The Turnabout of Japan’s Security Policy: Toward “Proactive Pacifism”

Kitaoka Shin’ichi [Profile]

[2014.04.02] Read in: 日本語 | 简体字 | 繁體字 | FRANÇAIS |

At the end of 2013 the establishment of the National Security Council, the formulation of a National Security Strategy, and other moves shed light on new developments in Japan’s security policy. Kitaoka Shin’ichi, president of the International University of Japan, who played a leading role in the policy-making process for these measures, explains the trajectory of recent developments.

Japan’s National Security Council was inaugurated on December 4, 2013, following the November 23 passage of legislation for its establishment. Shortly afterward, on December 6 the Diet passed the State Secrets Protection Law, which is closely connected with the above legislation. This will be enacted within one year. And on December 17 the cabinet of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō adopted the country’s first National Security Strategy(*1) and approved the new National Defense Program Guidelines.(*2) In this essay I will examine the significance of these policies, which were realized one after another.

Strengthening Security Policy in the First Abe Administration (2006–7)

I would first like to identify the vicissitudes that have led to the realization of the above-mentioned policies. The first administration of Abe Shinzō, inaugurated in September 2006, aimed at reinforcing Japan’s security policy and attempted a number of reforms. First, in November of the same year, Abe established and headed the Council on the Strengthening of the Functions of the Prime Minister’s Office Regarding National Security.(*3) The aim of this was to augment the functions of the Kantei (prime minister’s office) as a “control tower” for national security issues. In February 2007, this council proposed the establishment of the NSC as a pillar for enhancing the functions of the Kantei. On that basis, the government compiled a bill to establish the NSC and submitted it to the ordinary Diet session that year. However, the political situation started to fluctuate due to the change of power balance between the governing and opposition parties following the July 2007 House of Councillors election. In addition, Prime Minister Abe’s resignation due to illness prevented the realization of the NSC during his first administration.

The following administration of Fukuda Yasuo, inaugurated in September 2007, showed little interest in establishing the NSC. The same administration halted the advancement of NSC-related legislation since it believed that the pre-existing Security Council in the Kantei was functional and needed no replacement. The Security Council was, however, an empty shell. It was common knowledge that it did not constitute an effective venue for policymaking, and it was subject to severe criticism not only within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, but also from the main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan.

The first Abe administration’s second attempt at reforms was the establishment in May 2007 of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, headed by Yanai Shunji, the former ambassador to the United States. This advisory panel started to scrutinize issues surrounding Japan’s right to collective self-defense, considered impossible according to the current interpretation of the constitution.(*4)

Four types of security issues constituted the advisory panel’s main agenda. These were: (1) whether Japan was able to protect a US naval vessel coming under attack in seas near Japan; (2) whether Japan was able to shoot down a missile passing through Japan’s airspace, but targeting a country other than Japan; (3) whether Japan was able to rescue foreign contingents under attack in the context of United Nations peacekeeping operations; and (4) whether Japan’s considerable inability to provide rear support to foreign contingents during peacekeeping operations was desirable.

In 2008, after the resignation of Prime Minister Abe, the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security presented its final report to Prime Minister Fukuda.(*5) The essential points of the report were: (1) under the existing legal system, Japan was unable to perform the aforementioned four actions; (2) nonetheless, such inability proved extremely disadvantageous to Japan’s national interest; (3) consequently, measures needed to be taken to make it possible for Japan to perform the above actions; (4) in that regard, constitutional amendment was not necessary, and constitutional re-interpretation would have sufficed. However, Fukuda was lukewarm also to such suggestions. By shelving the report he left the matters untouched.

