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Normalization of Japan in an uncertain East Asia

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Post-graduate essay on Japan's constitutional normalization focussing on changes made in the wake of the current security / counter-terrorism contributions of the US led coalition.
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  ! #$%&'(%)' * , -%.%* '* %* /*01#)%'* 2%3) 43'%   #$%&'%($)$( *+(,-$./ 0%12- 3##%/ 4%5+6 *.+78+9 :;%<+ *.,=+9. >?6 @ABBCDE *,F1+(.6 GH**IJDB ?,+ ?%.+6 DC 42K DB ?%.+ *,F5$..+=6 @C L(. DB M2-= (2,9.6 @DNO STUDENT ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT I declare that I have read and understood the UNSW@ADFA policy on Student Academic Miscon- duct and that this assignment is entirely my own work. I have fully acknowledged and correctly docu- mented all sources for this assignment. This assignment has not been submitted previously for assess- ment in any formal course of study. I understand that I may be examined orally on the content of this assignment and that I may be required to submit for examination the notes, plans and drafts used in its preparation. I also understand that if I am unable to supply such evidence, or if its examination proves unsatisfactory to the marker, this will result in an appropriate penalty.    5   ! #$%&'(%)' * , -%.%* '* %* /*01#)%'* 2%3) 43'%  What should Japan's defence and security posture be? Trace the debate and make, and justify, your own recommendations. Introduction  Japan’s modern day defence and security posture is borne from its post-World War 2 constitution, deriding war and forbidding the formation of offensive armed-forces. This ‘pacifist’ constitution currently necessitates a reliance on the security alliance with the United States to provide umbrella protection to Japan and has helped set the conditions for US hegemony throughout the region for the last 60 years. While the continuation of pacifism is mostly self-induced through a strict adherence to Article 9 of the constitution and a popular denunciation of war, there also remains deeply rooted memories of the atrocities of War World 2 within Japan’s neighbours, particularly China, who remains suspicious of any relaxations in current defence restrictions. (Dupont 2004, p11) Fifty years after its inception, does the constitution and its restrictions on Japan’s ‘normalcy’ remain a viable option for Japan against a post-9/11 background and perceived decline in US hegemony? The rise of China and India, uncertain economics in the US, and threats from extremist terrorism and a nuclear-armed North Korea have all altered the landscape significantly to the point that Japan has pushed its security policy and its pacifist constitution to new grounds. This essay will examine the small steps of normalcy undertaken by Japan, the apparent failing of multilateralism from Japan’s perspective, and the drive to re-establish bilateral approaches to meet Japan’s comprehensive security aims. Recommendations made on what Japan’s security and defensive posture should be suggest using a reinvigoration of multilateralism to provide regional transparency to aid Japan’s normative reform. For the purposes of the essay I will discuss security in terms of Japan’s stated objective of ‘comprehensive security’. (MoD 2009) This encompasses the realms of economic, human and more traditional national security. Of note is the economic security of Japan, as the second largest economy in the world, and the historical significance it has placed on its economy post-World War II as Japan’s main source of influence in global security. Constitutional pacificism  The Japanese constitution is unique in its fundamental limitations and proscription of armed conflict. Article 9 of the constitution states:  6    Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized. (National Diet 1946) This has remained the basis for Japanese defence policy and the primary consideration in the implementation of its security agenda. The Yoshida doctrine, conceived in the 1950’s and drawn from the constitutional constraints, laid the basis for Japanese focus on economic rebuilding and the minimization of defence expenditure. (Tang, 2007) These policies have been clarified by subsequent administrations such that a series of norms was established forbidding Japan from acquiring long-range bombers, inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s) and attack aircraft carriers. Additionally, military spending is limited to 1% of GDP and an anti-nuclear policy prevent Japan from producing, possessing or introducing nuclear weapons. (MOFA 2009) The Japanese Self-defence Force (JSDF) is also strictly limited to the defence of the Japanese islands, however, as we will see this has not always been the case in recent years. Since the events of September 11, 2001 and the terrorist attacks on the United States, pressure to reform the constitution and allow a more normal approach to security have steadily been gathering pace. This comes in the face of hurtful criticism of Japan’s involvement in the first Gulf Wars and its use of ‘chequebook diplomacy’. Towards constitutional reform  During the Cold War period, Japan kept to its self-bestowed “international military exemption”. Through careful international diplomacy that minimized its exposure to world security threats and events, Japan “abstained” from overseas military activities. (Tang 2007) During the Gulf war in 1991, Japan again remained protected behind its constitution but contributed to the international effort in a way that the second-largest economy in the world could – by contributing US$13 billion to the war effort. This however, drew criticism from abroad at the fact Japan was relying on the fighting efforts of the US while the SDF sat comfortably back in Japan, especially when Japan relied so heavily on energy supplied from the Gulf region. (Tang 2007) These criticisms and the lack of recognition in Japan’s efforts during the Gulf Wars sufficiently humiliated Tokyo that personnel from the SDF found themselves bolstering United Nations Peace Keeping operations throughout the 1990’s.  A significant step towards the ‘normalizing’ of Japan’s military occurred post-September 11 attacks, when Japan dispatched its Maritime SDF in support of US operations in Afghanistan. This began a period of ‘alliance strengthening’ with the US and is seen by some as a step towards the softening of the long-held position against collective self-defence. (Sebata 2001, p. 147)  7   The long-standing position of the Japanese government is to acknowledge that Japan is entitled to exercise collective self-defence under international law. However, the constitution prohibits this under the premise that this exceeds its mandate to maintain ‘minimum self-defence’. (Sebata 2001, p 146) This prohibition on collective self-defence, or the ability to defend another nation even if Japan is not directly threatened, forms the basis for considerable debate on constitutional reform from within and outside of Japan. This would necessitate the amendment of Article 9 which some see may herald a return to Japanese militarism. (VOA News 2006)  A number of factors are driving this impetus for constitutional change. Not the least is the changing security environment within Asia. Primarily the nuclear and ballistic missile threat from North Korea, which has launched several test firings of its Taepodong-I and Taepodong-II ballistic missiles that Japan fears could be equipped with conventional, biological, chemical or even nuclear warheads. This poses a significant threat to the security of Japan and to counter this, Japan has been actively participating in the Ballistic Missile Defence program with the United States. It is the inter-reliance of Japan and US BMD systems that Bisley says, “sits uneasily within the current understanding of the constitutional limits to collective defence.” (Bisley 2008, p. 81) Within Japan there is growing public anxiety about external threats however it is still only a minority of the population that are in favour to the amendment of Article 9. (Kliman 2006, p. 54) Japanese security ambitions  Throughout the Cold War, Japan’s alliance with the US remained strong. Japan provided the US with ‘an unsinkable aircraft carrier’ (Purnentraand and Bruni 2003) and was far less worried about the Soviet threat than the Europeans or Americans, taking a ‘lackadaisical attitude’ toward defence in the belief that the US would come to the aid of Japan in the event of an attack due to the strategic importance of Japanese-hosted US bases. (Tang 2007, p. 20) With the end of the Cold War, the diminishing Soviet threat and a rising China, a more fluid Asia-Pacific security landscape emerged, such that Japan saw opportunities to establish a region-wide security forum. Factors driving this include a growing motivation from Japan to play a more active role in the  Asia-Pacific beyond purely the economic and the belief of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) that the Asia-Pacific region was ‘ripe’ for an expansion of political and security cooperation to strengthen stability post-Cold War American alliances. (Yuzawa 2005, p. 465) Throughout the 1990’s, Japan embarked on a policy of comprehensive security within the Asian region, drawing from regional influences like ASEAN. With the formation of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994, Japan hoped that regional security and its own security objectives could be promoted through Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s) between participants aimed at greater military transparency.
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