This chapter analyses Japan’s Southeast Asian security partnerships from a
Southeast Asian perspective. Japan’s re-entering East Asia with a
combination of increasing trading ties and economic development (ODA)
initiatives in the 1970s and 1980s, slowly furthered economic growth and
prosperity in many East-Asian countries as well as Japan - a mutually
beneficial relationship that largely remained un-securitized. Beginning with
the second Abe administration in 2012, Japan began to include security
components in a number of bilateral relations with countries in the region.
This chapter divides countries in Southeast Asian countries by their level
of economic dependence on China and their threat perception vis-à-vis China,
which is the core factor in explaining the rationale for why and how they
engage with Japan, and shapes Southeast perspectives of Japanese-Southeast
Asian security partnerships.