Sunday, May 13, 2007

Book of the week

This week's book, Japan's Security Strategy in the Post-9/11 World: Embracing a New Realpolitik by Daniel M. Kliman, provides concrete analysis of how Japanese security policy has changed not just in the post-9/11 world as the title suggests, but since the end of the cold war.

Although it is a relatively slim volume, it is packed with useful observations, particularly concerning the role played by the North Korea threat in the process of normalizing Japan's security policy.

Kliman, moreover, further reinforces the idea that the policies resulting from Japan's sensitivity to its international environment — well documented by Kenneth Pyle and Michael Green — have shifted as the region has changed; whereas during the cold war the Yoshida Doctrine's opportunistic pacifism and reliance on the US were a rational response by a broken country at the front lines of cold war, the uncertain post-cold war environment suggests a different set of policies. Steps taken by Abe lend more weight to Kliman's argument.

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