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PacNet #26 – Japan Unlikely to Redirect Defense Policy

The tripartite earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster in Japan has security analysts scrambling to determine the repercussions of these tragic events for the region and world. Some have suggested that the disaster could cause Japan to redirect defense policy away from the priorities adopted in the 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), moving Japan further from the preferences of US defense planners toward a more inward-looking focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. While recovery and reconstruction will preoccupy the Japanese government for the immediate future, it is unlikely that a major reversal in Japanese defense policy will result from these tragic events.