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, Kliman chronicles the erosion of normative and legal restraints on Tokyo's security policy. In particular, 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 post-conflict reconstruction. Kliman explains these initiatives as the product of four mutually interactive factors. In the period after September 11, the impact of foreign threats on Tokyo's security calculus became ever more pronounced; internalized U.S. expectations exerted a profound influence over Japanese defense behavior; prime ministerial leadership played an instrumental role in deciding high profile security debates; and public opinion appeared to overtake generational change as a motivator of realpolitik defense policies. This book rebuts those who exaggerate the nature of Japan's strategic transition. By evaluating potential amendments to Article 9, Kliman demonstrates that Tokyo's defense posture will remain constrained even after constitutional revision.
List of Tables and Figures Foreword Abbreviations Japan's Strategic Evolution What If: Scenarios of Strategic Change Elite and Public Opinion: Creeping Realism Japan and September 11th Under North Korea's Shadow: Japan and Missile Defense Japan, the Iraq War, and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Transitional Realism Epilogue Selected Bibliography
Reviews "Kliman provides an insightful analysis of current Japanese defense policy and the rise of creeping realism, based on the Koizumi administration's pragmatic responses to external threats, pressures from the US, and generational change. Since 2001, Japan has shifted its strategic thought away from the caution of the postwar era, transforming its role in today's global security environment. The author describes a transitional realism where Tokyo clearly has been motivated by calculations of state interest rather than normative values. The author's evidence includes the expansion of Japan's role in international peacekeeping operations and regional agreements, the removal of past inhibitions against cooperation with the US on Ballistic Missile Defense, and the launch of real debate on a possible revision of the constitution's prohibition against using the Japanese military in action abroad. Kliman concludes that Koizumi's decisions to introduce Ballistic Missile Defense, endorse US actions in Iraq, and send Japanese personnel to participate in Iraq's reconstruction indicate that Japan will continue down the path of becoming a normal nation, as a growing proportion of elites and the public continue to adopt more pragmatic views of national security. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice