The predisposition of IR scholars to examine the evolution of Japanese security policy through the prism of realism has been challenged by constructivist approaches. Whereas the former has recently paid attention to the change in security policy following the ‘rise of China,’ the latter continues to focus on the constraints on policy posed by antimilitarist norms. These two approaches lead to contenting interpretations for the constrained changes now taking place in Japanese security policy under Prime Minister Abe, but are these leading to a revival of militarism?
The purpose of my presentation is to investigate this question by examining three issues of central importance to the future of Japanese security policy. The first is the long-standing attempt to relocate the US Futenma Marine Air Station to Henoko in the north of Okinawa in the face of local opposition. The second is the introduction in 2014 of the three Principles on the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, which replaced the 1967 Three Principles of Arms Exports. And the third is the revised interpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution and the passage of legislation in 2016 allowing Japan to exercise the right to participate in collective Self-Defense. In conclusion will explore how these three issues help us to answer the question of whether or not the Abe administration’s security policy is leading to the revival of militarism.
About the Speaker:
Glenn D. Hook is Toshiba International Foundation Anniversary Research Professor in the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK. He has published widely in Japanese as well as in English on Japanese and East Asian politics and international relations, especially in relation to security, risk and governance. His recent publications include Excavating the Power of Memory in Japan (editor, Routledge, 2016); Regional Risks and Security in Japan: Whither the Everyday (coauthor, Routledge, 2015); and the third edition of Japan’s International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security (coauthor, Routledge, 2012). His articles have appeared recently in Australian Journal of International Affairs, Critical Asian Studies, Japan Forum, Japanese Studies, Journal of Japanese Studies and Social Science Japan Journal.