"About 58.1 percent of South Koreans view Japan as a military threat, up from 46.3 percent the previous year, now that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving to beef up postwar security policy, a survey said Friday.
The joint survey, conducted by Japanese civic group Genron NPO and South Korean think tank East Asia Institute from April to May, drew responses from around 1,000 people in each country and found that only 11.2 percent of Japanese respondents view South Korea as a military threat."
"The two security bills, which were adopted by Abe’s cabinet on the 14th, are intended to expand the scope of the SDF’s activities overseas and broaden the areas in which they can operate. The bills are named the kokusai heiwa shien hoan (international peace support bill) and the heiwa anzen hosei seibi hoan (peace and security legislation development bill). The former bill is to amend ten security-related laws to remove the geographical constraint of a current law on contingencies in “areas adjacent to Japan” that was enacted in 1999 in the event of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula. One of the noteworthy laws, for example, is to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the aid of a friendly nation under attack."
"The latter bill is to establish a permanent law that allows the government to send the SDF overseas to provide logistics support to a foreign military in armed combat and to replace the current temporary laws that must be enacted each time the SDF is dispatched on support missions in multinational operations."
"The two security bills still require the approval of the current Diet session to take effect, which is expected to undergo a heated debate... if passed...Japan would substantially shift away from its postwar defensive posture..."
"Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, will this week push ahead with plans to loosen rules governing the military, even as analysts warn this could squander political capital needed to pursue tough economic reforms. "
"'This could well lead to a 10 percentage point fall in the approval rating for the Abe cabinet,'” said Takao Toshikawa, editor of the political newsletter Tokyo Insideline."
[US Department of State] Joint Statement on the New Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation. 04/27/15
A book review of Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling's new book "Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival" by Magrarita Estevez-Abe.
"Pilling skillfully reveals the historical roots of Abe’s worldview and takes a relatively hopeful view of its likely impact on Japanese society and Japan’s relationships with its neighbors and the world."
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.