Japans Self Defense Forces After the New Status Quo Hiscock, Kyle W.

Japans Self Defense Forces After the New Status Quo Hiscock, Kyle W.
Calhoun: The NPS Institutional Archive
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Thesis Collection
2012-03
Japans Self Defense Forces After the
Great East Japan Earthquake Toward a
New Status Quo
Hiscock, Kyle W.
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
http://hdl.handle.net/10945/6809
NAVAL
POSTGRADUATE
SCHOOL
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
THESIS
JAPAN’S SELF DEFENSE FORCES AFTER
THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE:
TOWARD A NEW STATUS QUO
by
Kyle W. Hiscock
March 2012
Thesis Advisor:
Second Reader:
Robert Weiner
Alice Miller
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4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Japan’s Self Defense Forces After the Great East Japan 5. FUNDING NUMBERS
Earthquake: Toward a New Status Quo
6. AUTHOR(S) Kyle W. Hiscock
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13. ABSTRACT
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The Great East Japan Earthquake’s unique scope and the actors involved in the ensuing disaster dispatch has the
potential to significantly impact four areas influencing the SDF’s trajectory: security interests, economic interests,
norms, and actors and institutions. Retrenchment, status quo, and remilitarization are all plausible outcomes for the
SDF’s trajectory. Understanding what the disasters changed in these four areas is critical in determining the most
probable SDF trajectory.
This thesis finds that the SDF will not likely embark on a retrenchment or rapid remilitarization trajectory.
Japan’s security and economic interests have not fundamentally changed but rather economic trends in place prior to
the disasters were aggravated and its security policy was validated. Japan’s norms were the most fundamentally
changed as the SDF emerged from the disasters as the most trusted institution in Japan.
Changes will be limited to the fringes of the status quo bordering remilitarization as numerous disincentives
restrain the SDF from rapidly moving toward remilitarization. These changes will come about from a growing sense
of economic and security pragmatism that results in engaging rather than containing the SDF. Improved civil-military
relations, more public support for the SDF’s expanding domestic and international roles, and more deference for the
SDF as a useful tool of the state will characterize this new status quo.
14. SUBJECT TERMS Japan, Japan Self Defense Forces, Japanese Self Defense Forces, JSDF, SDF,
Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan Earthquake, Japan Tsunami, Fukushima Dai-ichi, SDF Trajectory,
SDF Remilitarization, SDF Retrenchment, SDF Status Quo, Humanitarian Aid Disaster Relief, U.S.–
Japan Security Alliance, Japanese Economy, Japanese Norms, Pacifism, Anti-militarism
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JAPAN’S SELF DEFENSE FORCES AFTER THE GREAT EAST JAPAN
EARTHQUAKE: TOWARD A NEW STATUS QUO
Kyle W. Hiscock
Lieutenant, United States Navy
B.A., The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, 2004
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS IN SECURITY STUDIES
(FAR EAST, SOUTHEAST ASIA, THE PACIFIC)
from the
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL
March 2012
Author:
Kyle W. Hiscock
Approved by:
Professor Robert Weiner
Thesis Advisor
Professor Alice Miller
Second Reader
Daniel Moran, PhD
Chair, Department of National Security Affairs
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ABSTRACT
The Great East Japan Earthquake’s unique scope and the actors involved in the ensuing
disaster dispatch have the potential to significantly impact four areas influencing the
SDF’s trajectory: security interests, economic interests, norms, and actors and
institutions. Retrenchment, status quo, and remilitarization are all plausible outcomes for
the SDF’s trajectory. Understanding what the disasters changed in these four areas is
critical in determining the most probable SDF trajectory.
This thesis finds that the SDF will not likely embark on a retrenchment or rapid
remilitarization trajectory.
Japan’s security and economic interests have not
fundamentally changed but rather economic trends in place prior to the disasters were
aggravated and its security policy was validated.
Japan’s norms were the most
fundamentally changed as the SDF emerged from the disasters as the most trusted
institution in Japan.
Changes will be limited to the fringes of the status quo bordering remilitarization
as numerous disincentives restrain the SDF from rapidly moving toward remilitarization.
These changes will come about from a growing sense of economic and security
pragmatism that results in engaging rather than containing the SDF. Improved civilmilitary relations, more public support for the SDF’s expanding domestic and
international roles, and more deference for the SDF as a useful tool of the state will
characterize this new status quo.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.
INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1
A.
MAJOR RESEARCH QUESTION................................................................1
B.
IMPORTANCE ................................................................................................1
C.
LITERATURE REVIEW ...............................................................................2
1.
Introduction ..........................................................................................2
2.
Camp One: Remilitarization ..............................................................3
3.
Camp Two: Status Quo ......................................................................6
4.
Dynamic Status Quo ............................................................................8
5.
Conclusion ..........................................................................................11
D.
METHODS AND SOURCES........................................................................12
E.
THESIS OVERVIEW ...................................................................................12
II.
THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE: THE EVENTS AND
MANIFESTATIONS .................................................................................................15
A.
INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................15
B.
SCOPE OF THE DISASTERS .....................................................................16
1.
The Earthquake .................................................................................16
2.
The Tsunami .......................................................................................18
3.
The Nuclear Power Station Disaster ................................................22
C.
MANIFESTATIONS .....................................................................................24
1.
The SDF Is a Competent HADR Force ............................................24
a.
Decisive ....................................................................................25
b.
Versatile ...................................................................................28
c.
Joint .........................................................................................32
2.
The SDF Is the Most Capable HADR Force Within Japan ...........37
3.
The Domestic Political Environment Is Conducive to the SDF’s
Effective
Domestic Application and Integration of
International Assistance ....................................................................43
4.
The SDF’s HADR Capabilities Demonstrate Ability for Other
Operations ..........................................................................................48
D.
CONCLUSION ..............................................................................................50
III.
THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE’S IMPACT ON THE SELF
DEFENSE FORCE’S TRAJECTORY ....................................................................51
A.
INTRODUCTION: THE LOGIC ................................................................51
B.
SECURITY INTERESTS .............................................................................53
1.
Security Policy Focus .........................................................................53
a.
Hybrid Focus Reinforced........................................................54
b.
Hybrid Focus Continues .........................................................56
2.
Defense Budget ...................................................................................59
a.
Aggregate Spending Maintained ............................................59
b.
Hybrid Allocation Maintained ................................................61
3.
U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Strengthened.....................................65
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4.
C.
D.
E.
F.
IV.
Regional Foreign Relations Strengthened .......................................67
a.
People’s Republic of China ....................................................67
b.
Republic of Korea....................................................................69
ECONOMIC INTERESTS ...........................................................................71
1.
Economic Conditions .........................................................................71
a.
Growth Maintained .................................................................72
b.
Health Weakened ....................................................................73
c.
Hybrid
Reconstruction
Focus
(Domestic
and
International) ..........................................................................76
2.
International Influence: Official Development Assistance
(ODA) Decreased ...............................................................................80
3.
Energy Dependency Continues .........................................................83
NORMS ...........................................................................................................85
1.
Security Norms ...................................................................................85
a.
Public Trust of SDF ................................................................86
b.
Utility of Non-Military Force: Useful for Domestic and
International Purposes ...........................................................94
c.
Utility of Force: Defensive Force Useful ..............................97
2.
Legal Norms: Arms Export Ban (Less Restriction)........................99
3.
U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Norms: Trust Maintained .............103
ACTORS/ INSTITUTIONS ........................................................................104
1.
Japanese Public: Primed for a Dynamic Status Quo....................105
2.
SDF: A More Confident Force........................................................107
3.
Bureaucrats: Shifting Control Over Security Policy ...................111
4.
Politicians ..........................................................................................116
a.
Gaining Influence Over the Bureaucracy............................116
b.
A Political System in Flux ....................................................118
c.
Voter Uncertainty ..................................................................123
d.
DPJ and LDP Here To Stay: What Do They Stand For? ..125
5.
Japan’s Precarious Position ............................................................128
a.
Northeast Asia: Pro-containment........................................128
b.
The United States: Pro-remilitarization ..............................130
CONCLUSION ............................................................................................131
CONCLUDING REMARKS ..................................................................................133
A.
INTRODUCTION........................................................................................133
B.
ANALYSIS SUMMARY: KEY FINDINGS .............................................135
1.
Security Interests .............................................................................135
2.
Economic Interests ...........................................................................136
3.
Norms ................................................................................................138
4.
Actors and Institutions ....................................................................140
C.
ANSWER: TOWARD A NEW STATUS QUO ........................................142
1.
Security Interests: Staying the Course...........................................142
2.
Economic Interests: No Cause for Alarm … Yet ..........................143
3.
Dueling Interests: Economic Interests Win ...................................144
4.
Norms: Conducive Environment for a Dynamic Status Quo ......144
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5.
D.
E.
F.
G.
Actors/ Institutions: Pushing The Envelope toward
Remilitarization................................................................................146
6.
The New Status Quo: A Brief Summary........................................147
NATURAL DISASTERS AS AGENTS FOR CHANGE .........................148
1.
Direct Impact ....................................................................................148
2.
Crisis Management Capacity ..........................................................148
3.
Crisis Management Competency ....................................................150
4.
Limited But Significant Capacity for Change ...............................151
PROSPECTS FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE ...................................152
1.
Economic Pragmatism Leading to Remilitarization ....................152
2.
Security Pragmatism Leading to Remilitarization .......................153
3.
A Dynamic Status Quo Rather than Remilitarization..................155
UNITED STATES SECURITY POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS......157
1.
Be Skeptical of the Efficacy of HADR............................................157
2.
Focus on Futenma ............................................................................158
3.
Do Not Miscalculate the SDF’s Trajectory ....................................159
RESEARCH OVERVIEW..........................................................................161
1.
Significance Revisited ......................................................................161
2.
Research Shortfalls ..........................................................................161
3.
Future Research ...............................................................................162
LIST OF REFERENCES ....................................................................................................165
INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST .......................................................................................181
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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
Figure 4.
Figure 5.
Figure 6.
Figure 7.
Figure 8.
Figure 9.
Figure 10.
Figure 11.
Figure 12.
Figure 13.
Figure 14.
Figure 15.
Figure 16.
Figure 17.
Figure 18.
Figure 19.
Figure 20.
Figure 21.
Figure 22.
Overview of 2010 NDPG (From East Asian Strategic Review, 2011)..............9
Distribution of Seismic Activity from Great East Japan Earthquake (From
“The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake,” 2011) ....................17
Observed Tsunami Heights (From “The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of
Tohoku Earthquake,” 2011) .............................................................................19
Assessed Areas Damaged by Tsunami (From “USG Humanitarian
Assistance to Japan for the Earthquake and Tsunami,” 2011).........................20
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station Damage (From “Great East
Japan Earthquake and the Seismic Damage to the NPSs,” 2011)....................23
MSDF Dispatch Units, Right After the Disaster (After “Situation of
Disaster Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” 2011) .........29
Location of Principal SDF Units as of March 31, 2011 (From “Defense of
Japan,” 2011) ...................................................................................................33
MOD and SDF Organization for the Great East Japan Earthquake (From
“Defense of Japan,” 2011) ...............................................................................34
Transport of Aid Supplies (From “Defense of Japan,” 2011) .........................35
JANIC and Japan Platform NGO Activity in Iwate Prefecture as of May
20, 2011 (From “NGO Activity Map,” 2011)..................................................39
JANIC and Japan Platform NGO Activity in Miyagi Prefecture as of May
20, 2011 (From “NGO Activity Map,” 2011)..................................................40
JANIC and Japan Platform NGO Activity in Fukushima Prefecture as of
May 20, 2011 (From “NGO Activity Map,” 2011) .........................................41
Rescue Operations Map of International Assistance (From “Map of Sites
Where Rescue Teams from Foreign Countries, Regions, and International
Organizations are Operating: August 3,” 2011) .............................................42
Trajectory Formation Process ..........................................................................52
Influences on Possible SDF Trajectories .........................................................53
SDF International Peace Cooperation Activities (From “Defense of
Japan,” 2011) ...................................................................................................56
SDF International Disaster Relief Operations (From “Defense of Japan,”
2011) ................................................................................................................58
Japan Defense Budget Trend (From “FY2012 Defense Budget Request,”
2012) ................................................................................................................60
2010 Mid-Term Defense Program Major SDF Equipment Increases (From
“Defense of Japan,” 2011) ...............................................................................61
Economic Impact Comparison Between Great East Japan Earthquake and
“Lehman Shock” (From “Road to Recovery,” 2011) ......................................73
Trends in Government Expenditures, Tax Revenues, and Government
Bonds (From “Highlights of the Budget for FY2012,” 2012) .........................75
Seven Principles for the Reconstruction Framework (From “Basic
Guidelines for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan
Earthquake,” 2011) ..........................................................................................77
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Figure 23.
Figure 24.
Figure 25.
Figure 26.
Figure 27.
Figure 28.
Figure 29.
Figure 30.
Figure 31.
Figure 32.
Figure 33.
Figure 34.
Figure 35.
Figure 36.
Figure 37.
Trends in Japan’s ODA Budget and Other Major Expenditures (From
“Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper,” 2010) ....................81
Trends in the ODA of Major DAC Countries: Net Disbursements (From
“Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper,” 2010) ....................82
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Main Function of the JSDF 1965–
2006 (From “Japan’s Remilitarisation,” 2010) ................................................95
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Most Effective Role of the JSDF
1961–2003 (From “Japan’s Remilitarisation,” 2010) ......................................95
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Future Role of the JSDF 1965–
2006 (From “Japan’s Remilitarisation,” 2010) ................................................96
Public Attitudes, Measureable Opinions, and Policy Outcomes (From
“Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to
Realism?” 2011).............................................................................................106
Japan MOD Organization Chart (From Japan MOD website, 2012) ............108
Japan MOFA Organization Chart (From Japan MOFA website, 2012) ........112
Japan NPA Organization Chart (From “Police of Japan Report,” 2011) ......115
Poll Question: Do You Support the Current Cabinet? ..................................120
Poll Question: For Those Who Do Not Support the Current Cabinet, Why
Do You Not Support the Current Cabinet? ....................................................122
Poll Question: What Political Party Do You Currently Support?..................124
Poll Question: If a General Election Were to be Held, Which Party Would
You Vote For in the Proportional Representation Vote? ...............................124
Most Likely SDF Trajectory Post 3/11 ..........................................................134
The Daily Yomiuri Poll on Japan-U.S. Relations (From “Feelings About
U.S. Are Complex: Disaster Relief Operations Appreciated But Major
Ally Not Fully Trusted,” 2011)......................................................................159
xii
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1.
Table 2.
Table 3.
Table 4.
Great East Japan Earthquake Damage Situation as of October 7, 2011
(From Damage Situation and Police Countermeasures, 2011) ........................18
Estimated Economic Damage (From “Road to Recovery,” 2011) ..................22
SDF Disaster Relief Dispatches, FY2010 (From “Defense of Japan,”
2011) ................................................................................................................25
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Legitimate Reasons for Going to
War (From “Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From
Pacifism to Realism?,” 2011) ..........................................................................98
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LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
ASDF
Air Self Defense Force
ASEAN
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
BDF
Basic Defense Force
BMD
Ballistic Missile Defense
CBRN
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear
CRF
Central Readiness Force
DDF
Dynamic Defense Force
DPJ
Democratic Party of Japan
EAC
East Asian Community
FTA
Free Trade Agreement
F-X
Next Generation Fighter
GSDF
Ground Self Defense Force
HADR
Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief
JCG
Japan Coast Guard
JCP
Japan Communist Party
JDA
Japan Defense Agency
JSP
Japan Socialist Party
LDP
Liberal Democratic Party
LNG
Liquefied Natural Gas
METI
Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry
MINUSTAH
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
MOD
Ministry of Defense
MOFA
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
MSDF
Maritime Self Defense Force
MTDP
Mid-Term Defense Plan
NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NBC
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
NDPG
National Defense Program Guideline
NGO
Non-Governmental Organization
xv
NPA
National Police Agency
ODA
Official Development Assistance
PKO
Peace Keeping Operations
PRC
People’s Republic of China
ROK
Republic of Korea
SAGE
Study of Attitudes and Global Engagement
SCC
Security Consultative Committee
SDF
Self Defense Force
SDPJ
Socialist Democratic Party of Japan
TEPCO
Tokyo Electric Power Company
TPP
Trans-Pacific Partnership
UN
United Nations
UNDOF
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
UNMIT
United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
UNMIS
United Nations Mission in Sudan
UNMISS
United Nations Mission in South Sudan
xvi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank two people in particular for their support.
First, my
academic inspiration and advisor, Professor Robert Weiner, has helped guide me through
the entire process providing me with invaluable insight from his extensive understanding
of Japan’s politics and security policy. This has helped keep me on track and focused on
the task at hand. Any contribution to a better understanding of the Self Defense Forces
from this thesis is due in large part to his oversight.
Second, my wife and personal inspiration, Yuko, has supported our family with
unceasing devotion. Her determination and patience has allowed me to spend the time
necessary to conduct research on this topic. Without her support, the quality of my
research would have undoubtedly suffered.
Behind these two individuals is a network of people and institutions too great to
list that have helped me reach this point and achieve another milestone in life. Any
analytical errors made in this thesis can only be attributed to my own shortcomings.
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I.
A.
INTRODUCTION
MAJOR RESEARCH QUESTION
How has the Great East Japan Earthquake affected the Self Defense Force’s
(SDF) trajectory?
This question is posed in light of three possible trajectories:
retrenchment, status quo, and remilitarization. Retrenchment entails the SDF diminishing
its operations surrounding or outside Japan because the disasters have focused Japan on
its internal problems. Potential reasons for this trajectory include, but are not limited to,
Japan’s focus on economic recovery at the expense of its international security activities
or a sense that the SDF is better utilized for domestic rather than international purposes.
Status quo involves maintaining the types of operations currently conducted by the SDF
such as United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations (PKO), anti-piracy operations, and
humanitarian aid disaster relief (HADR). The SDF would continue to face restrictions on
the use of force in international security activities. This trajectory may result because the
disasters simply do not affect the SDF’s trajectory or they just reinforce the status quo.
Remilitarization is defined as the SDF expanding its international security activity
contributions and acting more like a “normal” nation’s military that is not so heavily
restricted in its use of force. This trajectory could possibly result from increased public
appreciation for the SDF because of the SDF’s proven utility as a tool of the state in its
disaster dispatch.
B.
IMPORTANCE
The answer to this major research question is significant on numerous fronts.
Most of the areas affected are represented in the inner workings of Japan’s security
policy. First, the SDF’s involvement in international security activities provides analysts
a sense of Japan’s security policy direction. Understanding the SDF’s role in the Great
East Japan Earthquake will highlight changes in Japan’s security policy with perhaps
long-term implications.
1
Second, the SDF’s employment also gauges the public’s willingness or lack
thereof to support operations abroad or even at home. The effects on Japan’s pacifist
norms as a result of the SDF’s disaster dispatch will signal shifts in these norm
paradigms. Significant changes in this spectrum of norms will have a direct spillover
effect on Japan’s security policy, as public opinion is believed to be a prominent
intervening variable.
Third, the economic impacts from the natural disasters have the potential to affect
the SDF’s ability to counter regional security threats such as China and North Korea. If
the SDF gains public support and maintains or increases its portion of the defense budget,
it is likely to sustain counter-measures against regional threats. If Japan retrenches its
security policy and focuses on a domestic role for the SDF, China’s military expansion
and North Korean missile programs may go unchecked by the SDF.
Fourth, changes in the SDF’s status will directly affect the U.S.-Japan security
alliance. As the United States is engaged in an overseas war, contends with international
threats such as terrorism, and shifts its overseas military footprint to that of an
expeditionary force, this causes U.S. security policy to place pressure on the SDF to
expand its regional responsibilities. Shifting norms affecting the SDF may also have a
spillover affect on U.S. military forces in Japan and the U.S.-Japan security alliance in
general.
