Global Security Watch—Japan

by Andrew L. Oros and Yuki Tatsumi
Foreword by Rust Deming


It's been over half a century since most Americans considered Japan to be a country capable of presenting a military threat. In fact, Japan has been one of the top 10 military spenders worldwide for decades, and possesses one of the most capable and well-equipped military forces in the world—yet a widespread belief that Japan possesses no military forces persists.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Global Security Watch—Japan

September 2010


Pages 198
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/International and Transnational Security

This book offers a comprehensive overview of Japan's national security institutions and policy today, including a detailed discussion of Japan's regional security environment and its alliance with the United States in the context of the Democratic Party of Japan's rise to power in August 2009.

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, making Japan one of the United States's longest and most important military allies. Over 40,000 US troops are based in Japan, as is the only U.S. aircraft carrier based outside the United States, the USS George Washington. Japan possesses one of the world's largest economies and strongest military forces, and as a result, its national security policies and institutions are highly significant—not just to America, but to the rest of the global community as well.

This book provides an overview of Japan's transformation into one of the world's most capable military powers over the past 150 years. Particular attention is paid to developments in the past decade, such as the 2009 change in the controlling political party and Japan's responses to new global security threats.


  • Includes a foreword by Rust Deming, retired U.S. State Department official
  • Contains reprints of 14 original government documents including major treaties and policy statements
  • Provides a chronological coverage of over 150 key events in Japanese security from 1853 to 2010
  • The bibliography draws on the most important sources in English and Japanese, plus dozens of government documents from both countries
  • A glossary defines terms of special importance to Japanese security policy, such as the "five PKO principles" or the "three nonnuclear principles"
  • Provides short biographies of eight key figures in postwar Japanese security policy


  • Provides a readable, jargon-free overview of Japan's national security institutions and military forces, including treatment of Japan's regional environment and its alliance with the United States
  • Written by two researchers who are both fluent in Japanese and English and possess extensive academic and practical experience in both countries
  • The information and textual analysis in this volume draws on dozens of in-depth interviews with policymakers in Japan and the United States
  • Presents relevant and timely insights about Japan—a critical ally to the United States regionally and globally, and China's longtime rival—as China rises and expands its international presence, highlighting critical factors that will shape the security environment of the early 21st century
Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

Andrew L. Oros is associate professor of political science and international studies and chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Washington College, Chestertown, MD. His published works include Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice and over a dozen scholarly articles.

Yuki Tatsumi is senior associate of the East Asia Program at the Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC. Her analysis frequently appears in major publications in the United States and Japan, as well as in the global media.



"This work is best suited for advanced undergraduate collections on Asia. ...Recommended"Choice


"Unusual, highly informative detail on Japanese security institutions and processes. Shows the trees in the forest, without losing sight of the larger picture as well."—Kent Calder, Director, Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS/Johns Hopkins University

"A necessary reference handbook for understanding modern Japan's evolving security policy and an important contribution for scholars and policy makers, and anyone else that wants to know where Japan is heading in its defense policy and why. A must-read for every action officer working on Japan!"—Torkel Patterson, President UN-Japan MAGLEV and former special assistant to the President and senior director for Asia, National Security Council (2001-2002)

"This volume is an indispensible guide to Japanese defense policy-making and should be on the desk of any policy-maker or scholar seeking to unbundle the institutional, cultural and historical factors shaping Japan's search for security."—Michael J. Green, Georgetown and Center for Strategic and International Studies, a special assistant to the President and director for Asian affairs, National Security Council, 2001-2003, senior director for Asian affairs, 2004-2005

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Global Security Watch—Jordan cover imageGlobal Security Watch—Kenya cover imageGlobal Security Watch—Russia cover image
Global Security Watch—Lebanon cover imageGlobal Security Watch—Turkey cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips