This article is a good summary about Japan's stand on military affairs. However, the title seems to be pushing the envelope of a Japan that should not resist militarily speaking the rise of China and keep its military strategy solely as a self-defense. Was this the intention of the article?

I am not a scholar on Japan's history, but I wonder why you use the term 'militarization' as it relates to Japan. Of course, we all remember Tokyo's Nippon imperialism that led to WW2 in Asia. Using the world 'militarization' portrays this idea that Japan is back to becoming a military state like in the 1930s, and thereby would be poised to embrace once again imperialism, and thus threaten peace and stability in Asia and the rest of the world.

If Japan were a NATO member it would be slammed for failing its commitment to spend at least 2% of its GDP on defense. As of July 2022, Japan spends only 1% of its GDP on defense, far below what NATO would expect if Tokyo were a member.

I believe that some within the American establishment remains stuck with this 'Day of Infamy' of December 7, 1941, and thus suspicious about Japan becoming a military power.

Ironically, and concomitantly, Washington wants the Japanese government to take a bigger burden of the military defense of Asia, particularly with China representing a clear and present danger.

Instead, Washington should openly encourage Japan to double its defense budget (that would still represent only 2% of its GDP) and becoming a more potent geopolitical force in the region. Washington knows full well that it cannot fight two wars at the same time, even less so three wars (Russia, Iran, and China).

By using the term 'militarization', it obscures the necessary public debate that is taking place within Japanese society. Words have meanings, particularly in today's digital world. If Japan wants to survive as a sovereign nation, it has no other choice than to steeply increase its military spending and change its constitution.

Expand full comment