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Measuring Japan in the Military Balance and Evaluating Theories of Japanese Security
Unformatted Document Text:  2 A significant debate within international relations theory—one central to debates about East Asian security—centers on the future of Japanese security policy. 1 For decades, many realist scholars predicted that Japanese military power and activism would grow with Japanese wealth. 2 As time has passed, however, Japan continues to devote less than 1% of GDP to defense spending, and confines its military activity to peacekeeping and defensive roles within the U.S.-Japan alliance. Constructivist scholars argue that this continuity in Japanese security policy, amidst changing external circumstances, can only be understood by looking at domestic factors such as norms and identity. 3 Japan’s “culture of antimilitarism” has inhibited it from significantly expanding its military capabilities and roles and will continue to prevent major changes in Japanese security policy into the foreseeable future. Constructivists argue that 1 See Michael J. Green, Japan's Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain Power (New York: Palgrave Publishers, 2001); Green, "The Forgotten Player," The National Interest Vol. 60 (Summer 2000), pp.42-49; Eric Heginbotham, and Richard J. Samuels, "Mercantile Realism and Japanese Foreign Policy," InternationalSecurity Vol. 22, No. 4 (Spring 1998), pp. 171-203; Yoshihide Soeya, "Japan: Normative Constraints VersusStructural Imperatives," in Muthiah Alagappa, ed. Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 198-233; Glenn D. Hook, Militarization and Demilitarization inContemporary Japan (London: Routledge, 1996); Kenneth B. Pyle, The Japanese Question: Power and Purpose ina New Era (Washington, D.C.: AEI Press, 1992). For a useful survey of theories of Japanese security, see MichaelJ. Green, "State of the Field Report: Research on Japanese Security Policy," Access Asia Review Vol. 2, No. 1(September 1998), pp. 5-39. 2 Christopher Layne, "The Unipolar Illusion: Why Great Powers Will Rise," in Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller, eds. The Cold War and After: Prospects for Peace (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993), pp. 244-290;Kenneth N. Waltz, "The Emerging Structure of International Politics," International Security Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall1993), pp. 44-79; George Friedman, and Meredith LeBard, The Coming War With Japan (New York: St. Martin'sPress, 1991); Herman Kahn, The Emerging Japanese Superstate: Challenge and Response (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:Prentice-Hall, 1970). 3 Berger, Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998); Sun-Ki Chai, "Entrenching the Yoshida Defense Doctrine: Three Techniques forInstitutionalization," International Organization Vol. 51, No. 3 (Summer 1997), pp. 389-412; Katzenstein, CulturalNorms and National Security: Police and Military in Postwar Japan (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996);Katzenstein and Nobuo Okawara, "Japan's National Security: Structures, Norms, and Policies," in Michael E.Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller, eds. East Asian Security (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996),pp. 265-299; Thomas U. Berger, "From Sword to Chrysanthemum: Japan's Culture of Anti-Militarism," in Brown,Lynn-Jones and Miller, eds., East Asian Security, 300-331; Berger, “Alliance Politics and Japan's Postwar Culture ofAntimilitarism,” in Michael J. Green and Patrick M. Cronin, eds. The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Past, Present, andFuture (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1999), pp. 189-207; Hook, Militarization andDemilitarization in Contemporary Japan. Peter J. Katzenstein, and Nobuo Okawara, Japan's National Security :Structures, Norms, and Policy Responses in a Changing World (Ithaca, N.Y.: East Asia Program, CornellUniversity, 1993).

Authors: Lind, Jennifer.
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background image
2
A significant debate within international relations theory—one central to debates about
East Asian security—centers on the future of Japanese security policy.
1
For decades, many
realist scholars predicted that Japanese military power and activism would grow with Japanese
wealth.
2
As time has passed, however, Japan continues to devote less than 1% of GDP to
defense spending, and confines its military activity to peacekeeping and defensive roles within
the U.S.-Japan alliance. Constructivist scholars argue that this continuity in Japanese security
policy, amidst changing external circumstances, can only be understood by looking at domestic
factors such as norms and identity.
3
Japan’s “culture of antimilitarism” has inhibited it from
significantly expanding its military capabilities and roles and will continue to prevent major
changes in Japanese security policy into the foreseeable future. Constructivists argue that
1
See Michael J. Green, Japan's Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain Power (New
York: Palgrave Publishers, 2001); Green, "The Forgotten Player," The National Interest Vol. 60 (Summer 2000), pp.
42-49; Eric Heginbotham, and Richard J. Samuels, "Mercantile Realism and Japanese Foreign Policy," International
Security
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Spring 1998), pp. 171-203; Yoshihide Soeya, "Japan: Normative Constraints Versus
Structural Imperatives," in Muthiah Alagappa, ed. Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 198-233; Glenn D. Hook, Militarization and Demilitarization in
Contemporary Japan
(London: Routledge, 1996); Kenneth B. Pyle, The Japanese Question: Power and Purpose in
a New Era
(Washington, D.C.: AEI Press, 1992). For a useful survey of theories of Japanese security, see Michael
J. Green, "State of the Field Report: Research on Japanese Security Policy," Access Asia Review Vol. 2, No. 1
(September 1998), pp. 5-39.
2
Christopher Layne, "The Unipolar Illusion: Why Great Powers Will Rise," in Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E.
Miller, eds. The Cold War and After: Prospects for Peace (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993), pp. 244-290;
Kenneth N. Waltz, "The Emerging Structure of International Politics," International Security Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall
1993), pp. 44-79; George Friedman, and Meredith LeBard, The Coming War With Japan (New York: St. Martin's
Press, 1991); Herman Kahn, The Emerging Japanese Superstate: Challenge and Response (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
Prentice-Hall, 1970).
3
Berger, Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1998); Sun-Ki Chai, "Entrenching the Yoshida Defense Doctrine: Three Techniques for
Institutionalization," International Organization Vol. 51, No. 3 (Summer 1997), pp. 389-412; Katzenstein, Cultural
Norms and National Security: Police and Military in Postwar Japan
(Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996);
Katzenstein and Nobuo Okawara, "Japan's National Security: Structures, Norms, and Policies," in Michael E.
Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller, eds. East Asian Security (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996),
pp. 265-299; Thomas U. Berger, "From Sword to Chrysanthemum: Japan's Culture of Anti-Militarism," in Brown,
Lynn-Jones and Miller, eds., East Asian Security, 300-331; Berger, “Alliance Politics and Japan's Postwar Culture of
Antimilitarism,” in Michael J. Green and Patrick M. Cronin, eds. The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Past, Present, and
Future
(New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1999), pp. 189-207; Hook, Militarization and
Demilitarization in Contemporary Japan
. Peter J. Katzenstein, and Nobuo Okawara, Japan's National Security :
Structures, Norms, and Policy Responses in a Changing World
(Ithaca, N.Y.: East Asia Program, Cornell
University, 1993).


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