Japan's Collective Self-Defense

Magosaki Ukeru 
Japan's Collective Self-Defense and American Strategic Policy:
Everything Starts from the US-Japan Alliance

Translated and Introduced by John Junkerman

This article presents an interview with a former top official of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was conducted immediately after the adoption of a Cabinet resolution that changed the government's long-standing position: that Article 9 of Japan's Constitution prohibited the country from engaging in collective self-defense (military action in support of an ally that has come under enemy attack).

The debate over collective self-defense has continued for decades, but this accelerated push to change the policy in the face of broad public opposition has left many wondering why it is happening now and what the implications are. The author contends that this development stems from the ever-deepening strategic alliance between Japan and the US, and that, if not constrained, it will lead inexorably to Japan's direct military involvement in the wars of choice that the US continues to fight in the name of collective self-defense.

Magosaki Ukeru is the former director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Information Bureau and former professor at the National Defense Academy. His books include Nihon no Kokkyo Mondai (Japan's Border Problems).

John Junkerman is an American documentary filmmaker and Asia-Pacific Journal contributing editor living in Tokyo. His film, "Japan's Peace Constitution" (2005), won the Kinema Jumpo and Japan PEN Club best documentary awards.


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