"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 16, 2022
[Source] Japan Ministry of Defense
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

Table of Contents

I Objectives of National Defense Strategy

II Changes in the Strategic Environment and Defense Challenges

  1 Changes in the strategic environment

  2 Military trends of Japan's neighboring countries and regions

  3 Defense challenges

III Japan's Basic Defense Policy

  1 Strengthening Japan's own architecture for national defense

    (1) Fundamental reinforcement of Japan's defense capabilities

    (2) Reinforcing the defense architecture of the whole country

  2 Joint deterrence and response by the Japan-U.S. Alliance

    (1) Strengthening Japan-U.S. joint deterrence and response capabilities

    (2) Reinforcing alliance coordination functions

    (3) Reinforcing joint response infrastructure

    (4) Measures to support the stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan

  3 Collaboration with like-minded countries and others

IV Key Capabilities for Fundamental Reinforcement of Defense Capabilities

  1 Stand-Off Defense Capabilities

  2 Integrated Air and Missile Defense Capabilities

  3 Unmanned Defense Capabilities

  4 Cross-Domain Capabilities

  5 Command and Control and Intelligence-related Functions

  6 Mobile Deployment Capabilities / Civil Protection

  7 Sustainability and Resiliency

V The Future of Self-Defense Forces (SDF)

  1 Role of SDF in the seven key fields

  2 Concept for developing SDF's architecture

  3 Reinforcing policy-making function

VI Protection of Life, Person and Property of Japanese Nationals Utilizing Defense Capability and Measures for Global Security Cooperation

  1 Measures for protection of life, person and property of Japanese nationals

  2 Measures for security cooperation against global challenges

VII Defense Production and Technological Base as Virtually Integral Part of Defense Capability

  1 Reinforcing defense production base

  2 Reinforcing technological base

  3 Promoting transfer of defense equipment and technology

VIII Reinforcing Foundation for SDF Personnel, the Core Element of Defense Capability, to Exercise their Capabilities

  1 Reinforcing human resource base

  2 Transformation of medical function IX Points of Attention

I Objectives of National Defense Strategy

It is the most consequential responsibility of the Government of Japan to resolutely defend to the end the lives of Japanese nationals and their peaceful livelihood as well as Japan's territorial land, waters and airspace and it is the very heart of Japan's national security.

Over the 77-year period since the end of World War II, Japan has, in the face of the Cold War as well as the dramatic changes in the security environment that ensued its ending, preserved peace and security by: enhancing its diplomatic strength and defense capability; and expanding and deepening cooperation with other countries, with the Japan-U.S. Alliance being the key pillar. In so doing, Japan under the Constitution has adhered to the basic percept of maintaining the exclusively defense-oriented policy and not becoming a military power that poses threats to other countries, ensured civilian control of the military, and observed the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. Japan under these basic percepts will ever not change the course it has taken as a peace-loving nation.

As Russia's aggression against Ukraine attests, the international community of which Japan is a member, is facing serious challenges and has plunged into a new crisis. China continues its unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts in the East China Sea and South China Sea. North Korea escalates its activities as it launches ballistic missiles at an unprecedented high frequency and pursues further miniaturization of its nuclear weapons. Russia has launched an aggression against Ukraine while its military activities in the Far East have been trending upward. Given the foregoing, in future one cannot rule out the possibility of serious events, that might shake the foundation of stable post-war international order in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in East Asia. As Japan is situated on the very frontlines of these trends, it is no exaggeration to say the future shape of Japan's security and defense policy has a direct link to the peace and stability of the region and the international community.

The fact that Russia, a permanent member of the United Nation Security Council (hereinafter referred to as the "UNSC"), has launched an aggression against Ukraine tells us that maintaining Japan's own sovereignty and independence can be achieved through its own independent and voluntary efforts, and that it is important to expand the role Japan can play to avoid inviting foreign aggression. In today's circumstance, no country can now protect its own security alone. As challenges to the post-war international order continue, it is critical for Japan to deepen cooperation and collaboration with its ally and like-minded countries with whom Japan shares universal values and strategic interests. In order for this cooperation and collaboration to produce meaningful results, Japan needs to strengthen its own efforts even more than before, and our ally, like-minded countries and others also expect Japan to play a role commensurate to its national strength. Japan, its ally, like-minded countries and others are required not to allow changes to the status quo by force and such attempts by exerting further synergistic effects through common efforts.

Amid the most severe and complex security environment since the end of WWII, it is necessary to face the severe reality and engage in fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities which focuses on opponent's capability and new ways of warfare to protect the lives and peaceful livelihood of Japanese nationals. Strengthening of Japan's architecture for national defense by integrating national power as well as fundamentally reinforcing Japan's defense capabilities in a unified manner with strategic intent is the very way to enhance deterrence capabilities and further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which will also be a cornerstone for the security cooperation with like-minded countries and others.

The United States this year devised the new National Defense Strategy. It is therefore timely for Japan and the United States to align their respective strategies and promote defense cooperation in an integrated manner.

Based on these recognitions, as a substitute for the National Defense Program Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as "NDPG," Japan's basic guideline for buildup, sustainment and operation of defense capability with the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) as its core and formulated six times since 1976), Japan has formulated the National Defense Strategy (hereinafter referred to as "NDS") to comprehensively demonstrate Japan's defense objectives, approaches to accomplish them and their means.

The policies of the fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities and the level of defense buildup supporting them, which were decided by the Government through the NDS and "Defense Buildup Program" (approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 16, 2022), represent a major turning point for the post-war defense policy. By formulating this Strategy, which provides mid- to long-term directions and contents of reinforcement of defense capabilities, the Government will make efforts to deepen the understanding of Japanese nationals in the significance of such a great turning point.

II Changes in the Strategic Environment and Defense Challenges

1 Changes in the strategic environment

Following the development of information society and the expansion of international trades, while the interstate relationship concerning economy and culture further expands and deepens, states that do not hold universal values nor political and economic systems based on said values are expanding their influences. Furthermore, unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts are significant challenges to the free and open international order based on the rule of law, and Russia's aggression against Ukraine has revealed this in the most severe manner. The international community is facing the greatest post-war trial yet, and has entered into a new era of crisis.

In addition, the global power balance has significantly changed and interstate competitions across the political, economy and military spheres are emerging. Such trends are especially notable in the Indo-Pacific region, where China has been continuing and strengthening its unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts. Not only China but also North Korea and Russia have been intensifying their activities more than ever.

In particular, it is expected that the interstate competition between China and the United States will continue to intensify in various fields, and the United States shows a recognition that the next ten years will be the decisive decade for the competition with China.

Moreover, rapid advances in science and technology have fundamentally changed the paradigm of security, and countries are developing cutting-edge technologies, what can be called as game changers, to completely transform future warfare. Notably, China has been rapidly promoting the acceleration of technological innovation and its application for military purposes under the name of the "Military-Civil Fusion Development Strategy" and in particular, accelerating the strengthening of military power on the premise of unmanned assets employing artificial intelligence (AI). These trends have led to fundamental changes to traditional military forces in terms of their force structure and way of warfare.

There are also challenges in global security including the increasing risks in domains such as cyber, the expansion of information warfare including the spread of disinformation, and climate change.

2 Military trends of Japan's neighboring countries and regions

In the report to the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2017 (hereinafter referred to as "NCCPC") China sets the goals of "basically achieving modernization of national defense and the military" by 2035 and building "a world-class military" by the middle of the century, and in the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee in 2020, the achievement of "the centennial military building goal" by 2027 was added as a target. In a report to the NCCPC in 2022, it was newly stated that more rapidly elevating the People's Liberation Army to "world-class military" at an early stage is a strategic task for building "a modern socialist country" in all respects, and under such goals, China holds up a "new system concentrating nationwide effort and resources," will continue integrated development of "mechanization, informatization and intelligentization" and is broadly and swiftly strengthening its military capability in both quality and quantity. Moreover, it has stipulated that next five years will be the critical period to start the full-scale construction of a "modern socialist country."

China's announced national defense budget first exceeded Japan's defense-related expenditures in FY1998 and has since increased at a rapid pace, reaching approximately 4.8 times of Japan's defense-related expenditure in FY2022. China's announced national defense budget is just a portion of actual expenditures spent for military purposes, and backed by the rapid increase in national defense expenditures, China now possesses more numerous modern naval and air assets than those of Japan. Additionally, China has been strengthening its capabilities in new domains including the space and cyber domains. Regarding nuclear forces, it appears highly likely that China intends to possess at least 1,000 deliverable nuclear warheads by the end of the 2020s. Regarding China's missile forces, China, which is not included in the framework of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, has deployed numerous ground-launched intermediate-range missiles that were restricted by the INF Treaty, while, at the same time, developing the capabilities of anti-ship ballistic missiles and long-range land-attack cruise missiles, and developing and deploying hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) from the perspective of strengthening military capabilities to deny access and deployment of the military forces from other countries to its surrounding areas and impede military activities in the areas of concern (so-called anti-access/area-denial, or "A2/AD" capability). Moreover, China is promoting development and deployment of unmanned assets, and their increased activities have been confirmed in the areas surrounding Japan.

Backed by these military capabilities, China has been intensifying its activities across the entire region surrounding Japan, including the East China Sea, particularly the exterritorial water around Senkaku Islands, the Sea of Japan, and the western Pacific Ocean including the areas around the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, extending beyond the so-called First Island Chain to the Second Island Chain, as well as increasing military pressure on Taiwan and promoting its militarization in the South China Sea.

Especially, in the region surrounding Japan, Chinese naval vessels have attempted to intensify maritime activities in the areas around the Senkaku Islands, and, under such circumstance, ships belonging to the China Coast Guard have repeatedly intruded into Japan's territorial waters in the areas around the Senkaku Islands. Also, Chinese navy vessels have been seen navigating in Japan's territorial waters and contiguous zones around the Southwestern Islands.

Regarding Taiwan, the report to NCCPC in 2022 reiterated that China "will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force." At the same time, the report also stated that "we have thus maintained the initiative and the ability to steer in cross-Strait relations," and "complete reunification of our country must be realized, and it can, without doubt." In recent years, the overall military balance between China and Taiwan is rapidly tilting to China's favor and China has been intensifying military activities around Taiwan. It is believed that through the series of activities around Taiwan, China seeks to create a fait accompli in the situation where Chinese military is continuously operating, and improve its practical capabilities. Moreover, China has launched nine ballistic missiles in August 4, 2022, five of which landed within Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This was perceived as a threat to local residents. China thus has intensified its coercive military activities around Taiwan, and concerns about the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait are rapidly growing not only in the Indo-Pacific region but also in the entire international community.

Such China's current external stance, military activities, and other activities have become a matter of serious concern for Japan and the international community, and present an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge in ensuring the peace and security of Japan and the peace and stability of the international community, as well as in strengthening the international order based on the rule of law, to which Japan should respond with its comprehensive national power including defense capability and in cooperation and collaboration with the ally, like-minded countries and others.

North Korea has concentrated on building up its weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and ballistic missiles in order to maintain its regime. Technologically, North Korea is considered to already have the capability to launch an attack on Japan with a ballistic missile which includes Japan in its range, fitted with a nuclear warhead. Regarding ballistic missiles, which are the means to deliver WMDs, it is estimated that North Korea is rapidly improving its related technologies and operational capabilities by diversifying modes of launch. Particularly, in recent years, North Korea has been pursuing the operationalization of ballistic missiles that can fly at low altitudes on irregular trajectories with the aim of making identification of signs of launch, detection and interception difficult by launching them from various platforms such as Transporter-Erector-Launchers (TEL), submarines and railway cars. Furthermore, North Korea has prioritized the realization of a "hypersonic gliding flight warheads" and "solid fuel-propelled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)" with a range covering the U.S. mainland and seeks to promote its research and development, and future technological advancements a concern. These nuclear and missile developments and others by North Korea violate a series of UNSC resolutions and others, and significantly undermine the peace, stability and security of the region and international community. Such North Korea's military activities pose an even more grave and imminent threat to Japan's national security than ever before.

Russia's aggression against Ukraine has shaken the very foundation of the international order and is perceived as the most significant and direct threat to defense in Europe. As for the areas surrounding Japan, the Russian forces intensified their military activities including through the deployment of newer-model equipment and implementation of large-scale military exercises in the Far East region including the Northern Territories. In addition, in recent years, Russia has strengthened collaboration with China in terms of military aspect by conducting activities such as joint navigations with naval vessels and joint flights with bombers. Such military activities in the Indo-Pacific region, including Japan, together with its strategic coordination with China, are of strong concern from a defense perspective.

Moreover, in case these activities are conducted in a coordinated manner in the Indo- Pacific region, it is necessary to closely observe how much impact they will have in the region.

3 Defense challenges

Russia, a permanent member of the UNSC and a nuclear weapon state that bears primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and stability, has openly launched an aggression against Ukraine and repeatedly took actions and sent messages that could be interpreted as threat of use of nuclear weapons, creating an unprecedented situation. This is an issue that shakes the foundation of the international order that the international community has built since the end of World War II. This kind of unilateral changes to the status quo by force, this time happening in Europe, could also occur in the Indo-Pacific region.

The military background for Russia's aggression against Ukraine was that Ukraine's defense capability against Russia was insufficient, thus failed to discourage and deter Russian aggression; Ukraine did not possess sufficient capabilities.

Also, while no country can defend its own security by itself alone, there is a renewed recognition of the importance of cooperation with allies who have the intention and capability to respond to invasion jointly in order to deter invasion from outside.

Moreover, it should be noted that a country with high military capability can have the intention to launch an aggression at some point. A threat emerges when capability is combined with intention, but it is difficult to accurately grasp the intention from outside. When the decision-making process of the state is unclear, there is always a foundation for a threat to be actualized.

To protect one's own country from such states, it is necessary to have deterrence capability thereby making them realize that unilateral changes to the status quo by force are difficult. It is also important to build own capability, or defense capability focused on their capability in order to prevent them from harboring the intention to launch an aggression.

The way of warfare has also been drastically changing. In addition to the traditional forms of invasion through air, sea, and land, new ways of warfare have emerged with the combination of massive missile strike by ballistic and cruise missiles with enhanced precision strike capabilities, hybrid warfare including information warfare such as false-flag operations, asymmetric attacks leveraging the space, cyber, and electromagnetic domains and with unmanned assets, and actions and remarks that could be interpreted as threat of use of nuclear weapons made publicly by nuclear powers. Whether or not to be able to respond to these new ways of warfare has become a major challenge to building defense capabilities in the future.

Surrounded by the sea and with long coastlines, Japan possesses numerous islands remote from the mainland and is blessed with vast EEZ, and continental shelves: spread widely therein are life, person, and property of the Japanese nationals, as well as its territory, territorial waters, airspace, and various natural resources, all of which Japan must defend to the end. For Japan, a maritime nation that depends on overseas trade for the majority of its resources and food, it is essential to reinforce the free and open maritime order as well as to ensure the freedom and safety of navigation and overflight.

On the other hand, Japan has frequently suffered from natural disasters with significant damage. Because while its industrial, population, and information centers are concentrated in urban areas with a large number of critical facilities such as nuclear power plants located on the coast, making it a challenge to protect the Japanese nationals and critical facilities from various threats.

In addition, considering Japan's aging population with a declining birth rate and continued severe fiscal conditions, it is essential to make more efficient use of budget and personnel than ever before.

III Japan's Basic Defense Policy

Defense capability is the ultimate guarantor for ensuring Japan's security. It will deter threats from extending to Japan, and in the case that a threat does reach Japan, it will be disrupted and defeated, thereby demonstrating Japan's resolve and capability to defend itself to the end.

Since the end of World War II, Japan has committed to developing a moderate and efficient defense capability. In particular, since the formulation of the NDPG in 1976 (approved by the National Defense Council and the Cabinet on October 29, 1976), the objective of Japan possessing its own defense capability was not to respond to a specific threat, but to avoid Japan becoming a destabilizing factor in the region by creating a vacuum of power.

Since the end of the Cold War, SDF's roles and missions have been expanded beyond the defense of Japan to respond to various situations, respond to large-scale disaster in Japan and abroad and International Peace Cooperation Activities. Additionally, 2010 NDPG (approved by the Security Council of Japan and the Cabinet on December 17, 2010) called for refraining from the reliance on the "Basic Defense Force Concept," which places an importance on the deterrence effect by the existence of defense capability itself, and moreover, 2013 NDPG (approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 17, 2013) squarely looked at the increasingly severe security environment as a reality, based on which Japan has been strengthening the defense capability so as to build a truly effective defense force. However, neighboring countries have drastically strengthened their military capabilities, and have rapidly expanded and intensified missile launches and coercive military activities, threatening the security of Japan and the region.

As these activities escalate, it is extremely difficult to predict when and how intentions will change and unilateral changes to the status quo by force will occur. It has been clear since Russia's aggression against Ukraine that a unilateral change to the status quo by force would cause massive human and material damage, disrupt not only the regional economy but also the global economy, finance, energy, maritime and air traffic, and have a significant impact on people's daily lives.

Taking these into account, Japan's future defense capability will focus on such opponent's capabilities and way of warfare and will be fundamentally reinforced to defend itself more than ever. At the same time, Japan will promote its response to the new way of warfare and must make clear its intention to never accept unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts at any time. These efforts cannot be achieved by Japan alone, and it will be necessary to cooperate and collaborate closely with our ally, like-minded countries and others. This strategy makes clear Japan's defense objectives and lays out approaches and concrete means to achieve them, whose implementation will require integrating all fields of effort.

- Japan's defense objectives are as follows:

The first objective is to shape a security environment not accepting unilateral changes to the status quo by force;

The second objective is to deter unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts concerning Japan's peace and security through cooperation with its ally, like- minded countries and others. Also, in case this occurred, Japan will rapidly respond in any way and control the situation at an early stage to prevent further escalation into an invasion of Japan;

The third objective is, if by any chance deterrence has failed and an invasion of Japan occurs, to rapidly respond to it in a seamless manner in accordance with its modality and to disrupt and defeat the invasion holding and receiving our primary responsibility and together with support from its ally and others.

Furthermore, in dealing with the threat of nuclear weapons, U.S. extended deterrence, with nuclear deterrence at its core, is essential and Japan will defend our own country to the end from all situations through the combination of Japan's own efforts to achieve the first, second and third defense objectives and the extended deterrence and others provided by the United States.

- Approaches to realize Japan's defense objectives are as follows and concrete means will be presented in the respective approaches:

The first approach is, to strengthen Japan's own architecture for national defense, fundamentally reinforce Japan's defense capabilities as its core and reinforce the defense architecture of the whole country.

The second approach is to further reinforce joint deterrence and response capability of the Japan-U.S. Alliance by further strengthening cooperation with our ally, the United States. The third approach is to reinforce collaboration with like-minded countries and others that cooperate in upholding and reinforcing a free and open international order.

