Exploring New Horizons: Japan’s Defense Priorities

Analysis by leading Japanese and American scholars on Japan’s new national security and defense strategies and the implications for regional security cooperation.

Japan’s historic new national security and defense strategies, issued in December 2022, herald a new era in the country’s regional security role and in the bilateral alliance. Japan will increase defense spending by more than 60 percent over the next five years, including a 25 percent increase in the first year alone—shattering the postwar norm of 1 percent of GDP. It will invest in unprecedented capabilities, including long-range precision strike missiles, active cyber defense, and space-based systems, that together will invite a far more integrated alliance and recast bilateral roles and missions. And it is taking steps to strengthen defense ties with other regional partners, including Australia and the Republic of Korea, to promote “multilateral and multilayered” security cooperation.

To explore the implications of these steps for the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance, and to identify new opportunities for bilateral cooperation, CSIS commissioned a group of Japanese and American experts to assess various dimensions of Japan’s strategy. The themes these scholars explored include alliance capability priorities over the medium term; the future of U.S.-Japan alliance command and control; cooperation in new domains, particularly space; and prospects for building a networked regional security architecture.

With Japan’s new national security and defense strategies, the U.S.-Japan alliance is poised to enter a new era of cooperation. This collection of commentaries charts a path to maximize opportunities for both countries.

This project is made possible with support from the Government of Japan.

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Exploring New Horizons: Japan's Defense Priorities

Presented by Japan Chair
March 23, 2023 • 4:00 – 6:00 pm EDT