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Do you think Japan's military (Self-Defense Forces), which have not taken part in actual combat abroad since World War II, can protect Japan from an attack by a foreign power, or mount an operation in

41 Comments

Do you think Japan's military (Self-Defense Forces), which have not taken part in actual combat abroad since World War II, can protect Japan from an attack by a foreign power, or mount an operation in hostile territory overseas?

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No, any aliens attacking from outer space would have superior technology.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they intend to be an offensive power they will need to change the "self-defense" name. How about "Abe's assault forces"

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Can protect? Perhaps but to what degree. An army that hasn't been in combat for ages, or no experience fighting abroad, let's just hope they never have to.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan should/must defend/protect its own country whatever. Japan is Japan, not USA. SDF should take more military roles from US military to protect its own country.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

What kind of an "attack by a foreign power?" A cyber attack with no other kinetic effects? A limited missile attack? An attack on a single JMSDF ship? A Chinese SOF invasion of the Senkakus? A combined arms air, space, missile, cyber and amphibious attack on Okinawa? The wide spectrum of what constitutes an "attack" is evidently lost of this writer.

The answer is the JSDF are very capable in responding to some attack situations, less capable in others.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Absolutely capable of defending home country. No doubt in my mind. It has been designed, engineered and set up in such a way that that is its strongest ability, defence. Offensive is another point all together, the JSDF has limited options in an offensive campaign against another modern military off soil. I believe the Navy and the Air force can hold its own against nearly anything but when it comes to the ground forces of the JSDF that is the weakest link in the chain., But again whole heartedly know Japan could and is capable of defending this island against an aggressive outside force.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

They are two very different scenarios. You could answer yes for the first part, then no for the second.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Remove US bases and the JSDF may need to try. China is very arrogant in terms of sovereignty. Kim Jong un's is not very friendly to Japan either. Remove USA and one of these two nations may want to push to the limit.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It seems that US military bases would not move out as long as US govt thinks Okinawa base is very important for US and its govts interest. If US protects Japan only, there are NO need of so many military bases and so many soldiers there. Guam can take care of most of things for US. They are always ready to go (to war) somewhere. Anyway Japan pays the most for US military.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

can protect Japan from an attack by a foreign power, or

Yes.

mount an operation in hostile territory overseas?

No.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

They take orders well and can do it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I'm with Aly Ruston on this.

I still think the US and other allied nations should support Japan in it's defense.

Offensively outside of the country sounds like a very bad idea until after Japans troops get more training in modern hostile warfare.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Offensively outside of the country sounds like a very bad idea until after Japans troops get more training in modern hostile warfare.

Offensively outside of the country sounds like a very bad idea for any country.

modern hostile warfare

...as opposed to modern friendly warfare??

I couldn't find the 'Yes to the first question, the second scenario is still (even after Abe's machinations) forbidden by the constitution so No' button, so I didn't/couldn't vote.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Depends on their leadership and morale. I heard recruitment into the SDF is low. And that most young Japanese men would not be willing to fight for Japan here or abroad.

This is why they need US presence. Well anyways, I hope the bases on Okinawa are closed. Okinawa has had enough.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Yes, I believe they are capable of defending itself!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I didn't vote because they lumped together two very different questions as one.

I love how the writer implies that a country is NOT capable of defending itself unless it has recently been in a real war. The U.S. has been in more wars or "military confrontations", in the last 30 years, than an other, though it cannot 100% defend against a terrorist attack and it most definitely CANT stop a nuclear attack. So I guess it's a matter of defining the word "defend" Every country in the world can defend but NONE can truly stop every attack.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

No and no. They would be in over their heads in both scenarios.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I wonder how well the JSDFs would do fighting against Vietnam, in Vietnam?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

can protect Japan from an attack by a foreign power

US would make sure Japan cannot. What are China and SK for?

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

@Cleo, yes Modern Hostile warfare.

Back in the previous wars, hostiles did not have access to drones, dirty nukes, and do not rely so much on IEDs, and Terrorist/guerilla tactics, such as finding cover behind civilian fronts and not giving two shakes about how many civilians get caught in the crossfire as long as it supported their propaganda.

