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Measuring Japan in the Military Balance and Evaluating Theories of Japanese Security
Unformatted Document Text:  39 But regardless of the causes of Japan’s security strategy, if this paper is correct, it fundamentally recasts the way we think of Japanese security policy since World War II. First the paper demonstrates that Japan is currently one of the world’s leading military powers. Second, the paper shows that changes in Japanese security policy cannot be explained by existing constructivist theories that emphasize strong constraints on Japanese military power and roles. Since World War II, Japan gone from a shattered, occupied, and disarmed country to one of the world’s three or four great military powers. This remarkable evolution contradicts the prediction that domestic norms will prevent major changes in Japanese security policy. Third, the paper argues that continuity and change in Japanese military power are consistent with a realist strategy of free-riding. Further testing might show that Japanese antimilitarism affected its choice of a security strategy, but antimilitarism has not placed meaningful constraints on Japanese power. predictions of individual state behavior.” Berger, Cultures of Antimilitarism, p. 203. Other scholars advocatingsuch approaches are Green, Japan's Reluctant Realism; Soeya, “Japan: Normative Constraints Versus StructuralImperatives”; Pyle, The Japanese Question; Hook, Militarization and Demilitarization in Contemporary Japan.

Authors: Lind, Jennifer.
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39
But regardless of the causes of Japan’s security strategy, if this paper is correct, it
fundamentally recasts the way we think of Japanese security policy since World War II. First the
paper demonstrates that Japan is currently one of the world’s leading military powers. Second,
the paper shows that changes in Japanese security policy cannot be explained by existing
constructivist theories that emphasize strong constraints on Japanese military power and roles.
Since World War II, Japan gone from a shattered, occupied, and disarmed country to one of the
world’s three or four great military powers. This remarkable evolution contradicts the prediction
that domestic norms will prevent major changes in Japanese security policy. Third, the paper
argues that continuity and change in Japanese military power are consistent with a realist strategy
of free-riding. Further testing might show that Japanese antimilitarism affected its choice of a
security strategy, but antimilitarism has not placed meaningful constraints on Japanese power.
predictions of individual state behavior.” Berger, Cultures of Antimilitarism, p. 203. Other scholars advocating
such approaches are Green, Japan's Reluctant Realism; Soeya, “Japan: Normative Constraints Versus Structural
Imperatives”; Pyle, The Japanese Question; Hook, Militarization and Demilitarization in Contemporary Japan.


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