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Domestic sources of Japan's foreign and security policy

Ascione, Benjamin

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This thesis investigates the influence of Japan's right-wing on Japanese foreign and security policy. Japan has often been considered a puzzle for international relations theory. In contrast to neorealist predictions that the state is expected to maximise its security in an anarchic security environment, Japan continues to exercise self-restraint under the Article 9 peace clause of its post-war Constitution, and has commonly conducted foreign policy in a low-key manner vis-a-vis regional...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAscione, Benjamin
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-04T02:28:01Z
dc.date.available2019-12-04T02:28:01Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/187270
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates the influence of Japan's right-wing on Japanese foreign and security policy. Japan has often been considered a puzzle for international relations theory. In contrast to neorealist predictions that the state is expected to maximise its security in an anarchic security environment, Japan continues to exercise self-restraint under the Article 9 peace clause of its post-war Constitution, and has commonly conducted foreign policy in a low-key manner vis-a-vis regional neighbours out of recognition of its wartime history while maintaining a relatively low defence budget. Since the end of the Cold War Japan has incrementally increased the roles and missions of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and at times explored a more independent and assertive foreign policy, but has continued with an exclusively defence-oriented defence framework (senshu boei). What accounts for this Japanese behaviour and the pace and the scope of its change? Two main questions attract interest. To what extent will Japan continue to exercise self-restraint? And what is the relative importance of exogenous versus endogenous determinants of changes in Japan's defence policy? Studies that emphasise self-restraint due to exogenous factors include arguments that Japan is: prioritising its techno-economic position (Heginbotham & Samuels 1998), attuned to the regional security dilemma and sensitive to the financial burdens of defence (Kawasaki 2001), free/cheap-riding on the US security guarantee (Lind 2004), prioritising the economic benefits of peace (Rosecrance 1985; Mueller 1988), and/or focusing on non-combat contributions to international peace in response to US alliance demands and in order to promote stable regional and international order building (Berger 2007). There is a minority that argues that Japan is already dismantling its self-restraints on defence posture due to threats from China and North Korea and declining trust in the alliance with the United States (Hughes 2016). A smaller number of studies have considered the role of endogenous factors. This include studies focused on the role of the anti-militarist culture among Japan's left wing (Berger 1993; Katzenstein 1996) and public opinion (Midford 2011). Few have considered domestic politics and the battles between coalitions of domestic political actors (Samuels 2006). The thesis fills a gap in the argument about Japanese security by looking at the role of domestic politics in its formation, examining in particular how a coalition of right-wing, domestic political players have exerted particular influence. It looks at particular developments to delve into the black box of domestic politics and investigate the influence of domestic political actors on foreign and security policy. Three cases--Article 9, North Korea policy and Senkaku Islands policy--are chosen as they are important and well-known issues in Japanese security policy and are areas of priority for Japan's right-wing domestic political players. Japan's right wing exercises influence through groups, such as Nippon Kaigi, Ganbare Nippon and Sukuukai, which cultivate linkages with sympathetic right-wing politicians and opportunistically promote security narratives around shock events. This influence has enabled the right wing to partially realise its objectives, but it continues to be constrained and the post-war regime seems unlikely to be easily overturned in the short or medium term. The findings here are significant because they demonstrate the role of domestic politics in shaping Japanese foreign and security policy, shed light on the way in which right-wing organisations have wielded influence in democratic societies, and help us to more accurately understand Japan's foreign and security policy outcomes.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleDomestic sources of Japan's foreign and security policy
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorArmstrong, Shiro
local.contributor.supervisorcontactu3228929@anu.edu.au
dc.date.issued2019
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5ea95819a828d
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenanceMade Open Access with permission from the author on 11.12.20 [ERMS6261022]
local.identifier.proquestNo
local.thesisANUonly.author94ab3672-c5ea-47d7-a241-bce3c868bc88
local.thesisANUonly.title000000003036_TC_1
local.thesisANUonly.key042c3189-3c1b-ab5c-6e7a-587eb7c2b68c
local.mintdoimint
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