On June 20, the Research Committee on Security (Anzen Hosho Chosa-kai) within Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) released an interim report with recommendations for Japan’s next Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP) for fiscal years 2019-2023. The committee, led by former Deputy Minister of Defense Hiroshi Imazu, is aiming to announce its final report by spring of 2018.
Two recommendations in the interim report attracted particular attention. First, the interim report supported one of the key recommendations put forward by the LDP’s Policy Affairs Research Council in March, namely that the Japanese government begin to discuss the option of acquiring “enemy counter-attack capability.” In addition, the report recommended that Japan use NATO countries’ benchmark for defense expenditures —2 percent of gross domestic production (GDP) — as “a point of reference” as Japan considers the appropriate level of spending for its own defense. Other areas that the interim report identified as priorities include the possible acquisition of indigenously-developed military surveillance satellites and the development of offensive cyber capabilities in the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF).
This article was originally published in The Diplomat on June 23, 2017. Read the full article here.