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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.