By Masataka Oguro, Brookings Institute
/ Published September 28, 2018
Ensuring Japan's Future Air Security
About the Author: Masataka Oguro Federal Executive Fellow (2017-2018) -Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Strategy, The Brookings Institution
This article is posted with the express permission of the author and Brookings Institute.
Full Report and Graphics: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/FP_20180925_JASDF_readiness.pdf
Based on the above considerations, this report underscores the need for Japan to develop a new method of air policing. In so doing, it first examines the characteristics of the current homeland air security situation around Japan and addresses the challenges and dilemmas of air policing. Second, the air security situations of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway are briefly addressed, in an attempt to draw on lessons learned from these countries’ challenges that are applicable to Japan. In the United States, the Air National Guard, a component of the world’s strongest air force, holds responsibility for scramble missions. The Civil Air Patrol, funded by the U.S. Air Force budget, plays a complementary role in patrolling the vast U.S. mainland, although it does not carry out scramble missions. The United Kingdom has a similar geographical situation to Japan and employs noteworthy methods in its air policing procedures. Norway is on the frontline of NATO’s defense against Russian aircraft. Third, by analyzing the behaviors and strategies of the leadership in China and Russia, this paper seeks to ascertain the future intentions of these countries, particularly in the air domain. Finally, specific recommendations are provided as to how Japan can enhance its future air security to limit China’s ability to expand its air activities further into surrounding waters while avoiding further escalation. Namely, Japan should: