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 …

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, …

Special Issue: Japan’s turn to collective defence

The July 1st decision by the ruling coalition to change the interpretation of the Article 9 of Japan’s pacifist constitution invited mixed reactions from scholars, experts and governments in the region and beyond, as well as heated debate at home. For some, the revision that certain conditions allow Japan to use force in collective defence, …

Anti-ship missiles in the defence of Taiwan: Limited war or people’s war?

Written by Alex Calvo. More than thirty years on, the shadow of the 1982 Falklands War looms large over East Asia, as made clear by Japanese PM Abe’s increasingly frequent references to the conflict. While democratic politicians may seek inspiration in Lady Thatcher’s refusal to condone aggression, military officers are busy studying the conflict’s many …

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 …

Politicisation of Gender Issues in Japan: the “Shiomura Incident”

Written by Misato Matsuoka. Japan has been acknowledged as the country with the largest gender gap in the developed world. According to the 2013 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, Japan’s ranking for female equality has fallen from 101st in 2012 to 105th among 136 countries. The report identifies Japan as one of the …

American Resolve, Not Concessions Needed to Maintain Stability in Asia

Written by Brian Benedictus. Soon after his ascension to the presidency of the PRC in 2012, Xi Jinping stated his desire to establish a “new great power relationship” with the United States. Although Xi’s doctrine remains short on specifics, there is an underlying theme of each side clarifying its interests in order to avoid direct …

Obama’s Visit to Asia: Successful Rebalancing or Not?

Written by Misato Matsuoka. A lot of emphasis was put on President Obama’s recent visit to Asia as it was the first trip to the region during his second term and came amid concerns about the effect of the Ukraine crisis on the long promised rebalancing policy. After he failed to make his trip last …

Japan’s relations with Russia in the Midst of the Ukraine Crisis

Written by Misato Matsuoka. While Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not met the leaders of neighbouring South Korea or China, he has dedicated significant effort to improving ties with Russia. Since returning to power in 2012, Abe has met President Putin five times and participated in the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics …