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How Japan Defends Itself Facing the Power Shifts in East Asia von Ahr, Kumiko (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 18.06.2014
  • Verlag: vdf Hochschulverlag AG
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How Japan Defends Itself

This work analyzes the necessity of changing Japan's present defense policy. The discussion of Japan's defense strategy has been an unpopular topic in Japan for a long time. The reason lies in its gruesome military aggression during the Second World War. Until the end of the Cold War, Japan did not show big concerns about its defense politics because the United States had protected it from communist enemies. Today, however, China's emerging power and North Korea's nuclearization pose serious threats. America, by contrast, suffers from great financial debts and is facing declining military forces. Japan's main doubt has thus come to light: Would America protect Japan in the case of hostile events? Since the world remains a realistic world, nuclearization can be an option in order to deter enemies. It turned out that Japan has not much of a choice but could provoke a discussion to overcome the nuclear dilemma.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 160
    Erscheinungsdatum: 18.06.2014
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783728136107
    Verlag: vdf Hochschulverlag AG
    Größe: 4105 kBytes
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How Japan Defends Itself

[1] 1 Introduction

Security politics always take advantage of any situations promising an advantage. Even immediately after the strong earthquake and the big tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011, its neighbor nations tried to use this situation to further their own interests (see Chapter 2 ). The Japanese, with their very strong pacifistic tradition and feelings, should start to seriously rethink their defense strategies. China's economic and military power is restructuring the balance of power in the world. This development also has profound influence on the relations between the United States and Japan. On the one hand, the more important a business partner of America China becomes, the more America will strive to avoid confronting China. On the other hand, America must contain China. An example of this may be seen in the statement given at the Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue) in June, 2012, where the United States addressed its new security policy aimed at strengthening its presence in the Asia Pacific region. The American navy deployment in this region will be shifted from presently 50% to 60% by 2020, i.e., 40% in the Atlantic and 60% in the Pacific region. 1

Nevertheless, the US military transformation plan proposed to move a number of its military personnel from Japan to Guam, and the rising fiscal deficit of America has started limiting its military operations (see Chapter 2.5 . The Influence of American Military Budget Cuts on East Asia).

Moreover, an island dispute between China and Japan has continuously intensified. North Korea's missile tests also threaten Japan. Whether Japan's ally, i.e., the United States, will defend Japan from its surrounding nations' military actions has become a central worry to Japan.

With respect to these circumstances and all future developments, Japan should basically be in the position to defend itself without having to implore America for defensive help. Independent of the alliance with America, Japan has to have the capability of defending itself against aggressive neighbors, and since Japan's neighbors possess nuclear weapons, Japan also needs to possess nuclear weapons to deter its neighbors and to avoid further escalation of military conflicts in the absence of better means of defense.

[2] 1.1 Research Questions

Japan has been allied to America for more than 50 years. After the Second World War, the American military was stationed in Japan, for which the Japanese government was obligated to rent grounds, including islands in Japan to serve the American military as basecamps. The Senkaku Islands, which are now becoming one of the territorial hot issues, are still being lent to the American military as military exercise areas. The Japanese government in turn pays rental fees to the Japanese landowner. 2 The Tokyo governor, Mr. Shintaro Ishihara, was planning to purchase parts of the Senkaku Islands from the landowner; 3 however, the Japanese government then surprisingly purchased them in 2012. This story reveals that these islands belong to Japan, and that America recognizes them to be under Japanese administration.

Nonetheless, the American government has not clearly stated its position, rather wanting to distance itself from this issue. 4 In the light of Japan's insistence on applying Article V of the mutual security treaty between the United States and Japan to this disputed islands area (concluded in 1951, revised in 1960, and automatically extended since then, see Chapter 2 , Security Treaty between America and Japan), the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced that these islands would be covered by the security treaty. 5 But her statement was still not clear enough to Japan as to whether America were really ready to fight against Chin

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