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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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Conclusion 245


245 Conclusion This book has attempted to make a contribution to the study of Japa- nese politics and theory of international relations by providing compre- hensive theoretical perspectives concerning Japanese pacifism and its security identity. As pointed out in the Introduction, existing research on Japanese security policy lacks a theoretical conceptualisation of Japa- nese pacifism and eclectic approach to examine the shift from ‘nega- tive pacifism’ to ‘positive pacifism’ and its influence on Japan’s secu- rity identity. In contrast, this study has applied ‘negative and positive pacifism’ as an analytical framework and employed ‘analytical eclecti- cism’ to examine several case studies. The findings of this research, especially Japan’s ‘core security identity’ as a ‘global pacifist state’, have several significant implications for Japan’s foreign and security policy in the 21st centry. As a conclusion of the book, theoretical impli- cations, lingering influence of negative pacifism, increasing signifi- cance of positive pacifism, the influence of domestic and external pres- sures, and implications of Japan’s core security identity, will be surmarised below. Theoretical Implications Before examining the case studies, this research began with a conceptualisation of negative-positive pacifism as an analytical frame- work. Prominent Japanese realist scholars and political leaders such as Kenichi It+ and Ichir+ Ozawa used the concept, ‘positive pacifism’ to criticise ‘negative pacifism’ represented in Article 9 as egotistic and irresponsible ‘one-nation pacifism’. At the same time, It+ sought to justify Japan’s contributions to UN-authorised or US-led military op- erations, such as the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq...

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