Japan's maritime imperative
Goff, Jonathan C.
Wirtz, James J.
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This thesis identifies factors that may induce Japan to create greater military capabilities and normalize military force as a potential source of national power in its security policies. A realist theoretical framework for analysis and assumptions is constructed. It consists of Great Power Theory, the Law of Comparative Advantage, and the Utility of Military Force, and dismisses the artificial divisions between levels of analysis. The thesis examines the failure of Japan's national security doctrine in the post-Cold War world. It explores the impact of economics, Japan's national goals, security threats, and the U.S.-Japan alliance on the country's construction and normalization of increased military capabilities. Japan's primary obstacles to military normalization, Article 9 of its constitution and domestic opinion, are assessed. The thesis concludes that Japan's national talents, production capabilities, and status as a maritime nation make it likely that it will construct more capable naval forces to respond to imperatives in the post-Cold War environment.
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