International Relations

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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.

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Axel Berkofsky

This chapter analyses the recent intensification of EU-Japan security relations from a European perspective. While recognizing shortcomings, including the expectations gap between the EU and Japan that has frequently been problematized, this chapter emphasizes the significance of the recent changes in Japanese security policy, such as the 2013 National Security Strategy, as evidence that Japan does consider the EU and NATO to be important security partners. The chapter analyses the domestic debate and government initiatives, as well as Japan’s expectations for the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), and the enablers and inhibitors of closer security ties. This chapter argues that while Japan Europe security cooperation has so far excluded hard security, the changing international security environment and a narrowing perceptions gap should allow deeper cooperation in non-traditional security fields, because Japan would benefit from the European experience of forging consensus in shaping international rules and norms.

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Wilhelm Vosse

This chapter analyses a practical case of EU-Japan out-of-area security cooperation, and the first example of operational security cooperation between the EU and Japan, namely the counter-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia. This chapter introduces the main reasons and different stages of involvement of the Japanese government, the MSDF and JCG in the Somalia counter-piracy mission. It then analyses the extent to which this mission provided opportunities for closer EU-Japan security cooperation, and what significance this case has for future EU-Japan security cooperation more broadly. It argues that this mission provided an ideal opportunity for Japanese government representatives and SDF personnel to learn the complexities of multilateral security coordination, and operational cooperation between European and Japanese forces, while simultaneously producing a deepening of trust and understanding.

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Stephen R. Nagy

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.

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Wilhelm Vosse and Paul Midford

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Thomas S. Wilkins

This chapter examines the relationship between Canberra and Tokyo from a distinctly Australian perspective by disaggregating the Australia-Japan bilateral relations from the simplistic ‘allies of the US’ context (‘quasi-alliance’) to demonstrate how the two countries have developed a hugely strengthened bilateral security relationship to a significant degree independent of the US context. It argues, that this so-called ‘strategic partnership’ is a new form of security alignment that does not neatly fit traditional alliance paradigms, before analysing the wider contexts within which the bilateral strategic partnership exists.

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Series:

Richard Jackson

This chapter examines the way the threat of terrorism facing America since September 11, 2001 has been constructed discursively and the reasons it is so crucial to the prosecution of the 'war on terrorism'. It then examines the discursive construction or 'writing' of threat and danger. Following this, the chapter also examines the reasons it is necessary for officials to construct threat and fear. The 'reality effect' of terrorist violence induces an anxiety that no amount of rationalising can counteract; the visual pictures of violence are far more powerful than any counter-factual statistics could ever be. Although threat and danger is ultimately a matter of perception and perceptions can vary greatly from person to person, it would still be possible to present a range of perspectives and information which would allow a less hysterical assessment of the situation.