C.
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.
Introduction
The literature on Japan’s security policy has grown in the last decade signaling
that there indeed exists a security policy within Japan to write about. The SDF inevitably
becomes the default weathervane used to determine the status and trajectory of Japan’s
security policy. The SDF provides the most concrete measurement of Japan’s willingness
to embark on security related operations outside its borders. SDF operations therefore
tend to represent the political and social environment of the times and indicate major
shifts or gradual trends in Japan’s security policy.
2
Most of the literature regarding the SDF’s trajectory agrees that the SDF does not
operate in a completely “normal” manner. The SDF has not embarked on any overseas
security operations in which it has been allowed the unrestricted use of force. It has been
severely limited in its arms exports and its legitimacy according to Japan’s constitution
and article 9 has been called into question. The restricted nature of the SDF’s operations
contributes to its lack of normalcy and can be considered the status quo under which it
has operated since its inception. The point of contention amongst the literature lies in
interpreting the nature of the SDF’s status quo and how quickly the restrictions
surrounding the SDF are eroding. The result is a debate between two main camps of
academia.
On one end, a growing role and use of the SDF is seen as a road to
remilitarization.
This interpretation of the SDF’s trajectory states that numerous
restrictions impeding the SDF’s “normal” military status are quickly eroding and are
facing fundamental changes in the near future. The other end of the spectrum interprets
Japan’s security policy as coming short of “normal” nation status. In this argument,
pacifist norms provide a serious constraint on the scope of Japan’s security policy and
limit the emphasis on national interests abroad compared to other major economic
powers.
This viewpoint generally reinforces the SDF’s status quo of continued
restrictions on its operations.
The following sections conduct an analytic survey of the two opposing sides of
the SDF trajectory debate: remilitarization and status quo. The final section illustrates
how the status quo can be viewed as dynamic rather than static.
2.
Camp One: Remilitarization
In the last decade, several books have been written about Japan’s resurgence as a
“normal” nation.
Although this trend is given different names by various authors,
remilitarization of Japan’s security policy tends to occupy a large portion of the literature.
Michael Green was one of the first to identify this trend at length in his 2003
book. He recognized that the world was changing around Japan with the rise of China,
3
economic globalization, and an unrivaled United States dominating world politics. 1
These changes forced Japan to reexamine its security policy along several lines. A
balance of power was necessary to remain competitive with China. Idealism took a
backseat to realism as national interests overtook international obligations as the method
for justifying Japan’s security policy.
Perceived threats from China after the 1996
Taiwan Straits crisis and North Korea’s 1998 Taepodong missile launch caused a
heightened sensitivity to security. A new generation of political leaders also prompted
Japan to seek an independent foreign policy. These trends translate into a greater role for
the SDF as threats to Japan emerge in the region. Green calls this development Japan’s
reluctant realism. 2
In 2007, Richard Samuels contributed to the growing literature on Japan’s
military resurgence. He describes Japan’s historical approach to forming security policy
as a series of periods of mainstream versus anti-mainstream political factions eventually
coalescing into a period of consensus. Samuels states the last period of consensus was
the Yoshida doctrine during the Cold War.
The Yoshida doctrine simultaneously
satisfied the major political factions by promising pacifism, providing economic benefits
through liberal internationalism, and providing for its national security by allying with
the United States and maintaining a limited defense posture. 3 Samuels illustrates how the
Yoshida doctrine is being incrementally transformed through the resurgence of Japan’s
security policy, largely during the administration of Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro
from 2001–2006. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the
Diet approved measures allowing the Maritime Self Defense Forces (MSDF) to conduct
coalition-refueling operations in the Indian Ocean. In 2004, the Ground Self Defense
Force (GSDF) was dispatched to southern Iraq in a non-combat role to support civil
engineering projects. The Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) was subsequently deployed to
1 Michael J. Green, Japan’s Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain
Power (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003), 1.
2 Ibid., 6–8.
3 Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia (Ithaca;
London: Cornell University Press, 2007), 58.
4
Baghdad in 2006 to provide air transportation. 4
Japan agreed to jointly develop a
ballistic missile defense (BMD) system with the United States in 2004, which facilitated
the elimination of Japan’s self-imposed arms exports ban. 5 The elevation of Japan’s
Defense Agency to full ministry status in 2007 also indicated the Yoshida doctrine was
eroding. 6 Samuels concludes that a new consensus is perhaps forming characterized as a
dual hedging strategy between the United States and China. This would allow Japan to
strengthen the SDF and its alliance with the United States without threatening China. 7
Christopher Hughes most recently wrote a book on Japan’s remilitarization in
2009. He focuses on several areas in the era after Koizumi deemed to be self-imposed
limitations on Japan’s security apparatus. These areas include size and capabilities of the
SDF, international and alliance military commitments, and domestic norm constraints on
the military. The 2004 National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) defined Japan’s
long-term commitment towards developing a more mobile force capable of dealing with
regional threats and participating in multinational operations. Although the SDF has
quantitatively diminished in the last decade, the 2004 NDPG enabled the SDF to
qualitatively improve its power projection capabilities within the GSDF, MSDF, and
ASDF. 8 Hughes notes that despite the short-lived missions supporting the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan, these experiences with coalition forces allow the SDF to expand its
overseas footprint in other areas such as HADR operations in the Indian Ocean, UN
PKO, and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. 9 Hughes points out increased
domestic support for the SDF shown in opinion polls, the continued reinterpretation of
Japan’s peace constitution, and patriotic education programs as examples of domestic
norm erosion. 10 By illustrating the erosion of these self-constraints in the short-term, he
concludes that Japan is indeed on a path toward remilitarization.
4 Ibid., 96–98.
5 Ibid., 104–106.
6 Ibid., 93.
7 Ibid., 198.
8 Christopher W. Hughes, Japan’s Remilitarisation (London: Routledge, 2010), 35–36, 40–47.
9 Ibid., 83–87.
10 Ibid., 99.
5
3.
Camp Two: Status Quo
On the other end of the Japan security policy debate are those that believe Japan is
not remilitarizing. Instead, this area of literature tends to see the changes in Japan’s
security policy and use of the SDF as generally insignificant compared to those of
“normal” nations. Pacifist norms play a key role in creating the rather trivial operations
conducted by the SDF.
Andrew Oros is one of several authors to recently challenge Japan’s “normal”
nation status. He states Japan’s security policy remains driven by a policy of antimilitarism as evidenced in its three R’s policy of reach, reconcile, and reassure. 11 He
illustrates the power of domestic norms through a case study of the BMD program, which
finds that the program is responsible for bringing the issue of collective self defense to
the forefront. He determines from this that pacifist norms drive the BMD program’s
policy course. 12 He concludes that new threats presented to Japan since the end of the
Cold War are not causing dramatic shifts in its security policy but are rather dealt with
through old principles of pacifism through the three R’s policy approach. 13
Yasuo Takao also questions re-militarization theories about Japan’s security
policy. Instead of focusing on the end results such as the types of operations conducted
by the SDF, he insists that the path toward these outcomes is necessary to develop a
complete understanding of Japan’s security policy. He focuses on two types of policy
constraints: domestic and policy choices based on the regional environment and foreign
pressures. Analysis of these constraints illustrates how non-physical forces such as
norms are translated into physical policy decisions. Therefore, the emphasis of his work
is on social norms and the causal mechanisms that transform these domestic constraints
into security policy decisions. 14
11 Andrew Oros, Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 33.
12 Ibid., 150.
13 Ibid., 171.
14 Yasuo Takao, Is Japan Really Remilitarising? The Politics of Norm Formation and Change
(Clayton, Australia: Monash University Press, 2008), 6–7.
6
Takao’s analysis of four areas generally accepted as key indicators of a “normal”
nation shows that pacifist norms continue to affect these areas. First, Japan’s defense
budget remains at the self-imposed level of 1% of GDP and has not increased despite
growing regional threats. 15
Second, even though Japan has made qualitative
improvements in its defense spending, Japan has avoided overtly offensive weapons
capabilities like intercontinental ballistic missiles, long-range strategic bombers, and
aircraft carriers. Japan’s reluctance to become a nuclear power also illustrates domestic
pressures of pacifism. 16 Third, public opinion polls indicate more support for SDF
involvement in UN PKO than combat operations. Even under the right-wing Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) government led by Koizumi, SDF deployments to Iraq were
limited to non-combat roles. This minimalist approach illustrates the government was
contending with domestic norms. 17
Fourth, the public’s aversion to combat-related
operations is also evidenced in the legalization of overseas deployments only for noncombat purposes as seen in the 1999 Regional Crisis Law and the 2001 Anti-Terrorism
Special Measures Law. 18
Paul Midford also challenges the notion of Japan’s re-militarization toward a
“normal” nation status and goes further to change the way Japanese public opinion is
interpreted within the norms-based arguments. He illustrates that public opinion has been
relatively stable and consistent since the end of World War II and therefore influences
Japan’s security policy. 19
He determines that in the elitist versus pluralist debates
regarding public opinion control, elites cannot exclusively mold public opinion as
evidenced in the decreasing support for Koizumi’s ambitious SDF deployment plans in
the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The public dealt a final blow to the LDP-led government
in the 2009 Lower House election, which put the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in
15 Ibid., 135–137.
16 Ibid., 137–139.
17 Ibid., 139–140.
18 Ibid., 140–142.
19 Paul Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011), 172.
7
power after five decades of LDP rule. 20 Midford describes Japan’s security policy as
defensive realism. Despite the growing literature on Japan’s sudden transition from
pacifism to realism, he argues that Japanese public opinion has never renounced the
utility of military force regarding the protection of national territory, and has consistently
disapproved of military force for offensive strategic operations. 21 What has changed has
been the erosion of anti-militarist distrust of the state to control the military. This has
allowed the state to utilize the SDF in new security roles and explains the expansion of
SDF missions in the past two decades. 22
4.
Dynamic Status Quo
The term status quo suggests a static environment where change is not possible.
Indeed, the literature review of status quo interpretations illustrates that the SDF still
faces numerous restrictions on its operations. These restrictions do not necessarily mean
the nature of SDF operations cannot change within its constrained environment. Take
Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines as an example of the SDF’s dynamic status
quo. Its sole purpose is to define the roles and composition of the SDF based on its
current security environment. Historically, this document has been revised at strategic
crossroads such as after the Cold War (1995) and post-9/11 (2004). The most recent
revision was adopted on December 17, 2010. The 2010 NDPG provides recent insight
into the SDF’s changing role despite the persistent restrictions on its operations. The
following section will describe Japan’s security policy as laid out in the 2010 NDPG and
note any trends or departures from previous NDPG revisions.
Figure 1 provides an overview of the basic elements of the 2010 NDPG. The
2010 NDPG is structured around three security objectives that each translates into three
correlating roles for the SDF. The three SDF roles serve the purpose of distinguishing
20 Ibid., 122–123, 144–145.
21 Ibid., 48.
22 Ibid., 67.
8
between internal, regional, and international policy areas. Two categories, posture and
organization, help identify the capabilities needed to fulfill each of the SDF’s three
roles. 23
Figure 1.
Overview of 2010 NDPG (From East Asian Strategic Review, 2011)
23 National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of
Defense, 2010), 10–12.
9
Three changes in the 2010 NDPG are noteworthy. The first is the introduction of
the term gray zones. This term recognizes the trend that there are increasingly more
potential areas for conflict that will not necessarily escalate into full-scale war. These
conflicts over territory, sovereignty, and economic interests do not necessarily fall within
a strictly peacetime or wartime construct and are so complex that they require a diverse
network of bilateral and multilateral cooperation initiatives to address. As the focus on
gray zone conflicts gains momentum, the 2010 NDPG also places less emphasis on
defending against a full-scale invasion by advocating the retention of minimal knowledge
in this area. 24
The second change is the departure from a Basic Defense Force (BDF) to a
Dynamic Defense Force (DDF).
A BDF is a Cold War-era term and is primarily
concerned with building a defense force designed to deter simply by the existence of its
forces. A DDF focuses on how to operate forces in a changing security environment
where security problems in gray zones are increasingly diverse and require a constant
state of readiness. The shift from a BDF to a DDF began in the 2004 NDPG when it
retained the fundamental tenants of the BDF concept but introduced the need for a multifunctional and flexible defense force. The 2010 NDPG directly disavows the BDF
concept and further reinforces the trend initiated in the 2004 NDPG toward a DDF. The
DDF concept serves to drastically change the nature of SDF operations in the future. It
calls for increased surveillance and reconnaissance activities specifically and raised
operational tempo in general. The DDF concept opens up the opportunity for increased
cooperation with other nations, as complex security issues need to be addressed in bilateral or multi-lateral frameworks. 25
The third change is the application of dynamic deterrence. Traditional concepts
of deterrence such as deterrence by punishment or denial cannot adequately deter the
types of conflicts in gray zones. Therefore, dynamic deterrence is necessary to handle the
two most probable situations in this environment: a probing or fait accompli action.
24 Ibid., 2–4.
25 East Asian Strategic Review 2011 (Tokyo: The National Institute for Defense Studies, 2011), 252–
254.
10
Dynamic deterrence is accomplished through demonstrated readiness and continual
operations that deny a gap in geographical or time coverage. 26
Although Japan’s strategists have vowed their policies remain defense-oriented,
the introduction of concepts such as gray zones, dynamic defense force, and dynamic
deterrence, and increased attention placed on conducting operations to maintain regional
and international security suggests that Japan’s security policy is increasingly blurring the
line between offensive and defensive terms. This type of security policy at first appears
to be an indication of remilitarization. The SDF must, however, execute its new roles in
an environment that continues to restrict its operations. Thus, the 2010 NDPG illustrates
the SDF’s status quo is capable of change and can be aptly labeled a dynamic status quo.
5.
Conclusion
The literature review illustrates a spectrum of interpretation on Japan’s security
policy status. It indicates that ones adherence to a particular worldview weighs heavily
on the conclusion reached. A realist will treat Japan as a black box, ignoring the impact
of norms, and determine Japan’s security policy trajectory based on incremental policy
changes. In this case, Japan is on an unmistakable path to “normal” nation status. A
constructivist will look inside the black box and pay less attention to Japan’s evolving
position within the international environment and relation to perceived threats. In this
light, pacifist norms are unchanging and triumph over realism, resulting in maintenance
of the status quo.
Both academia camps provide a warning against teleological
approaches to the interpretation of the Great East Japan Earthquake’s impact on the
SDF’s trajectory. Furthermore, the SDF’s status quo must be viewed in a dynamic sense,
capable of change while restrictions on its operations endure. Consideration must be
given to all influences on the Japan security policy debate in order to arrive at wellrounded conclusions.
26 Ibid., 255–256.
11
D.
METHODS AND SOURCES
One of the challenges facing this research topic is the lack of scholarly writing
about the Great East Japan Earthquake. This is because of its recent occurrence within
the last year and limited primary source translations from Japanese to English. For
information on the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent events, primary Japanese
sources are needed to provide a sense of the disaster’s effect on the SDF’s trajectory.
Major Japanese editorial newspapers such as the Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, and
Yomiuri Shimbun provide English versions of their newspapers.
These sources are
helpful in understanding the various positions taken by the major media outlets toward
the SDF in the aftermath of the disasters. They also provide Japanese public opinion
polls on various areas related to Japan’s security policy and the SDF. Although the
English versions are used as source material throughout this thesis, they are generally
representative of their larger Japanese versions. Japanese ministry websites, specifically
the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Economy, Trade,
and Industry, contain English translations of important statistical information, policy,
official government statements, and assessments related to the Great East Japan
Earthquake. These sources give a solid indication of the SDF’s role in and after the
disaster dispatch and the SDF’s trajectory. Japanese sources that are not independent
from the subject matter, such as the Ministry of Defense, may be biased in its portrayal of
the SDF. Independent scholarly sources or Japanese sources from various organizations
are used to mitigate the chance of biased evidence when non-biased sources are available.
The primary research method to be used is a case study. The case is the Great
East Japan Earthquake and approximately one year of subsequent events. This will allow
the research to be focused on a particular event and time period.
E.
THESIS OVERVIEW
This thesis is organized thematically. Chapter I has laid out the major research
question, its significance, the status of the SDF’s trajectory debate, and the methods and
sources to be used in answering the research question. Chapter II describes the disasters
and the SDF’s response in detail in order to provide a foundation for analysis in the
12
following chapter. Chapter III analyzes the four main areas that are likely to affect the
SDF’s trajectory:
security interests, economic interests, norms, and actors and
institutions. The concluding chapter synthesizes the previous chapters’ information and
answers the major research question.
13
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14
II.
THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE: THE EVENTS
AND MANIFESTATIONS
A.
INTRODUCTION
In order to analyze the affects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on the SDF, a
basic understanding of the events and facts surrounding the disasters is necessary. This
chapter begins by describing the scope of the disasters in order to provide a glimpse into
their catalytic nature. The remainder of the chapter provides a series of manifestations.
These manifestations encompass several themes related to the SDF’s disaster dispatch
after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The manifestations serve three purposes. First, in
the course of their description, they place the SDF’s disaster dispatch in context by
covering a wide range of topics that attempts to avoid overemphasis on any particular
element, which may lead to inaccurate or inflated conclusions.
Second, the
manifestations highlight pre-existing characteristics that may not have been obvious prior
to the disasters. Third, they function as assumptions for subsequent chapters. The
manifestations are as follows:
•
The SDF is a competent HADR force:
o
Decisive
o
Versatile
o
Joint
•
The SDF is the most capable HADR force within Japan.
•
The domestic political environment is conducive to the SDF’s effective
domestic application and integration of international assistance.
•
The SDF’s HADR capabilities demonstrate ability for other operations.
15
B.
SCOPE OF THE DISASTERS
The official title given to the disasters is the Great East Japan Earthquake. This
encompasses the earthquake, subsequent tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster. The
following sections describe the depth and breadth of these three disasters.
1.
The Earthquake
On March 11, 2011, at 2:46PM, a 9.0 earthquake struck Japan. The nearest land
to the hypocenter was Oshika Peninsula at 130 km off the eastern coast of Japan’s main
island of Honshu. The closest city with over 1 million people, Sendai, was 180 km from
the hypocenter and Japan’s most populous city, Tokyo, was 390 km away (see
Figure 2). 27 The earthquake was the largest recorded in Japan and the fifth largest ever
recorded in the world.
The Japan Coast Guard reported that the seabed near the
hypocenter shifted 24 m and the Oshika Peninsula moved 5.3 m during the earthquake. 28
27 The largest seismic activity recorded on land was a 7.0 on the Richter scale recorded in Kurihara
City in Miyagi Prefecture. In Japan’s Tohoku region, northeastern Japan, 28 cities and towns recorded a
greater than magnitude 6 earthquake. The main shock was felt throughout Japan from Kyushu in the South
to Hokkaido in the North. Japan’s most populous prefectures, Tokyo and Kanagawa, saw between a 4 and
5 magnitude earthquake. “The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake,” Japan Meteorological
Agency, http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/2011_Earthquake.html (accessed October 19, 2011).
28 “Earthquake Shifted Seabed 24 Meters,” Daily Yomiuri, April 8, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110407004595.htm.
16
Figure 2.
Distribution of Seismic Activity from Great East Japan Earthquake (From
“The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake,” 2011)
17
The damage caused by the earthquake was minor compared to that of the ensuing
tsunami, yet its destruction reached further inland (see Table 1). 29
Significant
infrastructure damage caused by the earthquake included the destruction of 347 out of
675 km of the Tohoku Expressway, the main transportation route for commercial
industry connecting the Tohoku region to the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo. 30
Table 1.
2.
Great East Japan Earthquake Damage Situation as of October 7, 2011
(From Damage Situation and Police Countermeasures, 2011)
The Tsunami
The 9.0 earthquake triggered a series of massive tsunami waves. Within minutes
after 2:46PM, the smaller first waves began to hit Japan’s eastern coast. The waves
continued to grow and in less than an hour the tsunami waves reached their maximum
observed height in several locations, giving residents less than 30 minutes in some cases
to make the decision to evacuate low lying areas. The three hardest hit prefectures were
from North to South: Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. The highest recorded tsunami
height was 9.3m in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture at 3:51PM (see Figure 3). 31 It was
29 Eighteen fatalities, presumably from the earthquake, occurred in prefectures not directly hit by the
tsunami, Tokyo (7), Kanagawa (4), Yamagata (2), Tochigi (4), and Gunma (1). These same prefectures
also suffered minor property and infrastructure damage compared to the coastal prefectures. “Damage
Situation and Police Countermeasures,” Japan National Police Agency,
http://www.npa.go.jp/archive/keibi/biki/higaijokyo_e.pdf (accessed October 7, 2011).
30 Road to Recovery (Tokyo: Government of Japan, 2011), 11.
31 “The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake.”
18
believed the tsunami reached much higher in numerous areas. 32 When the waves reached
their maximum heights and lost their momentum, the waters receded back into the ocean
with the same devastating force. The tsunami submerged an estimated total of 326
square km in Miyagi Prefecture, 67 square km in Fukushima Prefecture, and 49 square
km in Iwate Prefecture. 33 The total amount represents an area seven times larger than
Manhattan. Figure 4 provides a visual approximation of the tsunami’s impact along
Japan’s eastern coast. 34
Figure 3.
Observed Tsunami Heights (From “The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of
Tohoku Earthquake,” 2011)
32 Japan’s Port and Airport Research Institute estimated the wave heights reached 15m at the moment
of impact with Japan’s Sanriku coast in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. The mountainous and jagged
coastline is believed to have pushed the tsunami waves up to 20m in some places once they reached land.
The forces behind the tsunami were truly devastating. In the three hardest hit prefectures, tsunami waves
rushed inland, destroying everything in their path. The tsunami devastated coastal towns and swept
through low-lying areas as far as 5 km inland near Sendai and Ishinomaki Bays in Miyagi Prefecture.”
Tsunami Topped 15 Meters on Sanriku Coast,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 18, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110318004192.htm.
33 “Tsunami Flooding Hit Miyagi Pref. Areas Hardest,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 31, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110330005586.htm.
34 USG Humanitarian Assistance to Japan for the Earthquake and Tsunami: April 2011 United States
Agency International Development, [2011]).
19
Figure 4.
Assessed Areas Damaged by Tsunami (From “USG Humanitarian
Assistance to Japan for the Earthquake and Tsunami,” 2011)
The damage caused by the tsunami accounts for an overwhelming majority of the
damage inflicted. The most devastating of these is the loss of human life. As of October
20
7, 2011, 15,822 people were reported killed and 3,926 people remained missing. Ninetynine percent of the killed or missing were from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima
Prefectures. The missing are not likely to be recovered, which makes 19,748 the likely
total number of people killed by the disaster. Another 5,942 people were reported as
injured (see Table 1). The toll taken from the Japanese population is substantial, but the
way in which it occurred adds to the devastating narrative left behind. In the weeks
following the tsunami, the Japanese news media began reporting on countless tragic
stories from those that lost loved ones often by their side. 35 36 37
Property and infrastructure was badly damaged along Japan’s eastern coast.
Japan Railway East discovered 23 stations and portions of 7 lines damaged in Iwate,
Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures. 38 Sendai’s airport lies close to the coast and was
inundated by the tsunami. 39 Property damage was most prevalent in Iwate, Miyagi, and
Fukushima Prefectures, which accounted for 96% of the 118,516 buildings completely
destroyed and 82% of the 180,700 buildings half collapsed (see Table 1). As a testament
to the strength of the tsunami, it demolished the world’s deepest breakwater. 40 The
outcome was much the same in numerous other coastal cities that had spent decades
fortifying their towns against tsunamis after experiencing similarly devastating tsunamis
in 1896 and 1960. 41
35 Hiroshi Sakamoto, “As Snow Falls, A Tearful Vigil for Wife, Mom,” The Daily Yomiuri, March
18, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110317004504.htm.
36 Naoto Takeda, Tatsuya Imaoka and Shigeru Yamada, “Pain Pours Out of Grieving Parents,” The
Daily Yomiuri, March 15, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110314004973.htm.
37 Yusuke Amano, “Ultimate Sacrifice Given for A Lifeline,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 24, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110323004438.htm.
38 “Tsunami Washed Away 23 JR Stations,” The Daily Yomiuri, April/ 2, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110401004996.htm.
39 Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery (August
2011) (Tokyo: Government of Japan, 2011), 6.
40 The 2 km long, 20 m thick, 8 m high, 63 m deep, and 7 million cubic meter breakwater protecting
the Kamaishi Bay in Iwate Prefecture could not withstand the force of the tsunami that left 800m of the
breakwater completely destroyed. Yasushi Kaneko, “Tsunami Tore Through Defenses: World’s Deepest
Breakwater Couldn’t Withstand Momentum of 250 Jumbo Jets,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 22, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110321004432.htm.
41 “50 Years of Effort Swept Away: Tsunami Wiped Out Dikes, Breakwaters That Took Decades To
Build,” The Daily Yomiuri, April 10, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110409003380.htm.
21
The economic impact of the tsunami was extensive. Japan’s Cabinet Office
estimated the total economic damage done in the affected areas to be 16.9 trillion yen,
nearly 220 billion dollars based on a 77 yen / 1 dollar ratio. A majority of the costs,
10.4 trillion yen, are attributed to property damage (see Table 2). 42 This figure makes the
Great East Japan Earthquake the costliest natural disaster in the world’s history.
Table 2.
3.
Estimated Economic Damage (From “Road to Recovery,” 2011)
The Nuclear Power Station Disaster
Four stations with a total of 14 nuclear power plants were in the immediate area
affected by the earthquake and tsunami. 43 Plants 4, 5, and 6 at Fukushima Dai-ichi were
under periodic inspection outage at the time of the earthquake and plants 1, 2, and 3 were
automatically shutdown. External power at the station was cut-off due to the earthquake.
42 Road to Recovery, 10.
43 These stations were Onagawa, Fukushima Dai-ichi, Fukushima Dai-ni, and Tokai Dai-ni. All plants
at Onagawa, Fukushima Dai-ni, and Tokai Dai-ni had no serious damage and were shutdown automatically
when the earthquake hit.
22
An estimated 14 m tsunami wave washed over the 5.7 m breakwater at the station and
inundated the emergency diesel power generator and the cooling pumps, making them
inoperable at 3:41PM (see Figure 5). 44
Figure 5.
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station Damage (From “Great East
Japan Earthquake and the Seismic Damage to the NPSs,” 2011)
The lack of any cooling system set off a chain reaction of events that led to one of
the worst nuclear disasters. Prime Minister Kan Naoto ordered citizens to evacuate
within a 20 km radius of Fukushima Dai-ichi and a 10 km radius of Fukushima Dai-ni on
March 12. 45 That same day, a hydrogen explosion occurred in the upper part of plant 1’s
building after the primary containment vessel was vented. Similar hydrogen explosions
44 Great East Japan Earthquake and the Seismic Damage to the NPSs: July 2011 (Tokyo: Japan
Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, 2011), 1.
45 The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Pacific Earthquake and the Seismic Damage to the
NPPs: April 2011, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization,
2011), 48.
23
occurred at plant 3 on March 14 and at plant 2 on March 15. In the first week after the
earthquake, SDF, police, and fire department forces desperately tried to cool the plants
and prevent further radiation leaks using helicopters and fire pump trucks. As a result of
low water levels in reactor pressure vessels due to disabled cooling systems, damage to
plant structures from the explosions, and cooling attempts using seawater and freshwater,
the plants emitted higher than normal doses of radiation into the atmosphere and
surrounding water and soil. 46, 47 On April 12, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety
Agency raised the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale level to a 7, the
highest position representing a major accident. 48 This put the incident on par with the
1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. 49
In the several months following the nuclear accident, cooling systems were
restored, contaminated water was contained, and radiation emission was brought down to
acceptable levels. Loss of life was averted and TEPCO was on track toward a cold
shutdown by the end of 2011. 50
C.
MANIFESTATIONS
1.
The SDF Is a Competent HADR Force
HADR as a source of legitimacy means nothing for the SDF if they do not
perform well. Furthermore, performance must be demonstrated to a large audience in
order to have any significant impact on the SDF’s public perception. The SDF’s role in
46 Great East Japan Earthquake and the Seismic Damage to the NPSs: July 2011, 2–4.
47 The Japanese government ordered some vegetable and dairy product shipments from Fukushima
and Ibaraki Prefectures to be halted on March 24. “Food Problems Worsen,” Daily Yomiuri, March 24,
2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110323005308.htm.
48 “N-Crisis Upgraded to ‘7’: Fukushima Accident Boosted to Top Level of Global Scale,” Daily
Yomiuri, April 13, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110412006650.htm.
49 The two disasters differed in that the amount of radiation emitted by Fukushima Dai-ichi in 30 days
was only 10% of the amount leaked in the first 10 days at Chernobyl. No one died from Fukushima Daiichi’s radiation as opposed to the 28 acute radiation sickness deaths at Chernobyl. Also, the Japanese
government quickly ordered citizens to evacuate before radiation doses became potentially dangerous
whereas Soviet officials did not order evacuations until residents had been exposed to large amounts of
radiation. Major Differences Between the Chernobyl Accident and the Accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi
Nuclear Power Station: April 2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, [2011]).
50 Great East Japan Earthquake and the Seismic Damage to the NPSs: July 2011, 2–4.
24
domestic HADR is typically on a much smaller scale commensurate to the size of the
disaster.
Nonetheless, the SDF is involved in a considerable amount of HADR
operations within Japan each year. In FY2010, the SDF participated in 529 different
disaster relief operations of which 15 were in direct response to a natural disaster. The
average contingent of SDF personnel involved in the 15 natural disasters averages
approximately 390 (see Table 3). 51 These smaller operations provide limited experience
to the SDF and do not get the attention as one might expect from a large disaster. The
Great East Japan Earthquake provided the SDF an opportunity to demonstrate that it was
a competent HADR force to a much larger domestic and international audience. The
SDF exhibited three characteristics as a competent HADR force: decisiveness, versatility,
and jointness.
Table 3.
SDF Disaster Relief Dispatches, FY2010 (From “Defense of Japan,” 2011)
a.
Decisive
The SDF can be characterized as decisive due to their rapid and effective
response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi
immediately established the SDF Disaster Response Headquarters at 2:50 PM. A total of
11 SDF aircraft including two Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) UH-1 helicopters, two
51 Defense of Japan 2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Defense, 2011), 244.
25
Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) P-3C patrol aircraft and one UH-60 helicopter and
six Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) F-15 fighter aircraft responded within 30 minutes of
the earthquake. 52 Kitazawa then ordered large-scale disaster relief dispatch at 6:00PM
followed by nuclear disaster dispatch at 7:30PM on March 11. Approximately 8,400
personnel and 190 aircraft were immediately mobilized as a result of these orders. 53, 54
The SDF quickly adapted to its first challenge as it had relatively little
information about what areas needed search and rescue assistance. The tsunami wiped
out entire villages, leaving some survivors stranded on rooftops, and cut off other towns
and villages entirely. The disaster relief exercise Michinoku Alert in 2008 operated on
the assumption that the SDF and other rescue participants would receive information
from local municipalities affected by the disaster. In most cases, even these facilities
were destroyed leaving the SDF with no on the ground perspective. The GSDF adapted
to this situation by immediately deploying roughly 20 CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters
from Kisarazu Air Field in Chiba Prefecture, Somabara Air Field in Gunma Prefecture,
and Camp Kasuminome near Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. These helicopters performed
some of the first rescues and reconnoitered the affected areas. The ASDF also launched
RF-4 reconnaissance planes from Hyakuri Air Field in Ibaraki Prefecture in order to
assess the extent of damages. The information gathered helped the GSDF begin largescale mobilization of its forces into the affected areas at dawn on March 12.
The MSDF also quickly sprang into action. The Commanding Admiral of
the Yokosuka District, which has responsibility for the seas adjacent to the affected areas,
established his headquarters at the Self Defense Fleet’s Headquarters in Yokosuka and
ordered ships to sortie immediately. JDS HARUSAME (DD102) was the first ship to get
52 Road to Recovery, 4.
53 “Activity Posture of the Minister of Defense and the Self Defense Forces,” Japan Defense Focus,
August, 2011, 2.
54 As a testament to the SDF’s rapid response, the GSDF’s 21st infantry regiment based in Akita
Prefecture arrived in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture to provide aid to a completely isolated town by
7:30AM on March 12. Road to Recovery, 37.
26
underway on March 11. By 10:00AM the next morning, 17 ships were underway from
Yokosuka en route to areas in vicinity of Oshika Peninsula. The first ships arrived off the
coast at 5:00PM on March 12. 55
Kan ordered Kitazawa to increase SDF personnel numbers to 100,000.
The number of deployed personnel reached 50,000 by March 13 and 100,000 by March
18. At the peak of their operations the SDF forces numbered approximately 107,000
personnel, 540 aircraft, and 60 ships. This represents approximately 40% of the SDF’s
240,000 personnel.
It was the largest mobilization of forces in the SDF’s 57-year
history. 56 The GSDF deployed the most forces with 70,000 troops. The ASDF deployed
21,600 personnel and the MSDF sent 15,000. 57
The large-scale disaster relief operations prompted another decisive
response when Kitazawa called up reserve and ready reserve personnel on March 16 for
the first time in SDF history to serve in the disaster relief effort. 58 59
The SDF’s rapid deployment displays competence not just because they
were following procedure but also because the speed and degree to which the SDF
responded was their choice.
After the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the
primary method of requesting SDF assistance for disaster relief operations remained with
the prefectural governor. The discretionary dispatch method was expanded to allow unit
55 Hidemichi Katsumata, “Disaster Relief Operations of the JSDF for the Great East Japan
Earthquake,” Ships of the World, June, 2011.
56 Defense of Japan 2011, 3.
57 Record of Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake by the Self Defense Forces and
Other Foreign Countries (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Defense, [2011]).
58 “Disaster Call-Up of Reserve and Ready Reserve Personnel,” Japan Ministry of Defense,
http://www.mod.go.jp/e/pressrele/2011/110316.html (accessed October 18, 2011).
59 Initially, only GSDF reserve personnel were called up and then MSDF and ASDF reserves were
activated on April 15. A total of 2,210 ready reserves and 309 reserves participated in disaster relief
operations, 26% and 1% of each category of reserve personnel respectively. Most reserve personnel were
activated for 1 to 2 weeks. Defense of Japan 2011, 17.
27
commanders three circumstances under which they could deploy their forces. 60
Numerous SDF unit commanders made the decision to initiate discretionary dispatches
based on these guidelines.
b.
Versatile
The SDF executed a wide variety of operations during their disaster relief
efforts including search and rescue, rescue operations for missing persons, transport
assistance, livelihood assistance (water supply, food, fuel, bathing, medical), and debris
removal.
The mission priority immediately after the disaster was the search and
rescue of survivors.
All elements of the SDF began search and rescue operations
immediately. 61 As a result of the massive and rapid deployment to the affected areas, the
SDF played the most prominent role in search and rescue operations. The SDF rescued
19,286 people, which is approximately 70% of all those rescued. 62 Of this total, 14,933
are attributed to the GSDF, 3,453 to the ASDF, and 900 to the MSDF. 63
64
The SDF was
responsible for two of the highest profile rescues seen throughout Japan and the world. 65
As the days passed by, the focus of the operation shifted to recovering
missing persons. The GSDF conducted numerous concentrated search operations with
other rescue forces in the coastal regions of the most affected prefectures. 66 The MSDF
60 First, SDF assets must be deployed to gather information from the affected region in order to pass
on to relevant organizations. Second, it is determined that the prefectural governor cannot make a request
and immediate assistance is needed. Third, life-saving operations are needed. Ibid., 241.
61 The GSDF took the main lead in rescue operations on the ground while the MSDF did so from the
sea. All services contributed their air assets in search operations as well. Ibid., 4.
62 Record of Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake by the Self Defense Forces and
Other Foreign Countries.
63 “Disaster Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Japan Air Self Defense Force,
http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/touhokuoki/katudou/ (accessed October 19, 2011).
64 “Situation of Disaster Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Japan Maritime Self
Defense Force, http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/formal/operation/earthquake.html (accessed October 19, 2011).
65 GSDF personnel rescued a 4-month old girl from the rubble in Ishinomaki City and JDS CHOKAI
(DDG 176) rescued a man adrift in the ocean on a roof for two days. Defense of Japan 2011, 4.
66 Ibid., 5.
28
distributed their approximately 60 ships for search and logistics operations along a vast
portion of Japan’s northeastern coast (see Figure 6). 67
Figure 6.
MSDF Dispatch Units, Right After the Disaster (After “Situation of
Disaster Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” 2011)
Of all the bodies recovered, the SDF accommodated 9,505, which
accounts for roughly 60% of the total fatalities. SDF personnel also personally carried
the bodies of 1,004 individuals. 68 Because of the high fatality rates, the SDF conducted
transportation of bodies to burial sites and helped receive them at mortuaries.
Along with search and rescue operations the SDF began transport
assistance operations to get disaster relief personnel and supplies into the affected areas.
67 Situation of Disaster Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
68 Record of Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake by the Self Defense Forces and
Other Foreign Countries.
29
The SDF transported a total of 175 patients and 20,240 people from Disaster Assistance
Medical Teams and rescue units. The transportation of supplies facilitated the delivery of
roughly 13,906 tons of supplies. 69
The MSDF’s role in the disaster relief operations was primarily
transportation assistance. Ships delivered supplies to the mainland via Landing Craft Air
Cushion and helicopter. The MSDF was also suited to deliver aid to isolated islands. 70
Of note for the MSDF, JDS HYUGA (DDH-181) proved its utility as a multi-mission
platform. 71 During the disaster relief operations, it served as a command center for other
vessels in the area and helped coordinate efforts with the U.S. military. Its flight deck
was used as a relay station for all of the SDF services and U.S. military aircraft that were
transporting personnel and delivering aid.
Its compliment of medical and dental
technicians and ample bathing facilities were used to support a number of citizens from
the disaster areas. 72 The second DDH, JDS ISE (DDH-182), was recently commissioned
on March 16, 2011. As these ships are very new, it can be expected that they will play a
vital role in HADR operations within Japan for years to come.
The successful
deployment of JDS HYUGA in a HADR operation may continue to distract outsiders to
the DDH’s primary missions of anti-submarine warfare and command and control.
As supplies and personnel began to flow into the disaster areas and bases
of operation were established, the SDF conducted livelihood assistance activities by
providing water, food, fuel, bathing facilities, and medical care.
GSDF personnel
delivered water via water tank vehicles and trailers to shelters and established water
stations in other areas. A total of 32,985 tons of water was distributed in approximately
200 places. The GSDF also provided canned foods, emergency meals, bread, rice, and
69 Ibid.
70 Ibid.
71 JDS HYUGA was commissioned in 2009. Although it is capable of conducting multiple missions,
it was designed to be an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform and flotilla commander flagship with a
robust communications suite. Missions other than these including HADR are considered secondary
missions for JDS HYUGA. Nonetheless, its large flight deck with four helicopter pads and extensive
command and control equipment make it one of the most capable HADR platforms in the MSDF fleet.
Yoji Koda, “A New Carrier Race?” Naval War College Review 64, no. 3 (Summer, 2011), 31, 48–55.
72 Defense of Japan 2011, 9.
30
other food items at outdoor cooking stations. The MSDF transported disaster victims
from isolated islands to their ships and opened up their dining facilities to feed them. The
SDF provided a staggering 5,005,484 meals in approximately 100 places. Kerosene for
heating and fuel for livelihood and emergency vehicles was also distributed throughout
the disaster area. Approximately 368,784 gallons of fuel was provided. The GSDF set
up outdoor bathing facilities while the ASDF opened Matsushima Air Base for public
use. The MSDF also allowed citizens to use its bathing facilities on Hachinohe Base and
opened its bathing facilities on ships. A total of 1,084,132 baths in nearly 35 places were
provided to local citizens.
