Its Changing Pacifism and Security Identity
Introduction Pacifism and Security Identity of Japan 19
19 Introduction Pacifism and Security Identity of Japan1 Japan’s security identity has been constantly changing and elusive.2 Indeed to the casual observer, it may seem to have exhibited schizo- phrenic tendencies.3 In spite of its infamous status as an ultra-national- istic ‘militarist state’ during the Pacific War, Japan became a ‘pacifist state’ as a result of defeat in the Second World War and thorough disar- mament during the occupation period.4 Based on the ideal of the so- called ‘Peace Constitution’, the Japanese government was determined to preserve its security, ‘trusting in the justice and faith of the peace- loving peoples of the world.’5 However, Japan started rebuilding its self-defence capabilities in response to requests from the United States after the outbreak of the 1950 Korean War. Although it was a part of the US-led alliance system during the Cold War, Japan refrained from mak- ing a military contribution to the Korea and Vietnam Wars. Moreover, 1 The revised version of Introduction was published in Electronic Journal of Contem- porary Japanese Studies (EJCJS). See Akimoto, ‘A Theoretical Analysis of Japan’s Changing Security Identity’. 2 ‘Security identity’ is defined as ‘a set of collectively held principals that have at- tracted broad political support regarding the appropriate role of state action in the security arena and are institutionalised into the policy-making process.’ Oros, Nor- malizing Japan, 9; and Weeks, ‘Softly, softly to Iraq’. This book, however, does not examine Japan’s general ‘identity’ or uniqueness of Japan (nihonjinron). For re- search on Japan’s identity,...
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