Japanese-U.S. missile defense stepping stone towards normalization
Oberle, John P.
Olsen, Edward A.
Miller, H. Lyman
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The United States-Japanese missile defense cooperation signals yet another step in Japan's continuing trend of "normalization" and official acknowledgement that Japan has a significant military force. This thesis analyzes the current status of the Japanese missile defense debate and assesses factors shaping the Japanese commitment to joint missile defense with the United States. Three major inter-related trends mark the course of Japanese post- Cold War SDF evolution, relations with the United States and the missile defense debate. These include a willingness to relax legal considerations on the use of military force, the expansion of the roles for the JSDF, and the responsiveness of Japanese decision makers to external factors, notably the requirement to improve relations with the United States and the threat perceived from North Korea. This represents a shift to a more military-based security outlook away from the traditional notion of "comprehensive security." These trends point invariably to the amendment of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. To maximize U.S. interests, Washington must pursue a balanced and limited missile defense in East Asia and actively undertake measures to avoid the perception of a threat to Chinese nuclear deterrence.
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