Redefining Security, a Japanese Perspective

“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.”

Benjamin Franklin[1]

Maintaining security for Japan in East Asia is a complicated balancing act among numerous contradictions. Two primary contradictions of Japanese security are especially troublesome. First, The Cold War has ended, but one of its relics, the conflict between People’s Democratic Republic of Korea and its enemies, continues to the present day. As a result, Japan maintains one of the largest, wealthiest, and most advanced “militaries” in the world even though it is a “pacifist nation,” as Article 9 of its Constitution demonstrates. How can we better understand these two contradictions? How can Japan balance these contradictions and move forward in relations with its neighbors without setting off a new arms race in East Asia? This paper will seek to address these questions.


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