The Washington Quarterly: “Japan’s Defense Policy: Abe the Evolutionary”

My latest… an analysis of both change and continuity in Japan’s defense policy under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe… has been published in The Washington Quarterly. In it, I aim to inject some sober-minded analysis into a domestic and international discourse on Japan’s security policy trajectory that typically generates more heat than light, and which is generally biased by a one-sided–and often misguided–focus on change. I argue that although practically significant in a Japanese context recent developments under Abe are at most radically moderate, and continue decades-old trends toward “reactive realism within strict normative bounds.” Recent reforms have stretched, but not removed, Japan’s core principles of self-restraint.