In WW2 it was hardly conceivable to todays modern warfare. The enemies (hostiles) are different than the are today.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure they could protect Japan if there was an attack, but I have doubts about overseas combat.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can SDF protect Japan from an attack by a foreign power? -> Yes. Can SDF mount an operation in hostile territory overseas? -> No.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If Japan is attacked, it's WW3. As far as I know, WW3 will end in a blink of an eye.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I voted yes because they are one of the most well equipped and drilled militaries in the world. I'm pretty sure that all their training and technology would make them a force to be reckoned with.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Unfortunately no... the JSDF may be well equipped and trained but that is limited to Self Defense!!

With the current warfare and technology, in order to be able to defend yourself (as a country) you need training and equipment that can be deployed and even reach the "attacking country".

But if you do that, the JSDF will stop being a Self Defense Force and will pretty much be considering an Armed Force.

The only way for the JSDF to be able to defend Japan with no support from other countries (USA mainly) is to disband the JSDF and transform create a JAF (Japan Armed Forces) ... but if Japan do that a couple of countries are going to freak out....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This was a tricky poll because I absolutely believe they would do a good job protecting Japan. They train constantly. I don't think they would do well overseas though. It should be 2 separate polls.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Like all powers. Yes they "could" defend & fail, Yes they could mount an attack and again "could" fail

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most people here agree that the SDF should protect the country yet when Abe says it, you rip into him. Bitter much?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kuribo1JUN. 13, 2016 - 09:38AM JST Absolutely capable of defending home country. No doubt in my mind. It has been designed, engineered and set up in such a way that that is its strongest ability, defence. Offensive is another point all together . . .

Of course it depends on the kind of attack. Fighter and fighter-bomber aircraft launched, most likely, by the PRC and NK? Japan wouldn't last two hours without U.S. aid.

Missile attack by NK? Same result. NK is too close so that even if Japan and/or the U.S. initiated a "defensive first strike," it would be impossible to destroy all of NK's missiles and rockets.

Sea invasion from, likely, NK? Japan would be able to disrupt this as there would be zero chance of surprise with such an undertaking, though losses of ships and aircraft would likely be high if not catastrophic.

Finally, in general in contemporary warfare, there is no difference between offensive and defensive capabilities. That being said, as an island state, Japan has no real offensive capabilities, which means having the ability to project power beyond one's borders and/or the ability to maintain significant military forces abroad. The only nation with this capability today is the U.S.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The question should be, are Japan's Self Defence Forces adequate to protect Japan. If the question had stopped there, I would've said yes. Fighting in another country is a separate issue entirely. One that is currently illegal under the constitution.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The JSDF is indeed well equipped and well trained, but it is still not capable of adequately protecting Japanese people or territory on its own without the help of U.S. forces. One of the biggest problem that faces the JSDF is that it has absolutely no ability to conduct amphibious warfare, none. This is a critical issue for a nation which is comprised of countless islands. If a neighboring nation, primarily China, were to preemptively invade and gain control of a Japanese island like the Senkakus, Ishigaki, etc. (or even Okinawa if the US bases weren't there), Japan currently has no way of taking it back by force. This is why the JMSDF and JGSDF are currently desperately forming its first amphibious warfare force under the tutelage of the US Navy and Marine Corps, but it will still be many years, even decades, before the JSDF are proficient at fighting successfully from the sea to retake its occupied territory, especially in areas like the East China Sea, where their opponents will have air superiority and the upper hand. This is just one of numerous inadequacies of the JSDF but it's a crucial one. Forget conducting operations in hostile territory overseas, the JSDF is still a military designed to be most effective when operating in concert with the U.S. military and it will take a significant increase in budget, equipment, members with backbone, and years of experience before it can go it alone in East Asia, one of the most unstable (and nuclear) theaters in the world. This not just my professional opinion but a fact.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Protect, yes, but with a result depending on who they are protecting from, and whether we are assuming the USA will do nothing. Currently, the USA will help. The question is not sufficiently narrow to answer accurately.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"If a neighboring nation, primarily China, were to preemptively invade and gain control of a Japanese island like the Senkakus, Ishigaki, etc. (or even Okinawa if the US bases weren't there), Japan currently has no way of taking it back by force."

Are you sure about that?

For somebody who apparently have ties with the military (or you're one of them) it's surprising that realities such as this are absent from your calculations.

"Japan is fortifying its far-flung island chain in the East China Sea under an evolving strategy that aims to turn the tables on China's navy and keep it from ever dominating the Western Pacific Ocean, Japanese military and government sources said.

Tokyo is responding by stringing a line of anti-ship, anti-aircraft missile batteries along 200 islands in the East China Sea stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) from the country's mainland toward Taiwan.

While the installations are not secret, it is the first time such officials have spelled out that the deployment will help keep China at bay in the Western Pacific and amounts to a Japanese version of the "anti-access/area denial" doctrine, known as "A2/AD" in military jargon, that China is using to try to push the United States and its allies out of the region.

Chinese ships sailing from their eastern seaboard must pass through this seamless barrier of Japanese missile batteries to reach the Western Pacific, access to which is vital to Beijing both as a supply line to the rest of the world's oceans and for the projection of its naval power."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-military-china-exclusive-idUSKBN0U107220151218

Good luck to China in trying to take the Senkakus, from some defenceless J's.

What would the country do without Merka, hein?!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I talked with several Jietai members and former members (rank-and-file soldiers) and was told unanimously that Japan could protect its borders for some time, but if a country went on an all-out or extended offensive, the Jietai would not be able to hold up as it currently is.

The Jeitai may have the technology, man-force, etc. that is needed to defend the country, but if it's soldiers do not have this belief, that alone can make the difference in the lacking the actual ability.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's "military" is not meant to be offensive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's kind of a loaded question. I reckon some here would think they need the US for protection. But the US military hasn't been winning wars recently either. If anything, the US forces have more experience in losing wars than Japan's forces.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

US military hasn't been winning wars recently either

Nah, they've been winning wars - even now it's the beginning of the end for ISIS; beat Qaddafi in Libya; beat Hussein in Iraq; took off the Taliban from power in Afghanistan; beat the Serbs in the Balkan war; drove Hussein out of Kuwait in the first Iraq war

It's just they're not winning what comes right after the wars

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The best way to fight a war is on someone else's territory. You need a decent offense. If you are only trying to defend against their attacks on your territory then your infrastructure and people and assets are being destroyed and theirs remains intact allowing them to continue to fight while eroding your ability to defend. Nobody wants a war but if someone attacks Japan, then your best way to end the war is to take it to the enemies territory and erode their ability to continue their aggression against you. Especially true if they can out manufacture you.

Defense is good, but winning any conflict you find yourself in is the main objective. No point in saying we defended well but were not able to win. The next war may well be your last. The allies left Japan as a sovereign country. If you lose again to someone else you may find yourself part of "their empire"......for a very long time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Defend itself? No. They might put up a good fight in a full-out invasion, but any attack of Japan, so long as the US is there, would be WWIII, and in such a war Japan would be the first county annihilated. I doubt they could even prevent China from taking islands if he latter decided to. They would fall back in a war of words and threats, demanding the Us come back and save them.

Attack? No, not at all.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

what does this question means, why do you talk between the lines. any force in the world is mean to protect their country, it is actually the masses stand by the force. this question just means that Japan needs the American forces on the Japanese soil and another very long desire of the American to put the Japanese children abroad for their dirty war else where in the world.

it is clear that only the Japanese can defend Japan not the Americans, if one American dies while defending japan, if will be hard for the Japanese to compensate.

let the Japanese to defend themselves and let the Japanese allow to talk to their neighbors and negotiate their mutual disputes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese forces, I strongly believe, will be more than capable of defending Japan and helping its neighbors against the Chinese and North Korea. The civilized people always seek for peaceful resolution to any disputes; but the warmongers prefer to destroy all civility. That's the real situation in Asia. Seventy-one tears ago, on August 19, 1945, the Vietnamese declared their second independence, partly thanks to the Meigo Operation of March 9, 1945.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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