Japan’s Response to Asia’s Security Problems
I wo ongoing conflicts have defined Asian international relations throughout the postwar period. These are the conflict that exists between China and Taiwan and the conflict that has divided the Korean Peninsula since the armistice in 1953.1 While the level of threat that these conflicts have posed to the region has waxed and waned, Japan’s approach to promoting its own security interests has been highly stable, defined by many well-known characteristics. Among the more important are a ceiling on defense spending of 1 percent of GDP, an ongoing commitment to the U.S.-Japan security treaty despite periods of tension over trade issues, and a security role that is limited to self-defense of the home islands.
KeywordsSecurity Policy National Identity Japanese Government Postwar Period Japanese Public
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- 2.For general statements of the role played by international factors, see Hans Morgenthau, Politics among Nations (New York: The Free Press, 1954);Google Scholar
- Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979); andGoogle Scholar
- Suisheng Zhao, Power Competition in East Asia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997). For a controversial application of this perspective to Japan and its relations with the United States, seeGoogle Scholar
- George Friedman and Meredith LeBard, The Coming War with Japan (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991).Google Scholar
- 3.While these three factors will be dealt with separately in this chapter, domestic factors and national identity have been somewhat conflated. See, specifically, Thomas U. Berger, “From Sword to Chrysanthemum: Japan’s Culture of Anti-Militarism,” International Security 17, 4 (1993): 119–150; andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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