Nori Katagiri - Assistant Professor of Political Science, Saint Louis University
What explains the rise and fall of military power in Japan? I identify key determinants of Japan’s military power and security policy in recent years to be a set of political institutions, pacifist norms, and laws. While China’s rise in military power has caused Japan to upgrade its capability and use technology and foreign cooperation to buttress military power, the “troika” of the postwar institutions has long shaped Japan’s security policy and constrained the use of force. I will show that the institutional, normative, and legal constraints are a large part of explanations for why Japan seems to struggle with the recent rise of foreign aggressiveness in its surrounding areas, including the Senkaku/Diaoyu-tai islands. I will also explain how Japan has responded to the ongoing maritime and aerial confrontations with Chinese forces.