New book chapter: “Proactive Stabilizer: Japan’s Role in the Asia-Pacific Security Order”

My latest study … an analysis of Japan’s role supporting the Asia-Pacific security order in the face of manifold challenges … has just been published in a new volume edited by Yoichi Funabashi (Asia-Pacific Initiative) and G. John Ikenberry (Princeton University).


“[…]many have called on other advanced liberal democracies and benefactors of the liberal international order to “step up” to sustain it, especially Japan-the world’s third largest economy and a leading liberal democracy with significant existing influence and still greater potential.4 Tokyo would also seem to have a clear national interest in doing so. All the aforementioned challenges threaten foundational pillars of Japan’s economy and national security. Indeed, if the order were to collapse or the United States to “withdraw” or “abdicate” in the manner already suggested by some and feared by many, defining assumptions of Japan’s foreign policy would be fundamentally undermined. Though there are numerous calls for Japan to do more to champion the Asia-Pacific security components of the liberal order (see box 1-1), the associated discourse is often characterized by vague diagnosis and policy prescriptions. This chapter aims to begin addressing this gap by engaging with the following questions: What is the traditional logic of the postwar Asia-Pacific security order, how does it relate to the liberal international order and Japan’s national security, and how has it evolved over time? What is the scope and nature of the contemporary challenges to it, especially from China and, to a lesser extent, the United States?5 How has Japan’s security policy evolved in response to associated challenges heretofore? And what more could it do?[…]”