Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has spoken of his determination to maintain Japan's superiority in the areas of cyber and space defense.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony of the National Defense Academy on Sunday, Abe said the security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly difficult and uncertain.
He said the country cannot defend itself by sticking to traditional thinking, and referred to the government's new national defense guidelines adopted last December.
Abe said Japan will push forward with reforms at a speed fundamentally different from the past in order to build defense capabilities for the next era so the country can maintain its advantage in the areas of cyber, outer space and electromagnetic waves.
He said the Japanese people's trust in the Self- Defense Forces was cemented during the Heisei Era, and it is the government's turn to do all it can to create an environment where SDF members can fulfill their duties with pride.
Abe appeared to be stating his determination to clarify the existence of the SDF in the country's Constitution.
In contrast to his speech last year, he made no reference to North Korea's nuclear and missile issues.
478 Japanese students graduated this year. 49 of them declined to join the Self- Defense Forces upon their graduation. That is 11 more than last year.