Paths Diverging? The Next Decade in the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Paths Diverging? The Next Decade in the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Paths Diverging? The Next Decade in the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Paths Diverging? The Next Decade in the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Synopsis

The author explores the changing nature of Japanese security policy and the impact of those changes on the U. S.-Japan security alliance. He begins his analysis by acquainting the reader with an insider's view of the conflicted Japanese conceptions of security policy and the various ideational and structural restraints on expanding the role of the military. Next, he explores the events of the past decade that have caused huge shifts in security policy and posture and predicts the future vectors of those changes within Japan. Finally, the author overlays the likely Japanese security future on the alliance and concludes that changes in the basic relationship between the United States and Japan must occur if the alliance is to retain its centrality 20 years from now.

Excerpt

Currently, optimism reigns among managers on both sides of the U.S.-Japan alliance for many reasons, not least of which is the Japanese support for the global war on terror. The Japanese are emerging from 5 decades of military minimalism and dependency and beginning to have serious debates about their role in the world and the efficacy of military power. This internal debate, however, has significant external ramifications for Northeast Asia and the United States. A decade ago, Henry Kissinger wrote that “the new world order, with its multiplicity of challenges, will almost certainly oblige a country [Japan] with so proud of a past to reexamine its reliance on a single ally.”

In this monograph, Lieutenant Colonel (P) William E. Rapp explores the changing nature of Japanese security policy and the impact of those changes on the U.S.-Japan security alliance. He begins his analysis by acquainting the reader with an insider's view of the conflicted Japanese conceptions of security policy and the various ideational and structural restraints on expanding the role of the military. Next, he explores the events of the past decade that have caused huge shifts in security policy and posture and predicts the future vectors of those changes within Japan. Finally, Lieutenant Colonel Rapp overlays the likely Japanese security future on the alliance and concludes that changes in the basic relationship between the United States and Japan must occur if the alliance is to retain its centrality 20 years from now.

Lieutenant Colonel Rapp's extensive research from both published sources and personal interviews with ranking Japanese and American leaders and bureaucrats provides valuable and timely insights into the changing nature of the relationship between these two powers. The future of American security policy in the region is a topic of hot and urgently needed debate. The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to publish this monograph as a contribution to that discussion on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

DOUGLAS C. LOVELACE, JR.
Director
Strategic Studies Institute . . .

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