1 Strengthening Japan's own architecture for national defense

It goes without saying that the success of Japan's national defense depends on its own efforts. Only when a country musters strong will and efforts to defend itself, can it protect and support each other with the ally and others in times of emergency. The first approach therefore is to make renewed efforts to strengthen Japan's own architecture for national defense that integrates all aspects of national power. At the core of such efforts is the fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities.

  (1) Fundamental reinforcement of Japan's defense capabilities

Defense capability is the ultimate guarantor of Japan's security. Japan has aimed to build a defense capability that can respond to and deter a range of possible situations in a truly effective manner. More specifically, in accordance with the "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY2019 and beyond" (approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet on December 18, 2018), Japan, in order to operate seamlessly across all phases from peacetime to armed contingencies, has strove to build the Multi-Domain Defense Force, which organically fuses capabilities in space, cyber and the electromagnetic spectrum with those in ground, maritime and air domains and is capable of sustained and flexible activities through joint operations.

  As the international community finds itself in the most challenging time since the end of World War II, Japan has explored the shape of future defense capability, taking into account the opponent's capabilities as well as the new way of warfare, performing various analysis, including capability assessment, regarding response to various possible situations. Building upon these efforts, in order to continue to protect the lives and peaceful livelihood of Japanese nationals from unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts, Japan will fundamentally reinforce the current Multi-Domain Defense Force through further accelerated efforts.

  The basic thoughts that underpin our efforts to fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities are as follows:

    a. First, with a fundamentally reinforced defense capability, Japan should be able to take primary responsibility to disrupt and defeat an invasion of Japan. This means that Japan will possess a capability that makes the opponent realize that the goal of invasion of Japan is not achievable through military means, and that the damage the opponent will incur will make the invasion not worth the cost. In addition, if Japan possesses a defense capability to enable disrupting and defeating invasion, this capability, coupled with that of the United States, Japan's ally, will be able to deter not only invasion of Japan, but also deter unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts in the Indo- Pacific region. This will help foster a security environment where such forcible actions are unacceptable.

    b. Second, a fundamentally reinforced defense capability should be able to deter invasion of Japan through such activities as: persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); training and exercises conducted as flexible deterrent options (FDO); and measures against aircraft intruding into Japan's territorial airspace. Such a defense capability should also be able to swiftly respond to and address a range of situations in a seamless manner.

    Such a defense capability must come with high readiness and response capability. We need to prepare training infrastructures both inside and outside Japan; we also need a flexible work environment so that SDF can, even in the face of ever-increasing volume of peacetime operations, conduct sufficient volume of training and exercise necessary for improving the ability of SDF personnel and the proficiency of SDF units.

    c. Third, a fundamentally reinforced defense capability should be able to adapt to the new way of warfare. It must operate with the U.S. forces and integrate a variety of missions such as cross-domain operations, hybrid operations including information operations, and missile interception and counterstrike. To this end, Japan first needs to identify functions and capabilities necessary for national defense, in accordance with the guidance in the National Security Strategy, NDS and Defense Buildup Program as well as joint operational concepts aligned with the guidance, and then determine how those capabilities should be distributed among the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self- Defense Forces.

    d. As part of the functions and capabilities required for the defense of Japan described above, Japan needs capabilities with which to disrupt and defeat invading forces over long distances, thereby deterring invasion itself. Japan therefore will strengthen "stand- off defense capabilities" and "integrated air and missile defense capabilities."

    Should deterrence fail and invasion of Japan occur, Japan would need to ensure asymmetric advantage by leveraging, in addition to these capabilities, manned as well as unmanned assets and gain superiority across domains such as underwater, surface, and air. To this end, Japan will strengthen "unmanned defense capabilities," "cross- domain operation capabilities," and "command and control/intelligence related functions."

    Japan would also need to operate in a swift as well as persistent manner so as to force the opponent to give up invasion. For this, Japan will strengthen "mobile deployment capabilities," and "sustainability/resiliency."

    e. Japan needs to promptly effect such fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities as when and how unilateral changes to the status quo occurs is hard to predict:

    More specifically, Japan will strengthen defense capability by 2027 with the goal of becoming capable of, in case of invasion of Japan, to take primary responsibility to counter it by disrupting and defeating the aggression while receiving support from the ally and others. And by about ten years from now, Japan will make further efforts to better attain this defense objective so that Japan would be able to disrupt and defeat invasion at earlier timing and at locations further afield.

    The top priorities for the next five years are twofold: first, in order to maximize the performances of existing equipment, Japan will improve operational rates, secure sufficient munitions and fuel, and accelerate investments in defense facilities for improved resiliency; and second, Japan will reinforce the core capabilities of the future. This defense capability development will be constantly reviewed in light of ever- evolving security environment surrounding Japan thereby adapting to changes therein.

    f. This fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities entails significant costs and commensurate increase in personnel strength. In a way that serves to realize fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities, Japan will, while adhering to scrap- and-build approach, optimize SDF's organization and authorized strength as well as equipment. We will also further our ongoing, efforts toward more efficient procurement, which have achieved significant cost reductions, while giving due consideration to the defense production base. In addition, to account for population decrease and declining birthrates/aging population, Japan will robustly promote automation, manpower-saving and optimization.

    g. The purposes of the above-mentioned fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities are none other than: not to allow unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts and to deter invasion of Japan.

    Fundamentally reinforcing Japan's own defense capabilities will further enhance deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance and collaboration with like-minded countries will be enhanced as well. By doing so, Japan will ensure that opponent fully recognizes Japan's intention and capability, do not underestimate Japan, and do not overestimate its capability, thereby deterring invasion of Japan. This is the purpose of Japan's fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities.

    h. A key to deterring invasion against Japan is counterstrike capabilities that leverage stand-off defense capability and other capabilities. In recent years, in Japan's surroundings, there have been dramatic advances in missile-related technologies, including hypersonic weapons, and practical skills for missile operations, such as saturation attack. Missile forces in the region have significantly improved in both qualitative and quantitative terms, and missiles themselves have been repeatedly launched. Missile attacks against Japan have become a palpable threat. Under these circumstances, Japan will continue its steadfast efforts to both qualitatively and quantitatively enhance its missile defense capabilities by continuing to develop technologies that bring the ability to deal with missiles with irregular trajectories.

    Looking ahead, however, if Japan continues to rely solely upon ballistic missile defenses, it will become increasingly difficult to fully address missile threats with the existing missile defense network alone.

    For this reason, Japan needs counterstrike capabilities: capabilities which, in the case of missile attacks by an opponent, enable Japan to mount effective counterstrikes against the opponent to prevent further attacks while defending against incoming missiles by means of the missile defense network.

    Counterstrike capabilities are SDF's capabilities that leverage stand-off defense capability and other capabilities. In cases where armed attack against Japan has occurred, and as part of that attack ballistic missiles and other means have been used, counterstrike capabilities enable Japan to mount effective counterstrikes against the opponent's territory. Counterstrikes are done as a minimum necessary measure for self-defense and in accordance with the Three New Conditions for Use of Force.

    By possessing such capabilities to mount effective counterstrikes, Japan will deter armed attack itself. If an opponent ever launches missiles, it will be able to prevent the opponent's further armed attacks by counterstrike capabilities, while protecting itself against incoming missiles by the missile defense network, thereby defending the lives and peaceful livelihoods of Japanese nationals.

    Counterstrike capabilities are the capabilities on which the Government expressed its view on February 29, 1956, which stated that, under the Constitution, "as long as it is deemed that there are no other means to defend against attack by guided missiles and others, to hit the bases of those guided missiles and others is legally within the purview of self-defense and thus permissible." These are also capabilities that the Government has chosen not to acquire up to now as a matter of policy decision.

    This Government view squarely applies to measures for self-defense taken under the Three New Conditions for Use of Force, presented in the 2015 Legislation for Peace and Security, and the capabilities that Japan has now decided to acquire can be used when the above-mentioned Three Conditions are met in compliance with this view.

    Counterstrike capabilities fall within the purview of Japan's Constitution and international law; they do not change Japan's exclusively defense-oriented policy; and, they will be used only when the above-mentioned Three New Conditions are fulfilled. Needless to say, preemptive strikes, namely striking first at a stage when no armed attack has occurred, remain impermissible.

    While the basic division of roles between Japan and the United States will remain unchanged, as Japan will now possess counterstrike capabilities, the two nations will cooperate in counterstrikes just as they do in defending against ballistic missiles and others.

  (2) Reinforcing the defense architecture of the whole country

To defend Japan, SDF needs to be strong. Also self-evident is that national defense cannot be achieved without whole-of-nation efforts. In addition to fundamentally reinforcing defense capabilities, Japan will build an overall national defense architecture by integrating Japan's national power -- diplomatic, information, economic, and technological -- as well as by systematically combining all policy means. To enhance the whole-of-the-government undertaking, it is essential to break down sectionalism within the Government. From such perspective, Japan will enhance the comprehensive defense architecture that draws upon Japan's national power. This undertaking is an indivisible part of fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities. Japan will also promote cooperation with local governments and private entities.

    a. Diplomatic efforts underpinned by Japan's enhanced defense architecture are important for our efforts to prevent unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts. By promoting robust diplomatic efforts through the promotion such as the vision of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), Japan will: proactively create a peaceful, stable, and predictable international environment; prevent unilateral changes to the status quo by force; and ensure Japan's peace and security and the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region and the international community.

