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Book review: A nuanced deep dive on Japan's Self-Defense Forces

After overcoming postwar identity crisis and developing capabilities, SDF finally gains public respect

Japan's new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, embraced his dual role as military commander in chief for the first time with an address to Japan's Self-Defense Forces in November, at a ceremony commemorating the SDF's founding in 1954. After warning of the "unprecedented speed" of changes in the security environment surrounding Japan and pledging to "consider all options" for the country's defense, he expressed confidence in the 250,000 members of the SDF's three services.

"To all of you SDF members, you have 120 million Japanese people who trust and depend on you," he said. "It is my sincere hope that you will train yourselves ever harder with the pride of carrying out the sublime and noble duty of protecting the lives of the people and their peaceful way of life."

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