Global Security Watch—Japan
by Andrew L. Oros and Yuki Tatsumi
September 2010, 198pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38138-6
$61, £47, 54€, A84
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38139-3
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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.

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
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, May 1, 2011

"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

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