Reforms Resuscitated in the Second Abe Administration (2012–)

Subsequently, following the government led by Asō Tarō and three successive DPJ administrations, respectively headed by Hatoyama Yukio, Kan Naoto, and Noda Yoshihiko, Abe came back to center stage in December 2012. Abe naturally attached great importance to the conclusions offered by the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, which he set up during his first administration. He embarked on the realization of those proposals immediately after the establishment of his second administration. First of all, he re-inaugurated the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security on February 8, 2013.(*6) The members have remained the same, but since Chairman Yanai is currently in Hamburg, Germany, where he acts as the President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, he is practically unable to convey the advisory panel’s meetings. For this reason I have been appointed as acting chairman, with the responsibility of wrapping up the arguments made within the advisory panel.

At the same time, on February 15 the Advisory Council on the Establishment of a National Security Council was established. Building on the 2007 bill for the establishment of the NSC which failed to become law, the prime minister personally attended the advisory council’s discussions.(*7) On this basis, the Abe government presented a new draft law to establish the NSC to the Diet on June 2013. This legislation passed in November, leading to the establishment and the subsequent inauguration of the NSC by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, on September 12 the Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities was established with the aim of contributing to the formulation of the National Security Strategy and the new National Defense Program Guidelines. I have been appointed as chairman of this advisory panel.(*8)

The Evolution of Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines

The Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities was until 2009 called the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities and in 2010 the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era. This institution has traditionally constituted a venue for experts to debate and make proposals regarding the new National Defense Program Guidelines (previously the Outline), which have been compiled on the basis of those suggestions.(*9) In 1994, the administration of Hosokawa Morihiro set up an Advisory Group on Defense and, on the basis of its proposals, a new National Defense Program Outline was crafted in 1995 under the administration of Murayama Tomiichi.(*10) At the time, responses to the post–Cold War situation and suspicions about North Korea’s nuclear development were the main security issues. For the above reasons the importance of the Japan-US Security Treaty was reaffirmed, leading to a redefinition of the Japan-US alliance.(*11)

A Council on Security and Defense Capabilities was set up and new Defense Guidelines were compiled in 2004 also under the administration of Koizumi Jun’ichirō,(*12) but these centered on countermeasures to the situation resulting from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.(*13) In 2009, a Council on Security and Defense Capabilities was also set up under the Asō administration,(*14) and this body subsequently issued a set of proposals.(*15) However, the transfer of power from the LDP to the DPJ postponed the completion of the Guidelines. In 2010 the DPJ-led Kan administration set up a new and similar advisory panel, the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era, and following this report,(*16) December saw the compilation of the 2010 National Defense Policy Guidelines.(*17)

The 2010 Guidelines—crafted under the DPJ-led administration—were primarily concerned with how to deal with China’s rise. At the same time, they revised Japan’s security policy, which had been based on a “basic defense force” since the inception of the Cold War, mainly as preparation against a Soviet invasion. The 2010 Guidelines hammered out a “dynamic defense force” policy that emphasized the southwestern regions of the Japanese archipelago.(*18) The fact that Japan finally made the above turnabout in line with the above realities, fully 20 years after the end of the Cold War, shows how its policies have easily fallen prey to inertia and how hard it has been to make course corrections.

At this time, the policymaking process behind the formulation of the Guidelines also underwent changes. Up until that point, the Ministry of Defense played a central role in cherry-picking the proposals made by the advisory council. Wording in the Guidelines only referred to matters related to the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces; coordination with other relevant ministries and agencies, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japan Coast Guard, was barely mentioned. This time the new Guidelines were compiled from a more comprehensive perspective through consultations with key ministers (foreign, defense, and finance, as well as the chief cabinet secretary) , supported not only by the bureaucrats but also by a team of scholars. This change resulted from introspection after the confusion of September 2010, when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with Japan Coast Guard vessels off the Senkaku Islands. This incident underlined Japan’s lack of comprehensive arrangements across government offices.

Creating Japan’s First National Security Strategy

The 2013 Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities has been particularly important for the formulation of the National Security Strategy. Diplomacy and defense policy are the two steering wheels of any security policy. Nonetheless, Japan lacked a comprehensive security strategy that covered both. This is really hard to believe, since it would be considered commonsensical abroad.

With regard to defense, the Basic Policy on National Defense was compiled in 1957,(*19) but—notwithstanding its brevity and high quality—it did not reflect present-day realities in 2013, when it was already 56 years old. At the time of its compilation Japan was still poor and in the middle of a Cold War pitting the eastern and western blocs against each other. Moreover, the old Japan-US Security Treaty had yet to undergo revisions(*20) and Okinawa had not yet been returned to Japan. Consequently, the indications in the Basic Policy were absolutely insufficient to guide the present direction of Japan’s security strategy. Moreover, nowadays the number of countries that disclose their own national security strategy is increasing. Such publicity is thought to be beneficial not only for the need to obtain the people’s understanding, but also to avoid unnecessary misinterpretations by neighboring countries.

“Proactive Pacifism” as the Key Idea

The key idea behind the National Security Strategy, an idea formulated by Prime Minister Abe, is a “proactive pacifism” based on the principles of international cooperation. This constituted a turnabout from the former model of “passive pacifism.” Passive pacifism was based on the understanding that the more Japan renounced arming itself, the more likely world peace would follow. The majority of Allied powers must have held this belief upon enacting the country’s constitution in 1946. However, Japan is today one of the most trusted powers in the world, and it is expected to proactively contribute to the realization of world peace. Public declarations promising behavior above reproach are insufficient.

For the past 10 years Japan’s military spending has more or less remained stationary. However, China’s military spending has increased fourfold. North Korea’s development of missiles and nuclear weapons has gained pace. In light of this situation, it is clear that Japan’s restraint did not contribute to détente in Asia. This is the greatest evidence of the fallacy of passive pacifism.

Prime Minister Abe’s enunciation of proactive pacifism is not a sudden turnabout. Since the 1950s Japan has provided official development assistance to countries in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, contributing to regional stability. Japan has also participated in UN peacekeeping operations since 1992, and beginning in the second half of that decade it championed the concept of “human security,” thus aiding regions in dire economic conditions and contributing to postconflict state building.(*21) Both of the above are instances of proactive pacifism. The aim now is to continue improving on this approach.

It is feared both in Japan and abroad that Prime Minister Abe might be a rightist or nostalgic for the prewar Japan. However, that is not the case. As a matter of fact, the Abe administration follows in the footsteps of Japan’s postwar diplomacy with the aim of further developing it. Moreover, Japan is not aiming at carrying out this objective on its own, but in the context of international cooperation, thus benefiting from the strong voices of support from the majority of foreign countries. The only countries against such moves are China and North Korea. South Korea does express its anxieties, but calm assessment of the situation should make it clear to Seoul that Japan’s moves do not put it at a disadvantage.

The New Guidelines and the “Dynamic Joint Defense Force”

The Guidelines were changed following the formulation of the National Security Strategy.(*22) The new Guidelines emphasize the need to maintain defense capabilities at a certain level and present a concrete take, represented by the Mid-Term Defense Program.(*23) The latter is replete with references, for instance, to the adoption by the SDF of the V-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing aircraft and unmanned reconnaissance planes. In reference to these points in particular, some have criticized the centrality of military hard power in the Abe administration’s approach, but this completely misunderstands the nature of its policies. In fact, Abe’s policies are centered on soft power, emphasizing the rule of law of the seas and aiming for cooperation with countries with shared values and ways of thinking. Even with regard to China, the new Guidelines emphasize the need to further strengthen the construction of a “mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.” Through measures along these lines, the Abe administration is spelling out Japan’s persistent stance of leaving the door open for dialogue with Beijing.

