Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reiterated his commitment to amending Japan's Constitution to incorporate the Self-Defense Forces.
Abe delivered a speech at a review of troops on Sunday at the Ground Self-Defense Force training ground in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo. About 4,000 SDF members took part.
Abe said 90 percent of citizens now acknowledge the existence of the Self-Defense Forces, and respect them.
He said although SDF members were once criticized, they have gained public trust by striving to fulfil their duties.
Abe said politicians now must play their part in confirming the legitimacy of the SDF personnel.
He said it is the responsibility of lawmakers to prepare an environment in which all SDF members can pursue their duties with pride. He said he is ready to fulfil that responsibility.
Abe also referred to the National Defense Program Guidelines, which the government plans to review in December for the first time in 5 years.
He said Japan cannot be protected unless it gains an edge in global competition in space and cyberspace. He said his government is prepared to present new guidelines that can serve as defense fundamentals decades into the future.
Abe later inspected a parade involving a new amphibious rapid deployment brigade, and about 260 amphibious and other vehicles. The brigade was launched in March as part of efforts to bolster defense of remote islands.
The Air Defense-Force's F-35A stealth fighters also made a flyover. The aircraft were deployed in Japan in January.