“Militaristic” is too strong a word for Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s more assertive foreign policy, but it is certainly less pacifistic than in the decades since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That has some worried, but not Ayumi Teraoka:
The U.S. should also welcome Japan’s development of an autonomous strike capability, concerning which it remained conspicuously silent at the 2013 Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (2+2), in contrast to its consistently vocal support of Japan’s right to exercise collective self-defense. A Japan that has a “spear” capability, combined with the ability to exercise collective self-defense, can strengthen the alliance’s capabilities and deterrence power as a whole. North Korea, for example, is likely to be deterred further if Japan can respond independently. At the same time – although somewhat ironic because it weakens the deterrence power just mentioned – since Japan will still be reliant on the U.S. satellite system to target enemy bases, the U.S. can maintain its hedge against unwanted entrapment if it is concerned about Japan using such a capability to entrap the U.S. Both sides should bolster discussions to identify potential developments that could make the alliance stronger, more equal, and more sustainable
Whether anyone approves or not of Japan’s military resurgence, it was likely inevitable given China’s rise and America’s recent strategic… squishiness.