China Policy Institute Blog

Abe’s Cabinet Reshuffle: Implications for Collective Self-Defence Legislation

Written by Corey Wallace. The July 1 cabinet declaration was a critical symbolic change in how the Japanese government conceptualises the spheres of action the Self-Defense Force can (and should) operate in to uphold the security of Japan. Previously the SDF was required to wait until a direct attack on Japan started to take place …

Interpreting Japan’s right to collective self-defense

Written by Kei Koga. The Abe administration’s reinterpretation of the right of collective self-defense on July 1, 2014 has become the center of political attention both domestically and internationally. Although there are many focal points revolving around the re-interpretation, the core of the debate stems from two basic questions: why did the reinterpretation need to …

Japan’s Security (R)evolution

Written by Sebastian Maslow. Since his comeback as prime minister in December 2012, Abe Shinzo has vigorously pushed for a redesign of Japan’s security system. As such he has proposed to ‘take Japan back’ from its constraining post-war regime and to restore a ‘strong Japan’ capable of deploying its military forces overseas in support of …

Abe Faces China

Written by June Teufel Dreyer. When Shinzō Abe took over as Japan’s prime minister in  September 2012, he became the seventh occupant of that position in the preceding six years. Abe had himself been the first of those, resigning after scarcely a year in office.  Understandably, there were doubts about how long his second try …

The Democratic Deficit of Collective Self-Defence in Japan

Written by Rikki Kersten. When Prime Minister Abe’s cabinet decided on July 1st to revise the interpretation of the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution, commentators in Japan and around the world took notice. Those who argued the move was long overdue called it ‘historic’.[i] Those who found the move disturbing employed the language of alarm, …

Japan and Collective Self-Defense: Symbolism and Reality

Written by Corey Wallace. Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), the Abe Cabinet on July 1 announced that it will open the way for the Japanese government to explicitly exercise elements of its UN Charter Article 51-enshrined right to collective self-defense for the first time since independence. While …

Abusive Convenience: Recent Chinese-North Korean Relations

Written by Adam Cathcart. In the lengthening aftermath of the Jang Song-taek execution, writers who are fond of metaphors for Chinese-North Korean relations can take heart. The bilateral relationship which had been “like lips and teeth” continues its transition into a new era, one of bleeding lips, or, as the historian Shen Zhihua puts it, …

For China: Make Maps, not War in the South China Sea

Written by Harry J. Kazianis. With the United States once again preoccupied with events in the Middle East China has made another strategic adjustment to its claims in the South China Sea. It seems clear by now that Beijing has found a new way to bolster its position in what Stratfor analyst Robert D. Kaplan …

China’s Defense Budget is Going Up? Who Cares?

Written by Harry J. Kazianis. Recently China issued its latest defense budget numbers revealing a 12.2% increase in funding for that nation’s armed forces. While many pundits quickly took to the pages of various blogs and op-ed pages—some of which offered some finely balanced and tight analysis—I had a different take: Who cares? OK, let …

Welcome to Chinese A2/AD: Version 2.0

Written by Harry Kazianis. Much has been made over the last several years concerning China’s growing capabilities to deny a technological advanced adversary the capability to intervene in various possible conflicts near its borders. Over the next five years, such capabilities are likely to become even stronger, posing an interesting challenge to U.S. and allied …