Piracy and maritime security: Japan's strategic challenges
This chapter first review the global situation with piracy with a focus on two current 'hot spots' - off the Horn of Africa and in Southeast Asian water - before considering the implications for Japan. It discusses Japan's stake in international shipping and the challenges posed to Japan by the threats of piracy and maritime terrorism. With its large dependence on shipping and seaborne trade, Japan is greatly concerned about these threats and has taken a lead with measures to promote maritime security and to counter piracy i Southeast Asia, while actively participating in anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden. Piracy has served the strategic interests of Japan as well. It has allowed Japan to establish a strategic preseence in key maritime strategic areas of the world, and has provided justification for widening the scope of the Japanese Constitution to permit regular overseas deployments by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).