Japan Self-Defense Forces

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Missing image

Japan Self-Defense Forces
Military manpower
Military age18 years of age
Availability males age 18-49: 27,003,112 (2005 est.)
Fit for military service males 22,234,663 (2005 est.)
Reaching military age annually males: 683,147 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure $45.841 billion (2004)
Percent of GDP1% (2004)

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces (Japanese: 自衛隊, Jieitai) or JSDF, are the military forces in Japan that were established after the end of World War II. The force has been engaged in no real combat but has been engaged in some international peacekeeping operations.




The JSDF numbered about 246,400 in 1992 with 156,000 in the Ground Self-Defense Force, 44,400 in the Maritime Self-Defense Force, and 46,000 in the Air Self-Defense Force. Reserves numbered 48,400.

Article 9

The Japanese military is severely limited by Article 9 of the Japanese constitution that renounces force as a means of settling international disputes and prohibits the creation of an army, navy, and air force. The exact limits of Article 9 is a controversial issue in Japan, but it has been interpreted as allowing for self-defense forces. Thus the JSDF has a very limited oversea capability, lacks long range offensive capabilities like long range anti ground missiles, air-refueling (as of 2004), Marines or amphibious units, special forces, large cache of ammunitions, or ROE (Rules of Engagement). Japan's USD $42.6 billion/year budget makes it the fifth largest military spender in the world, after the United States, People's Republic of China, United Kingdom and France. About 50% of that is spent on the personnel and the rest is split on supplies, new weapons, upgrades, etc.[1] (http://www.cdi.org/budget/2004/world-military-spending.cfm)

As a reflection of the forces' role, the Japanese term 軍 (pronunciation: gun), referring to a military force, and the English terms "military", "army", "navy", and "air force" are never used in official references to the JSDF.


The first overseas deployment of the Japanese military under the UN since World War II occurred in 1992. The troops were sent to Cambodia to watch over the first free election. The first overseas deployment without an UN agreement occurred in 2004. The troops were sent to Iraq as peace keepers. In 2005 they briefly assisted the people of Indonesia following the Tsunami.



Missing image
Japanese Sailors aboard the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) training vessel JDS Kashima (TV 3508) stand in ranks after docking in Pearl Harbor.

Military branches

Military units

  • Five armies,
  • Five maritime districts, and
  • Three air defense forces.

Main bases are located in Hokkaido, eastern Honshu, central and western Honshu and Shikoku, and Kyushu.

List of notable JSDF figures

See also


  • Template:Loc - Japan (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/jptoc.html)
  • This article incorporates information from The World Factbook, which is in the public domain. - Japan (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ja.html)

External links

he:צבא יפן ja:自衛隊 ko:자위대 zh:日本自卫队


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