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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 Five Japan as a ‘Global Pacifist State’: The Future of the Peace Constitution and Japan’s Core Security Identity 205


205 Chapter Five Japan as a ‘Global Pacifist State’: The Future of the Peace Constitution and Japan’s Core Security Identity Introduction In the previous chapters, the shifts from negative pacifism to positive pacifism have been examined in relation to Japan’s contribution to in- ternational peace operations. Importantly, as shown with the changing public opinion during the early 1990s, the shift to positive pacifism coincided with the shift towards constitutional revision. Indeed, a di- rect correlation between public recognition of the significance of SDF dispatch and support for constitutional revision can be seen. The consti- tutional revision issue is crucial because revision would entail drastic change to Japan’s security identity. In particular, Japan’s pacifist identity will be dramatically altered. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the Japanese constitutional revision debate in relation to implications for Japan’s pacifism and security identity. To this end, the chapter will: 1) assess the arguments of the Japanese constitutional debate; 2) exam- ine the implications of constitutional revision with regard to changing Japanese pacifism and security identity; and 3) analyse the concept of the ‘global pacifist state’ model as Japan’s core security identity. Several reasons have been presented for why the Japanese Consti- tution needs to be modified. For example, it has been argued that ‘new human rights’, such as the right to privacy and to the environment, need to be added to the current Constitution.705 The argument essen- 705 There is an interpretation, however, that ‘new human rights’, such as the rights to...

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