Home Contact Us  

India - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#3315, 13 January 2011
Japanís New Policy Defense Program Guideline and Japan-India Security Cooperation
Kei Koga
PhD candidate, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
email: keikoga@gmail.com

On 17 December 2010, the Japanese government produced a new National Defense Program Guideline (NDPG). Japan’s defense objectives consists of the defense of Japan, regional security and stability and world peace and human security, and its defense policy will move beyond its traditional defense concept, the “Basic Defense Force Concept” (Kibanteki Boeiryoku Koso). This was based on the 1976 National Defense Policy Outline to emphasize deterrence by defense capabilities and to defend Japan from outside invasion with the “minimum” defense capability to prevent a regional power vacuum. It reinvents the concept, “Dynamic Defense Force” (Doteki Boeiryoku), to manage different threats in the evolving international security environment.

How will the 2010 NDPG change Japan’s defense policy, and what impact will it have on Japan-India security cooperation?  First, the change is subtle, yet it makes Japan’s defense policy move forward. Basically, the 2010 NDPG maintains its central defense policy of exclusively “defensive defense policy” (Senshu Boei) under the Japanese constitution, effective civilian control, and three non-nuclear principles, in order not to become a military power that threatens other states. The difference that the 2010 NDPG has made is that it would flexibly change its defense force structure and contribute towards improving the evolving international security environment by proactively participating in international activities, thereby managing non-traditional security issues and defense of the global commons.

Meanwhile, Japan still faces traditional security threats. Considering China’s increased naval capability and political assertiveness on disputed islands, including the Senkaku islands and the South China Sea, the 2010 NDPG also points out the need to deploy the Ground Self-Defense Force on its western islands, which is currently vulnerable to military encroachment. However, Japan’s basic defense posture has not yet changed: it attempts to emphasize the increasing efficiency of its defense capability and thus manage these issues not by increasing its overall defense capability but by strengthening its specific defense capability. With stagnant economic growth and a decreasing military budget since 2002, the emphasis on efficiency is imperative.

Second, the importance of expanding its strategic partnership with other regional states is more emphasized. While the 2005 NDPG did not mention security ties with other states except the United States, the 2010 NDPG aims to strengthen ties with South Korea, Australia, India and the ASEAN member states. In fact, this policy emphasis is compatible with the evolution of the US “hub-and-spoke” model in East Asia in the post-Cold War era, from its focus on deterrence and defense of its allies from Soviet threats.

The US is currently restructuring its East Asian security architecture, as illustrated by such diplomatic and defense partnerships as the 2006 US-Japan-Australia Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD) and the 2010 US-ROK military exercises with Japan as an observer. Although the nature of these security partnerships is basically geared toward non-traditional security cooperation, its implications also affect traditional security perspectives, especially China.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the US, Japan and other American allies are moving towards a “soft-containment” of China. Despite its uncertainty, the 2010 NDPG explicitly points out that China has played a greater political and security role in East Asia and the world. Consequently, maintaining a “mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests” (Senryakuteki Gokei Kankei), puts an emphasis on expanding and deepening security dialogues and exchanges as confidence-building measures and enhancing security cooperation in such fields as non-traditional security. Seeking also common interests with China, the 2010 NDPG is thus an extension of the current hedging policy.

Third, the 2010 NDPG attempts to improve information and policy coordination capabilities through the establishment of a policy-coordination body, a Japanese version of the National Security Council, in the Prime Minister’s office that provides recommendations to the Prime Minister. In addition, there is a call to increase intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

In this context, the impact of the 2010 NDPG on Japan-India security relations is modest, yet as the second characteristics implies, the bilateral relations are likely to progress in 2011. This is because the strengthening of Japan-India security relations has already been under way, especially since 2006, when both the Japanese and Indian governments decided to regularize Prime Minister level exchanges each year with a wide security agenda. This included maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, and counter-piracy. After adopting the 2009 Action Plan to Security Cooperation, Japan and India have undertaken joint cooperative activities, including the first 2+2 (Foreign and Defense Ministers) meeting, produced the Joint Statement Vision for Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership in the Next Decade and Joint Statement on the Advancement of the Strategic and Global Partnership between Japan and India.

Furthermore, Japan, India and the US are now considering the establishment of a trilateral strategic dialogue in the first half of 2011. This would aim at enhancing policy coordination and information exchanges and if realized, it would become the second TSD after the Japan-US-Australia TSD. A challenge is the management of China’s security perception in terms of the expansion of Japan’s security linkage with regional states such as Australia, India, and South Korea. Political and diplomatic interaction with China to send clear signals would become necessary.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2018
 2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010
 2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002
 2001  2000  1999  1998  1997

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2018, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.