capability, including capability to disrupt, during attack against Japan, opponent's use of cyberspace for the attack.

In so doing, SDF will significantly expand its human resources with specialized expertise and skills, and take into consideration its contributions to whole-of-government efforts.

c. Capabilities in electromagnetic domain

Since the use of electromagnetic spectrum has expanded in range and purpose, it is now recognized as a major operational domain situated on the frontline of offense-defense dynamic in today's warfare. Ensuring superiority in electromagnetic domain is also critical to realizing cross-domain operations.

SDF will work to enhance information and communications capabilities as well as information collection and analysis capabilities related to electromagnetics, and develop an information sharing posture. SDF will improve capabilities to minimize the effect of opponent's electronic jamming. In addition, SDF will strengthen capabilities to neutralize radar and communications of opponent who intends to invade Japan. In order to smoothly perform these activities, SDF will enhance its ability to appropriately manage and coordinate the use of electromagnetic spectrum.

(2) Enhancing capabilities in traditional domains

SDF will enhance capabilities to effectively counter attacks by aircraft, ships and missiles during cross-domain operations in close combination with capabilities in space, cyber and electromagnetic domains.

a. Capabilities in maritime and air domains

In order to effectively deal with armed attack against Japan, it is extremely important for Japan to establish and maintain maritime and air superiority.

SDF will reinforce its posture for conducting persistent ISR at sea and in the air around Japan.

SDF will also strengthen surface and underwater operational capabilities including Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV).

By taking measures such as developing a fighter force structure that features Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft which bring operational flexibility, SDF will improve air operation capability particularly on the Pacific side of Japan, where number of air bases is limited despite its vast airspace. In so doing, as number of air bases that allow for take-off and landing of fighters is limited, Japan will take necessary measures to enable STOVL fighter aircraft to operate from existing SDF ships as required, in order to further improve flexibility in fighter operations while ensuring safety of SDF personnel.

b. Stand-off defense capability

As other countries make remarkable advances in early warning and control capabilities and the performance of various missiles, SDF needs to effectively intercept attack against Japan, while ensuring safety of its personnel.

SDF will acquire stand-off firepower and other requisite capabilities to deal with ships and landing forces attempting to invade Japan including remote islands from the outside of their threat envelopes. In addition, in order to appropriately leverage advances in military technologies, Japan will swiftly and flexibly strengthen stand-off defense capability through measures such as comprehensive research and development of related technologies.

c. Comprehensive air and missile defense capability

Japan needs to effectively and efficiently counter increasingly diverse and complex airborne threats of ballistic and cruise missiles and aircraft by optimum means and minimize damage.

SDF will establish a structure with which to conduct integrated operation of various equipment pieces, those for missile defense as well as air defense equipment that each SDF service has separately used, thereby providing persistent nation-wide protection and also enhancing capability to simultaneously deal with multiple, complex airborne threats. SDF will also study ways to counter future airborne threats.

Based on basic role and mission sharing between Japan and the United States, in order to strengthen the deterrent of the Japan-U.S. Alliance as a whole, Japan will continue to study a potential form of response capability to address the means for missile launch and related facilities and will take necessary measures.

d. Maneuver and deployment capability

In order to effectively deal with various situations such as attack on remote islands, requisite SDF units need to conduct sustained, persistent activities in appropriate areas on a steady-state basis and to maneuver and deploy according to situation.

SDF will strengthen amphibious operation and other capabilities. In addition, to enable swift and large-scale transport, SDF will strengthen joint transport capability including inter- and intra-theater transport capabilities tailored to the characteristics of remote island areas. SDF will also work to collaborate with commercial transport on a steady-state basis.

(3) Strengthening sustainability and resiliency

To be able to sustain a range of requisite activities at all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies, sustainability and resiliency of defense capability including logistics support needs to be enhanced.

SDF will take necessary measures for securing ammunition and fuel, ensuring maritime shipping lanes, and protecting important infrastructure. In particular, while cooperating with relevant ministries and agencies, SDF will improve sustainability through safe and steady acquisition and stockpiling of ammunition and fuel. SDF will also improve resiliency in a multi-layered way through efforts including dispersion, recovery, and substitution of infrastructure and other foundations for SDF operations. Further, SDF will work toward more effective and efficient equipment maintenance by reviewing existing maintenance methods, thereby ensuring high operational availability.

