The United States and Japan will be conducting a thorough review of their joint security arrangements after the election of Shinzo Abe returned the US-friendly Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (自由民主党) to power in Tokyo. Amid worsening tensions with China over the Senkaku Islands(尖閣諸島)/Diaoyu Islands (釣魚台列嶼), and the spectre of a nuclear North Korea capable of intercontinental missile launches, Japan’s conservative government seeks to amend the Japanese Constitution forged after World War II (WWII) in order to allow the nation to construct a more comprehensive defense force capable of securing Japanese national interests in East Asia and elsewhere.

We would like to discuss Japanese Self Defence Forces‘ role and U.S. forces role with eyes on the next five, 10, 15 years and on the security environment during those periods

The meetings are in line with the United States‘ military’s strategic shift away from Europe and towards Asia. While Japan has the right of ‘collective self-defense,’ meaning it can engage in armed conflicts with allies even if Japan is not attacked itself, this right is not exercised because it is also believed that the constitution implicitly forbids it. One exception to this was when the Japanese entered Afghanistan, along with other coalition forces, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

[Reuters]