Japan is a peaceful nation, in no small part because its post-World War II constitution required it. All that changed last month when President Shinzo Abe ended the ban that’s kept Japan’s army in check since 1945. And do you know what the country did next? It started buying drones. Lots and lots of drones.
It’s been a long time since Japan flexed its military might, but it’s interesting to see drones lead the way. According to one analyst, Japan now has the fastest-growing drone fleet in the world, with an expected 300 per cent increase in investment over the next decade. The United States is actually helping, having helped Japan buy two unarmed Global Hawk aircraft earlier this year. That’s one of them above.
Of course, Japan’s new drones will be used primarily for surveillance. But there’s always potential for country’s dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands to heat up, however, or for North Korea to destabilize further, either of which could lead to weaponization. One expert even says that the likelihood of a drone battle in coming years is “very high”. It’s unclear what the human involvement will look like, but an all out robot war sounds horrifying enough. [Quartz]