Japan: Asian peacekeeper of the 21st century?
Young, William J.
Whitt, Darnell M.
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The building of a "New World Order" presents the United States with novel opportunities and problems. If the 21st century is to be the "Pacific Century," US-Japan relations will become the cornerstone of US policy. The ongoing drawdown of US forces places a renewed emphasis on the security relationship between the two countries. The United States has long desired an increase in the security role played by Japanese military forces. In the wake of the Cold War and the Gulf Crisis, Japanese opinion leaders are beginning to debate Japan's international security role. Within the context of the debate, an increasingly visible group of opinion leaders, the Internationalists, has emerged as the leading proponent of a greater Japanese security role. Their concept goes beyond Peacekeeping Operations under United Nation auspices. This thesis analyzes the security policy debate now occurring in Japan, with a special emphasis placed on the Internationalists. This assessment provides American policy leaders with important insights into the internal Japanese debate regarding Japan's probable new role in the Pacific. An understanding of Japanese domestic policy debates is vital in order for the United States to realize successfully her policy aims in the Asia-Pacific region. This study, sourced entirely from Japanese opinion leaders within the debate, serves to provide that insight.
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