Nationalism, Identity and Security in Post-Cold War Japan

By Takaaki Suzuki.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 11, pp.75-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 527.455KB).

Prof. Takaaki Suzuki

Associate Professor and Graduate Chair, Department of Political Science, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

Takaaki Suzuki is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio University, and serves as the department's Graduate Chair. He received his B.A. in Government and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College, his M.A. in International Affairs and Certificate in East Asian Studies from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia. His work is primarily in the field of international relations and comparative politics, with a regional focus on East Asia. Dr. Suzuki's book, Japan's Budget Politics: Balancing International and Domestic Interests, is published by Lynne Rienner Publishers as part of Columbia University's East Asian Institute Series. The book examines the interplay of the international and domestic forces that have shaped Japanese maocroeconomic policy. Some of his other publications include: "The East Asian Developmental Model in the Era of Gloal Finance" (2007); Modernity and the Transformation of the Japanese State" (2007); "Global Finance, Democracy, and the State in Japan” (2006); "Keyensianism, Monetarism, and the Contradiction of Japan's Modern Welfare State" (2003).

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