cover image The Hidden Army: The Untold Story of Japan's Military Forces

The Hidden Army: The Untold Story of Japan's Military Forces

Tetsuo Maeda, Author, David J. Kenney, Editor, Steven Karpa, Translator Edition Q $24.95 (330p) ISBN 978-1-883695-01-9

After WWII, Japan adopted a constitution that renounced war and prohibited the establishment of organized Japanese armed forces. Yet today Japan's defense budget supports a 160,000-man ground force, a potent air force and a coastal navy. Furthermore, according to the author, Japan's defense establishment designs and builds military hardware that is equal to any in the world. Freelance journalist Maeda explains the legerdemain by which the Japanese military, backed by the government, seeks to justify its institutional defiance of Article 9 of the Peace Constitution. An important element in the history is that General Douglas MacArthur, overlord of the American occupation, in 1950 ordered the establishment of the National Police Reserve in response to a Cold War crisis, the Korean War. Other matters lightly covered include the difficulties the Japanese have had in accepting the concept of civilian authority over the military and the ambiguities of their junior partnership in the United States-Japanese Security Treaty. Maeda's sketchy history of Japan's postwar rearmament is useful as a report on the status and composition of Japan's Self-Defense Forces. Photos. (Mar.)