Tomonaga (
Sun, 23 Apr 2000 19:38:04 +1200

Blackeagle wrote:

> > 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.
> Actually, I believe that's incorrect. Article 9 of the Japanese
> constitution says: "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war
> potential will never be maintained." Since Japan is not supposed to have
> any sort of armed forces in the first place, nothing in the Japanese
> constitution addresses how much may be spent on the military.

Sorry, I meant that spending 1% of the budget was correct. You are right it's
not fixed by the constitution.

> >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.
> Similar to what I said above, Japan's Constitution prohibits the maintenance
> of any armed forces, so it says nothing about the deployment of such forces.
> It does, however, say that Japan will "forever renounce war as a sovereign
> right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling
> international disputes." The precise interpretation of this clause is a
> matter for debate. For example, one could argue that conducting combat
> operations under the auspices of a U.N. Security council resolution is not
> war and thus would not run afoul of Article 9's "no war" clause.
> As a practical matter, the constitution is not the issue. What really
> prevents Japan from conducting combat operations are the attitudes of it's
> people about war.

The reason why the self defence force exists today is because they interpreted
the word as 'military' not 'armed forces'. That's why having an armed force for
the sole purpose of defending Japan is technically not in violation of the
constitution and that is how it was established initially in 1950 as the
National Police Reserve amidst much uproar. Also the US having to send troops to
fight in the Korean War necessitated the formation of some sort of organization
to take its place.

In an effort to steer the post back toward the previous discussions, I guess you
can say post war Japan is a real life example of a pacifist nation having to
maintain armed forces to defend itself from a threat real or imagined.

In this day and age, I really wish that people would give up the whole idea of
taking another country by force. I'm sure the world would be a much better place
and there would be no more sabre rattling to trigger an arms race...

To repeat a quote Z posted earlier - Can't we just get along ?

> >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.
> U.S. Forces (except for the Marines) are also ridiculously topheavy with
> officers, so are those of most other nations which have recently been to
> war. While this is a disadvantage, it is not a crippling one and it is
> certainly not one limited to the Japanese.

I don't have the exact numbers on hand but in the case of the Japanese self
defence forces the ratio of officers to enlisted men are much much higher than
other forces and is a real cause for concern in terms of it's ability to operate


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