At the same time, notwithstanding the centrality of soft-power measures, it is important for Japan to arrange its defense capabilities. The Guidelines spell out the new concept of a “dynamic joint defense force.” This entails a focus on joint operations of land, sea, and air forces and an emphasis on the mobility of the Self-Defense Forces towards the southwestern seas and islands. The joint operation of land, sea, and air forces is necessary for every nation’s armed forces, but this is especially true for countries like Japan, where strong sectionalism has been in evidence. Moreover, since defense of the country’s southwest is especially needed, its emphasis in the new Guidelines was timely. On the other hand, emphasis on military mobility toward the southwestern region—specifically the reduction of tanks and the increase of aircraft, Aegis vessels, submarines, and the like – follows and emphasizes the path already undertaken in the 2010 Guidelines. From this point of view, the new Guidelines are relatively close to the 2010 Guidelines crafted under the DPJ government. Indeed, the gap here is smaller than the divide between the security policies of the Abe and Fukuda administrations, both of which were LDP governments. In other words, on the surface of it the LDP and DPJ are antagonistic to each other, but in fact the stances on security policy of their respective leaders are similar. Japan’s defense policy is acquiring supraparty support.

According to the new Guidelines, the defense budget grew just over 2% from the previous year’s budget. The Mid-Term Defense Program has determined total defense expenditure, which has increased by more than ¥1 trillion compared to 2010. This increase is quite modest when compared to the high pace of China’s military spending. Nonetheless, it is important for demonstrating Japan’s intentions.

It should also be noted that the formulation of the new Guidelines was based on the debates within the Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities, on discussions among the cabinet and panel members, and finally on a cabinet decision. This underlines the adoption of the decision-making process advanced by the DPJ government when it formulated the 2010 Guidelines.

Consequently, there was no final report produced by the Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities itself, and the government’s final conclusion differs slightly from the arguments advanced by the advisory panel. For this reason, despite my position as chairman of the advisory panel, there are some points I think the government needs to work on. First of all, I am against the final document’s recommendation to boost Ground Self-Defense Force membership to 159,000, an increase of 5,000 from the figure in the 2010 NDPG. Rather, I think it is imperative to cut personnel there and upgrade the equipment of the Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces. Moreover, I would have preferred the inclusion of a further increase in the number of fighter planes and submarines, as well as the enhancement of counterstrike capabilities aimed at enemy bases. The possession of counterstrike capabilities would suffice for Japan’s needs; preventive strike capabilities, on the other hand, are harder to make use of since targets are hard to identify, not to mention alarming to neighboring states. I would have preferred the adoption of a more flexible position calling, for instance, for the re-opening of dialogue with China on historical issues. However, this was not brought to effect. All this said, though, I consider the formulation of the new Guidelines as a whole quite significant.

Reinterpreting the Constitution for the Right to Collective Self-Defense

Certain arguments advanced by the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security need to be dealt with. In addition to the four types of security issues that underwent scrutiny in 2007, mentioned above, Prime Minister Abe suggested that the advisory panel advance discussions on parts of the legal framework related to security that need improvement. Based on this suggestion, the panel is probing into a variety of issues. The most important one is the government’s constitutional reinterpretation related to the right of collective self-defense.

The many inadequacies in Japan’s legal framework related to security are rooted in the peculiar provisions in Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which are still upheld today. Clause 2 reads: “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.”

When the Constitution was enacted in 1946, the Japanese government was initially against holding any military potential whatsoever. However, in 1950 the Korean War broke out in Japan’s close neighborhood. As Japan recovered its independence in 1952, following the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in the previous year, it needed to reconsider its across-the-board relinquishment of military potential. For this reason, in 1954 the government spelled out an interpretation according to which the second clause of Article 9 does not prohibit the possession of minimum military potential, since it is natural for sovereign states to have this. The Supreme Court did not reject this interpretation, thus making it the established one.

By overemphasizing this “minimum military potential” concept over the years, the government has emphasized a constitutional interpretation that grants Japan the exercise of the right of individual self-defense, but not that of collective self-defense. In other words, in case an act of aggression is committed against Japan, the government has the right to defend the archipelago. However, in case a country other than Japan comes under attack, Japan is unable to come to the rescue militarily. It is expressly written in Article 51 of the UN Charter, in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, and in the Japan-US Security Treaties of 1951 and 1960, respectively, that Japan has the right to collective self-defense. But Japan has constantly upheld what can only be labeled a bizarre interpretation of the Constitution.

