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Japan’s Awakening: Moving toward an Autonomous Security Policy

Lionel P. Fatton and Oreste Foppiani

Japan has been moving toward a more independent security policy since the early 2010s, duplicating the military assets of the United States and reorganizing the Self-Defense Forces. In Japan’s Awakening, Lionel P. Fatton and Oreste Foppiani argue that the country faces an entrapment-abandonment dilemma in which any attempt to prevent abandonment by the United States vis-à-vis China negatively affects its national security by heightening the risk of entrapment in the Korean Peninsula, and vice versa. A move toward autonomy is the only way for Japan to solve this dilemma. The subject is at variance with both the insistence on the constraining effect of domestic norms on Japan’s security policy and the assumption of everlasting reliance on the United States for protection.