Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice (c)

by Andrew L. Oros

Studies in Asian Security

Publisher: Stanford: Stanford University Press
Available From: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8047-0029-0
Binding: cloth
Pages: 304














Normalizing Japan is the ninth book in the Studies in Asian Security series sponsored by the East-West Center and published by Stanford University Press. This book seeks to answer the question of what future direction Japan's military policies are likely to take by considering how policy has evolved since World War II, and what factors shaped this evolution. Andrew Oros argues that Japanese security policy has not changed as much in recent years as many believe, and that future change also will be highly constrained by Japan's long-standing "security identity," the central principal guiding Japanese policy over the past half century. His analysis is based on detailed exploration of three cases of policy evolution--restrictions on arms exports, the military use of outer space, and cooperation with the United States on Missile defense--which shed light on other cases of policy change, such as Japan's deployment of its military to Iraq and elsewhere and its recent creation of a Ministry of Defense. More broadly, the book refines for a wider audience how "ideational" factors interact with domestic politics and international changes to create policy change.




Details and ordering information at


Stanford University Press



















  1. Security Identity and the Evolution of Security Practice: Explaining Policy Change
  2. Negotiating and Institutionalizing a New Postwar Security Identity
  3. Reaffirming Core Principles in a "Lost Decade," 1989-1998
  4. Limiting Conflict Through Arms Export Restrictions
  5. The Next Frontier: Keeping Outer Space "Peaceful"
  6. Missile Defense, Alliance Politics, and Security Identity
  7. Japan's Security Identity and Security Practice in a New Century








"Andrew Oros has written an important book on one of the seminal questions in East Asian affairs. The character and impact of Japan's unique national security identity of antimilitarism--and its evolution today in a region where 'realist' forces are reasserting themselves--is a challenging scholarly issue that also has real world significance. Normalizing Japan marshals impressive evidence to make careful and thoughtful arguments about the role of identity and history in Japanese national security decision making. The book is a welcome addition to a growing debate on the logic and pathways of Japan's postwar identity and foreign policy."

--G. John Ikenberry, Princeton University


"A well-crafted and innovative study of contested national identity. Oros shows how Japan's security identity, despite significant material changes in the domestic and international environment, remains rooted in domestic anti-militarism. He offers empirical benchmarks to suggest that so far Japan is normalizing but not nationalizing or permanently pacifying."

--Henry R. Nau, George Washington University


"This thoughtful, carefully argued study challenges the many Chicken Littles who warn that Japan is ready to break free of its post-war constraints."

--Leonard Schoppa, University of Virginia


"This work effectively presents Japan's defensive orientation and practices as normal for the Japanese as they reflect the political negotiations and compromises that have shaped and continue to define the framework within which security decisions are made."



"...Represents a fine example of the synergy that can be created by drawing upon the strengths of both area studies and discipline. In short, this book stands out as one of the best additions to the field over recent years and represents another excellent contribution to what is shaping up to be a fine series in Asian security studies under the sponsorship of the East-West Center."

--Pacific Affairs