Japan is intensifying its pursuit of cutting-edge defense technology in response to the complex geopolitical environment, and a military metaverse is emerging as a potentially potent tool for bolstering its armed forces against potential adversaries.
In a notable step, the Japanese government released the Defense Technology Guidelines 2023 in June, emphasizing the need to adapt to evolving technologies in modern warfare. This directive identified 12 key priorities for around 200 selected companies participating in the nation’s defense tech initiative. Notably, these priorities encompass concepts like “visualization of invisible things” and “capabilities that make virtual/imaginary information as real things.” Discussions are anticipated in upcoming meetings with participating firms to explore the creation of a metaverse aimed at deceiving opponents.
A Multifaceted Tool for Military Preparedness:
Braden R. Allenby, President’s Professor at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainable Engineering and Built Environment in Civil Engineering, highlighted the intrinsic linkage between unconventional technologies and militarization, suggesting that generating misleading “realities” can be a highly effective approach to counter adversaries’ attacks. This concept aligns with the idea that manipulating perceptions can serve as a strategic defense mechanism, as seen in the context of weaponized narrative, which exploits confusion and social divisions to undermine enemies.
Potential Applications and Implications:
A military metaverse has diverse potential applications, as noted by defense analysts. These include advanced troop training through high-tech education, immersive recruitment techniques, and enhancing interoperability within defense and security circles. By leveraging this concept, Japan could incorporate subversion tactics into the virtual realm to redirect outcomes in adversaries’ decision-making processes. Such an approach could not only safeguard Japanese troops but also civilians.
Deception and Innovation in Warfare:
Deception has long been an intrinsic element of military strategy. The concept of infusing this art of deception into a defense metaverse is deemed a legitimate military tactic capable of diverting attacks and nullifying threats. This approach involves the creation of misleading environments that can confuse and misdirect opponents.
Japan’s Defense Budget and Research Investments:
Japan’s fiscal 2023 defense budget, amounting to 6.8 trillion yen (approximately $46.6 billion), includes a notable allocation of 3.3% for research and development investments in advanced technology. This allocation reflects a commitment to fostering technological progress in defense.
In summary, Japan’s exploration of a military metaverse reflects its strategic imperative to innovate and adapt in the face of evolving defense landscapes. By considering the potential of a metaverse, Japan aims to harness the power of perception manipulation to enhance its military preparedness. This innovative approach aligns with emerging trends in modern conflict, where technology and strategic communication converge to reshape traditional paradigms of warfare.