Rikki Kersten on Abe as an agent of redundancy

As Japan confronts future security challenges, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is flexing the nation's military muscle and fanning the flames of regional tension, writes Rikki Kersten.

Geo-political and strategic change in Northeast Asia is forcing Japan to confront some longstanding security dilemmas.

Rising powers in its region, particularly China’s rapidly growing wealth and influence, are combining with a shift in the range of security threats to place these dilemmas into sharp relief.

So while the United States pursues its ‘rebalance’ to the region and implements its global force posture review, the conservative administration of Shinzo Abe is assessing its own security policy options. In doing so, it’s trying to prepare Japanese public opinion for a more assertive and independent security stance.

Japan’s response to this threat environment is itself hostage to difficult domestic circumstances. The nuclear threat from North Korea and the island disputes with China, South Korea and Russia have taken centre stage in Japan at a time of national hypersensitivity.

 

Read the entire article on the College of Asia and the Pacific website.

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute