Country Listing

Japan Table of Contents


Organization, Training, and Equipment

Based on the Self-Defense Forces Law of 1954, the nation's defense establishment is organized to ensure civilian control of the armed forces. The result has been a unique military system. All SDF personnel are technically civilians: those in uniform are classified as special civil servants and are subordinate to the ordinary civil servants who run the Defense Agency. There is no military secrets law, and offenses committed by military personnel- -whether on base or off base, on duty or off duty, of military or nonmilitary nature--are all adjudicated under normal procedures by civil courts in appropriate jurisdictions (see The Criminal Justice System , this ch.).

Data as of January 1994