3. Priorities in strengthening core elements of defense capability

(1) Reinforcing human resource base

The core element of defense capability is SDF personnel. Securing human resources for SDF personnel and improving their ability and morale are essential to strengthening defense capability. This has become an imminent challenge in the face of shrinking and aging population with declining birth rates. Also in light of sustainability and resilience of defense capability, SDF needs to work even further to reinforce human resource base that sustains SDF personnel.

MOD/SDF will promote efforts, including those address institutional aspects, in order to secure diverse, high-quality talents from a wider range of people. These efforts include: various recruitment measures such as cooperation with local governments and other entities; diversifying applicant pool including college graduates; expanding women's participation; appropriate extension of SDF personnel's mandatory retirement ages; leveraging retired SDF personnel as well as reserve personnel; and measures for raising fulfillment rates. MOD/SDF will also promote manpower saving and automation by leveraging technological innovations such as artificial intelligence.

To enable all SDF personnel to maintain high morale and continue to fully exercise their ability, MOD/SDF will improve living and work environment and promote work style reforms at MOD/SDF to ensure proper work-life balance.

Through such efforts as enhancing joint education and research, MOD/SDF will enrich education and research to improve SDF's capabilities and foster its unity. MOD/SDF will enhance education for organization management skills. In addition, MOD/SDF will improve treatment through measures concerning honors and privileges, and allowance increase that reflects the special nature of SDF's missions. MOD/SDF will also further improve re-employment support for SDF personnel in view of the fact that it is the responsibility of the Government to secure the livelihood of SDF personnel under the mandatory early retirement system.

(2) Reviewing equipment structure

MOD/SDF will examine the existing equipment structure from joint operation perspective and build an optimized equipment structure. In so doing, while giving due considerations to capabilities each SDF service requires for its operations, MOD/SDF will: develop equipment with multiple functional variants; optimize and standardize specifications of equipment; and jointly procure equipment commonly used across SDF services; reduce types of aircraft; suspend the use of equipment whose importance has decreased; and review or discontinue projects of low cost-effectiveness.

(3) Reinforcing technology base

As character of warfare changes dramatically due to advances in military technologies, it is becoming all the more important to reinforce technological base that has bearing on defense equipment through whole-of-government approach by leveraging Japan's superb science and technology.

MOD/SDF will make focused investments through selection and concentration in important technologies including artificial intelligence and other potentially game- changing technologies. MOD/SDF will also dramatically shorten research and development timelines by streamlining R&D processes and procedures. In doing so, MOD/SDF will encourage company's prior investments and leverage its strength to full potential by actively using design proposal-based competition scheme and improving foreseeability through the formulation of R&D visions on capabilities required for Japan's future national defense.

In addition, MOD/SDF will work to actively leverage potentially dual-use, advanced commercial technologies through such efforts as: technology exchange with relevant domestic and overseas entities; enhanced collaboration with relevant ministries and agencies; and use of the "Innovative Science & Technology Initiative for Security" program.

MOD/SDF will reinforce its structure aimed at early discovery of innovative, emerging technologies and fostering thereof by utilizing and creating think tanks that survey and analyze latest foreign and domestic technological trends.

(4) Optimizing equipment procurement

In order to secure necessary and sufficient quality and quantity of SDF equipment, MOD/SDF needs to acquire high-performance equipment at the most affordable prices possible. MOD/SDF also needs to do thorough cost management and reduction not only during budget development but also during budget implementation.

MOD/SDF will actively use systematic acquisition methods including long-term contracts which facilitate efficient procurement, and streamline equipment maintenance. MOD/SDF will facilitate competition among domestic and foreign companies, and promote defense equipment development that eyes towards international joint development and production as well as overseas transfer. In order to efficiently procure U.S.-made high-performance equipment, MOD/SDF will promote rationalization of FMS procurement and work to align procurement timings and specifications with U.S. forces and other parties. In taking these steps, MOD/SDF will further strengthen efforts on project management throughout the entire life cycle of defense equipment.

(5) Strengthening defense industrial base

Japan's defense industry is an essential foundation for the production, operation, and maintenance of defense equipment. For the production of high-performance equipment and to ensure their high operational availability, it is necessary to make defense industrial base more resilient by overcoming challenges such as high costs due to low- volume, high-mix production and lack of international competitiveness, thereby enabling it to effectively adapt to changing security environment.

