TOKYO — Godzilla is back. Only this time the fire-breathing monster is facing a more potent Japanese military.
Shin (New) Godzilla is the biggest box-office hit of the year in Japan and reflects a changed vision of how the nation views its defense forces and relations with the United States, which still has troops based in the country.
In the movie, fearless Japanese troops rush in to battle the raging monster and America is seen as a meddling bully. That is a big change from earlier Godzilla movies, in which Japanese troops are ineffective.
The new image of Japan’s military, officially known as the “Self Defense Force” (SDF), comes as the government has moved to lift constitutional barriers that forbid the military from engaging in offensive combat operations.