Mobile medical units traveled around the disaster area
providing examinations and medical care to victims. The SDF also utilized its medical
facilities at the SDF Sendai Hospital and MSDF Hachinohe Base. Roughly 23,370
people received treatment from SDF medical personnel. 73
74
The SDF also involved itself in reconstruction operations from the
beginning of the disaster. Priority was given to clearing roads in support of search and
rescue operations. Key infrastructure was cleared of rubble and restored to working
order.
These areas included Sendai Airport, Hachinohe Airport, Miyako Port, and
Kesennuma Port. The SDF constructed temporary bridges where needed to connect
isolated communities. 75 In all, 322 km of road was cleared of obstacles. 76
The nuclear disaster dispatch force conducted a wide variety of missions
in vicinity of Fukushima Dai-ni and the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power
stations such as water supply and pumping to cool reactors, decontamination, monitoring
operations, assistance to the local community, and search operations in areas near the
nuclear power station. 77
73 Ibid., 9–11.
74 Record of Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake by the Self Defense Forces and
Other Foreign Countries.
75 Defense of Japan 2011, 12.
76 Record of Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake by the Self Defense Forces and
Other Foreign Countries.
77 Defense of Japan 2011, 14–17.
31
The nuclear disaster dispatch mobilized quickly after the earthquake.
ASDF water supply vehicles pumped water onto reactors at Fukushima Dai-ni on March
13 and 14. The major effort concentrated on Fukushima Dai-ichi as it sustained the most
damage. As the situation intensified, the GSDF made its first attempt to cool plant 3. On
March 17, two CH-47J helicopters carrying firefighting water buckets dumped 30 tons of
water over four trips on plant 3. 78 In conjunction with the police and fire departments,
the SDF used its fire trucks to pump water onto plant 3 from March 17–18 and on plant 4
from March 20–21. Altogether the SDF used 44 fire trucks and pumped 340 tons of
water on the reactors. Numerous SDF air assets monitored the status of Fukushima Daiichi throughout the crisis by measuring levels of radiation. GSDF personnel conducted
decontamination operations at eight stations along major roads for local residents and
rescue personnel.
As Kan established evacuation zones around the nuclear power
stations, SDF personnel assisted the elderly and hospitalized citizens evacuate from the
area. When evacuated persons were allowed to temporarily revisit their homes from May
11, the SDF assisted these residents through measurement and decontamination
operations. As the radiation threat decreased in April and May, the SDF conducted a
series of searches near Fukushima Dai-ichi. 79
The immense scope and effectiveness of SDF involvement after the Great
East Japan Earthquake indicates the SDF is a versatile HADR force.
c.
Joint
The scope of the disasters meant that each service would be necessary in
the disaster relief efforts. After each service began mobilizing their forces, a joint task
force was formed on March 14 to collectively strengthen the disaster relief operations.
Kitazawa appointed the GSDF Commanding General of the Northeastern Army,
78 The intent was to replenish the water levels in the spent fuel pools in order to keep the temperature
under control. “Water Dumped on Reactor: GSDF Choppers Attempt to Cool No. 3 Fuel Rod Pool,” The
Daily Yomiuri, March 18, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110317005354.htm.
79 ASDF RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft and GSDF UH-1 helicopters conducted air reconnaissance and
GSDF CH-47J helicopters fitted with thermal measuring devices monitored the reactor’s temperature.
ASDF T-4 aircraft and SDF helicopters used dosimeter equipment to measure the types of radiation in
vicinity of the power station. Defense of Japan 2011, 14–17.
32
Kimizuka Eiji, to head the joint task force. The joint task force represented the first time
ground, naval, and air units conducted large-scale joint operations outside of an exercise
(see Figure 7 for geographic reference). 80
Figure 7.
Location of Principal SDF Units as of March 31, 2011 (From “Defense of
Japan,” 2011)
The joint task force encompassed two separate dispatch forces within the
command structure. Most of the SDF forces fell under the large-scale earthquake disaster
dispatch. The Central Readiness Force (CRF) was the nuclear disaster dispatch force. 81
80 Ibid., 2–3.
81 The CRF was created in 2007 along with the formation of the Ministry of Defense. Its
headquarters is in Asaka, Tokyo and its mission is to act as a rapid response force capable of handling a
wide range of missions for domestic or international purposes. It is comprised of various and elite SDF
units including the 1st Airborne Brigade, 1st Helicopter Brigade, Special Forces Group, and Central NBC
Defense Unit. “Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment (Japan- Army),” IHS Global Limited,
http://search.janes.com.libproxy.nps.edu/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/cnasu/j
[email protected]&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Japan%20Army&backPath=http://search.janes.c
om/Search&Prod_Name=CNAS& (accessed December 22, 2011), 2–3.
33
The CRF’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) unit, mobility, and close proximity
to Fukushima Dai-ichi made it an ideal selection to deploy as the nuclear disaster
dispatch force (see Figure 8).
Figure 8.
MOD and SDF Organization for the Great East Japan Earthquake (From
“Defense of Japan,” 2011)
Two central coordination centers were established to facilitate joint task
force coordination and incorporate U.S. military assistance. These were located at the
Ministry of Defense building in Ichigaya, Tokyo and U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters at
Yokota Air Base. A field coordination center was created at the Northeastern Army
Headquarters in Sendai where Kimizuka commanded the joint task force. 82
The joint task force and coordination centers facilitated concerted efforts
at the intra-service level and at the bi-lateral level with the U.S. military. The mass
mobilization of personnel and resources and their successful operations seen by the
numerous accomplishments across a broad spectrum of HADR missions shows how
82 Defense of Japan 2011, 21.
34
effective the SDF functioned at the intra-service level.
The SDF’s relief supply
transportation method exemplifies this joint functionality in particular (see Figure 9). 83
Figure 9.
Transport of Aid Supplies (From “Defense of Japan,” 2011)
At the bi-lateral level, the SDF and U.S. military demonstrated the
effectiveness of their coordinated operations and validated years of joint exercises. The
United States provided the largest source of international military assistance to Japan
under the name of OPERATION TOMODACHI from March 13 – April 8. At the peak
of operations, 16,000 U.S. military service members, 15 ships, and 140 aircraft supported
the HADR operation. 84 USS RONALD REAGAN carrier strike group participated in a
massive joint search with the SDF comprised of 7,000 U.S. service members and 18,000
SDF personnel. Nearly 339 bodies were found as a result of the operation. 85 U.S. Navy
83 Prefecture governments delivered donated supplies to local SDF bases in each prefecture. These
bases then consolidated supplies at the major air bases in each prefecture. Supplies were sent from these air
bases and other prefecture bases via GSDF, MSDF, and ASDF transportation assets to one of three major
transfer locations: Hanamaki Airport in Iwate Prefecture, Fukushima Airport, and Matsushima Air Base in
Miyagi Prefecture. From these locations, supplies were delivered to evacuation shelters via helicopters and
trucks. Ibid., 6.
84 Ibid., 19.
85 Chiyomi Sumida, “Massive Search by U.S., Japanese Troops Wraps Up With 339 Bodies Found,”
Stars and Stripes, April 4, 2011.
35
salvage units conducted port clearance operations in Hachinohe, Miyako, and
Kesennuma. USS ESSEX amphibious readiness group provided disaster assistance to the
isolated Oshima Island. 86 USS TORTUGA (LSD 46) transported 300 GSDF troops and
100 vehicles from Hokkaido to the disaster area. Logistics aircraft from U.S. Marine
Corps Air Station Futenma transported disaster relief supplies to MSDF Iwakuni Air
Base, Atsugi Air Facility, and Yokota Air Base. The U.S. Air Force also played a large
role in transporting relief supplies primarily through Yokota and Misawa Air Bases. 87
U.S. soldiers and marines worked with the SDF and civilian contractors to clear debris
from the seriously damaged Sendai Airport.
The joint effort quickly restored the
airport’s functionality on March 28. 88 Small numbers of U.S. soldiers and marines
conducted various livelihood activities in communities throughout the disaster area.
These forces cleared debris from schools and train stations, and deployed portable
bathing facilities for local residents. For the nuclear accident, the U.S. military provided
five water pumps, two large barges and pumps to aid freshwater cooling efforts, and
roughly 18 tons of boric acid. 89
As the situation became more stable and mass mobilization no longer
became necessary, the joint task force disbanded on July 1 and the large-scale disaster
dispatch concluded on August 31, 2011. 90 The joint task force’s 109-day existence
proved the SDF could function effectively in a joint environment for a considerable
duration.
86 During their stay, U.S. military and SDF personnel restored power to the island, delivered 15,000
lbs. of supplies, and cleared debris on several of the island’s beaches. T. D. Flack, “Navy Scales Back
Earthquake Relief Efforts in Japan,” Stars and Stripes, April 7, 2011.
87 Defense of Japan 2011, 19.
88 Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery (August
2011) (Tokyo: Government of Japan, 2011), 6.
89 Defense of Japan 2011, 19, 21.
90 Situation of Disaster Dispatch Activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
36
2.
The SDF Is the Most Capable HADR Force Within Japan
There are those that still advocate a non-military disaster relief organization and
wish to de-emphasize the SDF’s HADR role. 91
This section finds that the SDF’s
preeminent role in disaster relief operations after the Great East Japan Earthquake will
help to further marginalize this line of thinking as it showed it was the most capable
HADR force within Japan.
The SDF was certainly not the only participant in the disaster relief operations.
The major participants include the police and fire departments, Japan Coast Guard (JCG),
non-governmental organizations (NGO), and the international community. The SDF
stands out as the preeminent disaster relief organization because it was the best equipped
to execute all of the various HADR operations. The other major participants provided
valuable services but did not have the SDF’s operational breadth. For instance, the police
department supplied 5,600 personnel, about 5% of the SDF forces involved. Police
forces rescued approximately 3,750 victims, which is about 20% of the amount rescued
by the SDF.
The police also conducted a wide variety of other missions such as
assistance to the elderly, disaster victim care at shelters, establishing emergency routes,
identification of the dead and missing, and collection of recovered valuables. 92 The
police, however, lack the capacity to conduct large maritime and air search and rescue
operations, and lack the logistical equipment needed to mobilize massive amounts of
relief aid.
The JCG used its personnel and maritime and air assets in support of search and
rescue operations, port clearance, and identification of hazards to navigation. At the
height of the SDF’s deployment on March 18, the JCG deployed 54 ships, 19 aircraft, 14
special search and rescue units, and 14 mobile rescue teams. 93 The JCG’s search and
91 “Towards a Non-Military Disaster Relief Organization,” Translated by James Simpson. The Asahi
Shimbun, May 7, 2011, http://newpacificinstitute.org/jsw/?p=6160.
92 Police Measures Regarding the Great East Japan Earthquake: October 2011 (Tokyo: Japan
National Police Agency, 2011), 3–12.
93 Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake: March 18, Japan Coast Guard, [2011]).
37
rescue operations resulted in the rescue of 360 personnel, about 2% of the amount
rescued by the SDF and only one-third attributed to the MSDF. 94
NGOs play a large part in funneling international and domestic relief aid to
disaster victims. Their contributions include a variety of livelihood assistance (food, nonfood items, health, psychological, wash facilities), logistics assistance, shelter
management, telecommunications, education, debris removal, and pest control (see
Figures 10, 11, and 12). 95 Each NGO’s activities may last anywhere from a few days to
months but their assistance is vital to address specific needs that organizations such as the
SDF may not be equipped to address or cannot completely handle on its own. NGOs
typically outlast military disaster relief efforts, as is the case with Japan Platform, a nonprofit organization with 32 NGO members, which signed up for three years of NGO
coordination efforts. As of August 31, Japan Platform also collected approximately
$88 million in donations and provided 60 million dollars in grants to its member NGOs. 96
Nonetheless, NGOs cannot contribute to search and rescue operations and require a great
deal of coordination to efficiently allocate their varying resources.
94 These less significant contributions compared to the MSDF are to be expected as the JCG’s
personnel numbers and ship sizes are smaller. Search and rescue is also a primary mission for the JCG,
which leads to a smaller and more mobile force that cannot contribute toward relief aid transportation like
the MSDF. Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake: October 7, Japan Coast Guard, [2011]).
95 “NGO Activity Map,” Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation,
http://www.janic.org/en/earthquake/map/ (accessed October 15, 2011).
96 Northeast Pacific Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Current Status of JPF’s Relief Efforts as of
September 9 (Sendai, Japan: Japan Platform, 2011), 1.
38
Figure 10.
JANIC and Japan Platform NGO Activity in Iwate Prefecture as of May 20,
2011 (From “NGO Activity Map,” 2011)
39
Figure 11.
JANIC and Japan Platform NGO Activity in Miyagi Prefecture as of May
20, 2011 (From “NGO Activity Map,” 2011)
40
Figure 12.
JANIC and Japan Platform NGO Activity in Fukushima Prefecture as of
May 20, 2011 (From “NGO Activity Map,” 2011)
International assistance in the form of rescue teams and military forces provide a
valuable augmentation to search and rescue capabilities and transportation assistance but
do not come close to matching the SDF’s capabilities. Not counting U.S. military forces,
international rescue teams and military forces totaled around 1,200 personnel, about 1%
of the amount deployed by the SDF. Most of the international rescue teams were only
deployed for a matter of days (see Figure 13). 97 Although the U.S. military supported the
disaster relief efforts with a large contingent numbering 16,000 personnel, the bulk of its
HADR support was also short in duration, 27 days, compared to the SDF’s 173 days of
large-scale disaster dispatch. International assistance is useful and appreciated but cannot
be counted on for the obvious reason of lacking direct control over these forces.
97 Map of Sites Where Rescue Teams from Foreign Countries, Regions, and International
Organizations are Operating: August 3 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, [2011]).
41
Figure 13.
Rescue Operations Map of International Assistance (From “Map of Sites
Where Rescue Teams from Foreign Countries, Regions, and International
Organizations are Operating: August 3,” 2011)
42
The Great East Japan Earthquake definitively showed the Japanese public that the
SDF is the most capable HADR force in Japan and must be relied on in future disasters.
The major participants in disaster relief operations provide assistance in some HADR
operations but none came close to matching the SDF’s comprehensive HADR
capabilities. The SDF’s pool of 240,000 human resources allows it to mobilize a large
amount of forces over a widely devastated area. The SDF’s heavy equipment enables it
to conduct search and rescue operations in any environment and efficiently deliver a vast
amount of relief aid. The SDF therefore provides the government centralized control
over the largest and most capable HADR force within Japan. Demonstrating the SDF’s
utility as a HADR tool will help dissolve pacifist norms that support less reliance on the
SDF.
3.
The Domestic Political Environment Is Conducive to the SDF’s
Effective
Domestic Application and Integration of International
Assistance
One of the reasons the SDF was able to deploy its forces so quickly and
effectively and operate jointly with the U.S. military was because the domestic political
environment did not impede these actions. It seems logical that government officials
would expect the SDF to become involved in disaster relief operations after such a large
disaster. This has not always been the case. The SDF’s response to the Great East Japan
Earthquake is best understood and appreciated when compared to that of its response to
the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. The 1995 earthquake provides the best
point of comparison to the 2011 earthquake because it is the most recent large-scale
natural disaster classified as a “great” disaster by Japan. This section briefly summarizes
the 1995 earthquake and the SDF’s response and identifies differences between the two
disasters relating to the SDF.
The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake struck the Kobe area on January 17, 1995
at 5:46AM. Its magnitude was recorded at 7.2 and occurred in an urban area with
approximately 4 million people. The city of Kobe was the world’s sixth largest container
port at the time but the affected area only represented a little less than 3% of Japan’s
43
economy. This was slightly larger than the area affected by the 2011 earthquake. 98
About 6,500 people died from the earthquake. Almost 100,000 buildings were completely
destroyed and the same amount was partially collapsed. Much of Kobe’s infrastructure
was damaged including utilities, railroads, and the primary coastal highway. Nearly
300,000 people were left homeless from the disaster. The 1995 earthquake set the bar as
the world’s most costly disaster of the time at 64 billion dollars. It was a major disaster
that required extensive disaster relief efforts. 99
One would think that government officials would have knocked down the SDF’s
door requesting their assistance.
This was not the case.
At the time of the 1995
earthquake, the primary method for deploying the SDF in support of disaster relief
operations was via a request from the prefectural governor. 100
The earthquake occurred in 1995 amidst the only LDP rule interim in its 54-year
stretch. Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi was elected the previous year and was a
member of the Socialist Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ). The SDPJ was known for its
distrust of the SDF and acted in many ways to subvert its influence and role. The Hyogo
Prefecture Governor did not make a formal request to the GSDF until four hours after the
earthquake at 10:00AM. A similar request for MSDF support was delayed twelve hours
until 6:00PM. The distrust between government officials and the SDF is cited as one
reason why government officials did not quickly submit a formal request for SDF
assistance leading to a slow SDF response. 101
Another reason for the slow response was that the hostile domestic political
environment prevented the SDF from conducting any disaster relief exercises with local
authorities. SDF commanders erred on the side of restraint when involving their forces in
98 Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery (August
2011), 2.
99 George Horwich, “Economic Lessons of the Kobe Earthquake,” Economic Development and
Cultural Change 48, no. 3 (April, 2000), 521–522.
100 The governor is in overall charge of disaster relief operations within the prefecture and best
understands the needs of the people and extent of the damage. A municipal mayor could also ask the
governor to request assistance from the SDF. SDF commanders could deploy small forces in the event of
an emergency but still relied on a formal request from the prefecture governor to deploy large-scale disaster
relief forces. Defense of Japan 2011, 241.
101 Hidemichi Katsumata and Ryoichi Nishida, “Delay in Calling Out SDF Rescuers Comes Under
Fire,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 20, 1995: 3, available from LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
44
the prefecture. Their disaster relief activities prior to formal requests in the past brought
cooperation refusals and criticism from local government officials.
For example, a
MSDF transport vessel and destroyer were initially refused to dock at Kobe’s port in
order to deliver relief supplies on the afternoon of January 17. 102 The SDPJ’s Secretary
General Wataru Kubo even advocated on January 28 that an organization other than the
SDF should be established to conduct disaster relief operations and participate in U.N.
peacekeeping operations. 103
Despite the tense domestic political environment, the SDF did deploy small forces
before a formal request was received. 104 In the following months, the SDF conducted
various HADR operations similar to those after the 2011 earthquake. These operations
included search and rescue, accommodating bodies, and transporting patients and relief
supplies. Other services were provided such as water and food, medical stations, and
bathing facilities. 105
At the peak of SDF HADR operations, approximately 26,000
personnel participated. 106 The SDF completed its large-scale disaster dispatch on April
27. SDF personnel rescued 165 people, served 730,000 meals, supplied 62,000 tons of
water, and provided 480,000 baths for disaster victims. 107
108
The SDF force was
ultimately the largest disaster relief force to operate in the affected area. The next largest
besides the fire department was the police force with a maximum total of 5,500 at the
onset of the disaster. In the police department’s 196 days of disaster relief efforts, they
102 Ibid.
103 “Kubo Advocates New Relief Force,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 28, 1995: 2, available from
LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
104 At 7:00AM, the GSDF sent a helicopter to conduct reconnaissance and at 8:00AM GSDF
personnel began rescue operations near a collapsed train station. The MSDF also flew a helicopter in the
affected area early that morning and sent a transport vessel and destroyer from Kure at 9:00AM. After the
formal request came at 10:00AM, the first large GSDF disaster relief force of 1,000 personnel reached the
area at 3:00PM. Katsumata and Nishida, Delay in Calling Out SDF Rescuers Comes Under Fire.
