Alliance security dilemma in post-Cold War U.S.–Japan relations: explaining Japan’s support of U.S. military operations in the Middle East

Уханова Эркелей Владимировна

Восток. Афро-азиатские общества: история и современность '2015, №3

Научная статья » International Relations and Foreign Policy

Japan’s defence policy has been undergoing certain developments after the end of the Cold War. The unipolar system caused serious implications for alliances and especially for the unipole’s allies. The two US-led Iraq wars made Japan adjust her policies for the US demands as of the hegemonic ally, despite her asymmetric alliance commitments. For the purpose of properly analysing Japan’s decisions as a reaction to the demands of the US as the hegemonic ally, alliance security dilemma appears to be useful. Moreover, the correct analysis requires adjustment both for the unipolarity implications for the alliance behaviour and the peculiarities of the US–Japan alliance. The basic proposition of the alliance security dilemma assumes that in asymmetric alliances the weaker ally inevitably faces abandonment and entrapment risks, which makes it applicable for the US–Japan alliance case. The US demands of Japanese participation in Middle Eastern military operations made Japan face the dilemma: to give up and get en-gaged into an illegitimate war, which could provoke serious internal conflicts, or resist and potentially cause devaluation of Japan as an ally and denunciation of the security treaty. The both cases made Japan balance the risks of abandonment and entrapment, which could seriously damage the alliance sustainability if ignored. Despite differences in the US policies in the early 1990s and 2000s, in both cases the Japanese government had to cope with similar risks. The alliance security dilemma has an explaining potential for an allied state’s foreign policy decisions analysis and presents a useful tool for the analysis of the US external pressure implications for Japan’s defence choices.

Ключевые слова: US–Japan alliance, unipolarity, alliance security dilemma, Iraq wars, defence, strategy

Объем издания: С. 72–79

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