2022 Defense of Japan Report

The following is the Japanese Ministry of Defense 2022 White Paper Defense of Japan released this week. From the report The international community is currently facing its greatest trial since WWII. It is not an exaggeration to say that we have entered a new period of crisis in the twenty-first century. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine […]

The following is the Japanese Ministry of Defense 2022 White Paper Defense of Japan released this week.

From the report

The international community is currently facing its greatest trial since WWII. It is not an exaggeration to say that we have entered a new period of crisis in the twenty-first century. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shocked the world, with the loss of countless innocent civilians’ lives giving rise to deep indignation and grief. Such unilateral changes to the status quo by force should never be tolerated, as they shake the very foundation of the international order based on universal values that has supported the peace and prosperity of the international community.

This defiance of international order is not just Europe’s problem. As strategic competition between nations becomes more apparent against the backdrop of changes to the global power balance, the existing order is being exposed to serious challenges, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, which is at the center of this competition.

In particular, China continues to unilaterally change or attempt to change the status quo by coercion in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The country’s ties with Russia, an aggressor nation, have deepened in recent years, with joint navigations and flights being conducted in the areas surrounding Japan by both Chinese and Russian vessels and aircraft. Furthermore, China has made clear that it would not hesitate to unify Taiwan by force, further increasing tensions in the region.

North Korea has repeatedly carried out ballistic missile launches well into 2022, thereby unilaterally escalating its provocations towards the international community. It has also defended Russia in respect of the latter’s aggression against Ukraine, asserting that the fault for this situation lies with the United States and other Western countries.

Fortunately, Japan has many likeminded partners. In the face of unprecedented challenges, the ties between the partners are further strengthened. Among these, the bond of the Japan–U.S. Alliance remains unshakeable, and trilateral cooperation among Japan, the U.S., and Australia, and quadrilateral cooperation among Japan, the U.S., Australia, and India, are further deepening. Also, as symbolized by vessels making port calls to Japan one after another last year, Japan continues to work together with European nations to ensure that the region is free and open.

As a way of defending against any such changes to the international order based on universal values, Japan must not delay in bringing together its knowledge and technology and putting all its collective efforts into strengthening its national defense capabilities.

Japan is currently working on drawing up a new National Security Strategy, etc. under the order of Prime Minister Kishida, and the Government will establish these new strategies boldly and creatively, thinking flexibly beyond existing paradigms in order to preemptively deter changes to the status quo by force and to also be fully prepared for modern warfare, including information warfare and cyber warfare, both seen during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Right now, a large gray cloud hangs over the path towards world peace and security, and the outlook is seemingly obscure. However, one thing for certain is that creating the international order of tomorrow rests on the choices and actions of the people of today. Standing firm in its policies as a peace-loving nation, Japan resolutely continues to oppose any parties who attempt to forcibly change the world order. Japan also intends to continue demonstrating the strength of freedom and democracy and the significance of human rights and laws to the world through its unwavering conviction and tireless efforts.

To constantly defend Japan in a resolute manner and ensure continued regional and international peace and prosperity, as well as international order based on universal values, which has come to support this peace and prosperity thus far, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will continue to decisively deal with any and all difficulties to push through this time of trial.

We hope that this white paper clearly explains to Japanese and international readers that the MOD and the SDF have the will and capability to achieve the above, in addition to helping further increase understanding of the environment surrounding Japan and the efforts of the MOD and the SDF.

Minister of Defense
Kishi Nobuo

Download the document here.