Following the opening of Japan to international trade by Commodore Perry in 1854, the Meiji Emperor instituted massive reforms to industrialize and militarize Japan from 1868 in order to prevent Japan from being overwhelmed by the superior forces of the westen colonial powers.
Although Japan lacked many of the resources of the European powers of the time, by the beginning of the 20th Century, Japan had created a navy that bested the navies of both China and Russia, and by 1920 it was the world's third largest navy.
Following Japan's surrender to the United States at the conclusion of World War II, however, and Japan's subsequent occupation, Japan's entire imperial military was dissolved in the new 1947 constitution which states, "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes."
Japan's current navy falls under the umbrella of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).
This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by fixing it.