The right to collective self-defense originates from a proposal made by Central and South American countries during the drafting of the UN Charter. This right is based on the idea that an attack on one state is considered as an attack on all other allied states, so that small and medium-sized countries would mutually defend each other and thereby safeguard their own security. Mutual protection among trusted countries contributes to preventing wars and has also been recognized as a part of the overall right to self-defense. Views that interpret this right as more dangerous than the right to individual self-defense do not factor in the deterrent embedded in the right to collective self-defense, and are thus mistaken.

The Harm of the Current Interpretation

Japan’s definition of the right of self-defense has ended up strangely twisted and, as a result, has produced a number of harmful realities. One concrete example concerns peacekeeping operations, where Japanese troops are basically allowed to use their weapons only for their own self-defense. Neither the use of weapons limited to the necessary minimum for accomplishing the mission nor the use of weapons necessary to the defense of foreign contingents is allowed.

The problem here is the wrong interpretation of the first clause of Article 9. This prohibits Japan’s use of military force to settle international disputes. We must note, though, that such international disputes are indicated as those between Japan and other countries, since the concept derives from the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact (officially known as the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy). The provision does not include implications forbidding the use of weapons in PKOs and the like. Moreover, the first clause of Article 9 prohibits the “use of [military] force,” not the “use of weapons.” By reforming its erroneous interpretation of Article 9’s first clause in line with international standards, Japan should be able to immediately resolve two of the four security issues raised by the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security in 2007, specifically the third and fourth issues that are related to the use of weapons during PKOs. These are the constitutional re-interpretations that the country is currently undertaking.

The four types of security issues raised in 2007

First type Is Japan able to protect US naval vessels coming under attack in seas near Japan?
Second type Is Japan able to shoot down a missile passing through Japan’s air space, but targeting a country other than Japan?
Third type Is Japan able to rescue foreign contingents under attack in the context of UN PKOs?
Fourth type Is Japan’s considerable inability to provide rear support to foreign contingents during PKOs desirable?

 

The other issue Japan needs to grapple with is the Cabinet Legislation Bureau’s constitutional interpretation forbidding the exercise of the right of collective self-defense as an act going beyond the limits of the right to individual self-defense. In case a country closely connected with Japan comes under unwarranted attack and seeks Japan’s assistance, and if neglecting this call would have serious repercussions for Japan’s security, Japan should assist that country also by resorting to force. In the realm of security such behavior is regarded as quite natural. To some extent, the actions associated with the right to collective self-defense may be implicit in the Bureau’s call for a “necessary minimum degree” of the use of force. This is another important point with regard to constitutional reinterpretation.

Other problematic issues are related to the exercise of the individual right of self-defense. Although this itself is constitutional, there are practical instances that can be cited where the legal system is, in fact, wanting. For instance, if Japan comes under armed attack the SDF can be mobilized for the purpose of defense. However, such armed attack is defined as a systematic, deliberate attack. With the exception of police action, there are no defined courses of action against attacks on a smaller scale that do not fulfill the above conditions.

Some believe that rather than constitutional reinterpretation, a constitutional amendment is needed to confront the above issue. However Japan has a rigid constitution that is extremely arduous to amend. According to Article 96, proposals for constitutional amendments need to be approved by a two-thirds majority in both the Lower and Upper House before also being approved by a majority of voters in a national referendum. The Japanese Constitution has never been amended up until now—in fact, there has never been a formal Diet proposal to do so. Any attempts at amending the document would take at least 10 years to pass. If we take into consideration the worsening of Japan’s security environment, there is no room for spending that much time.

Compared to the constitutional reinterpretation made in 1954—nominally the turnabout from a position that maintained, literally, “war potential will never be maintained” to one that granted “the possession of minimum military potential”—the recognition of Japan’s right to collective self-defense constitutes just a minor constitutional reinterpretation. These are precisely the reasons why the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security is content with constitutional reinterpretation rather than amendment.

The activities of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security are still ongoing, but we aim to issue our proposals around April 2014. Afterwards it is expected that, on the basis of the panel’s suggestions, the government will reinterpret the constitution to allow, for instance, the right of collective self-defense. Consequently necessary legislation will be enacted. I believe this should be tied in with the new Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation,(*24) which should be issued by the end of 2014 as per an agreement at the Japan-US Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting (the 2+2 Japan-US Security Consultative Committee) held in October 2013.(*25)

Embarking on the Path to Normality

As it is clear from the above, with regard to the National Security Council and the National Security Strategy, as well as the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, Japan is undertaking extremely small changes to its original security policy. In doing so, it is merely getting closer to becoming a normal country according to international standards.

There are also voices concerned with what they see as Japan’s process of turning into a great military power, though. This argument deserves addressing.

As a researcher of Japan’s political and diplomatic history, I have summarized five factors behind Japan’s descent into an expansionary military during the prewar years: (1) the notion that geographic expansion would ensure Japan’s security and prosperity (markets and natural resources); (2) contempt for the military power of other countries (notably China); (3) contempt for sanctions imposed by the international community on Japan; (4) feeble domestic control of the government over the military; and (5) restrictions imposed on the freedom of speech.

At present conditions surrounding the above factors are decidedly different. With respect to the first factor, there are no voices in present-day Japan seeking territorial expansion, and it is well understood that the foundation of Japan’s prosperity lies in a stable global order. It is impossible that Japan would destroy this order. Second, with respect to contempt for Chinese weakness, virtually no Japanese discounts a nuclear China armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and other offensive weapons, with which the People’s Liberation Army targets Japan. Third, with respect to sanctions imposed by the international community, it is clear that highly developed countries like Japan, which also depend on markets and resources abroad, cannot possible withstand global sanctions. Fourth, the civilian government’s control over the military is today overwhelmingly strong. And fifth, at present there is healthy freedom of speech. There are people lamenting the State Secrets Protection Law as a return to the prewar era, but this is utter nonsense.

The five prewar factors rather hold true for today’s China. China is persisting in expansionist behavior aiming for natural resources and national prestige and, at the same time, it is quite confident of its own military power. Since it holds veto power as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it is extremely hard for China to be subject to internationally imposed sanctions. The relationship between the government and the military is complex and opaque, and freedom of speech, as well as rule of law, is often violated. These are the very reasons why Japan is anxious about China.

Above I have presented an outline of the new developments in Japan’s security policy. These are all quite natural policies, and the critical voices lamenting the rise of Japanese militarism are off the mark. In fact, I believe that these developments deserve great praise as a small, yet essential, step for Japan as it travels the path of a normal security policy.

(Originally published in Japanese on February 5, 2014. English version revised on March 28, 2014. Title photo: a Japanese SDF medical team treats typhoon survivors as they wait to take for evacuation flights on November 17, 2013, at the damaged Tacloban airport on Leyte in the central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country’s eastern seaboard on November 8, leaving a wide swath of destruction. Photo by Bullit Marquez/AP Photo/Aflo.)

(*1) ^ Available in Japanese at “Kokka anzen hoshō senryaku ni tsuite” (On the National Security Strategy), Cabinet Secretariat, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/siryou/131217anzenhoshou.html; published in English as “National Security Strategy,” December 17, 2013, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/96_abe/documents/2013/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2013/12/17/NSS.pdf. For additional information see “Japan’s Security Policy,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last modified February 1, 2014, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/security/.

(*2) ^ Available in Japanese at “Bōei taikō to bōeiryoku seibi” (National Defense Program Guidelines and Defense Capabilities), Ministry of Defense, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/index.html; published in English as “National Defense Program Guidelines for 2014 and Beyond,” December 17, 2013, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2014/pdf/20131217_e2.pdf.

(*3) ^ “Kokka anzen hoshō ni kansuru Kantei kinō kyōka kaigi” (Council on the Strengthening of the Functions of the Prime Minister’s Office Regarding National Security), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzen/. The author was also one of the members.

