Japan’s Defense Guidelines: New Conventional Strategy, Same Old Nuclear Dilemma

Japan’s Defense Guidelines: New Conventional Strategy, Same Old Nuclear Dilemma

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Masako Toki

Project Manager and Research Associate, The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

For the first time since 2004, Japan issued new National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) in December 2010. Originally scheduled for release in December 2009, the new NDPG were postponed as a result of a major shift in political power, when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) defeated the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that had been in power for more than half a century. The long-awaited NDPG are intended to guide Japan's defense policy for the next decade, and to help Japan contend with a rapidly changing security environment that includes North Korea's increasingly threatening missile and nuclear programs, and China's increasing influence both regionally and globally. The guidelines also evaluate the role of the U.S.-Japan security alliance in confronting these regional challenges.

The new NDPG introduced a major shift in post-World War II Japanese strategic thinking, replacing the "basic defense force concept" with a "dynamic defense force concept" that will embrace proactive and assertive rather than passive and reactive defense policies.[2] In line with this approach, the new NDPG stipulated that Japan will continue to improve and develop missile defense capabilities in cooperation with the United States. Of significant note is the ongoing debate over whether, in conjunction with the further improvement of the missile defense system, Japan's decades-old self-imposed arms export ban should be eased.

The new NDPG were also undertaken in an international security environment with growing momentum—at least among some states—toward a world free of nuclear weapons. While the document's "dynamic defense force concept" and further emphasis on U.S.-Japan missile defense cooperation are proactive responses to intensifying regional security threats, the guidelines did not clearly reflect international efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons. Instead, the NDPG adopted the same line on extended nuclear deterrence as all past versions had, stating that, "As long as nuclear weapons exist, the extended deterrence provided by the United States with nuclear deterrent as a vital element, will be indispensable." [3] Issues surrounding Japan's position on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation are left unresolved, reinforcing the continued tension between Japan's global pro-disarmament stance and its reliance on U.S. extended nuclear deterrence.

The New Governing Party and the NDPG—Proactive not Reactive Defense

For the first time in fifty years, Japan experienced a governing party shift when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) defeated the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) by a landslide on 30 August 2009. Prior to the election, the LDP had been in the process of preparing the NDPG, which were presumed to include a more assertive security policy than past documents. How the political power shift would affect the formation of the new NDPG drew much attention, as the newly elected DPJ restarted the process and delayed the guidelines' release by a year.

However, the major changes in Japan's security strategy stipulated in the December 2010 NDPG were not the result of this internal political power shift, and were likely consistent in most respects with the former governing party's planned NDPG. The new NDPG represented a proactive response by Tokyo to pressing external threats, including China's rising military power and growing maritime activities, and North Korea's ongoing and intensifying provocations, including nuclear and missile developments.

Tokyo expressed concern over China's military modernization in stronger terms than in the previous NDPG: "these movements, coupled with the lack of transparency in its military and security matters, have become a matter of concern for the region and the international community."[4] As a result, Japan will increase the number of its submarines to 22 from 16, and shift its defense focus from the north (former Soviet threat), to the southwest, where Japan shares a maritime border with China.[5] Also, in response primarily to North Korea's missile and nuclear threats, Tokyo will continue to develop its missile defense systems in cooperation with the United States.[6] Reacting to Japan's more conspicuous statement of concern over China's military rise, Beijing condemned Tokyo's view as irresponsible. China has also warned that the construction by Japan and the United States of a more robust missile defense system in the region would threaten the balance of power and escalate the arms race in Asia, forcing Beijing to reciprocally enhance its own military capabilities.[7]

After North Korea's 1998 Taepodong-1 missile test, Japan began undertaking missile defense R&D in cooperation with the United States. In December 2003, the Japanese government decided to acquire ballistic missile defense capabilities.[8] The former governing Liberal Democratic Party argued that missile defense did not contradict Japan's "exclusively defensive defense" policy. Therefore, when the December 2004 NDPG were issued, Tokyo decided to make the U.S.-Japanese missile defense programs exceptions to Japan's decades old self-imposed Three Principles on Arms Export.[9] The "Three Principles," a hallmark of Japan's post-World War II pacifism policy, had long prohibited Tokyo from jointly developing and producing weapons, or transferring weapons parts to foreign countries, including the United States. Furthermore, in December 2005, the Japanese cabinet decided that Tokyo would jointly develop more advanced next-generation missile interceptors with the United States, and reconfirmed that the Three Principles would not apply to the joint development of missile defense systems under strict conditions.[10] Tokyo has since deployed a multilayered missile defense system consisting of sea-based midcourse missile defense (the Aegis ballistic missile defense system); and ground-based terminal phase missile defense (Patriot Advanced Capabilities-3, or PAC-3).

When the DPJ came to power in September 2009, however, many speculated that government support for missile defense might be diminished given that the DPJ seemed more skeptical of missile defense than its predecessor. For example, in November 2009, then DPJ Foreign Minister Okada insisted that the government should be able to thoroughly explain to the public the value of the expensive missile defense system that Japan had developed with the United States. When the DPJ cabinet approved defense spending guidelines for FY2010 in December 2009, it suspended new funds for any further PAC-3 deployment until at least April 2011.[11]

Events in 2010 however, including provocative North Korean behavior and heightened tensions with China, caused the DPJ government to decide to continue to develop and improve missile defense in cooperation with the United States. Specifically, Tokyo decided to enhance the performance of the Aegis system, and will increase the number of Aegis-equipped destroyers from four to six. It will also deploy more PAC-3 interceptor missiles across Japan to counter the North Korean ballistic missile threat. In addition to the three air defense missile groups in Japan, three more missile groups will also be deployed with the PAC-3 interceptors, covering all of the major Japanese islands.[12] The Ministry of Defense also decided to relocate missile defense command from Japan's Self-Defense Force Facility to a U.S. airbase to improve its speed of detection, and response to incoming missiles identified by U.S. early-warning satellites.[13]

The United States and Japan have been jointly developing the next generation Standard Missile 3 Block II A interceptor, and the United States plans to deploy this system in Europe and elsewhere, with the aim of fielding a comprehensive missile defense system by around 2020. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is pressuring Japan to ease its arms export ban so that the SM-3 Block II A currently under co-development by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry and Raytheon can be transferred to third countries.[14] While Japan's agreement is required for the United States to export the jointly developed system to third countries, Tokyo cannot currently accede to the U.S. request under the "Three Principles" of arms export. The Japanese government must therefore decide by the end of 2011 whether or not to further modify the Three Principles. While this was a significant focus of debate in the preparation of the new NDPG, it remains unresolved.[15]

Pressure from the business sector and the United States, as well as Defense Minister Kitazawa's support for easing the Three Principles, increased the prospect that the new NDPG might include a provision easing the three principles.[16] An expert panel, "the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era," formed to prepare the new NDPG. In its final report, the panel suggested that Japan should ease its arms export ban, stating that "With a careful design to contribute to international peace and improvement of Japan's security environment, it should revise the current arms export prohibition policy."[17] Furthermore, in July 2010 Nippon Keidanren, Japan's business federation and the most influential lobby in the country's economic policy, submitted the "Proposal for the New National Defense Program Guidelines," suggesting that "the Government should establish new arms export control principles to replace the current Three Principles on Arms Exports, etc."[18]

However, the new NDPG did not make any direct reference to reviewing the Three Principles, in view of the adamant opposition from the Social Democratic Party, whose support is needed for the DPJ to pass its FY2011 budget.[19] Instead, the new NDPG left the door open toward a possible lifting of the weapons export ban, calling for measures to deal with "major changes" in the global environment involving weapons.[20] Despite delays with regard to modifying the Three Principles, the new NDPG and the current government's overall stance on defense issues suggest that Japan is transforming its strategic orientation from a reactive post-World War II defense orientation to a more proactive defense posture.

Ongoing Tension Between Nuclear Disarmament and Extended Nuclear Deterrence

In contrast to the other major strategic changes spelled out in the December 2010 NDPG, the document reiterates the same provisions articulated in earlier NDPGs regarding nuclear weapons. The new NDPG stipulates that "… as long as nuclear weapons exist, the extended deterrence provided by the United States, with nuclear deterrent as a vital element, will be indispensable. In order to maintain and improve the credibility of the extended deterrence, Japan will closely cooperate with the United States, and will also appropriately implement its own efforts, including ballistic missile defense and civil protection."[21] There is therefore a continued tension between Japan's support for global nuclear disarmament and its ongoing reliance on U.S. extended nuclear deterrence.

During decades of LDP governance, Japan relied on U.S. extended nuclear deterrence and supported the U.S. decision to abstain from a no-first use policy. During the 2009 election campaign, then-Prime Minister Aso stated that Japan should support the U.S. policy of retaining the right to use its nuclear weapons first, given the uncertainty in the regional security environment. [22] In contrast, the DPJ's center-left orientation and history of supporting nuclear disarmament suggested that it might take a significantly different approach to nuclear disarmament and extended deterrence. While some nuances of the government's nuclear policy appear to be shifting, no significant policy changes in the areas of nuclear disarmament or extended deterrence are reflected in the DPJ's National Defense Program Guidelines.