    Combined with these diplomatic efforts, Ministry of Defense/Self-Defense Forces (MOD/SDF) is to promote cooperation with our ally and multilayered collaboration with like-minded countries and others to create a desirable security environment. Also, in order to continue to demonstrate the intention and capability to deter unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts and influence opponent's actions, it is necessary to improve and reinforce training and exercises as FDO and Strategic Communication (SC) by the whole of government and with our ally and like-minded countries and others.

    b. To detect indications of contingencies at early stages, relevant government agencies should conduct persistent ISR and analysis in collaboration from peacetime. Also important is swift government-level decision-making and inter-agency coordination tailored to given situation. With respect to information warfare that involves the cognitive domain, Japan will enhance fact-checking and counter-messaging to deal with disinformation, thereby enhancing whole-of-the-government response during contingency as well as peacetime.

    c. It is important not to allow unilateral changes to the status quo by force through conducting activities in a collaborative manner between relevant agencies based on the whole-of-the-government decision-making. For this purpose, Japan will improve the effectiveness of its response by conducting simulations and integrated training and exercises while establishing coordination procedures from peacetime across the whole government. In particular, for the protection of critical facilities such as nuclear power plants the response to an infringements that does not amount to an armed attack in the vicinity of remote islands from outside that are below the threshold as well as an armed attack, SDF will conduct training and exercises with the police and Japan Coast Guard on a routine basis in light of contingencies, and establish necessary collaboration procedures, including the procedure to control Japan Coast Guard by the Minister of Defense in an armed attack situation.

    d. Since the domains of space, cyber, and electromagnetic spectrum are the basic infrastructure for the people's daily lives as well as being vitally important for the defense of Japan to carry out cross-domain operations, Japan will reinforce the capabilities across the whole government.

    Regarding the space domain, securing its stable use for information gathering, communication, positioning, and other purposes is vitally important for both the lives of the people and their defense, and Japan will reinforce cooperation and collaboration including research and development between MOD/SDF and relevant agencies including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and private companies. In doing so, Japan will further apply civilian technologies into the defense field, facilitate investment in technology development in the private sector and improve space capabilities for Japan as a whole.

    In the cyber domain, it is important to work together with other countries, relevant ministries and agencies, and private companies to gather and share information at all phases from peacetime to armed contingencies as well as to strengthen response capability in the cybersecurity field across Japan. Considering government policies in the cybersecurity field is to be coordinated comprehensively in a unified and whole-of- government manner, MOD/SDF will promote its efforts that contribute to reinforcing cooperation with the relevant ministries and agencies, critical infrastructure operators, and the defense industry, while improving its cybersecurity capabilities.

    With regard to the electromagnetic spectrum domain, its range of application and use have expanded to cover the ground, maritime, air, space, and cyber domains, making it the frontlines of offense and defense in contemporary warfare. For this reason, ensuring superiority in the electromagnetic spectrum domain is extremely important for reinforcing deterrence and conducting cross-domain operations. MOD/SDF will work closely with the relevant ministries and agencies to ensure SDF's stable and flexible use of radio waves by enabling use of spectrum both for civilian purposes and that for SDF's command and control and information gathering activities.

    e. In an era where victory or defeat is determined by the new way of warfare supported by advanced technologies, it has become critical to apply cutting-edge technologies for defense purposes.

    In this regard, under the whole-of-the-government mechanism for strengthening comprehensive defense architecture, Japan will utilize the cutting-edge technology research and development conducted by relevant government organizations for defense purposes based on the needs of MOD/SDF. In addition, Japan will implement initiatives to link the results of research and development conducted by start-ups and other companies and various research institutions into early production and deployment of defense equipment, while utilizing the defense industry.

    f. National administrative agencies, local governments, public entities, and private enterprises are required to make joint efforts in a cooperative and collaborative manner, in order to respond to an invasion of Japan while protecting the lives of the Japanese nationals and in order to respond to various contingencies including large-scale disasters.

    First, based on defense needs, under the inter-agency mechanism for strengthening comprehensive defense architecture, the Government will undertake necessary measures such as the establishment of a framework for coordination among the relevant ministries and agencies in order to develop and strengthen airports and seaports, and others, particularly in the southwestern region, and to enable SDF to use facilities such as existing airports and seaports, as an operational base, including for the purpose of training in peacetime.

    Japan will also deepen collaboration with relevant organizations regarding the expansion of the use of civilian vessels and aircraft for SDF's maneuver and deployment, and coordinate and cooperate to systematically implement civil protection measures employing such vessels and aircraft. In addition, MOD/SDF will promote various measures such as reinforcing whole-of-the-government civil protection training for armed attack situations, enhancement of the information transmission function of a national early warning system (J-ALERT) in preparation for an attack by ballistic missiles or other means.

    Furthermore, Japan will establish an effective mechanism to balance defense requirements with socioeconomic activities such as the installation of wind power generation facilities so that the defense-related facilities can fully function through the smooth use of sea, airspace and radio waves.

    In addition, concerning the transportation and storing of SDF's ammunition and fuel, Japan will reinforce collaboration with the relevant ministries and agencies and take measures for further facilitation.

    Japan will promote similar initiatives for smooth implementation of Japan-U.S. bilateral responses to various contingencies.

    g. For Japan, a maritime nation, reinforcing the maritime order and ensuring the freedom and safety of navigation and overflight are extremely important for Japan's peace and security. To this end, Japan will work to secure the national interest in Japan's territorial waters and the stable use of its important sea lanes.

    First of all, MOD/SDF will promote maritime security cooperation guided by the vision of FOIP, with its ally and like-minded countries as well as coastal states in the Indo-Pacific, while closely cooperating and collaborating with Japan Coast Guard, which is responsible for maritime security in Japan.

    In order to secure the stable use of sea lanes, Japan will make necessary efforts to conduct counter-piracy operations and ensure the safety of Japan-related vessels in cooperation and collaboration with relevant organizations. In this regard, Japan will make stable, long-term use of its operation activity in Djibouti.

    h. To enable SDF and U.S. Forces in Japan to seamlessly and effectively conduct activities on a daily basis, Japan will gain understanding and cooperation from the local governments and residents around their facilities more than ever. Japan will actively engage in public relations activities regarding the policies and activities of the MOD/SDF and also the role of U.S. Forces in Japan on a regular basis, and make coordination to accommodate the requests and situations of the local communities, while fulfilling accountability to them. At the same time, Japan will continue to promote measures to improve the living environment of areas around defense facilities including noise prevention from the perspective of promoting cooperation to the defense of Japan. In addition, in light of the fact that the transportation of emergency patients by SDF units and their very existence contribute greatly to the maintenance and revitalization of local communities in some regions, Japan will give due consideration to the characteristics of the regions and the contribution to the local economy in order to gain understanding of the local governments and residents upon reorganization of units as well as placement and operation of SDF camps and bases.

2 Joint deterrence and response by the Japan-U.S. Alliance

The second approach is to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance. The Alliance with the United States is the cornerstone for Japan's security policy and fundamental reinforcement of Japan's defense capabilities will lead to more effective employment of U.S. capabilities and will further strengthen deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance. By representing such joint resolve and capabilities, Japan and the United States will prevent escalation of emergencies from gray-zone situation to an invasion with conventional force and eventually the use of nuclear weapons and deter unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts. In addition, if an invasion against Japan occurs, Japan-U.S. joint response will disrupt the invasion. To this end, both Japan and the United States constantly modernize the Alliance and strengthen joint capabilities by aligning strategies and prioritizing goals together. In doing so, given the fundamental reinforcement of Japan's own defense capabilities, Japan will play a larger role for the defense of Japan and the peace and stability of the region under the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Specifically, Japan will work on measures as follows:

  (1) Strengthening Japan and U.S. joint deterrence and response capabilities

Japan's NDS and National Defense Strategy of the United States are well aligned in prioritizing the prevention of the unilateral changes to the status quo by force through integrating all the approaches and means. Accordingly, from the viewpoint of reinforcing readiness and resiliency, imposing cost on an opponent and deterring an invasion of Japan, Japan will further deepen discussion with the United States on roles, missions and capabilities and further reinforce deterrence capabilities of both countries in an integrated manner.

  Specifically, Japan will further deepen cooperation with the United States to smoothly implement combined cross-domain operations including space, cyber and electromagnetic spectrum and measures to improve interoperability. At the same time, regarding Japan's counterstrike capabilities, Japan and the United States will jointly establish cooperative posture including relevant information gathering to employ the capability more effectively. Further, Japan intends to reinforce collaboration in such areas as air-defense, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, mine-warfare, amphibious operations, airborne operations, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISRT), protection of asset and facilities, and logistic support. Also, in order to effectively realize the division of roles and missions between Japan and the United States in light of the fundamental reinforcement of Japan's defense capabilities, Japan will ensure close operational coordination with the United States through Japan-U.S. bilateral planning. In addition, Japan will improve its response capabilities, including the readiness and interoperability of the Alliance, through more advanced and realistic exercises and training.

  In addition, in order to ensure that the U.S. extended deterrence with its nuclear deterrence at its core remains credible and resilient, Japan will further intensify and deepen bilateral discussions including those at the ministerial level.

  As joint measures from peacetime to deter unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts as well as various situations, Japan will further expand and evolve operations including joint FDO and ISR. In order to effectively conduct those operations, Japan will proactively make such efforts as gaining participation of like-minded countries and others and protecting assets, namely U.S. vessels and aircraft, by SDF.

  Furthermore, as part of efforts to strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of Japan and the United States in a unified manner, Japan will on a regular basis increase joint/shared use of Japanese and U.S. facilities, and promote the deployment of both units to their respective facilities for training or other purposes.

  (2) Reinforcing alliance coordination functions

  To conduct aligned joint response of Japan and the United States in any situation, Japan will further develop coordination functions centered on the Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM).

  In addition, in order to reinforce collaboration with like-minded countries and others with the Japan-U.S. Alliance as its core, Japan will promote closer operational coordination by utilizing the coordination functions including the ACM.

  (3) Reinforcing joint response infrastructure

  Japan will reinforce the infrastructure to support effective joint responses in all phases.

  First, in order to further reinforce information sharing at all levels, Japan will fundamentally reinforce measures related to information security and cybersecurity so that Japan and United States can fully employ their capabilities. Also, in order to ensure the Alliance's technological edges, interoperability, readiness, and persistent warfare capabilities, Japan will further reinforce defense equipment and technology cooperation through joint analysis and joint research in cutting-edge technology, joint development and production of defense equipment, improvement in mutual interchangeability, shared use and reinforcement of various networks, expansion of production and maintenance capability of U.S. military equipment in Japan and reinforcement of supply-chain.

  (4) Measures to support stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan

  Japan will promote various measures to provide stable support for the stationing of the U.S. Forces in Japan, such as the steady implementation of the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan and the initiatives to reinforce the readiness and resiliency of the U.S. Forces in Japan, while optimizing the bilateral posture to respond to the severe security environment.

  Particularly, in Okinawa, which is located in areas critically important for security, while dealing with the increasingly severe security environment, Japan will continue to work to mitigate impact 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 relocation of units and exercises.

  In order to smoothly and effectively conduct aforementioned Japan-U.S. joint measures, it is essential to gain understanding of Japanese nationals; therefore, Japan will reinforce measures including proactively publicizing its significance and necessity.

3 Collaboration with like-minded countries and others

The third approach is to enhance the collaboration with like-minded countries and others. In order to counter unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts and to ensure Japan's security, it is extremely important to reinforce collaboration with not only our ally but also as many countries as possible. From such perspective, Japan will promote efforts to contribute to realizing the vision of the FOIP.

First of all, while Japan placing the Japan-U.S. Alliance as an essential cornerstone, Japan will proactively promote multilateral and multilayered defense cooperation and exchanges, considering the characteristic of the region as well as situation of individual country. In doing so, Japan will further promote institutional frameworks such as Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), and Agreement concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.

With Australia, which is the "Special Strategic Partnership" in the Indo-Pacific region written in the new "Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation", Japan will build the closest cooperation next to the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation and deepen consultations in all the levels including the Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations ("2+2"), joint training and exercises, defense equipment and technology cooperation. In addition, in light of developments such as the signing of the RAA, Japan will conduct activities such as exercises and rotational deployment in Australia. In the event of a contingency, bearing in mind potential cooperation among Japan, U.S., and Australia, Japan will mutually consult and collaborate focusing on logistics support and information sharing. From the viewpoint of ensuring effective responses to contingencies, Japan will promote discussion on the scope, objectives and forms of operational cooperation on regular basis.

With India, Japan has established the Special Strategic and Global Partnership, and from the viewpoint of reinforce strategic collaboration, while utilizing frameworks such as "2+2," Japan will further deepen bilateral and multilateral defense exchanges including service-to-service exchanges in a broad range of field including maritime security and cybersecurity, while promoting training and exercises as well as defense equipment and technology cooperation.

With partners like United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, Japan will mutually reinforce involvement in global security issues as well as challenges in Europe and Indo-Pacific. Accordingly, Japan will build close cooperation with them placing their alliance with the United States through such arrangements as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a cornerstone, and implement consultations in all levels including "2+2," joint training and exercises, defense equipment and technology cooperation including the joint development of the next-generation fighter aircraft, and mutual dispatch of vessels and aircraft. In doing so, Japan will reinforce cooperation through monitoring illicit ship-to-ship transfers by North Korea and the counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, which will be conducted jointly.

With NATO and the European Union (EU), based on the bilateral relations with European countries mentioned above, Japan will reinforce collaboration with regard to formulation of international rules and involvement to the security of the Indo-Pacific region.

With the Republic of Korea (ROK), in response to the nuclear and missile threats posed by North Korea and considering the importance to strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance and the U.S.-ROK Alliance, Japan will reinforce the collaboration among Japan, the United States and ROK through measures including trilateral training and exercises.

With Canada and New Zealand, Japan will promote measures including consultation at each level, joint training and exercises, and bilateral cooperation with third parties in order to make further collaboration for the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

Japan will reinforce collaboration with Nordic-Baltic states, which are facing unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts, including Russia's aggression against Ukraine, and are working on cutting-edge initiatives such as information warfare, cybersecurity, strategic communication and hybrid warfare. Japan will also reinforce collaboration with Central and Eastern European countries, including Czech Republic and Poland, which show interest in strengthening relationship with Japan. With regards to Southeast Asian countries, Japan will support their efforts to reinforce the centrality and unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through such means as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus, and the ASEAN-Japan Defense Ministers' Meeting. On top of that, from the perspective of stabilizing the security of the Indo- Pacific region, Japan will implement consultations at all levels, including "2+2," strategic port calls and air visits, and training and exercises depending on the situation of each country. In addition, with the aim of stabilizing the region, Japan will implement transfer of defense equipment and capacity building assistance, which contribute to reinforcing defense capabilities of the region.

With Mongolia, in light of its strategic importance as a democratic country geographically located between China and Russia, Japan will promote defense equipment and technology cooperation to elevate the cooperation in political and security field to new dimension, in addition to means such as implementing defense exchange at all levels, capacity building assistance and multilateral exercises.

With Central Asian countries, where there are few achievements in defense exchanges despite the fact that they are located in a geopolitically important region between Asia and Europe, Japan will continue to accumulate defense exchanges including providing capacity building assistance in areas of mutual interest.

With Pacific Island countries, Japan, as an important partner country, will engage in cooperation including capacity building through collaboration with countries including the ally and like-minded countries. In doing so, consideration will be given to cover organizations other than military forces such as coast guard.

With Coastal States of the Indian Ocean and countries in the Middle East, Japan will promote defense cooperation, based on the importance of stable use of sea lane from an energy and economic perspective. At the same time, Japan will also reinforce defense cooperation with countries including African countries in terms of responding to global challenges. In particular, Japan will strengthen cooperation with Djibouti and secure the long-term and stable use of SDF operation facility there in order to reinforce our operational base in the region, for activities including counter-piracy and protection and transportation of Japanese nationals and others overseas.

While promoting collaboration with like-minded countries and others, Japan will pay attention to the communication with China and Russia.

With China, in order to build "constructive and stable relationship," Japan will promote multilayered dialogues and exchanges including Japan-China security dialogue. In doing so, Japan will continue to encourage China to play a responsible and constructive role for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, comply with international code of conduct, and improve transparency regarding its strengthening of military capabilities buildup and its defense policies, while also conveying the concerns Japan has in a candid manner. Japan will also make use of the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the Defense Authorities of Japan- China including the hotline, in order to avoid unexpected contingencies between the two countries.

With regard to Russia, under the idea that unilateral changes to status quo by force are unacceptable, Japan condemns the aggression against Ukraine to the maximum extent possible, and will closely cooperate with the international community including G7 in taking appropriate measures to Russia. At the same time, Japan will maintain necessary communication with Russia, which is our neighboring country, not to incur unexpected contingencies and unnecessary friction.

IV Key Capabilities for Fundamental Reinforcement of Defense Capabilities

The following are the basic concepts and contents of the seven functions and capabilities necessary for the defense of Japan, which are derived from the comprehensive operation concept in line with the basic policies set forth in the Strategies.

1 Stand-Off Defense Capabilities

In order to protect Japan's territory, which covers approximately 3,000 km in all directions, Japan will fundamentally reinforce its stand-off defense capabilities to deal with vessels and landing forces invading Japan, including its remote islands, from locations outside of threat zones.

First of all, Japan will possess necessary and sufficient capability in a multilayered manner across the country to be able to disrupt and defeat these vessels and landing forces. Also, Japan will reinforce capabilities that can be launched from various platforms with such diverse capabilities as hyper velocity glides and hypersonic glides which are difficult to intercept.

To this end, by FY2027, Japan will reinforce capability to enable operation of stand-off missiles including surface-launched and ship-launched models. In doing so, to secure sufficient capability in prior to the establishment of increased production of domestic stand- off missile, Japan will promptly procure stand-off missiles manufactured overseas.

In the future, by about ten years from now, Japan will reinforce capability to enable operation of aircraft-launched stand-off missiles and will acquire capability to operate hyper velocity gliding missiles with irregular trajectories, hypersonic guided missiles, and other stand-off missiles.

In addition, Japan will have the capability to persistently gather accurate target information regarding vessels and landing forces, which is essential for stand-off defense capability, and possess command and control-related capability to transmit the information in real time. Japan will also possess information analysis capabilities including the evaluation of results after a response, as well as the resiliency and redundancy of information networks.

2 Integrated Air and Missile Defense Capabilities

As a country surrounded by sea, it is extremely important for Japan to respond to airborne threats. In recent years, along with the improvement of the capabilities of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft, the emergence of anti-ship ballistic missiles, hypersonic weapons, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has diversified, complicated, and advanced this airborne threat.

To this end, Japan will fundamentally reinforce detecting, tracking and intercepting capabilities, and also establish a system to enable unified and optimized operation of various sensors and shooters through networks to reinforce integrated air and missile defense capabilities.

As a response to the missile attacks from opponent's country to Japan, Japan will first intercept missiles flying to Japan over the high seas and Japan's territorial airspace using a missile defense system. Subsequently, as a measure for self-defense to the minimum required level to prevent missile attacks including ballistic missiles, Japan will utilize capabilities including stand-off defense capabilities to enable Japan to conduct effective counterstrike in opponent's area. By having capability to conduct effective counterstrike and facilitate interception by missile defense, Japan will restrict opponent's missile launches and thereby deter missile attacks from happening.

To this end, by FY2027, Japan will reinforce the capabilities of warning and control radar and surface-to-air missile and procure Aegis System Equipped Vessels. Japan will also reinforce the capability to respond to small UAVs with weapons including directed-energy weapons.

In about ten years, Japan will reinforce its integrated air and missile defense capabilities by further introducing research on capability to respond to hypersonic weapons in the gliding phase and interception by non-kinetic means to deal with assets such as small UAVs.

3 Unmanned Defense Capabilities

Unmanned assets are often relatively affordable compared to manned equipment and have the great advantage of being able to minimize human loss and operate continuously for a long period of time. Furthermore, by combining these unmanned assets with AI and manned equipment, it can be a game-changer that fundamentally transform force structure and way of warfare methods, enabling Japan to gain asymmetrical advantages in the air, sea, and underwater domains. For this reason, these unmanned assets will be effectively utilized not only for information gathering and surveillance, but also for a wide range of missions including combat support. Japan will also promote initiatives to optimize the equipment system and organization of SDF by automation and manpower saving through the mission replacement of manned assets.

To this end, SDF will acquire practical capabilities in a wide range of missions by introducing unmanned assets through early production and deployment or leasing by FY2027. In particular, Japan will promote the early production and deployment of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) to acquire and maintain underwater superiority.

In about ten years, Japan will further materialize the style of warfare using unmanned assets, accelerate the development and introduction of equipment based on the geographical characteristics of Japan, and expand full-scale operation. Furthermore, SDF will reinforce the ability to simultaneously control multiple unmanned assets using system such as AI.

4 Cross-Domain Operation Capabilities

It has become increasingly important for Japan to overcome inferiority in individual domains by conducting cross-domain operations which organically fuse capabilities in all domains including space, cyber, electromagnetic spectrum, land, sea, and airspace to generate synergy and amplify the overall strength, and thereby ensuring Japan's national defense.

  (1) In the space domain, by proactively introducing new form of space use including satellite constellation and by receiving functions such as information gathering, communication, and positioning from space, Japan will reinforce its operational capabilities in the land, sea, and air domains. At the same time, in order to respond to threats to the stable use of outer space, Japan will develop ground-based and satellite-based surveillance capabilities, establish a Space Domain Awareness (SDA) system, and reinforce the resiliency of space assets to enable the continuation of missions in response to various situations.

  To this end, by FY2027, Japan will utilize space to develop the essential infrastructure for unit operations and enhance the SDA capability.

  Japan will further enhance its space operation capabilities in approximately 10 years from now through the multi-layered and redundant use of space and the acquisition of new capabilities.

  (2) In the cyber domain, MOD/SDF will cooperate with whole-of-government initiatives in the field of cybersecurity, including active cyber defense. MOD/SDF will realize advanced cybersecurity posture by shifting to a posture that is able to conduct continuous risk management primarily on critical information systems, by significantly increasing the number of cyber personnel to respond particularly by utilizing external human resources who have advanced cyber skills. MOD/SDF will protect itself from every cyber threat with these advanced cybersecurity capabilities and utilize these capabilities to initiatives to reinforce cybersecurity throughout Japan.

  To this end, by FY2027, MOD/SDF will establish a cybersecurity posture to secure command and control capabilities and high-priority equipment systems even under cyberattacks and to support the cyber defense of the defense industry.

  By about ten years, MOD/SDF will establish its cybersecurity posture to secure command and control, force projection and operational bases to enable maintaining mission capabilities even under cyberattacks, while reinforcing its posture to support cybersecurity of entities other than SDF.

  (3) In the electromagnetic spectrum domain, MOD/SDF will effectively function its electronic warfare capabilities and its support capabilities to degrade opponent's capability of accomplishing missions even under severe electromagnetic environment including communication disruption by the opponent. Also, MOD/SDF will reinforce electromagnetic spectrum management function for the entire SDF to utilize electromagnetic spectrum more effectively.

  (4) Japan will expand capabilities including those necessary to interfere or neutralize the use of space, cyber, and electromagnetic spectrum domains by an opponent.

  (5) Regarding ground, maritime, and air defense capabilities, which are the basis of the cross-domain operation, Japan will fundamentally reinforce those capabilities by steadily procuring naval vessels and fighter aircrafts to maintain and enhance maritime and air superiority, and proactively utilizing advanced technologies to promote the introduction of new destroyer and the development of next generation fighter aircraft, while bearing in mind the collaboration with unmanned assets.

5 Command and Control / Intelligence-related Functions

In future, in order to win in a situation where combat becomes more rapid and complex, it is necessary to ensure the superiority of the decision-making process by having the commanding officers make appropriate decision promptly and accurately than the opponent. For this purpose, Japan will build networks with real-time capabilities, resiliency, and flexibility, including the introduction of AI, and enhance command and control and intelligence-related functions from cross-domain perspectives including the rapid and concrete realization of ISRT.

To this end, by FY2027, Japan will develop information capabilities capable of responding to information warfare including hybrid warfare and in the cognitive dimension. Japan will also develop near-real-time information gathering capabilities through assets such as satellite constellations.

In approximately ten years, Japan will further enhance information gathering and analysis capabilities by utilizing various means including AI to the greatest extent. Japan will also establish a system to share information in real time through further reinforcement of information gathering assets.

In addition, the necessity to continuously and accurately grasp the intentions and capabilities of Japan's neighboring countries is more crucial than ever. To this end, Japan will reinforce the capabilities of the Defense Intelligence Headquarters (DIH) based on functions such as signal, image, human, and open-source intelligence (SIGINT, IMINT, HUMINT, and OSINT), and fundamentally reinforce comprehensive analysis capabilities including the utilization of geospatial information (GEOINT) to effectively implement the collect, organize, analyze share information, and preserve its security from operational intelligence to strategic information. At the same time, Japan will promote cooperation and collaboration with relevant domestic intelligence-related organizations and take necessary measures to more effectively utilize the information collected through information gathering satellites for SDF's activities.

Moreover, in order to effectively respond to information warfare, including the spread of disinformation, Japan will fundamentally reinforce the organization and functions of MOD/SDF, and conduct information sharing and bilateral/multilateral exercises with the allies and like-minded countries.

6 Mobile Deployment Capabilities / Civil Protection

In response to an invasion of Japan including our remote islands, Japan needs to ensure that the deployed units are always operational and that necessary units are mobilized/deployed according to the situation to secure maritime and air superiority and disrupt the access/landing of units invading Japan. For this purpose, Japan will make maximum use of civilian transportations including Private Finance Initiatives (PFI), while reinforcing maritime and air transport capabilities of SDF.

In addition, in order to enable smooth and effective transportation and replenishment of units through these initiatives, Japan will reinforce the logistic posture through integrations, expansion of airport and seaport facilities usage capacity in the southwestern region, where remote islands are particularly concentrated, and conduct improvement of logistics capabilities, while proactively promoting the modernization of logistics bases located throughout the country.

SDF will not only defeat the infringements upon its remote islands but also carry out civil protection missions by utilizing its reinforced maneuver and deployment capabilities for evacuating residents.

To this end, by FY2027, Japan will reinforce its transportation capabilities by measures such as expanding the use of PFI vessels, thereby acquiring the ability to quickly build up defense posture in the southwestern region and working to expedite the evacuation of residents.

In approximately ten years, Japan will further reinforce its transport capabilities and further accelerate transport and replenishment through the improvement of supply bases.

7 Sustainability and Resiliency

  (1) In order to defend Japan in the future, current warfighting sustainability of SDF is not necessarily sufficient in the form of ammunitions and fuel, and the number of operationally available equipment. It is necessary to squarely address these realities and strive to ensure and maintain sufficient war sustainability so that SDF can continue persistent activities in contingencies, which serves as an effective deterrent. Therefore, Japan will improve the ammunition production capacity, secure ammunition storage commensurate with the amount of ammunition produced, promptly possess necessary, sufficient ammunition and missiles, promptly ensure necessary and sufficient amount of fuel required, and establish a system to enable operation of all equipment except those under planned maintenance.

  To this end, by FY2027, Japan will resolve the situation of shortage of ammunition and guided missiles. Also, Japan will reinforce its production posture for high-priority ammunition and guided missiles and install more ammunition storage facilities. Furthermore, Japan will resolve parts shortages and ensure that all equipment except those under planned maintenance are operationally available.

  By approximately ten years, Japan will maintain appropriate inventory of ammunition and parts and complete the installation of further ammunition storage facilities. Regarding defense equipment, Japan will maintain appropriate stock of parts including those for new equipment.

  (2) Furthermore, in order to ensure the safety of SDF personnel on a daily basis and preventing an easy loss of operational capabilities even in a contingency, Japan will promote measures to construct major command headquarters underground and reinforce their structures, relocate and consolidate facilities ensuring stand-off distance, and steady construct quarters and accommodations and maintain ageing buildings. Moreover, Japan will conceal and deceive equipment to improve resiliency.

  In addition, the issues of climate change, including responses to future energy shifts, will inevitably make further impact on future MOD/SDF operations, including various plans, facilities, defense equipment and security environment surrounding Japan, which demands Japan to deal with variety of issues related to these matters.

  To this end, by FY2027, Japan will promote measures to construct underground command headquarters, and relocating and consolidating facilities in major bases and camps to improve resiliency of respective facilities. In addition, Japan will promote reinforcement of facilities and infrastructure against disasters such as tsunamis, starting from bases and camps that are anticipated to be damaged significantly and are important for operations.

In approximately ten years, Japan will further improve resiliency of defense facilities.

  (3) In order to save the lives of SDF personnel and mitigate risks to their person, and thereby enabling them to respond to an invasion of Japan for a longer period of time and with greater strength, Japan will reinforce emergency relief capabilities and transform medical functions by developing a seamless medical care and transportation system from the frontlines to the final rear destination thereby increasing the chances of survival for each personnel.

V The Future of Self-Defense Forces

1 Role of SDF in the seven key fields

In the seven fields of key capabilities for fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities, Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Force (GSDF, MSDF, and ASDF) will fulfill the following roles.

Regarding stand-off defense capabilities, GSDF, MSDF and ASDF will build required and sufficient number of launching stand-off missiles from vehicle, ship and aircraft capable of diverse responses from outside of the threat envelope and against vessels and landing forces invading Japan.

Regarding integrated air and missile defense capabilities, as a basic role, MSDF destroyers will assume interception in the upper layer and GSDF and ASDF assume interception by surface-to-air missiles in the lower layer, and Japan will reinforce capabilities to respond to future airborne threats such as hypersonic weapons. Also, each SDF services will utilize capabilities such as stand-off defense capabilities etc. as counterstrike capabilities.

Regarding unmanned defense capabilities, GSDF, MSDF and ASDF will significantly reinforce their defense capabilities in unmanned aerial, maritime, underwater and ground assets in accordance with their respective division of roles, concurrent to their review of existing units.

Regarding cross-domain operations, in the space domain, ASDF will reinforce various function including space situational awareness. In cyber domain, MOD/SDF as a whole will reinforce its capabilities to contribute to the reinforcement of cybersecurity for the whole country, and in particular, GSDF will play the core role in the expansion of human resource base development. In electromagnetic spectrum domain, GSDF, MSDF and ASDF will acquire and reinforce defense equipment for electromagnetic warfare and also promote introduction of equipment for deception utilizing electromagnetic spectrum. Also, in light of the rapid buildup of conventional forces of neighboring countries, Japan will continue to enhance the quality and quantity of ground, maritime and air defense equipment that conducts cross-domain operations in cooperation with the capabilities in the above-mentioned domains. Regarding command and control and intelligence-related functions, Japan will reinforce the information gathering capabilities of GSDF, MSDF, and ASDF, accelerate decision- making based on gathered information, and develop a network that enables definite command and control. Also, Japan will fundamentally reinforce the information functions of the DIH, including the ISRT required for the operation of stand-off missiles, and reinforce collaboration with command and control function.

Regarding mobile deployment capabilities and civil protection, Japan will reinforce SDF's mobile deployment capabilities by securing medium-sized and small vessels by GSDF, transport vessels by MSDF, and transport aircraft by ASDF to rapidly deploy units to remote islands, when invasion of Japan is predicted. Also, GSDF will reinforce its architecture including unit reinforcement for the protection of civilians in Okinawa.

Regarding sustainability and resiliency, GSDF, MSDF and ASDF will secure the necessary amount of ammunitions, fuel and mobile equipment on a daily basis, and reinforce the resiliency of defense facilities, which serve as the foundation for exercising capabilities.

2 Concept of developing SDF architecture

Based on the roles in seven fields as mentioned above, development of joint operational architecture as well as development of architectures of GSDF, MSDF, ASDF and DIH will be conducted in following basic concepts.

In order to reinforce effectiveness of joint operational posture, Japan will establish Permanent Joint Headquarters which is capable of unified command of GSDF, MSDF, and ASDF by reviewing the existing organization. Also, Japan will promote defense equipment system benefitting to joint operation.

GSDF will develop a system to reinforce cross-domain operation capabilities and disrupt invading forces from a distance by reinforcing surface-launched stand-off defense capability, which have many advantages, maintain sustainability and resiliency, reinforce rapid maneuver and disperse deployment capabilities to islands located in Southwestern area, introduce unmanned assets, improving integrated air and missile defense capabilities including response to drones, and put importance in command and control and intelligence- related functions, including necessary for disperse deployed units.

In light of increasing missile threats in recent years, MSDF will develop a system to reinforce air-defense capability, promote manpower saving and automation measures, reinforce information warfare capability, ensure superiority in underwater, reinforce stand- off defense capabilities and surface rear support capability, and enable persistent unit operation that require high level of speed and activity. In particular, MSDF will develop a system which will allow acquiring and sustaining superiority in underwater which is an important factor in cross-domain operations.

In order to persistently execute tasks through resilient and flexible operations under high- threat environment, ASDF will develop a system which can reinforce quality and quantity of air defense capability, maintain effective stand-off defense capabilities, ensure effective missile and air-defense posture, and introduce various unmanned assets. Also, ASDF will be renewed as Air and Space Self-Defense Force by reinforcing space operation capability and developing system to ensure superiority in use of space.

In addition to collecting and analyzing SIGINT, IMINT, HUMINT, OSINT, etc., DIH will assume the central role of responding to integrated information warfare with special regard to the cognitive dimension concerning the defense of Japan and fundamentally reinforce the capability to grasp military activities of other countries in a persistent, continuous and accurate manner and analyzing/dispatching them. Furthermore, in line with the reinforcement of cross-domain operation capabilities and stand-off defense capabilities, DIH will reinforce the existing capabilities and ensure a seamless cooperation and collaboration with other relevant organizations.

MOD/SDF will fundamentally reinforce its posture to contribute to the cybersecurity of Japan as a whole, while considering the Government's initiatives in the field of cybersecurity including active cyber defense.

3 Reinforcing policy-making function

In order for SDF to fully exert its capabilities and response to the increasingly severe, complex, and rapid-paced strategic environment, strategic and agile defense policy planning and making are required including such domains as space, cyber and electromagnetic spectrum domains and MOD/SDF will fundamentally reinforce its functions. In this regard, Japan will establish a consultation framework to obtain policy advice from experts. Also, Japan will strengthen its posture to comprehensively advence future way of "warfare" for SDF and how to utilize, develop and equip cutting-edge technologies necessary for this from a strategic perspective, while closely cooperating with relevant ministries and agencies, public research institutions, and private companies particularly defense industry as their core. Furthermore, in order to promote such efforts and support the formulation of policies, Japan will review and reinforce the research system of MOD/SDF led by the National Institute for Defense Studies and reinforce its functions as an intellectual base.

VI Protection of Life, Person and Property of Japanese Nationals / Measures for International Security Cooperation

1 Measures for protection of life, person and property of Japanese nationals

Situations that Japan should be prepared are not limited to unilateral changes to the status quo by force and such attempts and an invasion of Japan. Large-scale terrorist attacks and related attacks on critical infrastructure including nuclear power plants, large-scale disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, and infectious disease crisis caused by COVID-19 are serious threats to the life, person and property of Japanese nationals, and Japan needs to respond to them with its utmost efforts.

As such, MOD/SDF, in close cooperation with relevant organization such as the police, Japan Coast Guard, firefighting services, and local governments, will effectively respond to large-scale terrorist attacks and attacks against critical infrastructure by utilizing fundamentally reinforced defense capabilities, and in the event of a large-scale disaster, will save lives, conduct emergency recovery, and provide livelihood support. Furthermore, in the event of a natural disaster or civil disturbances overseas, MOD/SDF will work closely with the diplomatic authorities to promptly and accurately protect and transport Japanese nationals. In order to utilize defense capabilities and smoothly implement such response, it is essential to establish a collaborative framework with relevant organizations from peacetime. Japan will conduct comprehensive training with relevant local governments and infrastructure business operators in order to ensure the effectiveness of response plans. Japan will also leverage such coordination to facilitate initiatives for civil protection, including evacuation guidance for residents, when an aggression against Japan is predicted.

2 Measures for international security cooperation

Peace, stability, and prosperity of the international community must be ensured for the peace and security of Japan. For this reason, it is necessary for MOD/SDF to utilize fundamentally reinforced defense capabilities, and, from the perspective of proactive contribution to peace bound to international cooperation, Japan must make proactive efforts towards resolving conflicts and confrontations around the world and responding to international issues such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the event of a large- scale international disaster caused by climate change and others.

Regarding International Peace Cooperation activities including International Peacekeeping Cooperation Assignment such as UN Peacekeeping Operation (PKO) and International Peace Cooperation Activities including Japan Disaster Relief Activities, Japan will, in light of the Legislation for Peace and Security, conduct activities with a focus on the areas where Japan has advantage such as engineering and medicine, while collecting detailed information using intelligence-related functions even in remote areas, and swiftly transferring the necessary units using maneuver and deployment capabilities as necessary. Also, Japan will continue to dispatch SDF personnel to local mission headquarters, taking advantage of the characteristics of Japan's SDF personnel with a high level of expertise. In addition, Japan will make the best use of accumulated experience and will provide capacity building.

From the perspective of improving the security environment surrounding Japan, Japan will also promote initiatives for arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations. In doing so, Japan will utilize the knowledge of MOD/SDF to improve the effectiveness of international organizations and international export control regimes.

VII Defense Production and Technology Bases as Virtually Integral Part of Defense Capability

Defense production and technology bases are an indispensable foundation for a country to secure the research, development, production and procurement of defense equipment in a stable manner on its own and to incorporate the cutting-edge technology necessary for a new way of warfare into defense equipment; thus virtually integral part of defense capability itself, and making its reinforcement essential. Therefore, Japan will promote initiatives such as building a strong and sustainable defense industry necessary for a new way of warfighting, dealing with various risks, and expanding sales channels. Regarding the whole-of-the-government initiatives such as protecting the supply-chain for general-purpose products, and managing the security of sensitive technologies and the information security for civilian cutting-edge fields, MOD will implement measures necessary from a defense purposes and will also collaborate with initiatives of relevant ministries and agencies.

1 Reinforcing defense production base

Japan's defense industry is important, considered as a partner responsible for national defense along with MOD/SDF in terms of securing equipment for SDF to carry out its missions, and it is necessary to maintain and reinforce the capability to produce high performance equipment and secure high operational rates. To this end, in the defense industry, Japan will secure not only advanced technological capabilities and quality control capabilities through reinforcing the defense technology base, but also the production, sustainment, maintenance, repair, and capacity improvement of defense equipment.

In order to make sure that the defense industry will play such a significant role, Japan will reinforce the bases including the entire supply chain. In doing so, Japan aims to make the business attractive by introducing a new profit margin calculation method to appropriately evaluate the cost management and quality control of the defense industry to secure appropriate profits, while promoting measures to maintain and reinforce existing supply chains and promote the entry of new suppliers.

Also, Japan will place more importance on the viewpoint of maintaining and strengthening the domestic base in acquiring defense equipment, and strive for technological, qualitative, and production-time improvements while ensuring the predictability of the company, and if there is no other means available even after taking these measures, Japan will consider the form of owning manufacturing facilities and others itself.

Furthermore, Japan will deal with supply chain risks in the defense industry, while reinforcing industrial security including cybersecurity based on international standards, as well as strengthening the security of sensitive technologies.

From these perspectives, Japan will work with the defense authorities of the ally, like- minded countries and others to engage in the initiatives such as supply chain protection and sensitive technology security relating to the defense industry.

2 Reinforcing technology base

In order to procure defense equipment required for the new way of warfare, how to utilize our indigenous technologies is extremely important. Therefore, receiving proposals from companies related to defense, and considering that if those proposals would be applied to the new way of warfare, MOD will proactively promote initiatives to achieve early production and deployment of defense equipment by exploiting technologies solely used for defense equipment possessed by the defense-related companies and their in-house research results as well as, technologies from non-defense industries that can be incorporated into defense equipment. In particular, for projects of high political urgency and significance, Japan will realize even earlier research and development and deployment by accepting risks of research and development and considering expected outcomes.

In addition, Japan will reinforce initiatives to deploy necessary equipment by improving specifications while operating prototype units.

Also, from the defense technology base perspective, Japan will promote cooperation and collaboration with its ally, like-minded countries and others by leading international joint development as means to acquire equipment which will benefit the defense of Japan.

In addition, Japan will establish a framework for actively exploiting cutting-edge civilian technologies developed by start-up companies, domestic research institutions, and academia, and will utilize a whole of the government mechanism for comprehensively strengthening defense architecture.

Through scrap-and-build of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA's) research and development related organization, Japan will establish a new research institution in MOD to find multi-use cutting-edge technologies that contribute to defense equipment development, and to produce equipment that leads to defense innovation, and also Japan will expand and enhance systems to comprehensively consider and promote the utilization of cutting-edge technology in terms of policy, operation and technology. Under such systems, with a view to increase predictability, based on new way of warfare, Japan will strategically publicize information regarding the technology fields that Japan will focus on and an outlook for research and development.

3 Promoting transfer of defense equipment and technology

Transfer of defense equipment and technology overseas is a key policy instrument for ensuring peace and stability, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, to deter unilateral changes to the status quo by force, to create a desirable security environment for Japan, and to provide assistance to countries that are subject to aggression in violation of international law, use of force, or threat of force. From this perspective, revisions of the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, its Implementation Guidelines, and other systems will be considered in order to promote smooth transfer of defense equipment and technology of high security significance and international joint development in a broad array of fields. In doing so, adequate consideration will be made on necessity, requirements, and transparency of related procedures for transfer of defense equipment and technology, while maintaining the Three Principles themselves.

In addition, Japan will carry forward transfer of defense equipment and technology in the joint public and private efforts by establishing a fund, and implementing measures including providing corporate assistance as necessary so as to smoothly promote such transfers.

VIII Reinforcing Foundation for SDF Personnel, the Core Element of Defense Capability, to Exercise their Capabilities

1. Reinforcing human resource base

The core element of defense capability is SDF personnel. In order to realize fundamental reinforcement of defense capability, MOD/SDF will secure the necessary SDF personnel without increasing capacity and MOD/SDF needs to create an environment that enables all SDF personnel to demonstrate their individual capabilities while maintaining high morale and pride, in light of the fact that SDF personnel are required to have more knowledge, skills and experience than before and are required to be well-grounded not to be deceived by disinformation, etc. MOD/SDF will continue to work on improving living and work environments, improving treatments, promoting measures concerning honors and privileges, expanding support for families including collaboration with the families of SDF personnel and related organizations, fostering an environment in which female SDF personnel can play a more active role through flexible personnel management, promoting work-life balance, and enhancing re-employment support for uniformed SDF personnel who retire at a younger age, etc. In particular, it is necessary to give a certain level of consideration to SDF personnel who work in demanding environments in which high readiness and long-term missions are required and socially isolated. In addition, each SDF personnel should recognizes anew that harassment shakes the foundation of SDF, a human organization, and develops an organizational environment of zero tolerance to any harassment. These initiatives are important not only for preventing the decline of warfighting capabilities due to mid-career retirement but also for securing qualified human resources.

Regarding recruitment, MOD/SDF will further reinforce SDF recruitment capabilities to secure the necessary number of high-quality human resources. At the same time, MOD/SDF will further raise the retirement age and expand the re-enrollment of retired uniformed SDF personnel to effectively utilize experienced skills, while considering the maintenance of military strength. Furthermore, MOD/SDF will promote flexible human resource utilization and secure human resources from a wide range of areas, including personnel in the private sector with specialized knowledge and skills such as in the cyber domain. In particular, MOD/SDF will implement comprehensive measures that contribute to securing human resources, such as crew members with low sufficiency rates in naval vessels and radar site surveillance personnel. Regarding SDF reserve personnel and others, which supplement regular SDF personnel, MOD/SDF will review and reinforce the system to drastically increase the recruitment including in the cyber domain. In addition, MOD/SDF will reinforce cooperation with retired SDF personnel and others.

With regard to the development of the human resources that SDF has recruited, MOD/SDF will reskill SDF personnel and reinforce the educational infrastructure for them such as National Defense Academy, and respective SDF educational institutions. In this regard, MOD/SDF will focus on the cyber domain and other fields with high expertise as well as reinforcing joint operations education and research in particular, and implement measures to effectively utilize scares human resources possess expertise. Also, MOD civilian officials and others play an important role not only in supporting the activities of SDF as an element of defense capability but also in fundamentally reinforcing defense capability, designing policies associated with the fundamental reinforcement, and providing operational support to units. Therefore, MOD/SDF will work to reinforce the human resource base by securing the civilian officials, technical and engineering officials, and others, necessary for this purpose and by further considering necessary systems.

In this way, MOD/SDF will implement bold measures focusing on the entire life cycle of SDF personnel, while considering the creation of an organizational environment that enables SDF personnel to exert their capabilities even when they are in the middle of various life events including childbirth, childcare, and nursing care.

2 Transformation of medical function

Regarding SDF medical force, MOD/SDF has been placing importance on sustaining health of SDF personnel, but from the perspective of sustainability and resilience, MOD/SDF will transform SDF medical force into an organization that saves the lives of SDF personnel who carry out their missions in a contingency in spite of the danger.

For the purpose, MOD/SDF will develop an integrated operational capability by unifying medical roles and functions common to all SDF services so that SDF can respond to various situations and undertake diverse missions both in Japan and abroad and build a posture to mobilize the full strength of SDF's medical force including the National Defense Medical College, and promote fundamental reforms to improve the combat trauma care capabilities.

In this regard, MOD/SDF will establish a seamless medical care and evacuation posture from the frontlines to the destination hospital, while clarifying the role of each medical establishment from the frontlines of southwestern region to the hospitals, in Honshu and other islands, and standardize medical equipment and materials for transportation, and to develop a system to share medical information necessary for medical care and transportation across the country including in the frontlines. In addition, MOD/SDF will reinforce SDF units' first aid capabilities, secure medical equipment and materials including blood and oxygen that are essential for combat trauma care, and develop a medical base in the southwestern region.

Furthermore, MOD/SDF will reinforce education and research on combat trauma care in the National Defense Medical College and improve management necessary to further enhance the clinical experience of medical and nursing officers. In addition, MOD/SDF will complement the clinical experience of medical and nursing officers through active external training. Based on this, MOD/SDF will enhance the common knowledge and skills of respective components of SDF through integrated education and training on combat trauma care.

IX Points of Attention

1. This Strategy, under the National Security Strategy, is implemented in alignment with strategies in other fields. The National Security Council regularly and systematically evaluates whether the approach and means to achieve defense objectives are taken appropriately, especially whether the strengthening of the defense architecture of the whole country is surely implemented. In addition, Japan will constantly evaluate the capabilities necessary for building defense capabilities that can effectively deal with changes in the security environment, particularly focusing on opponent's capability, based on joint operational concepts.

2. The fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities based on the strategy needs to be maintained and reinforced in the future. To this end, Japan will continuously consider how to fundamentally reinforce defense capabilities from a mid- to long-term perspective.

3. The Strategy envisions approximately ten year ahead, and will be amended as necessary when major changes are anticipated, such areas as in international situation and trends in technological level.