(*4) ^ “Anzen hoshō no hōteki kiban no saikōchiku ni kansuru kondankai” (Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzenhosyou/index.html. The author was a member of this council, too.

(*5) ^ Published in Japanese as Anzen hoshō no hōteki kiban no saikōchiku ni kansuru kondankai hōkokusho (Report of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security), June 24, 2008, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzenhosyou/houkokusho.pdf; and in English as Report of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, June 24, 2008, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzenhosyou/report.pdf.

(*6) ^ “Anzen hoshō no hōteki kiban no saikōchiku ni kansuru kondankai” (Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzenhosyou2/; some information in English is available at “Meeting of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security,” Kantei, February 8, 2013, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/96_abe/actions/201302/08anzenhosyo_e.html.

(*7) ^ “Kokka anzen hoshō kaigi sōsetsu ni kansuru yūshikisha kaigi” (Advisory Council on the Establishment of a National Security Council), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/ka_yusiki/; some information in English is available at “Advisory Council on the Establishment of a National Security Council,” Kantei, February 15, 2013, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/96_abe/actions/201302/15ka_yusiki_e.html.

(*8) ^ “Anzen hoshō to bōeiryoku ni kansuru kondankai” (Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzen_bouei/; some information in English is available at “Advisory Panel on National Security and Defense Capabilities,” Kantei, September 12, 2013, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/96_abe/actions/201309/12kondankai_e.html.

(*9) ^ With regard to the changes undergone by successive Advisory Panels on National Security and Defense Capabilities (in their different mutations) and the Outlines and Guidelines, see also Kitaoka Shin’ichi, “The Deepening of the Japan-US Alliance,” Nippon.com, February 2, 2012, https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00502/.—Ed.

(*10) ^ Published in Japanese as “Heisei 8 nendo ikō ni kakaru bōei keikaku no taikō: 21 seiki ni mukete no wagakuni no bōeiryoku no arikata” (National Defense Program Outline in and After Fiscal Year 1996: Japan’s Defense Capacity Towards the 21st Century), November 28, 1995, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/1996_taikou/index.html; and in English as “National Defense Program Outline in and After Fiscal Year 1996,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, December, 1995, http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/security/defense96/.

(*11) ^ With regard to the 1995 Outline and the redefinition of the US-Japan alliance, see also Noboru Yamaguchi, “Redefining the Japan-US Alliance,” Nippon.com, May 11, 2012, https://www.nippon.com/en/features/c00204/.—Ed.

(*12) ^ “Anzen hoshō to bōeiryoku ni kan suru kondankai” (Council on Security and Defense Capabilities), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/ampobouei/index.html; some information in English is available at “Council on Security and Defense Capabilities,” Kantei, April 27, 2004, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumiphoto/2004/04/27anpo_e.html; and at “The Thirteenth Meeting of the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities,” Kantei, October 4, 2004: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumiphoto/2004/10/04anpo_e.html.

(*13) ^ Published in Japanese as “Heisei 17 nendo ikō ni kakaru bōei keikaku no taikō ni tsuite” (On the National Defense Program Guideline in and After Fiscal Year 2005), December 10, 2004, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2005/index.html; and in English as “National Defense Program Guidelines FY 2005–,” December 10, 2004, http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_act/d_policy/pdf/national_guidelines.pdf.

(*14) ^ “Anzen hoshō to bōeiryoku ni kansuru kondankai” (Council on Security and Defense Capabilities), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/ampobouei2/; some information in English is available at “Council on Security and Defense Capabilities,” Kantei, January 9, 2009, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/asophoto/2009/01/09anpo_e.html.

(*15) ^ Published in both Japanese and English as Anzen hoshō to bōeiryoku ni kansuru kondankai hōkokusho, The Council on Security and Defense Capabilities Report, August 2009, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/ampobouei2/090928houkoku_e.pdf.

