Is it time for Japan to beef up its military forces?
In the shadow of its economic strength, Japan has quietly developed one of the world's most sophisticated and well-funded military forces. 

Bolstered by the world's fifth largest defence budget, Japan's maintenance of increasingly advanced destroyers and jet fighters along with its deployment of spy satellites further blurs the capability edge between defence and offence.

Some of Japan's neighbours rail against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for a rewriting of Japan's post-war Constitution to remove prohibitions against its rearming. 

Hisahiko Okazaki, an influential Abe adviser, tells 101 East that international pressure on Japan over its wartime aggression is a relatively recent and artificial phenomenon. 

Japan-based analyst Robert Dujarric agrees that warnings about Japan's renewed militarism are unfounded.
 
Chinese academic Li Mingjiang counters that Japan's failure to acknowledge its dark past legitimises concerns over its current military development.

This episode of 101 East aired from 09 August 2007

101 East airs at 16:30GMT every Thursday on Al Jazeera English and is repeated during the week.

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Source: Al Jazeera