105 Defense of Japan 1995, trans. Shimizu Yuko (Tokyo: Japan Defense Agency, 1995).
106 Defense of Japan 2011, 3.
107 “SDF to Withdraw from Kobe April 27,” The Daily Yomiuri, April 27, 1995: 1, available from
LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
108 “SDF Ends its Quake Relief Mission,” The Daily Yomiuri, April 28, 1995: 1, available from
LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
45
supplied 426,500 man-days. 109 In comparison, the SDF provided 2.2 million man-days
in just 100 days approximately. 110 These figures indicate that the SDF had the capacity
in 1995 to conduct a similarly effective HADR operation as it did after the Great East
Japan Earthquake. A harsh domestic political environment in 1995, however, slowed the
SDF’s response and detracted attention from its otherwise successful HADR operation.
Another criticism the Japanese government received from the 1995 earthquake
was its slow response to receive international aid. Within days of the earthquake, 38
countries and three U.N. organizations offered aid to the Japanese government but only
four countries were allowed to send rescue teams within the first five days after the
earthquake. 111 U.S. Forces Japan also comprised an extensive list of assets, supplies, and
personnel available to assist in the disaster relief; the scope of which would have been
similar to OPERATION TOMODACHI.
The Japanese government only accepted
minimal supplies and support from the U.S. military. It was suspected that the SDPJ
leadership refused such offers because of its anti-militarist sentiments.112 About 60 U.S.
Marines set up tents in the affected area, which represented the first time U.S. forces
assisted Japan in disaster relief operations. 113 The media eventually blamed the SDPJ
government for letting it fall victim to bureaucratic red tape in the time of an emergency.
Because the SDF’s response was slow but ultimately effective, media reports after
the 1995 earthquake did not praise the SDF’s actions to the degree that they did after the
2011 earthquake. The media and disaster victims were generally appreciative of their
efforts, however.
In a January 1995 Yomiuri Shimbun poll, 93% of respondents stated
they wanted a rapid SDF dispatch in case of a disaster. Another 32%, the largest
percentage, said they wanted to depend on the SDF the most to provide relief support.114
109 Police Measures regarding the Great East Japan Earthquake: October 2011, 3.
110 Defense of Japan 1995.
111 “Countries Offer to Help but Govt Fails to Respond,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 23, 1995: 2,
available from LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
112 Tatou Takahama, “Arrogant Quake Response Under Fire,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 27, 1995:
13, available from LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
113 “4,387 Bodies Identified; SDF Puts Up Refugee Tents,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 22, 1995: 1,
available from LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
114 “People Slam Govt for Slow Quake Response,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 31, 1995: 1, available
from LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
46
The Daily Yomiuri also advocated for more disaster relief drills between SDF and local
governments and better communication amongst all participants in a disaster relief
situation. 115 The SDPJ’s views toward the SDF were also changed. On January 28,
1995, Murayama reversed the SDPJ’s long-standing resistance to the SDF by stating he
now supported incorporating the SDF into disaster relief programs with local
governments. 116
The SDF’s successful deployment after the Great East Japan Earthquake indicates
that the domestic political environment has drastically improved since 1995.
Anti-
militarist sentiment no longer permeates the government and has facilitated increased
civil-military cooperation. For example, the SDF’s largest emergency drill to date called
Michinoku Alert 2008 was conducted from October 31 to November 1, 2008. The
scenario mirrored the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake and included 9,839 SDF
personnel and 18,000 participants from eight prefectures in Tohoku including Iwate and
Miyagi Prefectures. The drill exercised civil-military coordination between SDF and
prefecture organizations and followed up with regular meetings with participants. 117 The
domestic political environment also does not impede the integration of international
assistance. This transition since 1995 is evident by the speed of acceptance and scope of
international aid received after the 2011 earthquake. The favorable environment also
facilitated the SDF’s joint operations with the U.S. military in the largest show of support
between the two allies to date. These developments are significant because in the SDF
trajectory debate, the SDF’s ability to conduct operations unimpeded at home is a
necessary step to expanding the SDF’s operations outside its borders.
115 Ienao Matsuoka, “Disaster Practice With SDF Would Make Perfect,” The Daily Yomiuri, February
21, 1995: 7, available from LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
116 “Premier Recognizes SDF Relief Role,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 28, 1995: 1, available from
LexisNexis [December 10, 2011].
117 Road to Recovery, 4.
47
4.
The SDF’s HADR Capabilities Demonstrate Ability for Other
Operations
The SDF showed the Japanese people and the world that it was a competent
HADR force. At the same time it illustrated numerous qualities and capabilities that
indicate the SDF is able to conduct other operations. If the 2010 NDPG is used as a
framework, it is clear to see how the SDF’s demonstrated HADR capabilities may
translate into other operations. Under the SDF’s effective deterrence and response role
outlined in the 2010 NDPG, the SDF showed its ability to conduct four of seven priority
areas. The SDF’s ability to simultaneously handle the affects from the tsunami and the
nuclear disaster illustrates its ability to conduct the first priority area:
response to
complex contingencies. The SDF’s mass mobilization of personnel and resources shows
its high state of readiness and flexibility to conduct the following three priority areas:
ensuring security of sea and air space surrounding Japan, response to attacks on offshore
islands, and response to attacks by guerillas and special operations forces.
The SDF’s determination to accomplish its mission in a harsh environment also
indicates that SDF personnel have the will to execute these priority areas. The SDF
endured numerous hardships during its disaster dispatch. Three SDF members died as a
result of the disasters. One died when the tsunami hit Miyagi Prefecture as he was
leading disaster victims to a shelter. 118 Camp Tagajyou in Miyagi Prefecture, home to
760 GSDF troops, was inundated by the tsunami. More than half of the regiment came
from Miyagi Prefecture and many had families in the affected area. Despite the personal
hardships experienced, the unit participated on the front lines of the disaster dispatch. 119
Three SDF members that were deployed to help support water supply operations at
Fukushima Dai-ichi’s plant three received minor injuries when the building exploded.
The explosion was powerful enough that it destroyed all of the SDF vehicles at the
site. 120 The SDF personnel involved in the cooling operations via fire pump trucks and
118 Defense of Japan 2011, 4.
119 Kohei Tsujisaka, Akio Oikawa and Yasuo Matsubara, “SDF Rescuers Work in Their
“Hometown,”“ The Daily Yomiuri, March 29, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110328004312.htm.
120 Water Dumped on Reactor: GSDF Choppers Attempt to Cool No. 3 Fuel Rod Pool.
48
helicopters were also under a great deal of stress as the stability of the nuclear plants and
the full extent of their radiation leakage was unknown in the immediate aftermath of the
disaster.
GSDF troops in the affected prefectures operated in harsh environments for
extended periods of time. Large aftershocks made the threat of another tsunami very real
and the working conditions were made worse by freezing temperatures and snow, flooded
and muddy land, and massive amounts of debris. In a Sankei Shimbun interview with
General Kimizuka during the large-scale disaster relief operations, he made several
observations from the operation. His policy for the troops was to treat every corpse with
extreme dignity and to place the needs of the survivors over themselves. SDF personnel
enthusiastically embraced the self-restraint and serving attitude required by Kimizuka.
SDF members refrained from drinking and eating a lot in the morning so that they would
not need to use the bathroom in the disaster area where bodies may be found. SDF
personnel ate canned food for months while citizens ate hot meals. This led to the
development of vitamin deficiencies and debilitating mouth ulcers in tens of thousands of
SDF personnel, which was rectified by switching to boil-in-bag foods. SDF personnel
were allowed to shower only once a week while citizens had access to hot bathing
facilities. 121 The adverse working conditions and long-term exposure to dead bodies
took a toll on many GSDF personnel. Psychological and physical fatigue became a
concern as some SDF personnel exhibited signs of acute stress disorder. 122
Of course, enduring hardship is an understood part of any military service. This
was the first time the SDF was able to demonstrate on a large scale its willingness to
undergo such harsh conditions for the betterment of the people. This willingness serves
as a foundation for confidence in the SDF’s ability to execute similarly demanding
operations. Furthermore, the SDF’s demonstrated HADR capabilities indicate that if the
SDF were to follow a remilitarization trajectory and expand its operations, then the SDF
has the ability to do so.
121 Masahiro Ishida, “The Self Defense Force’s Greatest Operation Ever: Joint Disaster Response
Taskforce Commander General Eiji Kimizuka,” Translated by James Simpson. The Sankei Shimbun, June
21, 2011, http://newpacificinstitute.org/jsw/?p=6833.
122 Shingo Hashitani and Yuichi Sato, “Sharing Disaster-Area Workers’ Emotional, Mental Load,”
The Daily Yomiuri, April 25, 2011.
49
D.
CONCLUSION
The Great East Japan Earthquake has the potential to serve as a catalytic event for
the SDF. It affected almost every aspect of Japanese society and thrust the SDF into full
view of the public. Retrenchment, status quo, and remilitarization trajectories are all
plausible outcomes. Sorting through these possible trajectories and the forces that may
influence a particular trajectory is the next chapter’s goal.
In the process of performing this analysis, the four manifestations detailed in this
chapter enable better-informed analysis as they describe what the disasters divulged
about the SDF. First, the SDF is a competent HADR force and will need to be relied on
in the future, as Japan is constantly under threat from natural disasters.
The SDF
exemplified this competence through its decisive actions, versatile capabilities, and joint
operations. Second, the SDF is the most capable HADR force within Japan. No other
organization can match the SDF’s capabilities across a wide spectrum of HADR
missions. Third, the domestic political environment is conducive to the SDF’s effective
domestic application and integration of international assistance.
Civil-military
cooperation has improved tremendously since the 1995 earthquake. Fourth, the SDF’s
demonstrated HADR capabilities and willingness to operate under harsh conditions
suggests the SDF is able to conduct a variety of other operations if called to do so.
50
III.
A.
THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE’S IMPACT ON
THE SELF DEFENSE FORCE’S TRAJECTORY
INTRODUCTION: THE LOGIC
So far, this thesis has illustrated that the scope of the disasters and the SDF’s
unprecedented disaster dispatch have the potential to alter security, economic, and
normative interests within Japanese society.
This chapter builds on the previous
chapter’s description of the disaster’s catalytic nature by focusing on four areas that
presumably affect the SDF’s trajectory: security interests, economic interests, norms, and
actors and institutions.
Figure 14 illustrates the relationship between the four areas of analysis and how
they theoretically lead to one of the three SDF trajectories: retrenchment, status quo, and
remilitarization.
Security and economic interests serve as two major areas that
traditionally affect a military’s application.
These areas provide tangible points of
analysis as to how the Great East Japan Earthquake has affected these respective
interests. In the context of dueling interests, security and economic interests have the
potential to evenly impact factors influencing the SDF’s trajectory or unevenly if either
security or economic interests dominate the trajectory agenda. Norms is the third area
that influences the SDF’s trajectory. Although a certain trajectory may seem logical
based on the emphasis of security or economic interests, norms have the ability to shape
the perceptions of these interests and create an environment that is either hostile or
conducive to a certain trajectory.
This area is therefore placed after security and
economic interests because it has the ability to trump the balance between the dueling
interests. The final area that influences the SDF’s trajectory is actors and institutions.
These represent the entities that have the capacity to influence a particular trajectory. If
one particular entity becomes more influential as a result of the disasters, then it will have
the most direct control over the SDF’s trajectory.
51
Figure 14.
Trajectory Formation Process
There is one necessary point of clarification needed in the argument’s structure
presented thus far. The four areas depicted in Figure 14 do not interact with each other as
coherent units influencing a particular trajectory. Instead, within each of the four areas,
various elements exist that could potentially lead to any of the three trajectories. Figure
15 portrays these trajectory influences in the left hand column. Each trajectory influence
generally has a variation that corresponds to a particular trajectory with those influencing
retrenchment on the left, status quo in the middle, and remilitarization on the right.
This chapter is structured according to Figure 15.
Each trajectory influence
within the four categories is scrutinized for how the disasters affected it along two
possible causal chains. First, the disasters themselves directly impact the trajectory
influence, which in turn emphasizes a particular trajectory.
Second, an actor or
institution’s response to the disasters impacts the trajectory influence, which likewise
emphasizes a particular trajectory.
52
Figure 15.
B.
Influences on Possible SDF Trajectories
SECURITY INTERESTS
1.
Security Policy Focus
The first trajectory influence to be analyzed is Japan’s security policy focus.
Japan’s security policy focus is indicative of the SDF’s trajectory as it steers the SDF
toward more or less involvement outside its borders. As previously discussed, the 2010
NDPG provides an overview of what can be considered the status quo in Japan’s security
policy. It illustrates that Japan’s security policy focus is a hybrid divided amongst
53
domestic, regional, and international roles for the SDF (see Figure 1). The Great East
Japan Earthquake has the potential to prompt a reevaluation of Japan’s security policy as
laid out in the 2010 NDPG. An emphasis on the SDF’s domestic HADR application may
cause an inward-looking focus on Japan’s security policy leading to retrenchment. The
experience gained by the SDF from its disaster dispatch may prove as a useful tool and
translate into more focus on the SDF’s participation in international security activities.
This focus on the international environment could contribute to a remilitarization
trajectory as the SDF becomes more involved in operations outside of its borders.
a.
Hybrid Focus Reinforced
The most telling shift of Japan’s security policy focus would come from a
revision of its NDPG. The 2010 NDPG stipulates that it is subject to revision at any time
based on significant changes. If the Great East Japan Earthquake were such a catalytic
event that it prompted a major departure in Japan’s security policy, one could expect a
revision forthcoming in the short-term. There does not seem to be any indication that this
is the case. Instead, the disasters reinforced the hybrid focus already accounted for in the
2010 NDPG. The result is that the status quo in terms of Japan’s security policy focus
was merely reinforced. 123
Each of the three SDF roles expressed in the 2010 NDPG was reinforced
by the SDF’s disaster dispatch.
In relation to the first security objective, the SDF
demonstrated its effective deterrence and response role through one of the seven priority
areas under this role, response to large-scale and nuclear disasters. Many of the missions
conducted within the overall disaster dispatch also illustrate the SDF’s ability to
effectively and rapidly deploy large amounts of forces in support of other priority areas
within the effective deterrence and response role. This also reinforces the dynamic
deterrence objective of reducing geographic and time coverage gaps.
In conjunction with the second security objective, the SDF demonstrated
its further stabilization of the Asia-Pacific security environment role by building its
123 David Fouse, “Japan Unlikely to Redirect Defense Policy,” PacNet Number 26, (May 5, 2011).
54
capacity for non-traditional security operations, specifically in the field of HADR
operations. The SDF gained valuable experience in every mission area related to HADR
such as search and rescue, transport assistance, livelihood assistance, and debris removal.
The experience gained by the three services and 40% of SDF personnel will provide a
substantial boost to the SDF’s HADR capabilities that can provide a significant
advantage when promoting regional cooperation on HADR operations. 124
In relation to the third security objective, the SDF showed its improvement
of the global security environment role through its successful disaster dispatch in a
similar manner as it did within the regional role.
The SDF also demonstrated three of the priority capabilities in the SDF
posture. First, the SDF illustrated its high level of readiness through its rapid response of
ground, air, and naval assets within minutes of the earthquake.
Second, the SDF
demonstrated its capacity for conducting joint operations on the intra-service and bilateral levels. Third, the SDF also demonstrated its capability to conduct international
peace cooperation, specifically in the area of HADR operations for reasons previously
mentioned.
In the SDF organization category, the following capabilities were also
exemplified: strengthening of joint operations, strengthening of capabilities for
international peace cooperation activities, and efficient and effective buildup of defense
forces.
In short, the SDF’s disaster dispatch after the Great East Japan Earthquake
is a resounding exclamation point for the 2010 NDPG.
Most of its elements are
reinforced by the operations conducted and experience gained by the SDF.
If any
particular element is emphasized more than the others it will likely be the SDF’s HADR
capabilities, which could potentially open new doors for cooperation in a natural disaster
abundant region. This would simply allow the SDF to continue polishing and validating
the policies laid out in the 2010 NDPG.
124 Defense of Japan 2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Defense, 2011), 2–22.
55
b.
Hybrid Focus Continues
This section examines evidence gathered after the disasters that may
illustrate a change in Japan’s security policy focus. Attention is given to several major
SDF operations and developments in the months following the disasters. This section
finds that Japan’s security policy focus has not significantly increased or decreased its
international security activities and remains a hybrid focus.
In the area of international peace cooperation activities, Japan is
continuing the trend of more regular participation in UN PKO. As of May 2011, the SDF
maintained its pre-disaster SDF levels at 380 personnel: two in the UN Integrated
Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), 330 in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti
(MINUSTAH), two in the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), and 46 in the UN
Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan Heights. 125
Figure 16.
SDF International Peace Cooperation Activities (From “Defense of Japan,”
2011)
125 See Figure 16 for chronology of SDF participation in UN PKO. Ibid., 348.
56
The Ministry of Defense (MOD) had the opportunity to cut short the SDF’s participation
in MINUSTAH and UNDOF in September and October 2011 as deployed units were due
for rotation but opted to maintain troop levels by deploying fresh units. The outgoing
SDF unit commander for MINUSTAH even stated that the SDF’s ongoing participation
after Japan’s own disaster would serve both Haiti and Japan. 126 As UNMIS concluded in
July 2011, the SDF made a new contribution to the successor mission, UN Mission in
South Sudan (UNMISS). In November 2011, Japan’s Cabinet approved the deployment
of approximately 300 GSDF engineering troops to UNMISS. 127
The SDF’s anti-piracy operations off the Gulf of Aden were also not
affected by the disasters. In July 2011, the government extended the anti-piracy patrols
for another year as it deemed the mission remained essential. The SDF actually increased
their commitment to this mission as it established its first overseas facility since World
War II in Djibouti. This new facility provides logistical support for the anti-piracy
operations conducted by two P-3C patrol aircraft and two destroyers. 128, 129
The SDF has also retained its domestic focus as it participated in disaster
relief within its own borders in response to Typhoons number 12 and 15 in September
2011.
Of note, the SDF dispatched 28,790 personnel after record-breaking rainfall
following Typhoon number 12. 130 Compared to the SDF’s typical disaster dispatch of
390 personnel in 2010, the Typhoon number 12 deployment represents a dramatic boost
in the SDF’s domestic role for natural disasters that are not considered major natural
disasters.
126 “Transfer of Command of UNDOF Transport Unit in the Golan Heights; Transfer of the
Command of the Unit Dispatched to MINUSTAH,” Japan Defense Focus, October, 2011, 7.
127 Yoshiaki Kasuga, “U.N. Official Says GSDF Troops Will Be Protected in South Sudan,” The
Asahi Shimbun, November 8, 2011, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ2011110716809.
128 “Establishment of Facility for Counter-Piracy Mission in Djibouti; Anti-Piracy Operations
Extended for One Year,” Japan Defense Focus, October, 2011, 6.
129 On the surface, the SDF’s first overseas facility may seem like a step towards remilitarization.
However, the official Japanese name for the base translates to Japanese Facility for Counter-Piracy Mission
in Djibouti. The avoidance of the term base suggests the SDF does not see this as a long-term commitment.
Yoichi Kato, “SDF’s New Anti-Piracy Base Creates a Dilemma,” The Asahi Shimbun, August 5, 2011,
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201108055418.
130 “Disaster Relief in Response to Typhoons No. 12 and No. 15 “ Japan Defense Focus, December,
2011, 9.
57
Although the SDF has not yet had the opportunity to apply its increased
HADR experience in regional or international HADR operations, one can expect that the
trend toward more participation in HADR operations, especially within the region, will
continue as illustrated in Figure 17.
Figure 17.
SDF International Disaster Relief Operations (From “Defense of Japan,”
2011)
The SDF’s domestic role seems to be gaining momentum as evidenced by
the large disaster dispatch in response to Typhoon number 12. This does not seem to be
affecting the SDF’s international focus on security activities including UN PKO missions
and anti-piracy operations at least in the short-term. Instead, Japan’s security policy
remains focused on a hybrid mixture of domestic, regional, and international roles for the
SDF.
