Tomonaga (Tomonaga@xtra.co.nz)
Sun, 23 Apr 2000 17:28:08 +1200


core@gundam.com wrote:

> Blackeagle wrote:
> > 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.
>
> I think the limit of 1% is the ceiling set in the Japanese Constitution,
> right?

That's correct.

>
> > The Japanese Air Self Defense Force has over 330 combat aircraft, including
> > three ground-attack squadrons, nine fighter squadrons and one reconnaissance
>
> Three ground-attack squadrons? That's getting pretty scary... Have they
> have any military exercise recently?
>

But you have to bear in mind that because of the constitution, the self defence
forces are just that. Everything is geared for home defence. That means those
ground attack fighters aren't capable of reaching any ground other than Japan.
There is really no long range attack/transport hardware.

The difference between a self defence force and a regular military is that the
self defence force will never been deployed outside the homeland(as prohibited by
the constitution), and as such do not have the hardware for it to be deployed
overseas or fight a war in another country.

You may have heard that a few years ago due to the urging of the United Nations
and the US, Japan did deploy personnel outside Japan for the first time since
WWII. There was a lot of heated debate in Japan and in the end they sent an
unarmed engineering unit to help build bridges. The Japanese people and the
government prefer being under full US protection and maintaining the current
status quo. However, the US has been for some time, trying to get Japan to take
more responsibility for it's own defence and change the constitution.

> > squadron. They fly mostly Japanese built versions of the F-15 and F-16
>
> I think the F-15J are FULLY built in Japan right? And these F-15J aren't
> cripplewares like the ones US sell to India, Malaynesia etc.

Yes, all the US designed fighters are built under licence in Japan with some minor
modifications.

> > 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).
>
> It's fair to say that most Asian countries are pretty scared of both Japan
> and China.
>

There is no denying that they are well equipped and well funded but there is an
interesting thing about the Japanese self defence forces. They are extremely top
heavy i.e. too many officers and too few men... there are plenty of people to
order action but not enough people to perform it : ) and as someone else
mentioned they are extremely limited in the types of 'live fire' training they can
do on home soil so they are not as well prepared to face war as other military
forces in that respect.

Tet

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