Pacifist Identity, Civics Textbooks, and the Opposition to Japan’s Security Legislation
Summary: This article looks at how Japanese national identity is constructed in Japanese junior high school civics textbooks and how that narrative relates to recent Japanese security policy. The article compares books published in 1990 and 2012 and shows that there is surprising continuity in how both editions construct a pacifist Japanese national identity in sharp contrast to prewar and wartime Japan. The authors argue that this kind of antagonistic temporal othering – distancing oneself from an entity in the past – has over the years continued to socialize Japanese students into a “peace identity”. This in turn helps to explain the strong grassroots opposition to the Japanese government’s 2015 announcement of laws to back up its position that Japan can exercise collective self-defense, or defense of an ally under attack.
Policies to Please Political Partners: The Development of Japan’s Intelligence Policy in the 21st Century
“Japan should move promptly to adopt the security protections required to make its inclusion in Five Eyes a realistic possibility.” Armitage and Nye (2018: 9) Introduction In 2018, Japan was […]
Japan’s Opaque Energy Policy toward Russia: Is Abe Being Trumped by Putin?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with his self-proclaimed deep trust in President Vladimir Putin, has made striking a historic deal on improving Japan-Russia relations a priority. The Abe administration’s […]
Japan’s Dilemma with Sanctions Policy Towards Russia: A Delicate Balancing Act
Dr. Maria Shagina gives her views on Japan’s position when it comes to following international sanctions placed on Russia. Her paper explains how the country’s strategic interests have often collided […]
If Not North Korea, Who Will Be Japan’s Chief Antagonist?
The last year has seen sharp turns in the relationships between North Korea and its neighbors. After tough rhetoric back and forth between the United States and North Korea, we […]
Japan and North Korea: Toward Engagement for Regional Security
The current situation on the Korean Peninsula has invited debate on Japan’s perennial issue of constitutional revision. While this is a high-profile issue, other measures are needed to reduce tensions. […]
Moving Beyond Rhetoric? The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)
In July 2018, Japan and the EU signed both the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The two agreements have been described as formally ushering in […]