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Topic: Militarization of Japan

Committee: Asian Summit

After World War 2 Japan was in a sorry state. They were bombed and then occupied by the Allied Forces. The occupation lasted from 1945 to April of 1952. In 1946 Japan wrote their Constitution and in 1947 it was adopted. In the Constitution there was a specific article to limit their military powers Chapter II, Article 9. See below.

Chapter II Renunciation of War

Article 9

(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
(2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of aggression of the state will not be recognized.

After the occupation, Japan formed a Self Defense Force in 1954, despite what was said in the constitution. This was met with large public demonstrations. There are three branches to the Self Defense Force: Ground Self Defense Force, Maritime Self Defense Force, and Air Self Defense Force. The Self Defense Force's purpose is to preserve peace, public order and Japan 's independence and safety. Over 6% of the national budget is spent on the SDF (1999). Military service is not mandatory. The force has about 250,000 members. Supreme commander is the Prime Minister .

Recently there has been talk about making the Ground Self Defense Force into a Reserve as well. At this current time many of the training grounds in Okinawa are in the hands of the Japanese Self Defense Force. As well presently the Japanese government as been taking a more active stance and has actually sent some troops and vessels to Iraq to aid the US in there efforts.

Other military operations include An advance team of 49 Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) troops arrived in Jordan on Thursday 10 July as part of a Japanese military operation to airlift relief supplies to Iraq. They also have supplied two of their sixteen C130s cargo planes for efforts in the Middle East . The Japanese government has sent C-130s on 29 missions since 1992 for peacekeeping and refugee relief operations. It is reported that Japan may send as many as 1,000 troops to Iraq once it is deemed acceptable by the government.

Recent Japanese governments have been pushing to play a bigger military role internationally. Yet, these days, Japanese must also think of the potential threat from neighbor North Korea , which is suspected of pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Most people feel they have no option but to count on the United States should the isolated communist state make good on its repeated threats to attack Japan . Due to the rising tension the Self Defense Force has even started practicing drills. Japanese military self-defense forces conducted a nighttime tank drill in late August of 2003 near Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture , amid the nation's growing fears over North Korea 's nuclear-weapons program.

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