(*16) ^ “Aratana jidai no anzen hoshō to bōeiryoku ni kansuru kondankai” (Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era), Kantei, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/shin-ampobouei2010/; some information in English is available at “Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era,” Kantei, August 27, 2010, http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/kan/actions/201008/27new_anpo_e.html.

(*17) ^ Published in Japanese as “Heisei 23 nendo ikō ni kakaru bōei keikaku no taikō ni tsuite” (On the National Defense Program Guideline in and After Fiscal Year 2011), December 17, 2010, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2005/index.html; and in English as “National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond,” December 17, 2010, http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_act/d_policy/national.html.

(*18) ^ With regard to the Guidelines compiled in 2010, see also Takahashi Sugio, “Japan’s Defense Policy and the Future of the Japan-US Alliance,” Nippon.com, April 23, 2012, https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00503/.—Ed.

(*19) ^ “Kokubō no kihon hōshin” (The Basic Policy on National Defense), May 20, 1957, http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/gaiyou/jimu/taikou/1_kokubou_kihon.pdf; available in English at “Fundamental Concepts of National Defense,” Ministry of Defense, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_act/d_policy/dp02.html.

(*20) ^ The provisions of the old Japan-US Security Treaty, which was concluded in 1951, did not, for instance, clarify the US obligation to defend Japan and made it possible for Washington to mobilize US armed forces to confront Japanese domestic riots. As a consequence, in the 1950s lively domestic debates revolved around the inequality embedded in such provisions. See Ministry of Defense, Heisei 16 nendo ban bōei hakusho (Defense White Paper for Fiscal Year 2004), July 2004, p. 20, http://www.clearing.mod.go.jp/hakusho_data/2004/w2004_00.html.—Ed.

(*21) ^ The Japanese government has attached great importance to the issue of human security in the diplomatic realm. According to this concept, states are unable to respond to threats—such as refugee issues, poverty issues, and economic crises—with only traditional “national security” approaches aimed at protecting their borders and their people. As nontraditional threats are on the rise, human security aims to build the societal fundaments necessary to free people from fear and scarcity and to secure dignity of life of every single human being.—Ed.

(*22) ^ Published in Japanese as “Heisei 26 nendo ikō ni kakaru bōei keikaku no taikō ni tsuite” (On the National Defense Program Guideline in and After Fiscal Year 2014), December 17, 2013, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2014/index.html; and in English as “National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and Beyond,” December 17, 2013, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2014/pdf/20131217_e2.pdf; and “National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and Beyond (Summary),” December 17, 2013, http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2014/pdf/20131217_e.pdf.

(*23) ^ “Chūki bōeiryoku seibi keikaku” (The Mid-Term Defense Program), December 17, 2013; http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/2014/pdf/chuki_seibi26-30.pdf.

(*24) ^ Published in Japanese as “Nichi-Bei bōei kyōryoku no tame no shishin” (Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation), September 23, 1997, http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/usa/hosho/kyoryoku.html; and in English as “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation,” September 23, 1997, http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/defense.html.

(*25) ^ Materials from the meeting are available in Japanese at “Nichi-Bei anzen hoshō kyōgi iinkai” (Japan-US Security Consultative Committee [2+2]), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last modified October 2013, accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/usa/hosho/2plus2.html; and in English at “Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee: Toward a More Robust Alliance and Greater Shared Responsibilities,” October 3, 2013, http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/scc/index.html.

  • [2014.04.02]

Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and president of the International University of Japan. Specializes in the history of Japanese politics and diplomacy. Born in 1948. Received his doctorate in law from the University of Tokyo. Has been a professor at Rikkyō University and the University of Tokyo and ambassador (deputy permanent representative of Japan) to the United Nations. His recent works include Nihon seiji no hōkai: Daisan no haisen o dō norikoeru ka (The Collapse of Japanese Politics: How to Overcome Japan’s Third Defeat) and Kanryōsei to shite no Nippon Rikugun (The Imperial Japanese Army as a Bureaucracy).

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