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Why the West should Discourage Japanese Military Expansion

Author(s): David Robinson

Journal: Journal of Asia Pacific Studies
ISSN 1948-0091

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 312;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Japan | Militarism | Pacifism | Yoshida Doctrine | Security

Japanese foreign policy has gradually changed since the ColdWar, as Japan’s allies have encouraged it to abandon the YoshidaDoctrine’s institutional pacifism and adopt a pro-active role inmaintaining global security. This paper will examine the transition of Japanese foreign policy towards becoming a ‘normal’ state, and consider the questions of whether their quest for a United Nations Security Council seat should be supported, and if Asian nations are justified in emphasising Japanese war crimes in opposition to Japan’s expanding role. I will argue that replacing the Japanese army with an American security treaty helped to maintain Asian stability in the late Twentieth Century, and that mostscenarios of expanding Japanese military power indicate an increasedlikelihood either of regional conflict or decreasing Western influence in the Asia-Pacific. Japan should thus be discouraged from developing its Self-Defense Force beyond minimal requirements. In this context Japan’s membership of the UN Security Council should not be supported, and references to past Japanese atrocities remain relevant and appropriate in discussions of Japan’s international role.

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