Japan's strategic future: coalition operations
Olsen, Edward A.
McMaster, Michael T.
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The evolution of the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) over the past fifty years has created debate in Japan's Parliament over its legality, purpose, direction and normalization. The JSDF appears to be taking steps to "normalize." If so, what are the indicators and have any of the steps been achieved? This thesis analyzes the trends of the JSDF in its evolution from a National Police Reserve to a self-defense force as to the roles and missions that it has chosen to accept or reject. Also, the issues that arise out of Article 9 in Japan's Constitution are examined to determine if there is a conflict in interpretation. Japan's major political parties' views on Article 9 and the JSDF are presented in order to determine where they stand on the issues. Japan's regional neighbors and their possible reactions to a normalization of the JSDF are presented, in addition to other factors that will either aid or impede the normalization of the JSDF. Finally, recommendations regarding the United States' approach to engaging a normalized Japan are presented. The basic conclusion of the thesis is that Japan will normalize the JSDF and United States policy should be to encourage and engage Japan's normalization.
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