April 18, 2014
Temple University’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS)
Myths and Realities of Japanese Security...
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ICAS Public Lecture (4.18.2014) Handout #1 Narushige Michishita: Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy

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Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy

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ICAS Public Lecture (4.18.2014) Handout #1 Narushige Michishita: Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy

  1. 1. April 18, 2014 Temple University’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy Narushige Michishita, Ph.D. National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) michi@grips.ac.jp http://twitter.com/#!/NaruMichishita Myth: The SDF is not a military force. Reality: The SDF is a full-fledged military force and one of the most powerful in the world. Myth: Japan is committed to the nuclear-free world. Reality: Japan regards US extended nuclear deterrence as an indispensable element in its security policy. Myth: Japan was a free rider during the Cold War, but it started to play an international security role after the Cold War ended. Reality: Japan started to play an important international security role in the last phase of the Cold War, but its international security role plunged after the Cold War ended. Myth: Japan is moving away from pacifism toward militarism. Reality: Japan is moving away from isolationism toward internationalism. Myth: Japan will start playing a big international security role if the constitution is reinterpreted. Reality: Japan will start playing a slightly more important international security role if the constitution is reinterpreted. Myth: Ballistic missile defense (BMD) is not perfect. Japan’s defense capability against missile attacks would be significantly improved if we possess offensive capabilities. Reality: Offesive capabilities, like BMD capabilities, are not perfect. Conducting effective anti-missile offensive operations would not be easy.

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