What are Military Operations Other Than War (Japan)?

Introduction Japanese military operations other than war (MOOTW) focus on deterring war, resolving conflict, promoting peace, and supporting civil authorities in response to domestic crises. Outline The military in Japan is affected by Japan’s pacifist post-war constitution. The initial decision to participate in UN peacekeeping missions was not uncontroversial, and its continuing role in international… Read More


What was the Mukden Incident?

Introduction The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Background On 18 September 1931, Lieutenant Suemori Kawamoto of the Independent Garrison Unit of the 29th Japanese Infantry Regiment (独立守備隊) detonated a small quantity of dynamite close to a railway… Read More

Sleeping & Smitten…

“A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten.” Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku (1884 to 1943), speaking about Pearl Harbour in 1942 Yamamoto, original name Takano Isoroku, was a Japanese naval officer who conceived of the surprise attack on the… Read More

Endure & Suffer…

“We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is unsufferable.” Emperor Hirohito (1901 to 1989) Hirohito, original name Michinomiya Hirohito and posthumous name Shōwa, was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He was the longest-reigning monarch in Japan’s history. There is still considerable debate on the exact nature and… Read More

Japan’s Armed Forces: Yes, No, Maybe!

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, wants to end questions about the legality (or otherwise) and appropriate use of Japan’s not-quite army, the Self-Defence Forces (SDF), by amending Article 9, the constitution’s iconic pacifist clause. Japan’s, war-renouncing, constitution is on display at the National Archives in Tokyo, and was written by an occupying (US) army in 1946. This clause prohibits Japan from maintaining land,… Read More