While the U.S. and Japan are expected to begin revising the guidelines for defense cooperation under Japan's stipulation of ‘enemy counterstrike capabilities,’ Japanese media reported that military integration between the two countries would take place.
Japan's Jiji Press said on Monday that on the occasion of revising three major security documents, including the National Security Strategy, the country will start full-fledged discussions with the U.S. "It is expected to complement the U.S. military deterrence against China and North Korea, but the U.S.-Japan integration will also proceed further." The integration of the U.S.-Japan military means that the U.S. military and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces move like virtually one military force in the wake of Japan's possession of the "enemy base attack capability."
Japan has established an integrated command that will lead the Self-Defense Forces comprehensively and is pushing for a reorganization of the Self-Defense Forces so that the integrated commander could coordinate with the U.S. military on force employment. Unlike South Korea, where the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command is located, Japan has never had an official organization to lead the defense capabilities of the U.S. and Japan because the Self-Defense Forces are not official troops.
The U.S. is welcoming in that this can ease the burden of protecting security in East Asia. However, even conservatives in Japan raised concerns that Japan could unexpectedly be embroiled in a war due to its ability to attack enemy bases for deterrence.