And if that was the ONLY difference we wouldn't be having this discussion. But once again, in the example of the JMSDF we are reminded that having weapons does not make one a military anymore than not having weapons makes one a civilian. While I consider that a very good point, it has to be remembered that the reason military vessels were used in exploration during the age of sail is because the military had all of the best ships and the most competent sailors. Exploration therefore piggybacked on the military because it was more efficient than raising money for their own exploration vessels, and because the tools used for exploration at the time were relatively portable and required no installation. This has ceased to be the case in modern maritime affairs where meaningful exploration requires specialized equipment and ships custom-built for that purpose; the military does almost no exploring whatsoever anymore because their ships are very poorly suited to it. Extrapolating that same progression, it's possible that by the 23rd century affairs have swung around to the opposite direction where the military is now piggybacking on the exploration vessels because the explorers have all the best ships and even their most powerful weapons are relatively portable and easy to install.