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Japan Self-Defense Forces

(Jieitai; JSDF).The military forces of Japan that were established after the end of World War II; run by the Defense Agency. The force has been engaged in no real combat but has been engaged in international peacekeeping operations. The Japanese military is severely limited by Article 9 of the Japanese constitution that renounces force as a means of settling international disputes and prohibits the creation of an army, navy, and air force. The exact limits of Article 9 is a controversial issue in Japan, but it has been interpreted as allowing for self-defense forces. Thus the JSDF has a very limited overseas capability, lacks long range offensive capabilities like long range anti-ground missiles, special forces, or a large cache of ammunitions. Japan's USD $42.6 billion/year budget makes it the fifth largest military spender in the world, after the United States, People's Republic of China, United Kingdom and France. The first overseas deployment of the Japanese military under the UN since World War II occurred in 1992. The troops were sent to Cambodia to watch over the first free election. The first overseas deployment without an UN agreement occurred in 2004. The troops were sent to Iraq as peace keepers. In 2005 they briefly assisted the people of Indonesia following the Tsunami. In November 2005, constitutional revisions were proposed which would create a cabinet level Defense Ministry while keeping the old clauses mandating official pacifism. Under the proposed revisions, the JSDF would also be formally referred to as a military force for the first time since its establishment. (from Wikipedia).

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