Since the Second World War, Japan’s constitution has stopped it from building up armed forces which have the ability ‘to wage war’. But it is allowed to maintain a force with which it can defend itself. In response to growing regional threats, the newly-elected government plans to increase spending on that force for the first time in a decade.

One of Japan's political priorities under its new government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be to boost the capability of its Self-Defence Forces (SDF).

There are three reasons behind his plan.

The first is to show key neighbours in the region, particularly China and North Korea, that ...

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
While the country’s constitution explicitly forbids maintaining military forces, defence is something of a ‘grey area’
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