For the past sixty years, the U.S. government has assumed that
Japan's security policies would reinforce American interests in
Asia. The political and military profile of Asia is changing
rapidly, however. Korea's nuclear program, China's rise, and the
relative decline of U.S. power have commanded strategic review in
Tokyo just as these matters have in Washington. What is the next
step for Japan's security policy? Will confluence with U.S.
interests-and the alliance-survive intact? Will the policy be
transformed? Or will Japan become more autonomous?
Richard J. Samuels demonstrates that over the last decade, a
revisionist group of Japanese policymakers has consolidated power.
The Koizumi government of the early 2000s took bold steps to
position Japan's military to play a global security role. It left
its successor, the Abe government, to further define and legitimate
Japan's new grand strategy, a project well under way-and vigorously
contested both at home and in the region. Securing Japan
begins by tracing the history of Japan's grand strategy-from the
Meiji rulers, who recognized the intimate connection between
economic success and military advance, to the Konoye consensus that
led to Japan's defeat in World War II and the postwar compact with
the United States.
Samuels shows how the ideological connections across these wars
and agreements help explain today's debate. He then explores
Japan's recent strategic choices, arguing that Japan will
ultimately strike a balance between national strength and national
autonomy, a position that will allow it to exist securely without
being either too dependent on the United States or too vulnerable
to threats from China. Samuels's insights into Japanese history,
society, and politics have been honed over a distinguished career
and enriched by interviews with policymakers and original archival
research. Securing Japan is a definitive assessment of
Japanese security policy and its implications for the future of
Subjects: Political Science
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