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Rival Claimants: The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and the Naval Arms Race in East Asia
The re-emergence of the Japanese defense industry and the establishment of the Japanese Self-Defense Force (SDF) as a capable and sizable military should not come as a surprise. The process had been ongoing since the 1950s; however, it has only been until recently that the SDF has acquired the capabilities to do more than just mere self-defence. The ability to do more than just self-defence has been a controversial topic for the Japanese public and leadership. Yet, despite this, the National Diet of Japan overwhelmingly voted in favor of changing the way the SDF operates in the field. It has been Prime Minister Abe Shinzo who led the effort to reform Japanese security policy. This effort has been undertaken due to the increasing tensions between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan over the disputed Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands.