Throughout the Cold War era, Japan was commonly viewed both abroad and at home as a pacifist nation, governed both informally by the norm of anti-militarism, and more formally by Article Nine of Japan’s Constitution. Since the end of the Cold War, however, important changes have occurred in Japan that call into question whether Japan remains a pacifist nation. The military has not only bolstered its capability and upgraded its political status from an Agency to a Ministry, it has also expanded its range of missions and operations conducted outside Japan’s territorial borders. Moreover, the political party in power, in passing various legislation dealing with the national flag and anthem, patriotism in education, and procedures for constitutional revision, has raised fear among Japan’s closest neighbors that Japan is in the process of repudiating pacifism in favor of a more strident and militaristic nationalism. Given these concerns, the purpose of this paper is to examine the manner in which the notion of Japan’s national identity, and its corresponding relationship to issues of national security and war, have changed since the end of the Cold War, and to explore the implication of these changes in our understanding of how national identity transforms.
|Keywords:||Nationalism, Identity, Security, Japan|
Associate Professor and Graduate Chair, Department of Political Science, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
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