THE NEW "NIDS": The Way Forward


  • NIDS is the main policy research arm of the Ministry of Defense (MOD). With its research staff of more than 80 full-time scholars with various academic/career backgrounds, NIDS is the leading research institution in Japan dedicated to the research on defense and national security issues.
  • September 1, 2011, NIDS put into place one of the most sweeping reorganization measures in its history.
  • It was designed to make itself better positioned to support the needs of policymakers of the MOD, while expanding scope and depth of its research.


To better support policymaking in the MOD

  • First, NIDS created the Policy Studies Department, Security Studies Department, and Regional Studies Department from Research Department. This step strengthens policy-oriented research and regional studies, while giving better grasp of how the political, legal, economic and social institutions undergird national security.
  • Second, of particular note was the newly created Northeast Asia Division within the Regional Studies Department. It is a response to increasing demand for analysis on Northeast Asia. Besides, it will make NIDS better postured to deal with expanding interaction with the countries in the region.
  • Third, NIDS integrated planning functions under the newly established Director of the Planning and Administration Department. This will enable NIDS to more effectively and timely coordinate NIDS research efforts with the policymaking within the MOD.

To strengthen military historical studies

  • The Military History Department was reorganized into the Center for Military History. The change is substantial. It expands research focus of the Center. In addition to the Nation's military history before the end of the World War Two, which had its primary focus, the reorganization added two new areas: studies of post-WW II national security history of Japan and conflicts that happened in the other parts of the globe.
  • Plus, the Center merges with military archives, which consist of collections of documents of imperial army and navy.
  • These changes will expand the scope and depth of studies of military history at NIDS and help the Center firmly establish its position as the sole national center of the study of military history in Japan.


  • The 2011 reorganization is designed to enable NIDS more effectively engage with international colleagues and disseminate our research outcomes.
  • NIDS has been hosting number of conferences and seminars, examples of which are: NIDS International Symposium on Security, International Workshop on Asia-Pacific Security, and NIDS International Forum on War History. NIDS is a regular member of the ARF Heads of Defense Universities / Colleges/ Institutions Meeting and NATO Conference of Commandants of Defense Colleges.
  • NIDS has been disseminating its research results through number of outlets: East Asian Strategic Review, NIDS Security Studies(NIDS Journal of Defense and Security), NIDS Military History Studies Annals among others. In 2011, NIDS inaugurated annual publication specialized in China, NIDS China Security Report, published in English, Japanese, and Chinese. All the publications can be downloaded from our website.