The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:21 AM
Sinisterniik Sinisterniik is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Japanese military in film (post WWII)

To the best of my knowledge, Japan was not allowed to rearm after WWII. According to Wikipedia, they did establish a defense force (the Jieitai... not Jedi...) which was somewhere between a police force and a national guard.

But in nearly every sci-fi/action movie I've seen out of Japan (in particular, the Godzilla franchise and any Anime set "in the near future") there's a fully functioning military attacking with nuclear arms. Why is this? Are film-makers trying to get around history and support a nationalistic image? If Godzilla really attacked would Japan have a military force to suppress it? Are there any films where Japan had to ask the U.S. for help because it has no military?

What's the straight dope on the Japanese military in film?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:35 AM
Animastryfe Animastryfe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Can you give some specific examples of anime in which this happens? For example, in Evangelion, considering the state of the world and the threat from the Angels I doubt anyone cares about such treaties. In Ghost in the Shell, the US has split into multiple countries and is no longer a superpower, while Japan is either a superpower or close to one.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:06 AM
Sinisterniik Sinisterniik is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
I can try to think of specific titles, but in all of the anime I have seen (a lot), I have never seen an instance where Japan needed a military and didn't have access to one. I understand that film makers (and anime authors) can create fictional circumstances that gives Japan a military, but I'm more curious why this punishment for WWII wasn't reconciled in film.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:17 AM
cckerberos cckerberos is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
I think you're operating under a bit of a misapprehension. The Japanese Self Defense Forces are a military in everything but name, operating under the barest fig leaf of constitutionality.

The SDF have 230k troops, roughly the same size as the German military, and Japan is number 6 in the world for military spending.

Last edited by cckerberos; 06-22-2012 at 11:20 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:48 AM
doorhinge doorhinge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinisterniik View Post
To the best of my knowledge, Japan was not allowed to rearm after WWII. According to Wikipedia, they did establish a defense force (the Jieitai... not Jedi...) which was somewhere between a police force and a national guard.

But in nearly every sci-fi/action movie I've seen out of Japan (in particular, the Godzilla franchise and any Anime set "in the near future") there's a fully functioning military attacking with nuclear arms. Why is this? Are film-makers trying to get around history and support a nationalistic image? If Godzilla really attacked would Japan have a military force to suppress it? Are there any films where Japan had to ask the U.S. for help because it has no military?

What's the straight dope on the Japanese military in film?
Japan was allowed to rearm both by the occupying Allied force and the Constitution of Japan. The Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) is a military ogranization but they are limited to the defense of Japan. If you ever see fictional monsters attacking make-believe movie sets or anime digital drawings you can always call on "the Super Friends" to bring the marauders to justice.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-22-2012, 12:00 PM
cckerberos cckerberos is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
Japan was allowed to rearm both by the occupying Allied force and the Constitution of Japan.
The constitutionality of the JSDF, even as a purely defensive force, isn't quite that cut and dried. It was a serious political issue for decades in Japan (not so much since the end of the Cold War).
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:52 PM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bigfork, Montana
Posts: 2,860
Japan can certainly defend itself from just about any aggression, assuming that nukes weren't involved.

Of course it wouldn't be too hard to turn a defensive army into an offensive army if Japan decided at some point to do that... constitution notwithstanding.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-22-2012, 02:41 PM
Dissonance Dissonance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
The Self Defense Forces were officially formed in 1954, they were based on the National Safety Agency which had existed since 1952 which was itself based on the National Police Reserve which formed in 1950. All of them are or were militaries regardless of what the name might imply.

Since it also comes up from time to time, Costa Rica does have an army; it just isn't called an army. The army was officially disbanded after the 1948 Civil War, but existing in its place is a National Guard which is organized and armed as a military and performs the same role as an army; i.e. controlling the borders, etc.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.