In an annual paper released by Japan’s Ministry of Defense entitled Defense of Japan 2014, it stated the Japan cannot posses weapon’s that will exceed the minimum requirement of self defense. “Self Defense Forces is not allowed to possess intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), long-range strategic bombers, or attack aircraft carriers.”
Japan also stated that they will not be a military power that threatens other countries. Additionally, like the Philippines, Japan will not posses, manufacture and welcome any nuclear weapons.
However, with the recent change in their constitution, Japan can use force in an event that Japan’s survivability is compromised resulting from an armed attack to a foreign country that is in a close relationship with them. Japan’s “use of force” will be in accordance with UN’s right of collective self-defense.
Japan’s Defense Ministry through the paper says, under the constitution, they don’t have the “right of belligerency”. “However, the “right of belligerency” does not mean the right to engage in battle.” Right of belligerency is defined as “the authority to inflict casualties and damage upon the enemy’s military force and to occupy enemy territory.”
With the paper, Japan is saying that if they deemed necessary and Japan’s survivability is compromised they will come to aide an ally who is attacked. Also, Japan made it clear that they can engage in battle to protect their sovereign rights.