Although both Germany And Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, the two countries had fundamental differences when Germany maintained a standing army, while Japan did not.

After World War II, both Germany and Japan were losers. But shortly after 1945 Germany regained control of the army, while Japan was not so lucky. Why did this happen?

After World War II, Japan and Germany were both devastated and defeated. Although both surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, the two countries had fundamental differences when Germany maintained a standing army, while Japan did not.

Although, Japan also has the so-called “Defense Forces” – a noun that refers to a force that is organized like the armed forces, but is “disguised” under a different name than the armed forces. The army and soldiers serving in the Self-Defense Forces are not considered soldiers but are considered… state civil servants.

In addition, since it was established in the 50s of the last century, because it is not a real military force, the Japan Self-Defense Force does not have a compulsory military service regime, but only accepts volunteers. In fact, the Japan Self-Defense Force, in addition to its rather “strange” name, has the same organizational structure as an army force with the Army – Ground Self-Defense Force; Air Force – Air Self-Defense Force; and Navy – Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The Japanese Constitution clearly states that the Self-Defense Forces of Japan are only a defensive force. This means that the weapons of war as well as the equipment of this force will be limited, not allowing the Self-Defense Forces to participate in wars abroad.

For example, Japanese warships have very strict limitations in terms of range and displacement. With transport aircraft, the range is also very limited and it is difficult to fly to any other country except a few neighboring countries. In addition, the number of Japan Self-Defense Forces was limited.

It was not until the 2000s, due to the escalating tension in Northeast Asia, Japan began to expand the size of the Self-Defense Forces, invest in equipping new modern weapons, increase overseas operations and most recently the reorganization of the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade – a form of Marine Corps.

Like Japan, Germany also lost in World War II. However, the fate of Germany was even more tragic than that of Japan when this country was divided by two factions, one was the Soviet Union, the other was Britain – France – and the US. The fact that a country was divided in two and the tension of ideological conflicts in Europe is increasing, which could lead to a new war. Both the Soviet Union and the Anglo-French-American faction increased rearmament as well as re-consolidated the armies of East Germany and West Germany immediately.

During the 1950s, there were many soldiers who served in the Nazi army continuing their careers in the armies of both East and West Germany. Now, however, they were engaged in an ideological war, not a national war.

Basically, the armies of both East and West Germany were limited like Japan, but not as tight, because the tension in West Germany during the Cold War was extremely great. Specifically, in article 87A of the West German constitution, there were also implied similarities with Article XI of the Japanese constitution, according to which the country’s military is only “for defensive purposes”.

It can be said that, basically, both the East and West German armies and the Self-Defense Forces of Japan are equally limited, completely losing their autonomy and self-reliance in terms of military and defense. Despite being called a “defensive force”, however, both East, West Germany and Japan initially had very thin forces, unable to fight on their own when invaded, but mainly had to rely on foreign military forces stationed inside their territory.


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