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Re-rising Japan

Its Strategic Power in International Relations


Edited By Hidekazu Sakai and Yoichiro Sato

"The lost two decades" of Japan’s economic power since the early 1990s have generated the image among scholars in the discipline of international relations (IR) that Japan is no longer a significant player. Hence, today’s IR literature focuses on the rise of China. Re-rising Japan: Its Strategic Power in International Relations challenges this trend by showing up-to-date evidence that Japan is still a major power in today’s international relations where the interests and power of the United States and China have increasingly clashed over many issues.

Indeed, since the Abe cabinet re-emerged in December 2012, there has been growing academic interest in Japan’s bold monetary/financial/social policies (Abenomics) and relatively assertive security policy. Where is Japan heading, and what path has it taken since the 2000s? This book responds to these questions.

Re-rising Japan assembles the latest studies on Japan written by today’s young and energetic scholars. It consists of three parts: (1) Geopolitics, (2) Domestic Political-Social Norms and Values, and (3) Asian Regional Integration and Institutionalizations. The individual chapters reveal what power assets Japan has and their strength and weakness in today’s international relations. Readers will attain a complete picture of Japan and its evolving new strategy in the decaying U.S. unipolar system where China has been behaving as a revisionist state.

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Chapter Three: The Japan-China-U.S. Triangle: Japan’s Response and Prospects for the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance (Michael R. Porter)


chapter three

The Japan-China-U.S. Triangle

Japan’s Response and Prospects for the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Michael R. Porter


With the political structures of the Asia-Pacific remaining largely as they were at the end of World War II, the evolving complexity posed by the economic sphere to the political and security domains of international relations is the defining change underway. With a focus on the U.S.-Japan relationship, this chapter offers a context against which contemporary Japan-China-U.S. relations have developed in response to this new reality. While overall Japanese and American economic and security interests in the region remain unchanged, legacy arrangements such as the alliance itself are being exposed to new transitional conditions. As the United States pursues a more comprehensive engagement strategy across the Pacific, at the same time a more hawkish government in Tokyo maneuvers to reinterpret the scope and mandate of the Japanese Self-Defense Force, the triangular relationship among Japan, the United States, and China will be a defining story of Asian regional security and prosperity, and will shape the direction and operational confidence of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance in the years to come.


Anchored in its network of security alliances and a forward deployment of its military forces, the United States, and its chief regional security partner Japan, have←53 | 54→ been the foremost guarantors of East Asian stability for more than seven decades. Under the region’s relative stability, America has at...

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