Quel doit être le degré de militarisation du Japon ?

Est-il temps pour le Japon d'amorcer ses armes et de parcourir le monde pour défendre la paix ? Cette idée même entraîne toujours des cris de protestation en Asie, notamment au Japon, où l'attachement populaire à la constitution " de paix " d'après-guerre du pays demeure fort. Toutefois, les Forces d'autodéfense modestement nommées du Japon sont impliquées dans de nombreux points chauds régionaux (pas en service commandé, bien évidemment) et cherchent à jouer un rôle plus actif dans le maintien de la paix par l'ONU. Si une guerre de tir éclate en Asie, le Japon est désormais préparé à faire bien plus que de simplement remplir les réservoirs d'essence.

Le temps est venu pour ces modestes changements car les nombreuses lignes de faille de la région Asie/Pacifique affectent les intérêts des grandes puissances et des puissances émergentes du monde, et ce de plusieurs manières fondamentales. L'Asie du nord-est renferme les derniers vestiges de la Guerre Froide : la péninsule coréenne divisée et les regards hostiles sur l'ensemble du détroit de Taiwan. L'Asie du sud-est forme son propre environnement géopolitique unique, avec une grande diversité de groupes ethniques, de cultures et de religions sous tension, comme l'attestent les troubles islamiques actuels en Thaïlande.

Au-delà de ces préoccupations stratégiques traditionnelles, l'émergence du terrorisme mondial et la guerre en Irak renforcent le sentiment du Japon que l'environnement stratégique a profondément changé. Les rôles et les obligations des Forces d'autodéfense doivent progressivement changer et se diversifier, et leur zone d'action doit être élargie.

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