Japan's Security Strategy in the Post-9/11 World
February 1, 2006
In this book, Daniel Kliman argues that the years following September 11, 2001, have marked a turning point in Japan’s defense strategy. Utilizing poll data from Japanese newspapers as well as extensive interview material, he chronicles the erosion of normative and legal restraints on Tokyo’s security policy, and he notes that both Japanese elites and the general public increasingly view national security from a realpolitik perspective. Japan’s more realpolitik orientation has coincided with a series of precedent-breaking defense initiatives: Tokyo deployed the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Indian Ocean, decided to introduce missile defense, and contributed troops to Iraq’s postconflict reconstruction.
Kliman explains these initiatives as the product of four mutually interactive factors. In the period after 9/11, the impact of foreign threats on Tokyo’s security calculus became more pronounced; internalized U.S. expectations exerted a profound influence over Japanese defense behavior; prime ministerial leadership played an instrumental role in high-profile security debates; and public opinion appeared to overtake generational change as a motivator of realpolitik defense policies. However, the author rebuts those who exaggerate the nature of Japan’s strategic transition. Evaluating potential amendments to Article 9, he demonstrates that Tokyo’s defense posture will remain constrained even after constitutional revision. Visit event page.
Daniel M. Kliman is pursuing a Ph.D. at Princeton University in New Jersey. He has been affiliated with the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C., the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in California, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo.