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Japan and the Revolution in Military Affairs

Tom Le

Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 2018, vol. 5, issue 2, 172-196

Abstract: The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) has not only changed how the USA engages in warfare but also how it maintains its military supremacy and how other nations budget and strategize. The very idea of the RMA has impacted how nations manage their technological advantages and raises the questions of can the RMA be monopolized and if not, which nations can adopt their own RMA? In September 2000, the Japan Defence Agency (now the Ministry of Defence [MOD]) produced a report titled ‘“Info-RMA†: Study on Info-RMA and the Future of the Self-Defence Forces’ to explore the prospects of implementing RMA principles in the Japan Self-Defence Forces. In this article, I explore to what extent can RMA principles be implemented in the Self-Defence Forces? I argue that although several significant changes have been implemented in technology, doctrine, operations and organization, various normative and technical constraints have directed the MOD to craft an RMA with Japanese characteristics, emphasizing defence and interconnectedness with the US armed forces. These findings suggest that current efforts to ‘normalize’ the Self-Defence Forces can succeed if crafted to appeal to the sensibilities of the Japanese public.

Keywords: Japan; militarism; Revolution in Military Affairs; East Asia security; US–Japan alliance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1177/2347797018783112

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Handle: RePEc:sae:asseca:v:5:y:2018:i:2:p:172-196