NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA MONTEREY United States
Japans current military operations in Africa, little known and underreported, have challenged its established security doctrine and led it to a more normal military that employs its self-defense forces in ever-greater roles. By examining Japans Self-Defense Force JSDF missions in the Gulf of Aden and South Sudan against a backdrop of Japans greater strategic approach to Africa, this thesis uncovers the unexpected impact that these missions have had in Japanese policy-making at home. Whereas the lack of a constrained institutional framework in the Gulf of Aden mission naturally enables revisionists to push for unprecedented security reforms to meet evolving mission requirements, the mission in South Sudan has also contributed unexpectedly to impactful security reforms to meet its own evolving mission requirements within the construct of the United Nations UN. Mission success in increasingly challenging and dangerous roles in Africa has allowed the JSDF to not only become an integral part of Japans comprehensive development efforts on the continent, but has also influenced the ability of Japans revisionists to chart a new course in the post-Cold War world.