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15 Oct 12. Japan Defence and Security Report Q4 2012. The report examines the trends occurring in the country’s current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The intention is to provide a clear and concise discussion of these issues. The report’s general conclusion is that in spite of growing concern about China’s military rise, Japan looks set to remain heavily dependent on the United States as the guarantor of its security. While some advanced programmes are improving the capability of the Japanese military, a defence budget that has declined every year for the past decade and an enduring historical-cultural aversion to remilitarisation continue to place major constraints on Tokyo’s strategic options. A new Defence White Paper, released in June 2012, did little to suggest that Japan has changed its worldview.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
– Japan’s territorial dispute with South Korea over the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islands is discussed in the light of Korean president Lee Myung-bak’s controversial visit to the territory – the first by a Korean leader. The visit was the second blow that Lee had recently dealt to relations with Japan; in July he pulled out of signing an historic intelligence-sharing deal with Tokyo after mishandling the issue domestically.
– Japan’s dispute with Russia over the Kuril Islands is also discussed, with Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev having recently visited the islands in what Tokyo regarded as a counterproductive move. Russia claims to remain committed to dialogue, though Medvedev’s actions have cast doubt on whether a negotiated solution can be found. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
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