After much effort, and at the cost of some of his popularity, Prime Minister Abe has achieved his goal. The Diet has passed new laws which extend the possible scope of the Self-Defense Forces’ activities on their own and in conjunction with the US military.
Almost five centuries ago, Machiavelli wrote that “The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws. I shall leave the laws out of the discussion and shall speak of the arms.”
After much debate on the laws, Grant Newsham will help us understand if Japan’s arms, as opposed to its laws, are adequate to meet the challenges the country faces.
Senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies
Retired US Marine Colonel Grant Newsham is a senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo. He served as the first US Marine Liaison Officer to the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and was instrumental in the development of the JSDF’s nascent amphibious capability. He is also a former US diplomat and served at the US Embassy, Tokyo in the 1990’s, and later returned for a stint as Marine Attaché. His research focuses on Asian defense and his articles have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Daily Yomiuri, Sentaku, USNI Proceedings, and other periodicals. His latest article is “How to get tough with China” in The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-get-tough-china-15928) written with Kerry Gershaneck. He holds a JD from the University of California, Los Angeles.