Weathering the storm: How Japan is factoring climate change into defense policy

Storm surges, flooding, more powerful typhoons and scorching temperatures — climate change will bring more of all to Japan, endangering military sites, personnel and gear, but also putting Tokyo and the Indo-Pacific at greater risk of geopolitical shocks.

The intensifying effects of climate change will likely aggravate security issues in the region in the coming years and decades, as growing ocean levels affect disputed low-lying maritime features, warming oceans shift waning fish stocks’ distribution and transboundary water management becomes more fraught.

At the same time, extreme weather threatens the Self-Defense Forces’ plans and operations, including the use of assets such as helicopters, planes and ships, while also impeding the performance of communication systems and remote-sensing capabilities.

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