Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Japan's National Security Policy: New Directions, Old Restrictions

Yasuhiro Matsuda

February 2011

East-West Center


In 2010, two important documents on Japan's security and national defense policies were released under the Democratic Party of Japan government in Japan. One report is entitled "Japan's Vision for Future Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era: Toward a Peace-Creating Nation. The other is the "National Defense Program Guidelines, FY 2011-." Yasuhiro Matsuda explains that the overlap between these two documents represents the new directions of the Japanese security and national defense policies, and the gap between them illustrates the old restrictions that remain.