58
2.
Defense Budget
The second trajectory influence to be analyzed is Japan’s defense budget. Two
aspects of Japan’s defense budget are accounted for in this section: aggregate spending
and allocation. The status quo for Japan’s defense budget has been 1% of GDP since
1976. If the SDF were to remilitarize, the SDF might increase defense spending beyond
the 1% norm. If it were to retrench, the SDF might decrease defense spending by its own
volition to support reconstruction efforts or out of necessity because of impacts to Japan’s
GDP growth. In regard to allocation, the defense budget currently mirrors the capability
intentions outlined in the 2010 NDPG. The result is a hybrid mix of expenditures on
offensive and defensive type equipment and mission areas.
If the SDF were on a
remilitarization or retrenchment trajectory, one might expect a shift in the balance of
overtly offensive and defensive capabilities and missions, respectively.
a.
Aggregate Spending Maintained
The disasters presented themselves as an unexpected expense to the 2011
defense budget. Two SDF facilities in Miyagi Prefecture suffered serious damage from
the tsunami: GSDF Camp Tagajyou and ASDF Matsushima Air Base. Matsushima Air
Base suffered extensive equipment and facilities damage with tsunami waters reaching
the second level of its buildings. In addition to vehicle, helicopter, and T-4 training
aircraft damage, 18 F-2 multi-role fighters were severely damaged. 131
In addition to the damage caused by the tsunami, the SDF accrued
additional operational expenses as it mobilized a large portion of its personnel and
equipment in support of the disaster dispatch. The additional costs prompted a budget
revision that allocated 188.6 billion yen for the 2011 budget and 54.1 billion yen for the
2012 budget. 132 The 188.6 billion yen for 2011 was included in the first supplementary
131 The MOD determined that only 6 of the 18 F-2s could be repaired. Each repairable fighter would
require up to 5–6 billion yen in repair costs. The 12 non-repairable F-2s cost 120 billion yen each, which
makes this the most significant SDF equipment loss. “A Third of Tsunami-Damaged F2 Fighters
Restorable: Repair Cost Equals 5–6 Billion Yen Per Plane,” Translated by James Simpson. The Sankei
Shimbun, May 19, 2011, http://newpacificinstitute.org/jsw/?p=6170.
132 Defense of Japan 2011, 3.
59
budget and was procured in a zero-sum manner by reallocation and reduction of
predetermined expenditures. 133 It is unclear how or even if these funds were taken from
the defense budget but even if it was, the figures represent only 4% of the 2011 defense
budget.
The unforeseen expenses caused by the earthquake do not represent an
insurmountable obstacle.
The FY2012 defense budget request and overall government draft budget
indicate that Japan has not significantly deviated from the defense budget’s 1% of GDP
norm. The defense budget’s requested amount, 4,690 billion yen, represents only a .6%
increase from 2011 (see Figure 18). 134 The FY2012 overall draft budget indicates the
defense budget will be allocated 4,827 billion yen. 135
These figures suggest that
although the defense budget has increased for the first time since at least 2003, there is
not a significant deviation in the defense budget level as a function of the percentage of
GDP. Aggregate defense spending continues to follow the planned annual allotment set
forth in the 2010 Mid-Term Defense Plan (MTDP) with only a slight deviation. The
status quo continues to be enforced.
Figure 18.
Japan Defense Budget Trend (From “FY2012 Defense Budget Request,”
2012)
133 Outline of the Supplementary Budget for FY2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Finance, [2011]).
134 Defense Programs and Budget of Japan: Overview of FY2012 Budget Request (Tokyo: Japan
Ministry of Defense, [2012]).
135 Highlights of the Budget for FY2012 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Finance, 2011), 5.
60
b.
Hybrid Allocation Maintained
The 2010 MTDP was formulated along with the 2010 NDPG and
addresses how the defense budget will pursue the goals set forth in the 2010 NDPG.
Therefore, the 2010 MTDP provides clear insight into the types of capabilities the SDF
will pursue in the next five years. These capabilities are generally indicative of the
SDF’s shift toward a dynamic defense force and represent a hybrid mix of offensive and
defensive equipment (see Figure 19).
Figure 19.
2010 Mid-Term Defense Program Major SDF Equipment Increases (From
“Defense of Japan,” 2011)
The fragility of Japan’s economy in the next five years will make attaining
the budget goals set forth in the 2010 MTDP more difficult. 136
The 2010 MTDP
provided 23.49 trillion yen for the next five years of the defense budget. The annual
136 Ibid.
61
allotment works out to only a .1% budget increase compared to the 2010 defense budget.
This illustrates that Japan’s defense budget for the next five years was already planned to
remain constant prior to the disasters. The 2010 MTDP states that it will be reviewed
after three years and revised if the security environment or fiscal conditions warrant it. 137
If the reconstruction efforts impede Japan’s GDP growth and make obtaining the budget
goals established in the 2010 MTDP difficult, a revision in 2013 or earlier reflecting
these changes is likely. If this is the case, allocation will become a greater issue, as
equipment acquisition will need to be prioritized.
The disasters will likely have a direct impact on the defense budget’s
allocation in the next five years in two areas. First, the defense budget will be stressed by
the procurement of a next generation fighter (F-X) at the rate annotated in the 2010
MTDP. 138 The MOD ultimately decided on the F-35 Lightning II. 139 Defense officials
hinted that the selection was made as a natural option from the viewpoint of the U.S.Japan security alliance. 140 The U.S. military’s show of support following the disasters
indicated the United States is a dependable alliance partner and can be counted on for the
foreseeable future. The strengthened alliance may have influenced the MOD’s decision
to select the F-35 even though it was not necessarily the best option on paper. Because
the F/A-18 E/F and Eurozone Typhoon have been in production for 20 and 10 years
respectively, the production costs are considered to be much lower than the F-35 that is
still in joint development. Furthermore, Japan’s domestic industries will not benefit as
137 Defense of Japan 2011, 187.
138 Japan has been in search for a F-X for several years. Japan attempted to procure F-22 Raptors
from the United States but the deal was halted and future hopes were erased once the United States stopped
its own production in 2009. “Jane’s World Air Forces (Japan- Air Force),” IHS Global Limited,
http://search.janes.com.libproxy.nps.edu/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/binder/jwaf/
[email protected]&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=JASDF&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Sear
ch&Prod_Name=JWAF& (accessed November 12, 2011), 15, 19.
139 After the failed F-22 procurement plan, the choice for a F-X was between the F-35 Lightning II
jointly developed by 9 countries and led by U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the F/A-18 E/F
Super Hornet solely produced by U.S. firm Boeing, and the joint Eurozone Typhoon fighter manufactured
by four European nations. “Gov’t to Choose F-35 Fighter/ Next-Generation ASDF Jet to Have Advanced
Stealth Capability,” The Daily Yomiuri, December 14, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111213005424.htm.
140 “Focus: Futenma Base Report, F-35 Decision Show Japan’s Priority on U.S. Ties,” The Mainichi
Daily News, December 30, 2011,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111230p2g00m0dm070000c.html.
62
much as if it had chosen the other fighters because information on the cutting edge F-35
may not be as readily shared with Japan due to Japan’s lack of participation in the joint
development process. This will primarily limit Japan’s industries to assembly functions
in the production process. 141 Another driving force for the F-35’s selection appears to be
the need for a fifth generation fighter that will assure Japan maintains parity with fifth
generation fighter production ongoing in China and Russia.
The F/A-18 E/F and
Eurozone Typhoon do not provide the cutting edge technology needed to outpace the
competition. 142
Japan’s commitment to the F-35 will be a significant portion of Japan’s
defense budget as it attempts to purchase 40 in the next 20 years. The 2010 MTDP plans
for 12 of these aircraft to be purchased in the next five years (see Figure 19). The
FY2012 defense budget request has already allocated 55.1 billion yen for four F-35
fighters.
This represents 12% of the overall FY2012 defense budget request. 143
Although the F-35 is designated as the ASDF’s F-4EJ Phantom replacement, the F-35
will also likely serve the purpose of replacing the ASDF’s aging F-2 and F-15 fighters as
it combines the mission capabilities of these three aircraft. The 12 destroyed and six
severely damaged F-2s represent 18 of 74 F-2s currently in ASDF service.
The
capability gap created by this loss will eventually need to be filled by F-35 production
since Japan concluded its 55-year history of domestic fighter production as Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries delivered its final F-2 to the ASDF on September 27, 2011. 144 Japan’s
aging fighters, diminished F-2 capabilities, end to domestic fighter production, and
selection of the costly F-35 as a replacement fighter will make the goals set forth in the
2010 MTDP difficult to obtain.
As Japan continues to pursue the F-X fighter
141 “F-35 Pick May Boost Manufacturing Base,” The Daily Yomiuri, December 22, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T111221005556.htm.
142 Hiroshi Tahara, “End to Domestic Fighter Production After 55 Years- Aviation Industry Watches
the Direction of FX Program Closely,” Translated by James Simpson. Diamond Weekly (October, 2011),
http://newpacificinstitute.org/jsw/?p=8380.
143 Defense Programs and Budget of Japan: Overview of FY2012 Budget Request, 4, 29.
144 Hiroshi Tahara, “End to Domestic Fighter Production After 55 Years- Aviation Industry Watches
the Direction of FX Program Closely,” Diamond Weekly, October, 2011.
63
procurement plan laid out in the 2010 MTDP, this will have a zero-sum affect on other
areas of the defense budget and will make a remilitarization trajectory less likely.
Second, the increased attention on improving the SDF’s CBRN and
disaster relief capabilities has led to larger allocations within the defense budget. In aThe
Daily Yomiuri interview with General Oriki Ryoichi, Chief of Staff of the SDF Joint
Staff, he explained that the SDF would increase its nuclear capabilities by reviewing its
current nuclear contingency doctrine, increasing equipment capabilities, improve
coordination with the United States and prefecture governments, and conduct more
exercises. 145 The defense budget’s CBRN allocation in 2011 was 6.8 billion yen and its
disaster response capability allocation was 105.1 billion yen. 146 The FY2012 defense
budget request allocated 247.2 billion yen for its disaster response capabilities. This is
nearly a 240% increase but the FY2012 figures include 119 billion yen for 1 DDH, an
expense already planned for in the 2010 MTDP. 147 If the DDH’s cost is subtracted from
the disaster response capabilities figure, a more representative figure of the disaster’s
impact on disaster response spending is realized. This figure, 128.2 billion yen, indicates
a 23.1 billion yen increase from the 2011 budget. The CBRN disaster response allocation
increased to 9.8 billion yen, a 3 billion yen increase from 2011. 148 The increases in the
disaster response and CBRN disaster response categories can be considered moderate but
illustrate that more attention is being placed on the SDF’s HADR capabilities.
Despite the addition of the costly F-35 to the FY2012 defense budget
request and the increases in the SDF’s disaster response funding, the shift in defense
145 “SDF to Boost N-Response Capabilities,” The Daily Yomiuri, July 14, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110713004638.htm.
146 Defense Programs and Budget of Japan: Overview of FY2011 Budget, 7.
147 The DDH is included in the disaster response capabilities category because it proved itself as a
valuable asset with enhanced transport capabilities during the disaster dispatch. As previously mentioned,
HADR is not the DDH’s primary mission.
148 The increase in funds that are directly related to disaster response are seen in the following areas:
109 additional GSDF personnel to assist in the Fukushima Dai-ichi response, improvement in disaster
response functions, disaster response exercises, and development of a disaster response training and
research program. The CBRN disaster response increase goes toward prevention, detection, protection,
diagnosis, decontamination, and training functions within CBRN disaster response. Ibid., 9.
64
budget allocation has not been substantial and continues to focus on a hybrid mixture of
capabilities and missions outlined in the 2010 MTDP.
3.
U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Strengthened
The third trajectory influence to be analyzed is the U.S.-Japan security alliance. If
the alliance was not affected by the disasters, one could assume the status quo in relations
would persist. If the alliance were strengthened, there would be less economic incentive
to remilitarize as Japan could count on a reliable and capable alliance partner to augment
its security needs. This would provide Japan an opportunity to retrench and focus on its
economic interests. If the alliance was weakened, Japan may rely more heavily on its
own efforts to confront its security threats. This section argues that the U.S.-Japan
security alliance was strengthened and that due to Japan’s uncertain economic and
security situation, the strengthened alliance will continue to temper any emergent need
for remilitarization.
Although remilitarization becomes less likely, a strengthened
alliance does not necessarily mean Japan will retrench. Instead, the improved security
ties will reinforce the status quo as the alliance is portrayed as a useful tool to accomplish
the security objectives listed in the 2010 NDPG.
The United States provided the largest source of international military assistance
to Japan under the name of OPERATION TOMODACHI from March 13 – April 8. 149
The Japanese government, media, and citizens were very receptive and grateful for the
United States’ show of support. In a Mainichi Daily News survey conducted shortly after
the disasters and before OPERATION TOMODACHI concluded, support for U.S. bases
in Yokosuka from local residents rose to 34.7% from 17.1% in 2008.150 Local residents
assisted during OPERATION TOMODACHI expressed their gratitude to U.S. military
forces in many instances. 151 In a PEW Research Center survey, a majority of Japanese
149 At the peak of operations, 16,000 U.S. military service members, 15 ships, and 140 aircraft
supported the HADR operation. Defense of Japan 2011, 19.
150 “Record Percentage of Yokosuka Citizens Support U.S. Base After Quake,” The Mainichi Daily
News, July 22, 2011, http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110722p2g00m0dm021000c.html.
151 “Disaster Victims Thank U.S. Forces Japan for Relief Aid,” The Asahi Shimbun, July 27, 2011,
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/quake_tsunami/AJ201107264960.
65
surveyed, 57%, felt that the United States provided the most disaster assistance compared
to the runner-up European Union at 17%. 152
The Daily Yomiuri also praised U.S.
assistance and attributed the operation’s success to prior joint exercises and effective
coordination, signaling deeper ties between Japan and the United States for the future. 153
The most telling sign of a deeper alliance came from the U.S.-Japan Security
Consultative Committee (SCC 2+2) meeting in June 2011 between the heads of the
defense and foreign affairs departments. It was the first SCC 2+2 meeting in four years
and happened to occur shortly after the bulk of HADR support during OPERATION
TOMODACHI. The issued joint statements reaffirm the strengthened alliance but also
indicate that Japan does not intend to retrench in terms of its security policy laid out in
the 2010 NDPG. The “Cooperation in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake”
statement shows that the joint effort pleased both sides and that it directly contributed to a
deeper alliance. 154 The “Toward a Deeper and Broader U.S.-Japan Alliance” statement
went on to describe the need to address challenges in an uncertain security environment
and emphasized cooperation in many areas analogous to those found in the 2010 NDPG.
In particular, the ministers agreed to focus on three areas: “strengthening deterrence and
contingency response, alliance cooperation in a regional and global setting, and
enhancing alliance foundations.” 155
It is apparent that the elite have taken this opportunity to show strengthened
solidarity in the alliance. A December 2011The Daily Yomiuri poll indicates that there is
a possible divide between the elite and the public’s interpretation of the strengthened
alliance. Although 94% of Japanese are thankful for the U.S. military’s role in the
disasters, a plurality of survey respondents, 41%, believe relations between the United
152 Japanese Resilient, But See Economic Challenges Ahead (Washington D.C.: PEW Research
Center, [2011]).
153 “Japan, U.S. Take Step Toward Boosting Alliance,” The Daily Yomiuri, April 11, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T110410003473.htm.
154 Cooperation in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake (Tokyo: Security Consultative
Committee, [2011]).
155 Of note, the alliance cooperation in a regional and global setting focus area strongly emphasized
the need for increased HADR capabilities at all levels of cooperation. Toward a Deeper and Broader U.S.
- Japan Alliance: Building on 50 Years of Partnership (Tokyo: Security Consultative Committee, [2011]).
66
States and Japan are poor or very poor. Only 35% believe relations are good or very
good. These figures are relatively unchanged from a similar 2010 poll and suggest that
the U.S. military’s disaster relief assistance does not equate to improved relations
between the allies from the public’s view. A major reason cited for this poor public view
of the alliance is the impasse over the Futenma Air Station relocation initiative that 82%
of Japanese respondents think is having a negative impact on relations. 156
4.
Regional Foreign Relations Strengthened
Regional powers affect the SDF’s trajectory by the cooperative or competitive
nature of their relations with Japan. Competition in the security realm stimulates the
need for Japan to address the resulting security threats whereas cooperation mitigates the
same needs. The disasters had the potential to improve relations as it presented an
opportunity for unprecedented cooperation. If cooperation was the case and relations
were strengthened, this might reduce the SDF’s need to remilitarize or at least slow down
the pace along this particular trajectory. This section argues that relations with China and
South Korea were strengthened after the earthquake but that serious obstacles remain in
their relations.
a.
People’s Republic of China
Prior to the disasters, relations between Japan and China were tense. 157
Combined with historical interpretation disagreements and a growing anti-Japanese
sentiment within China, the security environment has become all the more volatile in
recent years. Tensions most recently ignited in September 2010 after a Chinese fishing
boat rammed a Japanese Coast Guard vessel while operating within the disputed
territorial waters off the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The subsequent arrest and detainment
156 “Feeling About U.S. Are Complex/ Disaster Relief Operations Appreciated, But Major Ally Not
Fully Trusted.” The Daily Yomiuri, December 19, 2011.
157 Japan has been weary of China’s military modernization since the 1990s but has explicitly
expressed its concerns since the release of Japan’s 2004 annual Defense White Paper. China’s continued
economic and military rise since then has kept it as one of Japan’s primary security threats due to the
perceived lack of military transparency, increasing military budget, threatening military posture, expanding
naval activity in vicinity of Japan, and unresolved territorial disputes in the East China Sea. Defense of
Japan 2011, 73–84.
67
of the boat’s captain and crew initiated a wave of diplomatic protest, a ban on rare earth
metal exports, and other social, economic, and military forms of protest from China. 158
Despite the major setback from the Senkaku incident, the 2010 NDPG
illustrated Japan’s desire to engage China in a cooperative manner especially in nontraditional security fields, i.e., HADR. It further stated the desired goal with China is to
create a “mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.” 159
China’s view toward cooperation with Japan since the Senkaku incident is less
transparent. In the PRC’s 2010 Defense White Paper released in March 2011, little is
mentioned directly pertaining to cooperation with Japan. Instead, cooperation with Japan
is limited primarily to a regional perspective under the auspices of the Association of
Southeast Asian States (ASEAN) Plus Three.
Nonetheless, the white paper places
exceptional importance on participation in international disaster relief operations. 160 It
would seem that the Great East Japan Earthquake would provide a substantial opportunity
for the two countries to cooperate with each other and break out of the recent setback in
relations.
The PRC provided a moderate to large amount of relief aid to Japan
despite soured relations in 2010. In material aid, the PRC was one of the largest donors
with notable contributions comprised of 10,000 tons of gasoline and diesel oil. 161 The
Chinese Red Cross Society provided 2.3 billion yen, which was the fourth largest Red
Cross contributor. 162 The PRC also sent a team of 15 rescue personnel (see Figure 13).
Because of the PRC’s positive support in the wake of the disasters, the
opportunity for cooperation created a series of positive diplomatic exchanges in the
months following the disasters. In March 2011, the foreign ministers of Japan, China,
and South Korea met to discuss a wide variety of regional issues. The mood was
158 East Asian Strategic Review 2011, 126–129.
159 National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond, 9.
160 China’s National Defense in 2010 (Beijing: Information Office of the State Council, 2011), 21,
36–37.
161 List of Relief Supplies and Donations from Overseas (August 2011) (Tokyo: Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, [2011]).
