Japan’s New Security Policy:
Breaking Away from the Post-War Regime?
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challenging the regional balance of power in East Asia through a military
buildup and an increasingly assertive foreign policy. The US is forced to find
the right balance between cooperating with China while benefiting from its
economic rise, and countering China’s regional reach by carrying out its
self-declared "pivot” to Asia in spite of domestic and budgetary constraints.
over one year in office, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has received wide
domestic support for his ambitious plans to revive Japan’s economy through his
threefold policy of Abenomics. At the same time, however, he has implemented a
number of significant policies in the defence and security sphere.
to China’s military rise, the Abe administration increased and recalibrated the
defence budget. Furthermore, in order to reinforce the alliance with the US,
the government approved the creation of a US-style National Security Council,
passed a Secrecy Bill, and aims to reverse Japan’s self-imposed ban on exercising
the right to collective self-defence.
banner of "proactive pacifism”, the Abe cabinet is seizing the momentum caused
by the changing regional power dynamics in order to edge closer towards
"breaking away from the postwar regime”. A proposed revision of Japan’s
constitution, unchanged since 1947, symbolizes the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party’s (LDP) objective to bring about a more autonomous role for Japan both in
the security alliance with the US and as an international actor.