Japan Military Power 2020-2021

World ranking: 7 

Overview

After its defeat in World War II Japan was considered down and out. However in recent decades it has been arming up at an alarming rate. With its huge economy and educated population Japan, just like South Korea is a technological powerhouse. Though China may have the number's advantage the Japanese Self-Defence Forces are strong enough to stand their ground. 

Capital: Tokyo

Population: 126.5 million

Defence Budget: 48.5 billion

Total Personnel: 305,000

land forces

The Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force is relatively small in comparison with the other branches. Its size is a result of the needs of the Japanese military. Due to being an Island nation with next to zero internal security problems, Japan would rather divert its attention to maritime and aerial superiority. That said, most of the equipment in the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force is of excellent quality, an example being the domestically made Type 10 MBT.

Tanks: 1,004

AFV: 3,130

MLRS: 99

SPG: 238

Air force

Japan's Air Force continues to maintain a large fleet of advanced fighters. In addition to its F-15Js and F-2s, it is in the process of acquiring 135 F-35s. Once the F-35s are in the arsenal, the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force will be able to hold its own against the new Chinese stealth fighters.

Fighters: 279

Attack: 12

Armed UAVs: 0

Attack Helicopters: 119

Helicopters: 637

Other: 633

Navy

The most important branch in the Japanese military. The Japanese have a long and glorious naval history. This was born out of necessity. All nations which aren't landlocked can use their navy in order to keep threats well away from their borders. This is especially true for Japan. With its impressive fleet of destroyers and submarines the Japanese navy is a force to be reckoned with. Soon the Izumo-Class helicopter carriers will carry F-35Bs, meaning that the Japanese navy will be able to project power throughout the region. 

Total Vessels: 155

Carriers and LHDs: 4

Destroyers: 40

Frigates: 0

Corvettes: 6

Submarines: 20

Strong points

  • Technological know-how

  • Capable defence industry (though small)

  • Exceptional training

  • US backing

  • Impressive equipment standards

  • Naval prowess 

weak points

  • Land forces could use more equipment

  • Lack of recent war experience 

Statistics

Manpower

305,000

Tanks

1,004

AFV

3,130

MLRS

99

SPG

238

Fighters

279

Attack 

12

UCAV

0

Attack helis

119

Helicopters

637

Other

633

Total vessels

155

Carriers & LHDs

4

Destroyers

40

Frigates

0

Corvettes

6

Submarines

20