The security environment in Northeast Asia has become increasingly complex since 2013, when Japan last revised its National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG). The latest revision in December 2018 was the fourth time in the past fifteen years, and it represents a coda for significant defense policy changes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe engineered during his tenure since 2012, such as liberalizing rules for military equipment exports, introducing a limited form of collective self-defense, and expanding the scope of possible SDF missions, among others.
In The New National Defense Program Guidelines: Aligning U.S. and Japanese Defense Strategies for the Third Post-Cold War Era, a bilateral group of Japanese and American scholars and former defense officials examine the policy implications of the new NDPG. In a collection of papers, they analyze the global changes in the post-Cold War security environment that stimulated adjustments to Japan’s defense policy, identify the common challenges faced by the two allies, and emphasize the opportunities for cooperation between the United States and Japan.
Dr. Sayuri Romei, Fellow for Security and Foreign Affairs, Sasakawa USA, and James Schoff, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, edited the volume, with contributions from Lt. Gen. Koichi Isobe (ret.), Dr. Eric Heginbotham, Masanori Nishi, Kaleb Redden, and Nina Wagner.
On January 11, 2019, in partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Sasakawa USA organized a symposium to discuss the NDPG. Panelists assessed Japan’s policy priorities and defense capabilities through the lens of its newly revised guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Plan. The discussion also considered implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance and regional security in the future. The New National Defense Program Guidelines: Aligning U.S. and Japanese Defense Strategies for the Third Post-Cold War Era brings together viewpoints shared at the symposium.
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PRAISE FOR The New National Defense Program Guidelines: Aligning U.S. and Japanese Defense Strategies for the Third Post-Cold War Era
“I’ve been deeply involved in U.S.-Japan defense cooperation for more than thirty years. That cooperation is now closer than it has ever been, and a foundation of defense policy has been established in both countries that will tighten it even more. Sayuri Romei and James Schoff have edited an important set of papers that assess Japan’s latest National Defense Program Guidelines, only recently available in English. These guidelines provide the rationale, authority, and impetus for Japan’s defense forces to cooperate more effectively, and on a better-balanced basis, with the U.S. armed forces. Romei and Schoff and their fellow authors explain the significance and likely results of this important step in Japanese defense policy.”
— Admiral Dennis Blair (ret.), Chairman of Sasakawa USA
Former Director of National Intelligence and former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command
Book Cover Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer.