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38 Executive Summary This essay examines changing Japan-Taiwan relations in the post-Cold War period by focusing on: the reaffirmation process of the U.S.-Japan alliance since the mid-1990s, Japanese cooperation with the U.S. Missile Defense programs and the military transformation of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, the question of arms exports by Japan, and expanding political contacts between Japan and Taiwan. Main Argument: Japan’s international security policy has become remarkably proactive of late. However, this new activism—unprecedented in the postwar years—still remains bound by the parameters of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the pacifist cause of Japanese diplomacy. Thus, while we have seen the consolidation of the U.S.-Japan alliance as well as Japan’s increased emphasis on the value of democracy (especially in Taiwan), Japan has not moved toward an independent strategy nor reverted to traditional power politics. Policy Implications: • Japanese frustration with the alliance is a sign that the alliance framework is robust and active . • The findings imply that if a military confrontation occurred between the United States and China over Taiwan, U.S. policymakers can rest assured of Japan’s support. • Avoiding this worst case is, however, an important consideration for Tokyo. Careful attention to this imperative by U.S. policymakers to this imperative will ensure Tokyo’s commitment to the alliance. Organization of the Paper: Two substantive sections—one on security and one on politics—follow the introduction: • Security Context. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 40 - The Reaffirmation of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 41 - Missile Defense and U.S. Military Transformation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 43 - Arms Exports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 47 • Political Context. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 50 - Sino-Japanese Diplomatic Normalization and Taiwan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 50 - De Facto “Two China” Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 52 - Taiwan’s Democratization and Japan’s Response. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 54 A conclusion (p. 54) summarizes the main findings of the report. 39 Introduction There have been remarkable changes since the end of the Cold War in Japanese domestic politics and political discourses regarding defense and security policies. Domestic debate over regional security and national defense have largely been “normalized ” in the sense that many postwar taboos have been removed and the Japanese have begun to address sensitive security issues more squarely as integral components of changing regional security landscapes. Thus, what used to be politically infeasible or even unimaginable—such as the dispatches of Japanese Self-Defense Forces to the Indian Ocean, Iraq, and the Southeast Asian region devastated by the earthquake and resulting tsunami—have come to form a visible part of Japan’s new approach to the changing security environment in East Asia and beyond. As part of these overall changes, Japanese debates and responses concerning the stability of the Taiwan Strait as well as political contacts between Japan and Taiwan have also undergone a significant shift. This paper contends, however, that these ostensibly new trends in Japanese security debates and policies do not indicate a sharp departure from the basic framework established after the end of the World War II. For example, many vocal advocates for change are conservative politicians, who are conditioned by nationalism. The silent majority of Japanese, however, including younger generations who do not remember World War II, clearly do not share these Yoshihide Soeya Changing Security and Political Contexts of Japan-Taiwan Relations: A View From Japan Yoshihide Soeya has been Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Law, Keio University since 1995, which he joined in 1988 as Assistant Professor. Dr. Soeya specializes in security and political developments in East Asia, and Japan’s external relations and policies. He can be reached at . nbr analysis 40 nationalist sentiments—though they do feel sympathetic not only with some of the frustrations with China voiced by these conservatives, but also with the deficiencies of the postwar security policy that is premised on the peace constitution. The values of the younger Japanese are unquestionably post-modern, trans-national, and aligned more along pro-democracy lines—thus motivating the younger generations to support NGO activities and to help developing countries and peoples. On the basis of this and other factors, this paper argues that the net effect of the recent changes in Japan’s responses to regional and global security issues—including the Taiwan question—will not result in a radical departure of Japanese strategy, especially toward any reversion to the prewar type of power politics. Instead, Japan’s new attitudes and policies toward Taiwan are being consolidated not only in the newly revitalized alliance framework with the...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781939131225
MARC Record
OCLC
868219407
Pages
230
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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