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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10561/1229

Title: Japan’s Choice in the 21st Century-In Search of a Demilitarized and Neutral Japan
Author: SEBATA, Takao
Author's alias: 瀬端, 孝夫
Issue Date: 28-Dec-2016
Publisher: 長崎県立大学
Shimei: 研究紀要
Issue: 1
Start page: 77
End page: 85
ISSN: 2432616X
Abstract: In July 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reinterpreted Article 9 of Japanʼs Constitution so that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) would be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense. In 2015, he passed various laws related to security in the Diet to further implement his idea of revision of Article 9. In the summer of 2016, his party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), won the elections of the House of Councilors. Now, the LDP, along with the Komei Party and two other minor parties, has two-thirds of the votes in each the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors which would be able to present to the Diet a motion to revise Article 9. In other words, there is a possibility in the near future that Japan might revise Article 9 if the majority of the Japanese people agree in the referendum. If Japan revises Article 9, she would become a “normal state,” which means that a state can use military forces to solve international disputes. Even now, Japan can exercise the right to collective self-defense without her changing Article 9. Currently, she is not allowed to have the right to wage a war or use force as a means of solving international disputes. Japan is the only state among the major states whose armed forces have not killed anyone or its members have not been killed in the war due to Article 9. The Japanese people should be very proud of this postwar tradition. However, this tradition is now at stake. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe challenged the past interpretation of Article 9 and is eager to revise it so that the SDF would be able to fight along with the United States Forces in the future. Therefore, Japan is now at a crossroad of whether she could keep Article 9 and maintain peace or exercise the right to collective self-defense and wage a war with the United States. Therefore, it is important to examine Abeʼs security policy and his intention to revise Article 9. First, the paper will look into a recent security policy of Japan with the focus on territorial issues with China and the right to collective self-defense. The paper also explores Japanʼs diplomacy based on her own national interests. In other words, it will search whether Japan can become a demilitarized and neutral state. In conclusion, I propose new foreign policy which is different from the current policy depending on the Security Treaty.
Keywords: Demilitarized
Japan’s Choice
Security Policy
Territorial Issues
the Right to Collective Self-Defense
Article 9
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10561/1229
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