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Japan as a ‘Global Pacifist State’

Its Changing Pacifism and Security Identity


Daisuke Akimoto

This book examines Japan’s changing pacifism and its implications for Japan’s security identity from 1945 to the present. To examine the shift in Japanese pacifism, this research employs the concept of ‘negative pacifism’ (Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution) and ‘positive pacifism’ (the Preamble of the Constitution) as an analytical framework. To analyse multiple factors which facilitated the shift in Japan’s pacifism, this study applies ‘analytical eclecticism’ and integrates the analytical framework (negative-positive pacifism) with orthodox international relations theories and approaches. In an application of analytical eclecticism, the author proposes four theoretical models of Japan’s security identity: (a) ‘pacifist state’ (classical liberalism/negative pacifism); (b) ‘UN peacekeeper’ (neo-liberalism/positive pacifism); (c) ‘normal state’ (classical realism/domestic pressure); and (d) ‘US ally’ (neo-realism/external-structural pressure). In addition to the four basic models above, this book attempts to reveal Japan’s ‘core security identity’ as a ‘global pacifist state’.


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Chapter One Japan as a ‘Pacifist State’: Security Policy 1945–1990 53


53 Chapter One Japan as a ‘Pacifist State’: Security Policy 1945–1990 Introduction As discussed in the Introduction, Japanese post-war anti-militarism and anti-war pacifism based on Article 9 and the traumatic experience of the Second World War can be categorised as ‘negative pacifism’. Negative pacifism has consistently influenced post-war Japan’s security policy and prohibited its military participation in international disputes. The study of foreign and security policy in post-war Japan tends to focus on the influence of the Yoshida Doctrine, which concentrated on economic de- velopment (with minimal defence expenditure).141 This chapter, however, will analyse Japan’s security policy from the perspective of negative pacifism as a defence constraint. Notably, negative pacifism has been frequently used to resist US pressure on Japan to remilitarise. Indeed, suc- cessive Japanese prime ministers have used Article 9 of the 1947 Con- stitution as a pretext to turn down requests for remilitarisation from the United States. Negative pacifism as anti-war pacifism or the culture of anti-militarism has been embraced by the majority of the Japanese people moreover, and has heavily influenced Japan’s security policymaking. Japan’s post-war security policy from 1945 to the present, according to Takashi Inoguchi, can be placed into five 15 year periods (1945–1960, 1960–1975, 1975–1990, 1990–2005, and 2005–2020).142 Inoguchi cate- 141 According to Kenneth Pyle, Yoshida never used the word, ‘Yoshida Doctrine’ but for the sake of expediency, the author uses this term when discussing post-war Japa- nese politics. See Pyle, Japanese Question, 25. 142...

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