Japan is not allowed an Air Force, per both the treaty they signed at the end of WWII and via their own constitution.
But an army of flying drones doesn’t count as an air force, does it?
The country has positioned itself as one of the unlikely players in the escalating global race for military drones, a move that’s controversial both at home and abroad. A veteran Japanese politician even warned that the country’s re-armament looked like “a kind of pre-war revival.” The United States has aided Tokyo in its efforts to re-arm, deploying two unarmed Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones in May to a base in Northern Japan, which infuriated both China and North Korea.
Japan is now in a position it hasn’t been in for nearly 70 years, when it gave up its right to engage in conflict outside its borders. The country is engaged in a bitter dispute with China over a set of islands that sit on resource-rich sea beds that each claims as its sovereign territory.
Japan is the third largest economy in the world, and the implications for both global peace and commerce could be widespread.
So maybe not an “army” of drones, but this wouldn’t be the first time quality was used to beat quantity.
Also, this is what can happen when you give a slightly insane (in a good way) machinist some 1200CC aircooled VW engines.