Change and continuity in Japanese post-Cold War security policy: the role of the Self-Defence Forces in the US-Japan alliance and perspectives of foreign policy theories.
Verandering en continuïteit in het Japanse veiligheidsbeleid van na de Koude Oorlog: de rol van de Japanse zelfverdedigingsmacht in de Amerikaans-Japanse alliantie en theorieën omtrent buitenlands beleid.
Atanassova, Elena; M0119195
The present research traces change and continuity in the issue-area of security in Japanspost-ColdWar foreign policy. This is operationalised in the study through anempirical examination of Japanese policy on the role of theSelf-Defence Forces (SDF) in the US-Japan alliance in light of threetheories of foreign policy, representing the major research traditionsin IR, most notably, realism,liberalism and constructivism. Bydrawing upon different theoretical perspectives, the thesis aims toinvestigate in an objective manner the primary factors that influencechange and continuity.The research provides, on the one hand, an in-depth examination of Japanese nationalsecuritydoctrine, relevant security legislation and documents, and the mainUS-Japan security agreements; and, on the other, an analysis of theinternational and domestic context within which Japans policy on theSDF has been formulated. The study selects three indicators, on thebasis of which thechange and continuity in Japanese security policy behaviour is evaluated from the perspective of each theory. In the first place , the thesis finds that the observed changes, mostnotably, Japanswillingnessfor greater integration of the SDF functions with those of the USmilitary, and, in particular, for expansion of the SDF missions beyondthe countrys territorial boarders, have contributed to an overallcontinuity in Tokyos strive to preserve the US-Japan alliance in thepost-Cold War period. Consequently, Japan has not embarked on pursuingan autonomous defence and on developing the SDF into independent of thebilateral alliance military forces. Second , the study demonstrates that while domestic interests haveplayed the most important roleinshaping Japans policy on the SDF, this policy has been largelyunderpinned by realist concerns. These are the need to strengthen theUS-Japan alliance due to the changed international security environmentafter 1989 and to exercise influence on Washington so as to keep the USengaged in Japanssecurity. Finally , the conducted research illustrates that none of the applied theories can on its own fullyexplainJapanese security policy behaviour in the examined case. Instead, thethesis suggests an eclectic approach, or a combined realist-liberalperspective, which is better suited to account for the main factorsthat determine the change and continuity in Japans post-Cold Warsecurity policy.