While both the 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review and the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document acknowledged the need to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in states' security policies, Japan's new NDPG does not specifically endorse that idea. It lacks strategic depth regarding the current and future role of extended nuclear deterrence in Japanese policy, and fails to clarify how Japan can balance its interest in disarmament with its need for security in a challenging regional environment. The only significant difference from past NDPGs on the issue of extended deterrence, which may be indicative of a small shift in policy, is the suggestion in the 2010 document that extended nuclear deterrence is part of general extended deterrence. This is clearer when one compares the new NDPG with the 2004 version that states, "To protect its territory and people against the threat of nuclear weapons, Japan will continue to rely on the U.S. nuclear deterrent."[23] While the 2010 document talks about the U.S. nuclear deterrent as a "vital element" of U.S. extended deterrence, it is not singled out as the only element of deterrence. This subtle change appears to reflect the 2010 U.S. NPR's emphasis on reducing the role of nuclear weapons, while continuing to strengthen conventional deterrence.[24] However, the NDPG does not explicitly state that the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. deterrence should be reduced, or discuss the issue in the context of nuclear disarmament progress.

Japan's reliance on U.S. extended nuclear deterrence is a pillar of the country's national security policy, and one that is often faulted by domestic and international critics as undermining the goal of a nuclear free world. This type of domestic politics criticism is particularly vocal in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the 6 August 2010 anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba called for the Japanese government to legislate into law the Three Non-Nuclear Principles and to abandon the U.S. "nuclear umbrella."[25] Later that day, Prime Minister Naoto Kan countered this statement by asserting that, "nuclear deterrence continues to be necessary for our nation at a time when there are unclear and uncertain factors."[26] Three days later, at the 9 August commemoration of the Nagasaki atomic bombing, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue also supported the idea of enacting the Three Non-Nuclear Principles into law, urging the Japanese government to pursue security without relying upon a "nuclear umbrella."[27] Both mayors advocated the establishment of a nuclear weapons convention to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.[28] Mayor Taue also urged Japan to promote disarmament and nonproliferation education strongly, supporting the joint statement that had been submitted by Japan with more than 40 other countries at the NPT Review Conference.[29]

While little has officially changed about the Japanese government's nuclear policy since the DPJ assumed power, the anniversary celebrations highlighted how internally conflicted the new governing party appears to be concerning its nuclear policies. After being criticized for asserting a continued need for extended nuclear deterrence on the Hiroshima Memorial Day, Prime Minister Kan reversed course and expressed his support for making the Three Non-Nuclear Principles a legally binding law, which confused many of his colleagues.[30] Moreover, some members of the DPJ government have taken other occasions to attempt to prove the party is more serious about nuclear disarmament than its predecessor—these small-scale changes simply have not impacted bigger picture policies such as the NDPG. The first Foreign Minister under the DPJ government, Katsuya Okada, a well-known advocate of nuclear disarmament and no-first use of nuclear weapons, demonstrated his difference from the preceding LDP governments on the 1969 secret agreement between the United States and Japan, which would permit the United States to bring nuclear weapons into Okinawa in the case of an emergency. Under successive LDP administrations, the existence of the secret agreement had been consistently denied for decades, but Mr. Okada ordered a probe into the agreement.[31]

Given that the secret agreement contradicted one of the Three Principles, non-introduction of nuclear weapons to Japan, the issue of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles was rekindled when the DPJ government brought the existence of the secret agreement to light. The Three Non-Nuclear Principles, particularly the third principle of non-introduction, have been debated often in the past. Hawkish politicians and scholars advocate reconsidering the non-introduction principle, though successive Prime Ministers have expressed their official support for the Three Principles. The Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era, formed to prepare the new NDPG, submitted its final report in August 2010.[32] Although the panel had pushed the idea to review and reconsider the third principle of non-introduction during the preparation period, in its final report it recommended that Japan maintain its Three Non-Nuclear Principles.[33] However, the report indicated that the issue of the non-introduction of nuclear weapons could be reconsidered in response to emerging threats in the region, stating that: "there will be no need, for the time being, to revise the Three Non-Nuclear Principles… the most important point is 'not to allow any nuclear power to use nuclear weapons.' It is not necessarily wise to set out in advance a principle that seeks only to restrain the U.S."[34] Despite sporadic debates over the issue of non-introduction, it is highly unlikely that the Japanese government will explicitly state that the Three Principles need to be eased or modified in the foreseeable future.

