In recent years a widespread narrative presents post-2012 changes to Japan’s security policy and Article Nine’s interpretation as fundamentally unprecedented and “All About Abe.” The reality, however, is that Japan’s security policy has been undergoing evolutionary, incremental reforms for decades—under both conservative and moderate Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and opposition leaders. Practically significant, de facto change—albeit within remarkably “sticky” normative bounds so far—has occurred repeatedly in response to changing external threat perceptions and shifting domestic political winds.
My latest peer-reviewed article … an analysis of the evolution of Chinese views of the U.S. alliance system and its role in East Asian security… has just been posted online at The China […]
My latest peer-reviewed article… an analysis of the likely implications of recent institutional reforms–esp. the new National Security Council–for Japan’s crisis management capabilities–with particular regard to tensions with China over competing […]
My latest article… a brief overview of incremental balancing responses vis-a-vis China in the context of recent US calls for a “principled and inclusive security network”… has just been published in […]
Since Tokyo’s September 2012 ‘nationalization’ of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, Beijing’s use of military and paramilitary forces to challenge Japan’s decades-old effective administration has introduced a major source of uncertainty and risk into a volatile flashpoint between the world’s second- and third-largest economies. Specifically, China’s unprecedented operations increase the likelihood of an unintended incident in the surrounding waters or airspace. While neither side seeks conflict, how capable China and Japan are of rapidly and effectively preventing such an incident from escalating is a crucial, yet rarely-asked question. This is particularly true given the noxious state of Sino–Japanese political relations, infrequency of high-level dialogue, presence of nationalism potentially affecting leaders’ domestic political calculations, policy decision-making processes considered relatively slow and consensus-oriented, and the longstanding absence of bilateral crisis hotlines.
The question of how capable the two sides are at managing a crisis effectively is not merely an academic one…
My latest… a series of three responses to scholarly critiques of my 2014 International Security article on military competition in the Asia-Pacific…has been published in the latest issue of IS. This […]
My latest… a preview and preliminary analysis of next week’s highly anticipated (and historic) revision of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation has been published in the Pacific Forum CSIS’ PacNet newsletter. […]