Japan's Foreign and Security Policy Under the 'Abe Doctrine': New Dynamism or New Dead End?
Christopher W. Hughes
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Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's foreign and security policy—highly charged with ideological and historical revisionism—contains the potential to shift Japan onto a new international trajectory. Its degree of articulation and energy makes for an 'Abe doctrine' capable of displacing the 'Yoshida Doctrine' that has been Japan's guiding grand strategy in the post-war period. Abe has already begun to introduce radical policies that look to transform national security policy into a more muscular military stance, bolster US-Japan alliance ties to function increasingly for regional and global security, and attempt to encircle China's influence in East Asia. The 'Abe Doctrine' is dynamic but also high-risk. Abe's revisionism contains fundamental contradictions that may ultimately limit the effectiveness, or even defeat, the doctrine, and along the way inflict collateral damage on relations with East Asia and Japan's own national interests.
prevent the movement of Chinese vessels close to Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands.11 The JSDF rehearsed deployments to the southernmost islands in April 2012 during the build up to a North Korean missile test, claiming the need to defend the islands from the risk of falling rocket debris. The ASDF inserted PAC-3 units into Miyako and Ishigaki, and the GSDF 500 personnel into Miyako, Ishigaki and Yonaguni. In December 2011, the GSDF, ASDF and MSDF, supported by the US, conducted a joint exercise in
military expenditures. In fiscal 2014, the JMOD succeeded in securing a 2.2 per cent increase, and in 2015 the JMOD requested a 2.4 per cent increase in the defence budget, receiving eventually 2 per cent.13 Japanese policymakers argue that these increases are moderate and simply stop the erosion of Japan’s budgets, and pale into insignificance compared to the continuous double digit increases in China’s military expenditures. Nevertheless, the Abe administration has arrested a decade-long period
belligerency, does not mandate Japan to take no measures in the face of challenges to peace, security and national survival, and thus it retains the right of selfdefence ((jieiken). In turn, since the 1960s, Japanese governments began DOI: 10.1057/9781137514257.0006 Japan’s Foreign and Security Policy to distinguish explicitly between the right of self-defence as consisting of individual self-defence (kobetsu-teki jieiken) and collective self-defence (shūdan-teki jieiken). In 1960, Prime
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shushō, aitō messēji: Akyū senhanra no hōyō “sokoku no ishizue ni”’, Asahi Shimbun, 27 August 2014, p. 36. ‘Beichū, Senkaku mondai de ōshū’, Asahi Shimbun, 8 April 2014, p. 11 ‘Beigun shien kakudai Kōmeitō shichō’, Asahi Shimbun, 7 November 2014, p. 3 ‘Beigun shien kakudai no itto’, Asahi Shimbun, 9 October 2014, p. 3. ‘Bill to lower referendum age submitted to the Lower House’, The Japan Times, 8 April 2014, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/04/08/