International Relations

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Swee Lean Collin Koh

This chapter analyses the recent intensification of Japan-Vietnam security relations from the Vietnamese perspectives. It argues that for Vietnam, Chinese maritime expansion and territorial claims in the South China Sea are an important motivation to deepen security ties with Japan. This chapter examines how Vietnam has dealt with post-Cold War and contemporary maritime security challenges, and discusses Japan’s role in developing their bilateral maritime security partnership, before assessing the future trajectory of the Vietnam-Japan maritime security partnership.

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Renato Cruz De Castro

This chapter analyses Philippine-Japan security ties from the Philippine perspective. It examines the external and domestic factors behind their increased security cooperation and explores the status of this security partnership. It argues that China’s maritime expansion in East Asia negatively affected both Japan and the Philippines, which in turn led to a deepening of their security partnership. The chapter predicts that despite recent changes in the Philippine government, the Philippines has a strong interest in further deepening the security partnership with Japan.

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Bjørn Elias Mikalsen Grønning

This chapter analyses the recent intensification of Japan-Vietnam security relations from a Japanese perspective. It demonstrates that the relationship has grown beyond a security talk shop since 2011, when relations began to develop markedly toward substantial cooperation, especially on maritime security, and today are on the verge of becoming militarily significant. This chapter argues that Japan’s incentive to develop this partnership is primarily to assist and induce Vietnam’s continued resistance against the rise of Chinese maritime power. The recent changes in Japan’s domestic security legislation potentially open new opportunities to further broaden and deepen bilateral maritime security cooperation, because they legally enable Japan to assist Vietnam militarily in some respects.

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Akiko Fukushima

This chapter analyses the recent intensification of EU-Japan security relations from a Japanese perspective. After two decades of relatively slow progress and a focus on economic and non-security ties, this chapter focuses on the potential impact of the most ambitious initiative to substantially deepen their security ties, namely the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). With the SPA still under negotiation, this chapter asks how this agreement will most likely influence EU-Japan security cooperation, Japan’s potential contribution to EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions, EU-Japan cooperation on banning anti-personnel mines and limiting the illicit trade in small arms, and the significance of defence cooperation between France and the UK with Japan. It also assesses how China’s growing role in international affairs might impact the EU and Japan, and their current and future security cooperation.

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Satoru Nagao

This chapter analyses the recent intensification of India-Japan security ties from the Japanese perspective. The chapter stresses the importance of the deepening dialogue between foreign and defence ministers and Japan’s now regular participation in naval exercises in the last few years. It argues that for Japan, the main rationale is geo-strategic, namely the changing US-China balance, because Japan is no longer certain that the US will continue to balance against China and support Japan’s interests in the region. This makes India a central ally initially for burden sharing with the United States in the Indian Ocean, for protecting sea-lanes of communication and eventually for collaborating with Japan to support South China Sea littoral countries. The shared values between the two countries, and the expectation that India is a status-quo power in South Asia, and has a long history of cooperation in international institutions, makes India a natural regional security partner.

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Yusuke Ishihara

This chapter analyses the Japan-Australia bilateral security ties from a Japanese perspective. It argues, that for Japan, the trust towards Australia has begun to deepen during the years of bi- and multilateral cooperation on non-traditional security issues such as Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, for example the support of the Australian forces in protecting the Japanese GSDF during their deployment to Samawah (Southern Iraq) in 2006, which provided the basis for the “second evolution” of Japan-Australia Japan security relations with the signing of the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2007 and further intensification of security ties since 2012. The chapter argues that the deepening strategic convergence of Japan’s and Australia’s regional policies towards a more assertive direction is a response to the perceived challenges posed by the rise of China, as well as their shared views on the rules-based international order and the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Japan's new security partnerships

Beyond the security alliance

Edited by: Wilhelm Vosse and Paul Midford

This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of Japan’s new security partnerships with Australia, India, countries and multilateral security structure in East Asia, as well as with the EU and some of its member states.

Most books on Japanese bilateral relations focus exclusively on the Japanese perspective, the debate in Japan, positions of Japanese government leaders and parties, or the public discourse. This edited volume is organized in pairs of chapters, one each analysing the motivations and objectives of Japan, and a second analysing those of each of the most important new security partners.

After solely relying on the United States for its national security needs during the Cold War, since the end of the Cold War, Japan has begun to deepen its bilateral security ties. Since the mid-2000s under LDP and DPJ administrations, bilateral security partnerships accelerated and today go beyond non-traditional security issue are as and extend far into traditional security and military affairs, including the exchange and joint acquisition of military hardware, military exercises, and capacity building. It is argued, that these developments will have implications for the security architecture in the Asia-Pacific.

This book is a primer for those interested in Japan’s security policy beyond the US-Japan security alliance, non-American centred bilateral and multilateral security cooperation through the eyes of Japanese as well as partner country perspectives. It is also an ideal as a course reading for graduate courses on regional security cooperation and strategic partnerships, and Japanese foreign and security policy.

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Paul Midford

This chapter analyses Japan’s initiatives promoting regional security multilateralism in East Asia since the end of the Cold War. It argues that Japan promoted multilateral security structures through initiatives such as the Nakayama proposal, the Hashimoto Doctrine, and its advocacy of Northeast Asian Cooperation (NEA 3), as well as initiatives in response to specific security challenges such as maritime piracy in East Asia. These initiatives are significant because Japan often acted independently of the US, and set up institutions that sometimes did not include US participation. For Japan, the core reasons for promoting security multilateralism were to reassure Japan’s neighbours that Tokyo would not become a threat to their security again, to hedge against potential US abandonment, and, ironically, to help keep the US engaged in the region.

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Wilhelm Vosse and Paul Midford

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Madhuchanda Ghosh

This chapter analyses the recent intensification of India-Japan security ties from an Indian perspective. It argues, that given India’s long held position as the leader of the non-alignment movement, the turnaround of India-Japan security relations has been quite remarkable. The relationship now ranges from the sale of amphibious aircraft and civilian nuclear cooperation to Japan becoming a permanent member in the Malabar naval exercise. The chapter identifies the shared core strategic interests as the area of energy security, the security of Sea-Lanes of Communication (SLOCs) in the Indian Ocean region and addressing the power disequilibrium in Asia. She argues, that India’s growing economic power has made India an increasingly important regional and global player, and building security partnerships with major powers in the region and throughout the world are a major tool for realizing the country’s potential on regional and global stages. Since 2000, Japan has become one of India’s most trusted partners in the region and an essential part of India’s so-called “Look East” and “Act East” foreign policy doctrine, and the chapter analyses India’s incentives to further deepen its security ties with Japan.