Published on Sep 22, 2014 As tensions with China continue to escalate, Japan is ramping up the role of its military as a deterrent power. "As I don't know the purpose and intention of unidentified aircraft approaching our air space, I always become tense", says Sho Yoshida, a fighter pilot with Japan's Self Defence Forces. This unified military outfit was formed following the Allied occupation of Japan at the end of WW2, and is constitutionally restricted to defending the nation. But now a heightening feud with China over the disputed Senkaku Islands, as well as the country's proximity to a wildly unpredictable North Korea, has led Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reinterpret the legal framework that governs the SDF, with a view to transforming it into a force equipped for offensive operations. "Unless it has the power to strike, it cannot become a so-called 'deterrent power'", explains retired general Toshio Tamogami. And after a number of well-funded recruitment campaigns, enrolments at Japan's elite military college are at a record high. ABC Australia - Ref 6239 Journeyman Pictures is your independent source for the world's most powerful films, exploring the burning issues of today. We represent stories from the world's top producers, with brand new content coming in all the time. On our channel you'll find outstanding and controversial journalism covering any global subject you can imagine wanting to know about.