Veiled Normalization: The Implications of Japanese Missile Defense   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Japan's development of a missile defense system has been accompanied by the acquisition of potentially offensive military assets, an increased command and control capability, significant restructuring of the collective defense establishment, and doctrinal changes that allow pre-emption should an attack be deemed imminent. Regardless of the long-standing Japanese debate on the constitutionality of the use of force, the introduction of missile defense has institutionalized key structural elements within the defense establishment marking a clear milestone in an ongoing trend towards security normalization. Under the broad rubric of missile defense, Japan has had to re-evaluate its position on the military use of space, the export of weapons technology, collective security, command authority, and the conditions under which pre-emption may be warranted. These changes have manifested themselves in many ways, to include statutory changes, restructuring and elevation of the former Defense Agency, an increased emphasis on joint service interoperability, and the acquisition of a broad range of advanced technologies. It is undeniable that the trend towards security normalization began with the inception of the National Police Reserve in 1950, but it can also be asserted that missile defense has provided an umbrella under which the trend has been significantly advanced."

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