Japan’s Expanding Diplomatic and Military Horizons
Trend Report 5 / January 2024
By Erik Isaksson
In 2023, Japan was on a steady trajectory toward a greater military and diplomatic footprint on the world stage, having just announced a new National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and a Defense Buildup Program in December 2022. These were part of a long-term effort to bolster Japan’s military capabilities and international profile, motivated by a ruling party that has sought these goals since its founding in 1955. Particularly since the start of the war in Ukraine these domestic motivations have gained in relevance by virtue of deteriorating international security. In 2024, we are likely to see Japan further develop its military capabilities, military exports and assistance, partly driven by hard security concerns, and partly by these domestic motivations. These motivations can in turn be understood as an effort to boost Japan’s international status.