The 自衛隊 Jieitai, "Japan Self Defense Forces" or "SDF" in English, is the de facto military established in semi-compliance with Chapter 2 of the Japanese Constitution. It is headed by the Minister of State for Defense, under the authority of the Prime Minister, and divided into the 陸上自衛隊 Rikujô Jieitai Ground SDF, 海上自衛隊 Kaijô Jieitai Maritime SDF, and 航空自衛隊 Kôkû Jieitai Air SDF.

The SDF was created after the end of the Allied occupation of Japan as a defense force for the Japanese islands. Unlike other militaries, the SDF is legally barred from initiating combat, as the constitution of Japan specifically prohibits waging war: however, they may fire if fired upon. By calling its armed forces "defense forces," the government was able to get around this stipulation and build a new Japanese military. If you've ever seen a Godzilla movie, then you've seen the SDF at the height of its action: since its inception, the SDF has only engaged an enemy once, in an accidental skirmish with a North Korean gunboat.

The SDF uses similar weapons to the United States Armed Forces, several of which are American designs manufactured in Japan under license.

A rundown of the three main branches:

GROUND SDF

I Division, Ichigaya; II Division, Asahikawa; III Division, Itami; IV Division, Fukuoka; V Division, Obihiro; VI Division, Sendai; VII Division, Chitose; VIII Division, Kumamoto; IX Division, Aomori; X Division, Moriyama; XI Divison, Sapporo
XII Brigade, Somabara; XIII Brigade, Kaita
1st Mixed Group, Naha; 2nd Mixed Group, Zentsuji

MARITIME SDF

Fleet headquarters: Yokosuka
Other main bases: Kure, Sasebo, Maizuru and Ominato

AIR SDF

Air bases: Chitose, Misawa, Matsushima, Hyakuri, Komatsu, Iruma, Shizuhama, Hamamatsu, Komaki, Gifu, Miho, Hofu, Ashiya, Kasuga, New Tabaru, Tsuiki, and Naha

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