Japan’s Near Abroad
This chapter examines how Japan’s relations with its neighbors are evolving. Although the United States is thousands of miles to the east, it is included in Japan’s near abroad due to the great importance to Japan of its relationship with the United States.
Following its defeat in World War II, Japan became a pacifist nation. The postwar Japanese Constitution was essentially imposed on the nation by the United States. Japan’s armed forces were reestablished in the 1950s as the Self Defense Force, and strict limits on how and where that force could be employed were established. For decades after World War II, Japan was viewed with considerable resentment and suspicion by many Asian nations that had suffered under Japanese occupation during the 1930s and 1940s.
Three generations after the conclusion of World War II, some Japanese are finally starting to view the country’s pacifist constitution as outdated. Japan has begun pushing for high-technology weapons and has begun restructuring its military. Japan now seeks 100 F-22 fighter aircraft, saying the fighter is necessary to combat expansion of the Chinese air force. Japan’s acquisition of Patriot Advanced Capability 3 bat