In the face of growing tensions over Taiwan and repeated aggression from North Korea, Japan has stepped up its unprecedented military modernisation following South Korea’s efforts. The island powerhouse has launched its next round of acquisition, with eyes on some transformational, next-generation capabilities.
Beijing’s continued assertiveness in the South China Sea (SCS) and renewed antagonism towards Taiwan has attracted ever growing attention and concern across the Indo-Pacific. For nations like Japan, these rising tensions are further exacerbated by historic animosities between the established and rising powers of the region which have all combined to prompt Japan’s renewed period of military modernisation and expansion over the past five years.
Japan’s geostrategic realities, in particular, have rapidly evolved since the end of the Cold War, when the US could effectively guarantee the security of the island nation — accordingly, the Japanese government has responded with a period of unprecedented defence budgets as the pre-war power seeks to shake off the chains of the pacifist constitution enforced upon it by the US, UK, Australia and other allies following the end of the war in the Pacific.