162 Japan: Earthquake and Tsunami (6 Month Report) (Tokyo: Japanese Red Cross Society, [2011]).
68
markedly improved from the months following the Senkaku incident. 163 In May 2011,
the fourth Japan-China-South Korea Leaders Meeting was held in Tokyo. 164 Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao started the trip by visiting the affected prefectures. Wen later met
individually with Kan and agreed to strengthen bi-lateral cooperation in a number of
fields. The trilateral summit was seen as especially productive as the three leaders agreed
to deepen regional cooperation, investigate a trilateral free trade agreement, and form a
secretariat to facilitate trilateral cooperation. 165 Japanese foreign minister Matsumoto
Takeaki met with PRC Vice President Xi Xinping in July 2011 and once again affirmed
their intentions to strengthen bi-lateral ties. 166
In every diplomatic exchange, the Great East Japan Earthquake served as a
primary discussion topic and created a positive atmosphere for cooperation.
The
exchanges also continued to focus on other unresolved issues such as territorial disputes
in the East China Sea. The disasters improved the weakened relations since the Senkaku
incident but many obstacles impeding further substantive cooperation remain.
b.
Republic of Korea
Japan does not consider South Korea a serious security threat as evidenced
by the lack of attention it received in the 2011 Defense White Paper compared to China,
North Korea, and Russia. 167 According to the 2010 NDPG, Japan is targeting Australia
and South Korea specifically for strengthened cooperation as it shares many of the same
security interests. 168 South Korea is also optimistic, although more cautiously, over
improved relations with Japan. In its 2010 Defense White Paper, South Korea noted
163 “Crisis Offers a Chance for Closer Ties with Japan,” South China Morning Post, March 21, 2011,
http://topics.scmp.com/news/china-news-watch/article/Crisis-offers-a-chance-for-closer-ties-with-Japan.
164 The annual meeting held since 2008 has evolved into an important forum enabling the three leaders
to map out various areas of cooperation.
165 Ma Mengli Xie Dongfeng, “Special Report: Wen’s Visit Boosts China - Japan Ties, Regional
Cooperation,” Xinhua News Agency, May 24, 2011: World News, Political, available from LexisNexis
[January 11, 2011].
166 “1st Ld- China Focus: China, Japan Vows to Promote Bilateral Ties,” Xinhua News Agency, July
4, 2011.
167 Defense of Japan 2011, 68–71.
168 National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and Beyond, 8–9.
69
increased defense cooperation with Japan in recent years but stated differences in
historical perspectives and territorial disputes over the Dokdo/ Takeshima Islands remain
serious obstacles to further cooperation. 169
Both sides favor cooperation over
competition. If the disaster relief cooperation were able to facilitate improved relations
then this would enable a concerted effort on one of their primary security threats: North
Korea. Cooperation on this issue would likely have an effect on the nature of the SDF’s
trajectory, as the manner with which it approaches the North Korea threat would change.
The disasters sparked a burst of goodwill and aid from South Korea. In
addition to one of the largest donations of material aid, South Korea sent 107 rescue
personnel and two rescue dogs transported via an Air Force C-130 (see Figure 13). The
total amount of Korean Red Cross donations at 2.8 billion yen was the largest amount
ever given in disaster relief aid and was the second largest overall donor behind the
United States. 170
171
Rumblings of a Japanese middle school textbook’s scheduled
release in late March 2011 laying claim to the disputed Dokdo/ Takeshima Islands began
to emerge. This along with the release of Japan’s Diplomatic White Paper making
similar claims created a noticeable drop in donations reported by the Korean Red Cross
and the state-backed charity agency Community Chest of Korea. 172
Despite the rift caused by the renewed territorial tensions, the fourth
Japan-China-South Korea Leaders Meeting held in May 2011 was positive from South
Korea’s perspective.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visited the affected
prefectures to show his support for Japan’s recovery and went as far as tasting local
produce in Fukushima Prefecture affected by the nuclear disaster. Discussions regarding
169 2010 Defense White Paper (Seoul: Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense, [2010]), 92–
93.
170 Japan: Earthquake and Tsunami (6 Month Report), 16.
171 “Red Cross Collects Record Amount of Donations for Japan,” The Korea Times, March 28, 2011,
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/03/113_83965.html.
172 “Relief Donations Drop Amid Nuclear Woes, Textbook Row With Japan,” Yonhap News Agency,
March 31, 2011,
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2011/03/31/41/0302000000AEN20110331005700315F.HTML.
70
nuclear safety and disaster management were high on the agenda and led to both sides
agreeing on enhanced cooperation in numerous areas including joint anti-disaster
drills. 173
Relations were strengthened in the wake of the disasters as evidenced by
the unprecedented outpouring of support from the Korean people and government. The
drop in disaster relief support created by the territorial dispute issue illustrates that
serious roadblocks remain to improving ties between the two states.
C.
ECONOMIC INTERESTS
1.
Economic Conditions
As the world’s most costly natural disaster in recorded history, the Great East
Japan Earthquake has the real potential to impact several of Japan’s economic conditions:
growth, health, and focus. Changes in these three aspects of Japan’s economy will likely
influence or inhibit the SDF’s path along a specific trajectory. Decreased GDP growth
would directly affect the funds available for the defense budget and cause the SDF to
retrench in terms of its stated objectives in the 2010 MTDP. If Japan is able to capitalize
on its reconstruction efforts and revive its economy after years of stagnation then
remilitarization may become a viable option as the defense budget increases and creates
new opportunities to expand SDF operations and equipment. Japan may be able to
overcome losses in the short-term and increase GDP growth but do so at the expense of
the economy’s health in the medium to long term. If this were the case, successful
reconstruction efforts may simply delay the inevitable impact of other issues affecting
Japan’s economic health. For this reason, the growth section focuses on the short-term
prospects for recovery, and the health section focuses on the medium to long-term
impacts on Japan’s economy. As Japan strives to resolve these issues, the focus of its
reconstruction efforts may influence the government’s overall attention on or willingness
to engage international issues. In this light, a reconstruction effort focused strictly on
173 “S. Korea, Japan, China, Agree to Boost Cooperation in Nuclear Safety, Disaster Handling,”
Yonhap News Agency, May 22, 2011,
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2011/05/22/34/0301000000AEN20110522001800315F.HTML.
71
Japan’s domestic situation may affect the government’s appetite for utilizing the SDF in
international security activities. A reconstruction effort with an international focus would
keep Japan’s economic interests externally focused, which would provide justification for
increased participation in international security activities, i.e., remilitarization.
a.
Growth Maintained
How has the Great East Japan Earthquake impacted Japan’s prospects for
GDP growth in the short term? Short term in this case is defined as one year after the
disasters. Despite the seemingly overwhelming damage done to Japan’s economy, it has
not been completely debilitating. The estimated economic damage, 16.9 trillion yen, is
only about 4% of Japan’s total stock approximated at 500 trillion yen (see Table 2).
Furthermore, the affected areas did not contain a high concentration of industrial
production as it accounts for only 2.5% of Japan’s economic output. 174
Japan’s economy has already shown signs of improvement. Many of
Japan’s large companies affected by the disaster quickly recovered. 175 The Ministry of
Economy, Trade, and Industry’s (METI) second industry survey in the affected region
portrays a generally positive message for Japan’s economic recovery as of July 1,
2011. 176
The Japanese government’s initial estimates after the disasters predicted
that GDP would continue to increase in the following year. The impacts from the
disasters were less dramatic than the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers during the 2008
174 Japan’s Challenges Towards Recovery: October 2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Economy,
Trade, and Industry, 2011), 35.
175 Large corporations with factories and parts suppliers damaged by the disaster such as Nissan,
Toyota, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Hitachi, and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) recovered to preearthquake production levels within several months of the disaster by substitute production and finding
alternate domestic or international suppliers. Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and
Current Status of Recovery (August 2011) (Tokyo: Government of Japan, 2011), 11–14.
176 Of 91 production bases surveyed in the manufacturing industry directly affected by the disaster,
93% were restored and 80% were at or exceeded pre-earthquake production levels. Of 52 manufacturing
companies surveyed, 30% saw a decline in overseas trade because of the disaster of which 41% was
attributed to overreaction from the nuclear power plant accident. Of 13 retail and service industry
companies surveyed, 85% stated a decline in sales was due to domestic consumers self-restraint following
the disasters. Results of an Emergency Survey on the Actual Status of Industries After the Great East Japan
Earthquake (2), Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, 2011), 2, 7, 12.
72
financial crisis (see Figure 20). 177 It was not until late 2011 that these positive growth
predictions were revised to figures showing a contraction of .2–.7% in FY2011. The
reason for the GDP growth reversal was attributed to a strong yen and a weaker European
Union economy impacting its exports, not strictly the Great East Japan Earthquake. 178
The brief survey of GDP growth illustrates that the disasters have had little impact in the
short-term and will not dramatically impact the SDF’s trajectory in terms of adverse
affects to the defense budget.
Figure 20.
Economic Impact Comparison Between Great East Japan Earthquake and
“Lehman Shock” (From “Road to Recovery,” 2011)
b.
Health Weakened
Although Japan’s economy avoided any severe negative impacts in the
short term, it does not mean that the crisis is over. Japan still needs to reconstruct the
devastated region. This task will be at the forefront of Japan’s economic interests for the
medium term. Medium term is defined as the next 10 years.
177 Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery (August
2011), 9, 21.
178 Yukako Ito, “GDP Could Contract in Fiscal 2011,” The Asahi Shimbun, December 10, 2011,
2011, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy/AJ201112100002.
73
The responsibility for implementing and overseeing reconstruction
policies was assigned to the Reconstruction Headquarters established on June 24, 2011.
This organization headed by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet announced its Basic
Policy for Reconstruction on July 29. This policy provided a blueprint for government
action during the reconstruction process. It established a reconstruction period of 10
years with the first five being a concentrated reconstruction period. The estimated budget
scale for reconstruction efforts over the next 10 years is 23 trillion yen, of which 19
trillion yen is expected to be used in the first five years. 179 To finance such a large
reconstruction budget, the government initiated a series of supplementary budgets. As of
late 2011, three supplementary budgets were approved. The first totaled 4 trillion yen
and was financed in a zero-sum manner by reducing and reallocating predetermined
expenditures in the FY2011 budget. 180 This represents a rather minor impact on the
government’s original FY2011 budget set at 92.4 trillion yen. 181 The second came to 2
trillion yen and was also financed using zero-sum tactics, specifically leftover surplus
from the FY2010 budget. 182 The third provided 11.7 trillion yen for reconstruction
efforts related to the Great East Japan Earthquake and was the first supplementary budget
to be funded by the issuance of reconstruction bonds. 183 The FY2012 draft budget set
aside an additional 3.8 trillion yen for reconstruction efforts, which makes the total
amount of reconstruction funds provided thus far at approximately 18 trillion yen. 184
This figure is significant for two reasons. First, it signals that the majority
of the expected 19 trillion yen reconstruction costs in the first five years has already been
allocated. This leaves only an additional 4 trillion yen in the next 9 years to complete the
179 Basic Guidelines for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake (Tokyo:
Reconstruction Headquarters, 2011), 3.
180 Outline of the Supplementary Budget for FY2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Finance, [2011]).
181 Highlights of the Budget for FY2012 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Finance, 2011), 4.
182 The Outline of the 2nd Supplementary Budget of FY2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Finance,
[2011]).
183 The Outline of the 3rd Supplementary Budget of FY2011 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Finance,
[2011]).
184 “Cabinet Agrees to Record 93.56 Trillion Yen FY2012 Budget,” The Mainichi Daily News,
December 24, 2011, http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111224p2g00m0dm010000c.html.
74
total estimated reconstruction costs of 23 trillion yen. This means the majority of the
reconstruction’s fiscal burden is over and that its impacts should only be felt in the
medium term.
Second, the total amount of reconstruction funds shows that this is not
Japan’s most challenging economic hurdle. Japan’s aging demographics remains the
biggest challenge. In the FY2011 budget alone, 28.7 trillion yen was allocated to social
security. This figure is 25% larger than all of the expected reconstruction funds over the
next 10 years. As the proportion of Japan’s population over 65 increases and the birth
rate declines every year, social security expenditures increase while tax revenues
decrease due to a smaller tax base. This trend has been in place since 1990 causing an
ever-widening gap in total government expenditures and tax revenues. The result is an
increased reliance on government bond issuances to cover the gap, which drives Japan
deeper into debt every year. For the last four years, bonds have financed the annual
budget more than tax revenues (see Figure 21). 185
Figure 21.
Trends in Government Expenditures, Tax Revenues, and Government
Bonds (From “Highlights of the Budget for FY2012,” 2012)
185 Highlights of the Budget for FY2012, 11.
75
The reconstruction bonds added to the FY2011 and FY2012 budgets will
simply add to the stress already felt by Japan’s budget and contribute to an expansion in
long-term debt. These added constraints are apparent in the FY2012 draft budget. The
reconstruction funds pushed the total budget to a record 93.6 trillion yen. The budget
relies on a record 49% of new debt, driving Japan’s total long-term debt to 937 trillion
yen. This represents 195% of Japan’s GDP, which is the highest ratio among developed
nations.
The Great East Japan Earthquake has contributed to the weakening of
Japan’s economic health in the medium term as a majority of the reconstruction funds
have already been allocated. Any impacts on the defense budget in the next several years
can be more closely attributed to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Long-term impacts
should not be attributed to the disasters entirely since more significant factors such as
Japan’s aging demographics have a much larger effect.
c.
Hybrid Reconstruction Focus (Domestic and International)
This section argues that Japan is embarking on a hybrid reconstruction
effort that provides a balanced focus of Japan’s economic interests from a domestic and
international perspective.
The reconstruction focus may influence Japan’s desire to
engage in international security activities.
The first indication of Japan’s path to reconstruction came from the
Reconstruction Design Council established by the Cabinet Office on April 11. 186 The
council released its guiding philosophy on May 11, which included seven principles
recommended to guide the overall reconstruction efforts (see Figure 22). Principles 2–4
place great emphasis on the affected regions. It states that the recovery’s foundation is to
be community-focused and that the affected region’s socioeconomic potential will be
used to lead Japan in the future.
Principle 5 recognizes that the affected region’s
economy cannot be revived without the entire nation’s economic restoration. It further
186 This council was made of various intellectuals and reconstruction experts from the government,
business, and academic communities. Their task was to develop reconstruction recommendation guidelines
that would not just restore Japan’s economy but use the disaster to propel Japan into a new era of economic
and social renaissance. On the Formation of the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great
East Japan Earthquake (Tokyo: Government of Japan, [2011]).
76
implies that the reconstruction efforts will not focus solely on the affected regions but
will do so simultaneously with the entire economy. 187
Figure 22.
Seven Principles for the Reconstruction Framework (From “Basic
Guidelines for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan
Earthquake,” 2011)
187 Towards Reconstruction: Hope Beyond the Disaster (Tokyo: Reconstruction Design Council,
2011), 2.
77
The council’s final report submitted to the Prime Minister on June 25
reflected the guiding philosophy in more detail. It called for municipalities to be the
main actors in the reconstruction process, as they understand each affected communities’
needs. 188 The report also acknowledges the importance of incorporating the international
community in its reconstruction efforts by stating the reconstruction is open to the world.
It further states that Japan must not be inward-looking as it recovers because of the
Japanese economies close linkage with the international community. 189
The
Reconstruction
Headquarters
based
its
Basic
Policy
for
Reconstruction partly on the Reconstruction Design Council’s final report. The policy
also presents a hybrid approach to Japan’s reconstruction efforts and represents the first
substantive reconstruction guideline released by the government. The policy’s basic
concept reinforces the Reconstruction Design Council’s recommendation to utilize
municipalities as a leading role in the reconstruction and to keep the reconstruction open
to the world. 190 Regarding specific measures directly related to the SDF, the policy
stated that the equipment capabilities of all disaster relief organizations including the
SDF should be improved.
SDF information sharing and interoperability with other
emergency organizations and local governments should increase.
It also expressed the
desire for the SDF to participate in more disaster relief exercises with the central and
local governments. 191
Based on the Reconstruction Design Council and Reconstruction
Headquarters’ policy recommendations and guidelines, it appears there is a general
consensus among the business and academic communities and the government that the
recovery should have a hybrid focus. The devastated regions must be revitalized but this
cannot be accomplished without engaging the international community in order to restore
Japan’s economy as a whole. Japan’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
talks surrounding the November 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Summit, illustrates that Japan is following this hybrid focus reconstruction approach.
188 Ibid., 18.
189 Ibid., 42–44.
190 Basic Guidelines for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, 1–3.
78
The TPP is a multi-lateral free trade agreement (FTA) among several
Asia-Pacific countries including the United States that seeks to eliminate all tariffs within
10 years. TPP participation is significant because it illustrates the Japanese government’s
break from protectionist policies toward its business and agricultural sectors. Japan’s
agricultural sector is highly protected because it cannot compete with cheaper imports
due to small inefficient farm sizes in Japan. For instance, a 778 percent tariff is placed on
imported rice. Participating in the TPP means that Japan would have to compete with
cheaper foreign markets. This would require restructuring Japan’s agricultural sector to
make it more efficient, and therefore more competitive. Japan’s participation in TPP
talks has met strong resistance by farming communities in the affected regions that would
be directly impacted and the politicians that protect the farmers’ interests and conversely
depend on their political support. Despite the obvious impact the TPP will have on the
affected region, Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko continues to press forward on the
initiative.
This demonstrates that the government is not placing disproportionate
deference on the affected regions compared to its engagements with the international
community. Although the TPP may hurt local farmers, the move to join the TPP is seen
as a means to improve the overall health of Japan’s economy in the long term. 192 193
194
Japan’s hybrid focus of its economic interests in both domestic and
international terms suggests Japan’s focus will not be drastically pulled away from
international issues, which will not seriously impact the SDF’s role in international
security activities.
191 Ibid., 33–35.
192 “Editorial: As Japan Moves Toward TPP, Domestic Issues Demand Prompt Attention,” The
Mainichi Daily News, November 15, 2011,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/editorial/archive/news/2011/11/20111115p2a00m0na001000c.html.
193 “Gov’t Decides to Join Pacific Free Trade Talks Despite Resistance,” The Mainichi Daily News,
November 11, 2011, http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111111p2g00m0dm135000c.html.
194 Japan only conducts 18% of its trade with countries it has a FTA compared to 36% for South
Korea. Jeffrey W. Hornung, “Japan Needs the TPP,” PacNet Number 63 (November 9, 2011).
79
2.
International Influence: Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Decreased
One of the main tools used by the Japanese government for international influence
purposes is its ODA budget. Japan’s ODA budget has been used for many years as a
foreign policy tool to promote peace and prosperity in the developing world. This in turn
enables Japan to maintain peace and stability at home. ODA is also seen as a means to
improve Japan’s international status, expand its export markets, and garner sympathy
from the international community for Japan’s interests. 195
Japan maintained the largest ODA budget throughout the 1990s and utilized this
tool disproportionately to the employment of SDF for international influence purposes.
This method of international influence came under fire for Japan’s contribution to the
1990–1991 Gulf War. Instead of readily sending a contingent of troops to support the
UN coalition, Japan opted to provide fiscal support totaling 13 billion dollars. Although
Japan gave the largest financial support to the coalition, the international community
scoffed at its contribution and labeled it checkbook diplomacy. After the Cold War,
Japan could no longer sit on the sidelines and was expected to participate in international
security activities, especially in a region that Japan relied on so heavily for its energy
resources. Japan’s Gulf War contribution criticism opened the door for the UN PKO
Cooperation Bill in 1992.
The legislation ended the SDF’s overseas deployment
restriction and paved the way for regular UN PKO participation that endures today. 196
Since the 1990s, the ODA environment has changed both domestically and
internationally. The result is that Japan is relying less on ODA as a tool for international
influence. Domestically, it is harder for the government to convince the public that ODA
is a wise use of taxpayer dollars, especially given Japan’s stagnating economy since the
mid-1990s. Younger generations also do not remember the aid that Japan received after
World War II and therefore cannot see Japan’s large ODA budget as a means of
195 Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper 2010 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, [2010]), 19.
