Blackeagle (cdupchurch@hotmail.com)
Sat, 22 Apr 2000 11:58:44 MST


>I think so. Currently the Japanese army is practically nonexistant.
>ALthough
>there have been reports that Japan may be or already are considering a
>rebuilding of their army because of fears of unreliable U.S. protection
>from
>China and North Korea.

Um, I don't know where you get your information, but its rather out of date.

Last year Japan spend $42.9 Billion dollars on their military. While this
is rather low as a percentage of GDP (less than one percent), it's still one
of the largest military budgets in the world.

The Japanese Ground Self Defense Force consists of one armored division,
twelve infantry divisions, and a few independent brigades, including
airborne and artillery units. While the proportion of infantry to armor is
higher than in an equivalent U.S. force, considering their defensive mission
and Japan's rugged terrain its a very appropriate force structure. The
JGSDF is quite well equipped and in the event of war would probably be an
effective fighting force. Their only major deficiency is a lack of
training. Japan's rugged terrain and high population density make it
difficult for the JGSDF to conduct large scale maneuvers or live fire
training.

The Japanese Air Self Defense Force has over 330 combat aircraft, including
three ground-attack squadrons, nine fighter squadrons and one reconnaissance
squadron. They fly mostly Japanese built versions of the F-15 and F-16
fighters. In addition they have an extensive network of ground based and
airborne radar systems. Their pilots are considered professional and well
trained.

The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force has a force of 15 conventionally
powered submarines and more than 50 Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts. The
force is primarily oriented toward anti-submarine warfare (not surprising
given the devastating effects of the U.S. submarine blockade during WWII).
Their forces include four Aegis destroyers similar to the U.S. Arleigh Burke
class. In addition, during wartime, the Maritime Safety Agency's fleet of
cutters would be available for naval use. These include about a dozen
destroyer sized vessels and several dozen smaller ships.

Overall, the Japanese Self Defense Forces are probably one of the ten best
militaries in the world.

>However, should there be an opportunity for the Japanese to develop a
>nuclear deterrent, many say that it can be done in a matter of months.
>Japan
>has one of the most well-developed nuclear power research programs in the
>world, I think.

Pretty close.

>I'm no history buff, but that's what I think is the situation there right
>now. Therefore, if China were to invade Japan right now, with no U.S.
>opposition, Japan would fall fairly easily.

Definitely not. Given the distance and China's deficincies in blue water
naval strength, the JMSDF and JASDF would probably be able to take out any
Chineese invasion force without any U.S. help at all (assuming no nukes).

________________________________
Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle
cdupchurch@hotmail.com

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