Belfer Center Home > Experts > Bernd Kasemir > 'New Fighting Power!' Japan's Growing Maritime Capabilities and East Asian Security

EmailEmail   PrintPrint Bookmark and Share

 
"'New Fighting Power!' Japan's Growing Maritime Capabilities and East Asian Security"

"'New Fighting Power!' Japan's Growing Maritime Capabilities and East Asian Security"

Journal Article, International Security, volume 32, issue 3, pages 84-112

Winter 2007/08

Author: Richard J. Samuels

 

ABSTRACT

Japanese leaders struggled for decades to overcome legal, political, and normative constraints on the expansion of the Self-Defense Forces so that Japan could field a robust military. Their progress was steady and significant, but slow. Now, having reframed the nature of the threat Japan faces and having borrowed creatively from the U.S. model, they have found new traction by empowering the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). Today's JCG has what its publicists, citing capabilities explicitly banned by Japan's constitution, call "New Fighting Power!" Remarkably, however, JCG modernization and expansion are being achieved without much objection from Japan's neighbors or from the domestic public. Although the JCG is not a "second navy," it is already a fourth branch of the Japanese military. Tokyo is now able to project additional diplomatic influence as well as "fighting power." Japan's "new fighting power" is thus greater than the sum of its military parts.

 

For more information about this publication please contact the IS Editorial Assistant at 617-495-1914.

For Academic Citation:

Richard J. Samuels. "'New Fighting Power!' Japan's Growing Maritime Capabilities and East Asian Security." International Security 32, no. 3 (Winter 2007/08): 84-112.

Bookmark and Share

SUBSCRIBE

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and int'l affairs.

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.