The Future of Japan's Security Policy: Is Normalization a Possibility?
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis considers the future direction of Japanese security policy by examining the debate on whether or not Japan will normalize. Normalization is defined as the process of Japan removing its restrictions on the use of military force. Arguments exist that Japan is on the path to removing these restrictions because of a variety of factors, including its worsening security environment and its recent decision to introduce a ballistic missile defense BMD program. In contrast to these views, this thesis suggests that Japan will not normalize, primarily because of the presence of strong anti-military feelings within Japanese society, both at the public and political levels. To test this hypothesis, the opinions of the Japanese public, the opinions of Japanese politicians, and the opinions of Japanese political parties are researched regarding four issues 1 general Constitutional revision, 2 specific revision of Article 9, 3 possible changes in the right to exercise collective self-defense, and 4 opinions on Japans new BMD program. The author concludes that strong anti-military feelings continue to persist at both levels of Japanese society and that these feelings are an effective obstacle to Japans normalization. Based on this conclusion, the author recommends that the United States increase its efforts to secure Japans participation in non-combat-related activities.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics