Accession Number:

ADA592232

Title:

The Glacier Moves: Japan's Response to U.S. Security Policies

Descriptive Note:

Special assessment rept.

Corporate Author:

ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

9.0

Abstract:

The Bush administration s efforts to forge a stronger political-military partnership with Japan have enjoyed some success, thanks largely to a positive response by Prime Minister Koizumi. The greatest progress has been in the war on terrorism, the most notable accomplishment is of which Japan s unprecedented Indian Ocean naval deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While this move signals an important shift in Japanese attitudes toward acceptance of collective defense and military force, Japan s metamorphosis into the Britain of East Asia is at best a distant prospect. Japan is in no hurry to accept the legitimacy of collective defense, preferring incremental steps in this direction camouflaged by formal adherence to its long-standing self-defense only position. As suggested by Tokyo s waffling on missile defense, moreover, Japan is divided over how best to ensure its national security and there is no consensus in favor of a closer strategic embrace with the United States. None of this necessarily precludes Japan s continued evolution over time into a normal country in political-military terms and a stronger, more self-confident American ally. The process of strengthening the political-military partnership between the United States and Japan is likely to remain frustratingly slow and equivocal U.S. policymakers would be well advised to discard expectations of rapid change. The danger lies in overestimating Japan s current ability and willingness to step up to the plate on collective defense in the event of a full-blown military crisis in northeast Asia.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Defense Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE