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Japan

 
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Japan

THE SELF-DEFENSE FORCES

[JPEG]

Armored exercises in Shizuoka Prefecture
Courtesy Asahi Shimbun

[PDF]

Figure 12. Organization of the Japanese Defense Establishment, 1990

Based on information from Japan, Defense Agency, Defense of Japan, 1990, Tokyo, 1990, 310-12.

Unavailable

Figure 13. Deployment of the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense Forces, 1990

Source: Based on information from Japan, Defense Agency, Defense of Japan, 1990, Tokyo, 1990, 309.

[JPEG]

Maritime Self-Defence Force ships on patrol in Tokyo Bay
Courtesy Asahi Shimbun

[PDF]

[PDF]

Figure 14. Ranks and Insignia of the Self-Defense Forces, 1990

Unavailable

F-15J interceptor at airbase in Fukuoka Prefecture
Courtesy Asahi Shimbun

Japan's defeat in World War II, the only major military defeat in the country's history, had a profound and lasting effect on national attitudes toward war, the armed forces, and military involvement in politics. These attitudes were immediately apparent in the public's willing acceptance of total disarmament and demobilization after the war and in the alacrity with which all military leaders were removed from positions of influence in the state. Under General Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army, serving as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, and in concert with the wishes of most Japanese, occupation authorities were committed to the demilitarization and democratization of the nation. All clubs, schools, and societies associated with the military and martial skills were eliminated. The general staff was abolished, along with army and navy ministries and the Imperial Army and Imperial Navy. Industry serving the military also was dismantled.

The trauma of defeat produced strong pacifist sentiments that found expression in the United States-fostered 1947 constitution, which forever renounces war as an instrument for settling international disputes and declares that Japan will never again maintain "land, sea, or air forces or other war potential" (see The Postwar Constitution , ch. 6). Later cabinets interpreted these provisions as not denying the nation the right to self-defense and, with the encouragement of the United States, developed the SDF. Antimilitarist public opinion, however, remained a force to be reckoned with on any defense-related issue. The constitutional legitimacy of the SDF was challenged well into the 1970s, and even in the 1980s the government acted warily on defense matters lest residual antimilitarism be aggravated and a backlash result.

Data as of January 1994


Japan - TABLE OF CONTENTS

Japanese National Security


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