Reorienting Japan? Security Transformation Under the Second Abe Cabinet

Hiroshi Nakanishi
July 2015
Asian Perspective;Jul-Sep2015, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p405
Academic Journal
In this article, I provide an overview of the major security and defense changes achieved by the second Abe Shinzo cabinet and analyze why Abe was reasonably successful. Based on analysis of the major Japanese strategic guidelines, the new National Security Council, and legal arguments on interpretations of the constitution, I argue that Abe's security and defense reforms are not unique to his ideology or political stance but follow the general trend Japan has pursued in the last two decades. What is unique about Abe is his drive and political tact to ram through these reforms. These reforms are also suited to shift Japan's geopolitical focus away from the Asian continent and toward the Eurasianlittoral and maritime areas, where Japan sees more economic and political opportunities without the historical controversies it faces in East Asia.


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