Japan: Asian Peacekeeper of the 21st Century?
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The building of a New World Order presents the United States with novel opportunities and problems. If the 21st century is to be the Pacific Century, U.S.-Japan relations will become the cornerstone of U.S. policy. The ongoing drawdown of U.S. forces places a renewed emphasis on the security relationship between the two countries. The United States has long desired an increase in the security role played by Japanese military forces. In the wake of the Cold War and the Gulf Crisis, Japanese opinion leaders are beginning to debate Japans international security role. Within the context of the debate, an increasingly visible group of opinion leaders, the Internationalists, has emerged as the leading proponent of a greater Japanese security role. Their concept goes beyond Peacekeeping Operations under United Nations auspices. This thesis analyzes the security policy debate now occurring in Japan, with a special emphasis on the Internationalists. This assessment provides American policy leaders with important insights into the internal Japanese debate regarding Japans probable new role in the Pacific. An understanding of Japanese domestic policy debates is vital if the United States is to successfully realize her policy aims in the Asia-Pacific region. This study, sourced entirely from Japanese opinion leaders within the debate, serves to provide that insight.
- Government and Political Science