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Japan's new national security policy based on 'proactive pacifism'

Japan's National Security Council (NSC) was established this past Dec. 4. On Dec. 17, the National Security Strategy and the new National Defense Program Guidelines were adopted by the Cabinet. Some people question these decisions, wondering why they have to be made now, but they may actually have come too late, considering the worsening security environment surrounding Japan. I would like to consider the significance of these moves.

     I would like to first take up the National Security Strategy. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set up the Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities on Sept. 12, asking the panel to take part in devising a national security strategy and drawing up new National Defense Program Guidelines.

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