Perhaps what has been most noteworthy about nuclear policy under the new government is that while policy has not changed significantly, official debate has increased. Mainly because of Foreign Minister Okada's progressive views on nuclear disarmament and pressures from civil society for the LDP to make Japan's nuclear policies more pro-disarmament, the Japanese Diet conducted significant discussions on extended nuclear deterrence and no-first use of nuclear weapons. Particularly with an eye to shaping the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (released in April 2010), in February 2010 Japanese parliamentarians sent a joint letter to President Obama requesting that the United States declare an intention to limit the role of nuclear weapons to the "sole-purpose" of nuclear deterrence.[35] Additionally, in a letter to Secretary Clinton, Mr. Okada expressed his interest in holding bilateral discussions concerning the issues related to the debate over whether the United States should adopt a policy of no-first use of nuclear weapons.[36]

Non-Nuclear Weapon States and the Goal of a Nuclear-Free World

In his famous April 2009 Prague speech, President Obama asserted that, "as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act."[37] This passage resonated with many in Japan, particularly in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, it is unclear how seriously the Japanese government and people paid attention to the next passage of the speech: "We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it."[38] Obama's speech suggested that U.S. allies such as Japan have responsibilities to fulfill for the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons to succeed. As the United States and Russia, the two largest nuclear weapons states, have committed to continue to reduce their nuclear arsenals through the New START treaty, the disarmament responsibilities of non-nuclear weapon states that rely on nuclear deterrence will draw increasing attention. Japan's record on international disarmament initiatives remains mixed, mirroring the conflicted domestic politics of disarmament vs. extended nuclear deterrence.

While most of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries and several non-nuclear European countries supported the idea of a nuclear weapons convention at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, Japan did not mention this issue in its working papers or statements. Japan is not a member of the New Agenda Coalition, one of the leading international pro-disarmament groupings. While it has consistently called for strengthening nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regimes in various international fora, Japan differs in its policy preferences from both the NAM and the New Agenda Coalition (NAC). Unlike the NAM and the NAC, Japan does not support proposals involving a specific and binding time-frame for nuclear disarmament; it does not support drafting a nuclear weapons convention that would outlaw nuclear weapons; and it has not unequivocally pressured the United States to adopt a declaratory no-first use policy.

However, Tokyo has actively worked to promote its own vision for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament at the international level. In particular, with Australia, Japan established a group of non-nuclear weapon states to make progress toward a nuclear weapon free world.[39] The ten countries that joined the group are mainly U.S. allies relying on extended deterrence, including Germany, Canada and Turkey.[40] The group aims to make progress in implementing the outcomes of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and to reduce nuclear risks.[41] Japan and Australia co-hosted an inaugural meeting with foreign ministers from the ten countries on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September 2010.[42]

The International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament (ICNND), established as a joint Japan-Australia effort to reduce nuclear dangers, also focused on the issue of extended nuclear deterrence and no-first use of nuclear weapons. The commission emphasized the responsibility of U.S. allies for a nuclear weapon free world. One research paper submitted to the ICNND asserted, "To get from today's nuclear deterrence postures to a world free of nuclear weapons requires the allied non-nuclear weapon states to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. After all, they too have all signed up to the nuclear disarmament project of the NPT and have obligations under Article VI, too."[43]

What Next?

Renewed high-level interest in a world free of nuclear weapons has increased the Japanese government's concern about the strength of its security guarantees with the United States, which have traditionally rested on extended nuclear deterrence. In response to Japan's concern, the United States and Japan started to conduct strategic dialogues on this issue. Until recently, no practical consultations had been conducted between the two countries regarding this issue. Therefore, in July 2009, the two countries agreed to establish an official framework to conduct periodical dialogues, including on issues of extended nuclear deterrence.[44]

The new NDPG emphasize the need for closer consultations between the United States and Japan in order to maintain and improve the credibility of extended deterrence.[45] In this process, the two countries will examine a number of challenges, including how they can play a more effective role in stabilizing the regional security environment and accomplishing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The United States and Japan will also have to discuss the implications of a rising China, and determine how to avoid bilateral policies that could appear confrontational to Beijing.

Enhanced U.S.-Japanese security cooperation efforts focused on building regional peace and security, as well as strengthening global nonproliferation regimes, will be vital to future prospects for reducing the role of nuclear weapons in the bilateral alliance. As is evident from the new government's NDPG, domestic politics are of limited impact on Japan's policies on nuclear disarmament and extended nuclear deterrence. Without sustainable peace in the Asia Pacific region, it will be difficult for Japan to support further reductions in the numbers and role of nuclear weapons—regardless of which political party is in government.

[1] The author thanks Patricia Lewis, Benoit Pelopidas, and Jessica Varnum of CNS for their comments on drafts of this issue brief.
[2] "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2010,
[3] "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2010,
[4] "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2010,
[5] Masami Ito, "Defense Focus shifts from Russia to China," The Japan Times, 18 December 2010.
[6] "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2010,
[7] Masami Ito, "Defense Focus shifts from Russia to China," The Japan Times, 18 December 2010.
[8] "Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary," Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet Website, 19 December 2003,
[9] "Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary," Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet Website, 10 December 2004,
[10] "Missile Shield Project to Proceed," The Japan Times, 25 December 2005; Exchange of Notes Concerning the Transfer of Arms and Military Technologies to the United States of America, 23 June 2006,
[11] "Japan to Halt New Missile Defence Spending: Media," Space War, 15 December 2009,
[12] "Japan to Add New Missile Interceptors," NTI Global Security Newswire, 13 December 2010,
[13] "Japan to relocate Missile Defense Command to U.S. Base," NTI Global Security Newswire, 6 January 2011,
[14] Jim Wolf, "U.S. Pushes Japan on Missile Interceptor Coproduction," Reuters, 15 February 2011.
[15] "Japan to Decide on Missile Interceptor Exports This Year," NTI Global Security Newswire, 13 January 2011,
[16] "Japan Could Allow Arms Export," NTI Global Security Newswire, 15 October 2010,
[17] Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era, "Japan's Visions for Future Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era: Toward a Peace Creating Nation," August 2010,
[18] Nippon Keidanren, "Proposal for the New National Defense Program Guidelines," 20 July 2010,
[19] "Japan: New Defence Policy on Arms Export Ban Worried Pacifists," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, 17 December 2010.
[20] "Japan: New Defence Policy on Arms Export Ban Worried Pacifists," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, 17 December 2010.
[21] "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2010,
[22] "Japan Could Press U.S. to Adopt "No-First-Use" Nuke Policy," NTI Global Security Newswire, 28 August 2009,
[23] "National Defense Program Guidelines-2005," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 10 December 2004,
[24] The United States Nuclear Posture Review, April 2010,
[25] "Hiroshima's Peace Declaration," The Asahi Shimbun, 6 August 2010,
[26] "Nuke deterrence still vital: Kan," The Japan Times, 7 August 2010.
[27]"Nagasaki Peace Declaration 2010," Nagasaki City Website, 9 August 2010,
[28] "Nagasaki Peace Declaration 2010," Nagasaki City Website, 9 August 2010,
[29] "Nagasaki Peace Declaration 2010," Nagasaki City Website, 9 August 2010,
[30] "Non-Nuclear Pillars Could be Made Law, Japanese PM Says," NTI Global Security Newswire, 9 August 2010,; "Japan Govt Members Puzzled by Kan's Nonnuclear Law Remarks", Jiji press ticker service, 9 August 2010.
[31] "Japan Confirms Secret Pact on US Nuclear Transit," BBC, 9 March 2010,
[32] Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era, "Japan's Visions for Future Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era: Toward a Peace Creating Nation," August 2010,
[33] "Japan Advised to Keep Non-Nuclear Principles," NTI Global Security Newswire, 27 August 2010,
[34] Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era, "Japan's Visions for Future Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era: Toward a Peace Creating Nation," August 2010,
[35] Masami Ito, "Diet Members Send Obama nuclear letter," The Japan Times, 20 February 2010.
[36] "An unofficial translation of the letter of Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to the U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton," ICNND Japan NGO Network, 24 December 2009,
[37] Remarks by President Barak Obama, Prague, Czech Republic, 5 April 2010,
[38] Remarks by President Barak Obama, Prague, Czech Republic, 5 April 2010,
[39] "Nonnuclear Nations Seek Bigger Say via Alliance," The Yomiuri Shimbun, 22 July 2010,
[40] Junko Takahashi, "Group to Seek Nuke-Free World," The Asahi Shimbun, 25 September 2010,; "Nuclear Disarmament," Editorial, 28 September 2010, The Asahi Shimbun,
[41] "Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers on Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation," Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 September 2010,
[42] "Nichigou Kyousai Kakugunshuku Fukakusan ni Kansuru Gaisoukaigou (gaiyou) [Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Co-hosted by Japan and Australia] Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website, 23 September 2010,
[43] George Perkovich and Patricia Lewis, "The Vantage Point," January 2009,
[44] "Japan, U.S. to Hold Talks on 'Nuclear Umbrella'," AFP, 7 July 2009; Keiko Iizuka, "Japan, U.S. to hold talks on N-umbrella," Daily Yomiuri 8 July 2009.
[45] "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond," Japanese Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2010,

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