On paper, Japan is no longer a military power. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes” and that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” Japan is, on paper, to rely on its allies for military defense and, since World War II, American military bases have dotted its islands. But attitudes and policies are changing and as the South China sea looks more and more like a flashpoint, some are wondering if Japan will amend its constitution and re-arm.

Here to help us figure that out is Kimberly Westenhiser is a journalist, photographer and artist. She writes for the Eatonville Dispatch and her work has appeared at The Seattle Globalist, Foreign Policy, War Is Boring and Playboy.

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