Japan and International Security


After been defeated in the second World War, the United State occupied Japan and proposed to the Japanese government a security policy aimed to prevent Japan to menacing its Asian-Pacific neighbors. With the American presence in the country and the creation of the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, Japan was forced to legally dismantled its military force.[2]

However, during the Cold War, Japan only participated in ‘collective security’ situations. But was in the first Iraq war, Japan’s government allowed Japanese peacekeeping to participated in the United Nations peacekeeping operation under highly respective conditions. [3] And after the 9/11 attacks in the United State, Japan sent naval ships to the Indian ocean to support the Americans military in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, in 2015, Japan and the United State signed another revision of the Guidelines for Defense Cooperation. This guidelines discuss a broader role of the alliance between the two countries, that search to promote more security cooperation in the region and around the world. Also, for the first time, that guidelines indicate space and cyber areas for expanding cooperation between the two countries. [4]

In this way, Japan’s military expansion has gain a new role in a time of elevated threat in the region. The fear of a volatile North Korea and a growing China, has abled Japanese government to changed its security policies. Despite the Japan increased its military power, it remains the most pacifist country in the world’s great powers. Another interest fact is that, Japan spend only 1 percent of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on defense, which is the less than a half of the global average of 2.3 percent and Japanese people are more preoccupied with economic issues than its defense spending. [5]

Japan and Terrorism

Since the 9/11 attacks in the United State, international terrorism has become a huge concern in the world, and Japanese government wasn’t different. Japan’s leaders has increased their talks with Americans authorities in how can its Self Defense Force can be used regarding the terrorism issue. And despite the fact of Japan not be a principal target for global terrorism, the country has not been immune. With the death of the two Japanese journalists, Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, in 2015, by Islamic State militants, became a such tragic reminder for the Japanese nation, [6]

Japan and the United State have worked together as allies in the region to reduce threats of terrorism, however, despite of the efforts, there are some groups who have been affiliate with the Islamic State, groups like, Abu Sayyarfand, Mujahidin Indonesia Timor (MIT) have rallied around ISIS cause and promoting Filipinos, Indonesians, and Malaysian to travel to Iraq and Syria. In addition to those foreign fighters from the region who have been joined the Islamic State, some documented have revealed that some Japanese people have demonstrated interested in join the jihad Islamic State, which has provided to the Japanese government some cautions and more vigilant in certain individuals. [7]

But also, Japan’s role as an economic power could be susceptible as possible terrorist target. In this way, militants recognize the strategic value of economic centers, therefor its destruction could bring a global repercussion. However, despite of the Japanese government be conscious about its alliance or coalition with the United Sate and the effects to its national security, most of the Japanese citizens approve the country’s defense partnership with the United State. [8]

In the region, Japan plays a leadership role within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on several issues, included regional security. In 2006, it was created the ASEAN – Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue (AJCTD), which addresses a several range of issues like, money laundering, aviation security, inland water management, conflict resolution and anti-terrorism. Also, the document includes a number of ways of how they should cooperate, like sharing informations to combat terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, cybercrime and collaboration on international economic crime. [9]



5 comentários sobre “Japan and International Security

  1. It seems that Japan was not that active in its defence sector before the 9/11 and the close relation between North Korea and China. It has become important that every nation should be well prepared to defence itself from the internal and external threat and moreover from terriorism as it has become one of the most debated issues. Terriorism has become the threat to human kind. Therefore, Japan has also become active to prevent terriorism in colaboration with the US. It seems Japan has become a potential target for terriorist. We never know what will happen but still we can be prepared to face the problem firmly. Hope we could see the end of terriorism in near future as it has infected the world with its voilent and savage act.


  2. Interesting blog on the international security measures that have taken by Japan. As an economic giant in the Asia region, Japan also has a risk of being attacked by worldwide spread terrorist organizations, cyber criminals etc. Therefore preventive action taken byJapan with other nations such as the United States will be helpful in order to safeguard the country from both local and global threats.


  3. Back in the Second World War Japan was a very powerful State, the imprisonment of soldiers and other nationals were part of the cycle of war, and just like many American soldiers in prison who lost their lives so to was the case of the Japanese soldiers. However, after two nuclear bombing Japan surrendered and that was the end of that chapter. Today global threats have brought on the dialogue of the position on the Japanese military in defending the nation state against terrorism that could affect the national economy. The citizens have long lived without the State army being involved in active military action, however, as you stated the direction of the nation state has taken on once more a new chapter in global security.


  4. This was very interesting post. I find it fascinating how Japan does not spend much on defense and still manages to have a relatively strong defense sector. I only wish that the United States could do the same. Japan not only serves as a regional example but also as a world example that counter-terrorism can be discussed diplomatically. Overall very good post.


  5. I really thought you did an excellent job of outlining how Japan keeps a “pacifism” but at the same time a strong military defense system. One does wonder what would happen if the alliance with the U.S. weakens…


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