When shield becomes spear: Is Japan closing off its security options?

PM Kishida has taken a strong stand in response to an increasingly hostile security environment. Yet Japan’s more muscular defence policy could paradoxically make it more vulnerable.

Japan’s more muscular defence policy could paradoxically make it more vulnerable, says the writer. PHOTO: AFP
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For all the years after the United States and Japan signed their defence alliance in 1952, the US has played the role of spear – the likely attack edge of a conflict in which either of the two nations should find themselves in the Indo-Pacific theatre. 

Japan itself, bound by its post-war Constitution to not have a formal military but only “Self-Defence Forces”, was the shield. 

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