Research and Studies Concerning Security

Policy-Oriented Research and Studies

NIDS as the premier think tank of the Ministry of Defense, carries out research on national security issues in order to provide timely and effective inputs into deliberations at the Ministry of Defense. In FY2011, the NIDS Research Department has been reorganized into the Policy Studies Department, Security Studies Department, and Regional Studies Department to make them better prepared to engage in a wider range of security studies.

NIDS is a government agency and an academic research institute. Its characteristics, namely academic freedom, flexibility of thought, and career backgrounds work together in research projects. NIDS also engages in continuing discussions with the Ministry of Defense, the SDF, Relevant ministries, academia, the business community, and think tanks.

NIDS-INSS-KIDA Trilateral Workshop, June 2012
NIDS-INSS-KIDA Trilateral Workshop, June 2012

Current Research Topics

To ensure responses to fluid strategic environments currently surrounding Japan, NIDS is exploring the following themes that are closely related to Japan's national security.

Modern conflicts and Roles of the Armed Forces

As modern conflicts become more diverse and hybrid, the roles of the armed forces for managing these conflicts also change. NIDS analyzes the causes and characteristics of modern conflicts and studies the way to prevent these conflicts and respond to them if one ever breaks out, and to implement reconstruction and development after they ended.

Japan-U.S. Alliance

The alliance with the United States, which shares fundamental values with Japan, is not only essential for maintaining the peace and security of Japan but also is important for tackling challenges such as effective promotion of multilateral security cooperation and handling of global security issues. Taking these views into account, NIDS is studying the Japan-U.S. alliance in a new security environment.

Security in the Asia Pacific and Other Regions

NIDS carries out research and studies on security in the Asia-Pacific region, which has a great impact on national security, focusing on China and Korean peninsula. NIDS analyses from a broad perspective including diplomacy, economy, domestic policy and military to produce its original outputs. In addition to that, NIDS studies the modality of multilayered security cooperation in the area with a perspective to its regional stability.

Global Security Issues

The international community is facing threats such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, international terrorism, and piracy. At the same time, there has been a concern that stable access to the global commons including sea, space, and cyber space is at increasing risk. Furthermore, the effect of the climate change on the security environment must be closely watched. NIDS has been carrying out research to identify solutions to these global security issues as well as roles of militaries therein.

Specific Examples of Recent Research Themes Concerning Security (FY2008)

  • Energy resources and national security
  • Major countries' military build-up programs
  • MOD and SDF's contribution in relation to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
  • Major countries' policies toward Africa

Support for Policy-Making

NIDS is making efforts to provide research outcomes to support policy-making by the Ministry of Defense in a timely and effective manner. NIDS not only carries out research upon the request from the organizations of the Ministry of Defense, but also give briefings for the Minister of Defense or other senior leaders of the ministry on important security developments of the world or issues of importance for Japan's national security.