In addition to taking various measures concerning equipment structure, technological base, and equipment procurement, to create a competitive environment for companies, MOD/SDF will reform the existing contract system including affording incentives to companies. MOD/SDF will enhance supply-chain risk management and work to further expand Japanese defense industry's participation in maintenance work of imported equipment. For whole-of-government efforts to promote appropriate overseas transfer of defense equipment under the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, which permits transfer of defense equipment in cases where the transfer contributes to Japan's security, MOD/SDF will work to make necessary improvements in the Principles' implementation. At the same time, MOD/SDF will strengthen intellectual property management, technology management and information security in order to prevent drain of important defense equipment-related technologies. Through above-mentioned measures, MOD/SDF will work to reduce equipment costs and improve industrial competitiveness, thereby striving to build resilient defense industrial base. MOD/SDF will also examine further measures to that end.

(6) Enhancing intelligence capabilities

MOD/SDF will enhance intelligence capabilities to provide timely, effective intelligence support to policy decision and SDF operations. MOD/SDF will strengthen capabilities for each stage of collection, processing, analysis, sharing, and protection so that SDF can promptly detect and swiftly respond to indications of various situations and also take requisite measures based on medium- to long-term military trends.

In so doing, while giving due considerations to technological trends in information processing, MOD/SDF will strengthen capability and posture, including those related to new domains, for the collection of SIGINT, IMINT, HUMINT, OSINT and others. MOD/SDF will enhance collaboration with relevant domestic agencies including the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center which operates Information Gathering Satellites and with the ally as well as with other parties. MOD/SDF will work to hire, retain and train personnel for information collection and analysis and to acquire and connect information- sharing systems. MOD/SDF also will establish more robust information security regime and strengthen counter-intelligence capability.

V. Organization of Self-Defense Forces

In order to realize cross-domain operations, SDF will strengthen joint operations as described in 1 and develop organization of each SDF service as described in sections from 2 to 4. Organic structure of major units and specific quantities of major equipment in the future are as shown in the Annex table.

1. Joint operation to realize cross-domain operations

(1) In order to further promote joint-ness of GSDF, MSDF and ASDF in all areas, SDF will strengthen the Joint Staff Office's posture designed for effective SDF operations and for new domains, thereby enabling swift exercise of SDF's capabilities. SDF will examine future framework for joint operation. SDF will also work to flexibly leverage personnel of each SDF service through such efforts as building posture for force protection and damage recovery with an eye on mutual cooperation among SDF services.

(2) SDF will maintain an ASDF unit that specializes in space domain missions, and strengthen its posture for joint operations in order to conduct persistent monitoring of situations in space, and to ensure superiority in use of space at all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies through such means as mission assurance and disruption of opponent's command, control, communications and information.

(3) SDF will maintain a cyberspace defense unit as an integrated unit in order to conduct persistent monitoring of SDF's information and communications networks as well as to fundamentally strengthen cyber defense capability, including capability to disrupt, during attack against Japan, opponent's use of cyberspace for the attack.

(4) SDF will strengthen the Joint Staff Office's posture in order to appropriately manage and coordinate, from joint operation perspective, the use of electromagnetic spectrum. SDF will strengthen each SDF service's posture to enable SDF to collect and analyze information concerning electromagnetic domain and to neutralize radar, communications and others operated by opponent that intends to invade Japan.

(5) In order to provide persistent nation-wide protection on a steady-state basis and to be able to simultaneously deal with multiple, complex airborne threats: GSDF will maintain surface-to-air guided missile units and ballistic missile defense units; MSDF will maintain Aegis-equipped destroyers; ASDF will maintain surface-to-air guided missile units; and SDF will build comprehensive air and missile defense capability comprising these assets.

(6) At all stages from peacetime to armed contingencies, SDF will maintain a maritime transport unit as an integrated unit that allows SDF units to swiftly maneuver and deploy in joint operations.

2. Organization of GSDF

(1) In order to be able to swiftly respond to various situations, 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. GSDF will also maintain mobile operating units equipped with specialized functions, in order to effectively perform operations such as: various missions in cyber and electromagnetic domains; airborne operations; amphibious operations; special operations; air transportation; defense against NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) weapons; and security cooperation with foreign countries.

In view of the excellent training environment it offers, GSDF will maintain half of rapidly deployable basic operational units in Hokkaido, on the premise that these units will deploy and move via joint transport capability.

GSDF will strengthen its ability to deter and counter threats by taking measures including: persistent steady-state maneuver such as coordinated activities between ships and Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade and other mobile operating units as well as their various training and exercises; stationing of units in remote islands hitherto without SDF presence; and establishing networks with MSDF and ASDF.

(2) To be able to counter invasion of remote islands, GSDF will maintain surface-to-ship guided missile units and hyper-velocity gliding projectile units for remote island defense.

(3) With respect to basic operational units (divisions and brigades) other than the rapidly deployable ones referred to in (1), GSDF will review their organization and equipment with focus on tanks, howitzers and rockets. With respect to units under the direct command of regional armies, GSDF will also review their organization and equipment related to aerial firepower. GSDF will thoroughly implement rationalization and streamlining of these units and appropriately position them to meet conditions and characteristics of each region.

3. Organization of MSDF

(1) In order to provide for defense in the waters around Japan and security of maritime traffic through effective prosecution of persistent ISR, antisubmarine operations and mine countermeasure operations, and to be able to effectively engage in security cooperation with other countries, MSDF will maintain reinforced destroyer units including destroyers with improved multi-mission capabilities, minesweeper units and embarked patrol helicopter units. MSDF will organize surface units composed of these destroyer units and minesweeper units. In addition, MSDF will maintain patrol ship units to enable enhanced steady-state ISR in the waters around Japan.

With respect to the destroyers equipped with improved multi-mission capabilities, MSDF will introduce multi-crew shiftwork and promote collaboration with patrol ships equipped with high ISR capability, thereby enhancing persistent ISR posture.

(2) In order to effectively conduct steady-state, wide-area underwater ISR, and to effectively engage in patrols and defense in the waters around Japan, MSDF will maintain reinforced submarine units.

By introducing a test-bed submarine, MSDF will work to achieve greater efficiency in submarine operations and accelerate capability improvement, thereby enhancing persistent ISR posture.

(3) In order to effectively conduct steady-state, wide-area airborne ISR, and to effectively engage in patrols and defense in the waters around Japan, MSDF will maintain fixed- wing patrol aircraft units.

4. Organization of ASDF

(1) ASDF will maintain air warning and control units consisting of ground-based warning and control units and reinforced airborne warning units: ground-based warning and control units are capable of conducting persistent surveillance in airspace around Japan including vast airspace on the Pacific side; and airborne warning units are capable of conducting effective, sustained airborne warning, surveillance and control during "gray zone" and other situations with heightened tensions.

(2) In order to be able to provide for air defense in airspace around Japan including vast airspace on the Pacific side with a comprehensive posture that brings together fighter aircraft and supporting functions, ASDF will maintain fighter aircraft units reinforced by high-performance fighter aircraft. In order to enable fighter aircraft units and airborne warning units to sustainably conduct various operations in wide areas, ASDF will maintain reinforced aerial refueling and transport units.

(3) In order to be able to effectively carry out activities such as maneuver and deployment of ground forces and security cooperation with foreign countries, ASDF will maintain air transport units.

(4) In order to be able to conduct information collection in areas relatively remote from Japan and persistent airborne monitoring during situations with heightened tensions, ASDF will maintain unmanned aerial vehicle units.

VI. Elements Supporting Defense Capability

For Japan's defense capability to demonstrate its true value, SDF needs to constantly maintain and improve its capabilities and foster broad understanding by Japanese nationals.

1. Training and exercises

In order to maintain and improve its tactical skills, SDF will conduct more practical, effective and systematic training and exercises while, as necessary, work in partnership with relevant organizations, local governments and the private sector. In so doing, in order to conduct more practical training, SDF will: develop and utilize domestic training ranges such as those in Hokkaido as well as fine training environment overseas; facilitate joint/shared use of U.S. Forces facilities and areas; facilitate use of places other than SDF facilities or U.S. Forces facilities and areas; and more actively introduce training simulators and others. SDF will also actively utilize training and exercises to constantly examine and review various plans for emergencies.

2. Medical Care

SDF needs to enhance its medical functions to keep SDF personnel's vitality and enhance their ability to deal with various situations and engage in a diverse range of missions at home and abroad. In order to protect the lives of SDF personnel to the maxim extent possible, MOD/SDF will strengthen its posture for medical care and onward transfer of patients, seamlessly covering the entire stretch between the frontline and final medical evacuation destinations. Taking into account conditions and characteristics of each region, SDF will focus on strengthening medical functions of SDF in Japan's southwestern region. SDF will establish an efficient and high-quality medical care regime through endeavors including upgrading of SDF hospitals into medical hubs with enhanced functions. In order to secure medical personnel in operation units, SDF will: improve the management of the National Defense Medical College; enrich and enhance education and research such as improving medical care capabilities for war injury. In addition, SDF will improve requisite posture for various international cooperation including capacity building assistance.

3. Collaboration with local communities

Amid increasingly testing and uncertain security environment, activities, training and exercises of SDF and U.S. forces in Japan are becoming more diverse and defense equipment more sophisticated. As a result, it is becoming all the more important to gain understanding among and secure cooperation from local governments and residents around defense facilities.

MOD/SDF will constantly and actively engage in public relations activities regarding defense policies and activities. Upon fielding units and equipment of SDF or

U.S. Forces in Japan and conducting training and exercises, MOD/SDF will make careful, detailed coordination to meet desires and conditions of local communities, while sufficiently fulfilling accountability. At the same time, MOD/SDF will continue to promote various impact alleviation measures include noise mitigation.

MOD/SDF will further strengthen collaboration with relevant organizations including local governments, police and fire departments in order to enable SDF to swiftly and securely conduct its activities in response to various situations.

In certain regions, presence of SDF units makes substantial contributions to maintenance and revitalization of local communities. There are also cases where SDF's emergency patient transport is supporting community medicine. In light of this, MOD/SDF will give due considerations to local conditions and characteristics upon reorganization of operation units as well as placement of SDF garrisons and bases. At the same time, in administering garrisons and bases, MOD/SDF will give due considerations to their contributions to local economies.

4. Intellectual Base

In order to facilitate understanding of security and crisis management among the populace, MOD/SDF will work to promote security-related education at educational institutions. Within MOD/SDF, in order to achieve at high levels both academic research and policy-support by the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), MOD/SDF will facilitate NIDS' collaboration with the policy-making sector. MOD/SDF will further enhance its defense research regime with NIDS playing central roles. In so doing,

MOD/SDF will promote systematic collaboration on education and research with other research and educational institutions within the Government, as well as with universities and think-tanks of excellence both at home and abroad.

VII. Points of Attention

1. Japan's defense capability these Guidelines set forth envisions approximately 10 years. The National Security Council will conduct periodic, systematic evaluations throughout the course of implementation of various measures and programs. In order to build truly effective defense capability while firmly grasping changes in security environment, MOD/SDF will conduct verifications regarding capabilities required for Japan's defense in the future.

2. When major changes in situation are anticipated during evaluation and verification processes, these Guidelines will be amended as necessary after examining current security environment and others.

3. Considering increasingly severe fiscal conditions and importance of other budgets related to people's daily life, MOD/SDF will work to achieve greater efficiency and streamlining in defense force development to curb costs. MOD/SDF will work to ensure that defense capability can smoothly and fully perform its functions while harmonizing with other policies and measures of the Government.

(Annex Table)

Joint Units Cyber Defense Units
Maritime Transport Units
1 squadron
1 group
Ground Self-
Defense Force
Authorized Number of Personnel
    Active-Duty Personnel
    Reserve-Ready Personnel
Major Units Rapid Deployment Units 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 5 divisions
2 brigades
Surface-to-Ship Guided Missile Units 5 surface-to-ship guided missile regiments
Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile
Intended for the Defense of Remote
Islands Units
2 battalions
Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Units 7 anti-aircraft artillery groups/regiments
Ballistic Missile Defense Units 2 squadrons
Surface Vessel Units
    Destroyer and minesweeper vessels
Submarine Units
Patrol aircraft Units

4 groups (8 divisions)
2 groups (13 divisions)
6 divisions
9 squadrons
(Aegis-Equipped Destroyers)
Patrol Vessels
Combat Aircraft

Approx. 190
Air Self-
Defense Force
Air Warning & Control Units

Fighter Aircraft Units
Aerial Refueling/Transport Units
Air Transport Units
Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Units
Space Domain Mission Units
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Units
28 warning squadrons
1 AEW wing (3 squadrons)
13 squadrons
2 squadrons
3 squadrons
4 groups(24 fire squadrons)
1 squadron
1 squadron
Combat Aircraft
Approx. 370
Approx. 290

Note1: The current numbers of tanks and howitzers/rockets (authorized number as of the end of FY 2018) are respectively approx. 600 and approx. 500, which will be reduced respectively to approx. 300 and approx. 300 in the future.

Note2: Fighter Aircraft Units (13 squadrons) includes STOVL Units.