Pacifist Identity, Civics Textbooks, and the Opposition to Japan’s Security Legislation
Summary: This article looks at how Japanese national identity is constructed in Japanese junior high school civics textbooks and how that narrative relates to recent Japanese security policy. The article compares books published in 1990 and 2012 and shows that there is surprising continuity in how both editions construct a pacifist Japanese national identity in sharp contrast to prewar and wartime Japan. The authors argue that this kind of antagonistic temporal othering – distancing oneself from an entity in the past – has over the years continued to socialize Japanese students into a “peace identity”. This in turn helps to explain the strong grassroots opposition to the Japanese government’s 2015 announcement of laws to back up its position that Japan can exercise collective self-defense, or defense of an ally under attack.
Tokyo and Taliban 2.0: Gauging Japan’s Political Stake in Kabul
Tokyo’s perspective on the Taliban is a critical chapter in Japan’s evolving approach to upholding ‘peace’ and ‘security’ in its post-war foreign policy thinking. Despite not being an immediate or […]
Japan’s Multi-Domain Defense Force: The Space, Cyber, and Electromagnetic Domains
This article sheds light on Japan’s “Multi-Domain Defense Force” formulated in the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) as well as the Medium Term Defense Program (MTDP) (FY2019-FY2023) approved by the […]
Security in the Asia-Pacific: Japan’s Options Amid U.S.-Chinese Tensions
Abstract The first arms control conference in history was held in Washington D.C. a hundred years ago. The Washington Naval Conference focused on the naval capabilities of major actors in […]
The BRI vs FOIP: Japan’s Countering of China’s Global Ambitions
Abstract With the Donald Trump administrated U.S. turning inwards, the world saw Japan taking a step forward on the global stage during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s tenure. Not only did […]
Policies to Please Political Partners: The Development of Japan’s Intelligence Policy in the 21st Century
“Japan should move promptly to adopt the security protections required to make its inclusion in Five Eyes a realistic possibility.” Armitage and Nye (2018: 9) Introduction In 2018, Japan was […]
Japan’s Opaque Energy Policy toward Russia: Is Abe Being Trumped by Putin?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with his self-proclaimed deep trust in President Vladimir Putin, has made striking a historic deal on improving Japan-Russia relations a priority. The Abe administration’s […]