The Japanese, since WWII, enjoyed one big advantage in their rebuilding their economy and nation: a relatively small militarty budget.
As Churchill points out, the Japanese see its protector, us, as crumbling in direction, resolve, and leadership. (I do NOT mean this as a swipe to Pres. Obama. It has been going on for the last 15 – 20 years.) Japan is our LARGEST creditor. China & Saudi Arabia next. The Japanese have much to fear from N. Korea and China, as their memories of 20th century atrocities have not dimmed. I have read much about Abe. He is concerned that his country, his people, must assure their own protection themselves.