196 Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (New York:
Public Affairs, 2007), 290–293.
80
repayment for past support received. Internationally, globalization is causing Japan’s
ODA budget to spread more thinly as new regions require aid. Developing countries are
also playing a larger role in the international environment and lowering developed
countries’ share of ODA throughout the world. 197 These factors have contributed to a
steady decline in Japan’s ODA budget over the last decade (see Figure 23). Since the
1990s, Japan has fallen from the largest ODA provider to the world’s fifth largest
(see Figure 24).
Figure 23.
Trends in Japan’s ODA Budget and Other Major Expenditures (From
“Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper,” 2010)
197 Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper 2010, 19.
81
Figure 24.
Trends in the ODA of Major DAC Countries: Net Disbursements (From
“Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper,” 2010)
The Great East Japan Earthquake contributed to Japan’s decreased reliance on
ODA as a means of international influence. The supplementary budgets funded in a zerosum manner took 50.1 billion yen from the ODA budget, nearly 10% of its FY2011
budget. 198 The FY2012 draft budget continued the trend of decreasing Japan’s ODA as it
dropped by another 2%. 199 This is significant because it signals ODA is the target of
government expenditure cuts in the wake of the disasters as opposed to the defense
budget which actually increased in the FY2012 draft budget. The longer trend since 1997
also shows that defense budget levels have remained relatively constant compared to the
ODA budget that has steadily declined (see Figure 23). The disasters’ impact on the
ODA budget is another example of how the government is favoring the defense budget
over ODA. This will likely change the nature of how Japan seeks to gain international
198 Robert Dujarric and Philippe De Koning, “Japan’s (Continuing) Shrinking Footprint,” The Asahi
Shimbun, July 9, 2011, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/opinion/AJ2011070810733.
199 Highlights of the Budget for FY2012, 5.
82
influence. A decreased ODA budget may prompt Japan to increase its international
security activities as another means to influence the international community. Indeed, the
SDF has already increased its participation in UN PKO, HADR, and other forms of
international security activities such as anti-piracy operations in the last 20 years.
A decreased ODA budget may therefore lead to a remilitarization trajectory, as
the SDF becomes the preferred tool to gain international influence. This may be an easier
sell to the Japanese public because these operations provide Japan a significant amount of
diplomatic and political capital as a responsible participant in the international
community at a relatively low financial and personnel cost. Under the SDF’s improving
the global security environment role, the 2011 defense budget allocated a mere 5.6 billion
yen to cover the operational and maintenance costs for its international security
activities. 200 This represents only .12% of Japan’s entire 2011 defense budget. This low
operational cost is due partly to Japan’s small military contribution, ranking 49th of 114
contributing countries. 201 Japan is the second largest financial contributor to UN PKO
missions covering nearly 12.53% of an estimated $7.06 billion budget for 2011–2012.
This figure, $884 million, is 12 times larger than the operational costs for SDF
international security activities in 2011. 202 It would seem logical to start cuts from this
larger budget as opposed to the defense budget.
3.
Energy Dependency Continues
The nuclear power plant accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi highlighted the dangers
of nuclear power, as it became the second worst nuclear plant disaster in history. In the
accident’s aftermath, it seemed logical that the government might decrease its
dependence on nuclear power in the long term and substitute oil or liquefied natural gas
(LNG) for its energy needs. Increased usage of these energy sources would make Japan
even more dependent on foreign sources for its energy requirements. A more energy
200 Defense Programs and Budget of Japan: Overview of FY2011 Budget (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of
Defense, 2011), 10.
201 Ranking of Military and Police Contributions to UN Operations (October 2011) (New York:
United Nations, [2011]).
202 “Financing Peacekeeping,” United Nations,
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/financing.shtml (accessed December 10, 2011).
83
dependent Japan would require added attention on international affairs that might affect
Japan’s energy security. A degraded energy security environment would in turn provide
more incentive for a remilitarization trajectory, as Japan would need to protect its energy
sources if a crisis arose. Conversely, if Japan increased its usage of renewable energy
sources and became less dependent for its energy needs then it would remove the
incentive for a remilitarization trajectory. This section argues that Japan’s energy policy
will not make dramatic changes in Japan’s energy dependency but may in the long term,
greater than 20 years, facilitate a more rapid shift toward the use of renewable energy.
This will decrease Japan’s energy dependency but it will still remain relatively dependent
compared to other developed nations.
Japan is the world’s fourth largest oil importer and the third largest natural gas
importer, and consumes the fourth largest amount of electricity in the world.203
Therefore, Japan relies heavily on nuclear power plants to generate a source of
domestically produced energy. Nuclear power provides Japan with the second largest
power generating capacity source at 20% behind liquefied natural gas at 26%. 204 For as
much emphasis as it places on nuclear power, Japan is only about 18% energy selfsufficient. 205 If Japan reneged on its commitment to nuclear power and relied more on
fossil fuels, its self-sufficiency would slide even further making its energy security
situation direr.
The other option is more reliance on renewable forms of energy. This is the
approach that the government intends to take. The Reconstruction Headquarters’ Basic
Policy for Reconstruction advocates the promotion of renewable energy and energy
conservation measures. 206 The prospect for renewable energy to supplant nuclear power
in the short and medium term is not likely, however. Nuclear power is the cheapest form
203 “CIA World Factbook: Japan,” Central Intelligence Agency,
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html (accessed December 10, 2011).
204 Current Status of Nuclear Facilities in Japan: 2010 Edition (Tokyo: Japan Nuclear Energy Safety
Organization, [2010]), 3.
205 This low level is due in part to Japan’s promotion of nuclear power in the 1980s after its severe
energy dependency on Middle East sources was exposed in the 1970s. Japan’s Energy White Paper 2010:
Outline (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, [2010]), 4.
206 Basic Guidelines for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, 30.
84
of energy in Japan at 5–6 yen per kilowatt. Other forms of renewable energy are 2 to 9
times more expensive than nuclear power. 207 In Japan’s restrained fiscal environment, a
rapid shift to renewable energy does not seem likely. The FY2012 draft budget illustrates
the energy dilemma facing the government. Despite a lack of support for nuclear power,
the budget made only slight decreases totaling about 13 billion yen in nuclear power
funding. 208
The alternatives to safer forms of energy than nuclear power present an energy
dilemma for Japan that is not likely to result in a dramatic shift in Japan’s energy
dependency in the short and medium terms. 209 It will take long-term commitment to the
government’s renewable energy initiatives spelled out in its reconstruction policy before
any significant shift is seen. Japan’s continued lack of energy self-sufficiency will
provide incentive for Japan’s remilitarization as the rise of developing nations stresses the
energy market.
D.
NORMS
1.
Security Norms
The SDF trajectory debate boiled down to its most simple element is a question of
whether or not the SDF will use military force to secure its interests overseas, i.e.,
remilitarization. Paul Midford argues that Japanese public opinion is an important
intervening variable because it can influence this trajectory as evidenced by the thwarted
attempts under Koizumi to become more active in the Iraq War. 210 This represents the
power that Japan’s pacifist norms have over the elite. Andrew Oros defines the three
central tenets of Japan’s domestic anti-militarism as follows: “no traditional armed forces
involved in domestic policymaking, no use of force by Japan to resolve international
207 Japan’s Energy White Paper 2010: Outline, 9.
208 Highlights of the Budget for FY2012, 8.
209 Rajaram Panda, Japan’s Energy Dilemma (New Delhi, India: Institute for Defence Studies and
Analyses, [2011]).
210 Paul Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011), 6–8.
85
disputes except in self defense, and no Japanese participation in foreign wars.” 211
Considering the nature of anti-militarist norms outlined by Oros and their power
illustrated by Midford, it can be assumed that in order to see any deviation in the SDF’s
trajectory a change in Japan’s anti-militarist norms must occur. Oros identified three
scenarios in which it is plausible to imagine a change in Japan’s security practice given
the limitations posed by domestic anti-militarism. The Great East Japan Earthquake is an
event that could spark change in line with the final two scenarios. The first of these
represents a sudden shift: “new security identity practices resulting from an unexpected
shock that discredits the security identity of domestic anti-militarism.” 212 The second
scenario signifies a gradual change: “new security practices resulting from a growing
irrelevance and subsequent abandonment of the security identity of domestic antimilitarism.” 213 The following sections will analyze several security norms embodied in
the central tenets of domestic anti-militarism identified by Oros. These include public
trust of the SDF, utility of force, and utility of non-military force such as HADR.
a.
Public Trust of SDF
Anti-militarist distrust of the SDF is best understood in the context of
Japan’s utter defeat in World War II. In a matter of a few generations, Japan went from
relative isolation and technological inferiority before the Meiji Restoration in the 1860’s
to becoming the first non-western power to defeat a western power during the RussoJapanese War from 1904–1905. Japan’s economic and military power rose tremendously
in the following decades until it obtained relative parity in international status with other
major western powers. The erosion of civilian control over the military in the years
leading up to World War II facilitated the rise of ultra-nationalism with the military
dominating the domestic political arena. In 1941, the military thrust the country into war
with a larger and more resource rich nation, the United States. The U.S. military victory
211 Andrew Oros, Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 45.
212 Ibid., 187.
213 Ibid., 187.
86
over Japan ended with dozens of fire-bombed cities, two nuclear-bombed cities, nearly
three million dead, and a loss of 25% of Japan’s national wealth. 214 The result of the
military’s failed foreign and security policy in the wake of World War II left an intense
distrust toward the government’s ability to maintain civilian control over the military. It
also led to distrust of the state’s ability to responsibly employ the military without
obtaining disastrous consequences. 215
The Great East Japan Earthquake provided an opportunity to demonstrate
the state’s ability to effectively utilize the SDF. If public trust were increased as a result
of the SDF’s disaster dispatch, it would help break down a major normative barrier to
remilitarization. If public trust were maintained the status quo would persist. If public
trust were decreased then retrenchment would become more likely. Because of the
historical distrust toward the SDF, the public’s reaction after the SDF’s unprecedented
mobilization was uncertain. The disaster’s recent occurrence has also added to the
ambiguity in determining the public’s response. 216 Analysis during the disaster dispatch
suggested the media and public were reacting very positively to the SDF and were
treating them with unprecedented respect. 217
218
This section analyzes the public’s
reaction to the SDF’s disaster dispatch as seen through the eyes of the media. It finds that
the public’s trust of the SDF has noticeably increased because of its disaster dispatch.
1) Positive Media Portrayal. Japan’s major newspapers provide
the best representation of how the media portrayed the SDF during its disaster dispatch
for two reasons. First, Japanese receive a majority of their news from newspapers. The
ranking of major newspapers according to daily circulation is as follows:
Yomiuri
Shimbun (10 million), Asahi Shimbun (7.9 million), Mainichi Shimbun (3 million), and
214 John W. Dower, “The Useful War,” Daedalus, 119, no. 3 (Summer, 1990), 49.
215 Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?, 51.
216 David Fouse, “Japan Unlikely to Redirect Defense Policy,” PacNet Number 26 (May 5, 2011).
217 Kazuyo Kato, The Response to Japan’s March 11 Disaster: When the Going Gets Tough, Center
for Strategic and International Studies, [2011]).
218 Alex Martin, “Military Flexes Relief Might, Gains Newfound Esteem,” Japan Times, April 15,
2011, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20110415f1.html.
87
Sankei Shimbun (2.1 million). 219 Second, Japanese found the information in newspapers
more reliable than any other form of media after the disasters. Newspapers were also the
most credible source of media beating out the second most credible source, television, by
three times the amount. 220
Thomas Berger wrote in 1998 that the Asahi Shimbun and
Mainichi Shimbun were on the left regarding security issues as they generally opposed
the SDF’s overseas dispatch. The Yomiuri Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun were on the
right as evidenced by their support of a more active SDF in the international
community. 221
In the last approximately 10 years, major newspapers traditionally
reluctant to report on the SDF began increasing the frequency of reports on the SDF as
their profile increased due to international events such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons
program and China’s military modernization. 222 In the aftermath of the disasters, the
major newspapers generally reflected these two characteristics.
The SDF benefited from widespread coverage of their participation
in the disaster relief efforts among all the major newspapers. This was due to the media’s
decreased aversion to reporting on the SDF in recent years and because it was hard for
newspapers to avoid the SDF’s actions, as they were involved across the full spectrum of
HADR missions.
The media did, however, focus disproportionately on the nuclear
disasters compared to the devastation and loss of life suffered from the tsunami
elsewhere.
This detracted some attention away from the SDF’s large-scale disaster
dispatch force totaling around 107,000 personnel as opposed to the 500 CRF personnel
219 “Yomiuri Media Kit: Japan’s Newspapers Overview,” The Daily Yomiuri,
http://adv.yomiuri.co.jp/m-data/english/newspapers/index.html (accessed January 15, 2011).
220 “Yomiuri Media Kit: Japan’s Newspapers Credibility,” The Daily Yomiuri,
http://adv.yomiuri.co.jp/m-data/english/newspapers/credibility.html (accessed January 15, 2011).
221 Thomas U. Berger, Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan
(Baltimore, London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), 181.
222 Sabine Fruhstuck, Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army
(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007), 5–6.
88
assigned to the nuclear disaster dispatch.
Despite the lopsided reporting, the SDF
remained a key fixture of reports as they significantly contributed to the nuclear disaster
response. 223, 224, 225, 226, 227
Coverage amongst the major newspapers generally fell in line with
the security viewpoints identified by Berger. None of the major newspapers placed
blame on the SDF for any problems encountered during the disaster dispatch, even when
it came to the nuclear power station disaster. The Sankei Shimbun, being the most
conservative newspaper and supportive of the SDF, clearly supported the SDF’s efforts
as seen in its lengthy interview with the SDF’s joint task force commander. 228 The Daily
Yomiuri also painted a very positive picture of the SDF. Amidst the nuclear power
station disaster, aThe Daily Yomiuri editorial described the SDF and other organization’s
efforts to cool the reactors as herculean showing their respect for such a dangerous and
crucial responsibility. 229
Many otherThe Daily Yomiuri articles praised the SDF’s
223 “Japan Had to Show U.S. It Took Nuclear Accident Seriously,” The Asahi Shimbun, May 21,
2011.
224 “2 GSDF Tanks Sent to Clear Debris at Fukushima Plant,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 22, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110321003392.htm.
225 “Cooling Operations Continue; SDF Sprays Water on No. 3 Reactor, Hyper Rescue Squad Sent,”
The Daily Yomiuri, March 19, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110318005332.htm.
226 Dai Adachi and Setsuko Kitaguchi, “SDF Battling With Brooms, Brushes,” The Daily Yomiuri,
December 10, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111209006358.htm.
227 “SDF to Decontaminate No-Entry Zone,” The Asahi Shimbun, November 17, 2011,
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201111170008.
228 Masahiro Ishida, “The Self Defense Force’s Greatest Operation Ever: Joint Disaster Response
Taskforce Commander General Eiji Kimizuka,” The Sankei Shimbun, June 21, 2011.
229 “Editorial: Do Whatever It Takes to Cool N-Reactors,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 19, 2011, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T110318004398.htm.
89
disaster dispatch. 230 ,
231, 232, 233
Even when The Daily Yomiuri addressed the SDF’s trial
and error approach in handling the nuclear power station disaster, it did so from the
perspective of implementing lessons learned from the SDF’s shortfalls in dealing with the
nuclear disaster. The newspaper continued to applaud the SDF for achieving remarkable
results despite the difficulties faced during the nuclear crisis. 234 The Yomiuri Shimbun
and Sankei Shimbun command over half of Japan’s newspaper reading audience, which
means that most Japanese saw an overwhelmingly positive image of the SDF during the
disaster relief efforts.
The more traditionally liberal newspapers, Asahi Shimbun and
Mainichi Shimbun, were not as outspoken in their support of the SDF.
These
newspapers, however, did not take a critical view toward the SDF and generally
portrayed the SDF positively to a lesser degree than their conservative counterparts. For
instance, a couple of days after the disasters, an Asahi Shimbun editorial called for a swift
response by disaster relief organizations.
Emphasis was placed on disaster relief
organizations other than the SDF but cooperation with the SDF was mentioned as a
necessary component to the response and it supported the SDF’s large-scale
230 The Daily Yomiuri lauded SDF members from the devastated GSDF Camp Tagajyou. The
newspaper praised their rapid response to the disasters even when their families were in the affected region.
It further detailed the SDF members’ determination in helping the local residents and revealed the deep
respect with which they handled the recovered victims. Kohei Tsujisaka, Akio Oikawa and Yasuo
Matsubara, “SDF Rescuers Work in Their “Hometown,”“ The Daily Yomiuri, March 29, 2011.
231 Another Daily Yomiuri editorial called for increased SDF ties with local government officials
during disaster relief operations and described the SDF as capable of performing painstaking missions
because it was a well trained, and well-equipped organization. “Editorial: SDF Should Enhance Disaster
Relief Role,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 23, 2011, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T110322003707.htm.
232 As the SDF’s large-scale disaster dispatch continued into April 2011, The Daily Yomiuri once
again showed its deference to the SDF for conducting such a difficult mission as it outlined the
psychological impact the disaster relief operations were having on SDF members. Shingo Hashitani and
Yuichi Sato, “Sharing Disaster-Area Workers’ Emotional, Mental Load,” The Daily Yomiuri, April 25,
2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110424001718.htm.
233 Another Daily Yomiuri editorial proclaimed the SDF’s disaster relief operations as remarkable and
called for Japan to fulfill its global responsibility by supporting the SDF’s participation in UN PKO.
“Editorial: Japan Should Fulfill Global Responsibility,” The Daily Yomiuri, April 23, 2011, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T110422003480.htm.
234 “Editorial: SDF Must Utilize Lessons Learned From Disaster Relief Mission,” The Daily Yomiuri,
July 15, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T110715004529.htm.
90
mobilization.235 The Mainichi Shimbun conducted an interview with the nuclear disaster
dispatch’s commander, General Toshinobu Miyajima, in December 2011. The focus of
the interview was the SDF’s desperate situation surrounding the nuclear disaster. It
highlighted the SDF’s unpreparedness in handling the nuclear disaster but did so without
being critical of the SDF itself. 236 These examples are representative of the stance taken
by Japan’s major liberal newspapers toward the SDF.
When combined with the
unmistakably positive image portrayed by the conservative newspapers, the SDF enjoyed
a large majority of positive media coverage with almost no critical viewpoints.
2) Public Trust of SDF Increased. Given the widespread notion
of the public’s distrust of the SDF in terms of the government’s ability to effectively and
appropriately utilize the SDF, the positive media portrayal could very well alter the
public’s trust in the SDF to carry out its duties. If public trust of the SDF is increased, a
remilitarization trajectory could be supported as the public becomes more comfortable in
the SDF’s ability to responsibly execute its missions overseas. This may lead to an
expanded role overseas and the relaxation of restrictions on the use of force. If public
trust is decreased, the public may have less appetite for the SDF’s participation in
international security affairs. This section provides evidence illustrating public trust in
the SDF has increased considerably after its disaster dispatch.
One measure of public trust in the SDF and possibly the most
fundamental is the acceptance of the SDF’s role in the disaster relief operations.
Newspaper interviews with disaster victims were filled with praise for the SDF and often
children stated they would like to become a SDF member when they grow up. 237
238
235 “Editorial: Swift Response Needed for Victims of Devastating Earthquake,” The Asahi Shimbun,
March 13, 2011, http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201103120308.html.
236 “GSDF Commander Says He Thought Japan Done For as He Faced Fukushima Nuke Crisis,” The
Mainichi Daily News, December 31, 2011,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111231p2a00m0na013000c.html.
237 Kuniaki Nishio, “Child Victim’s Story Resonates Beyond National Borders,” The Asahi Shimbun,
June 23, 2011, http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201106220164.html.
238 Go Kobayashi and Suguru Takizawa, “Teens Open Time Capsule that Survived Tsunami,” The
Asahi Shimbun, May 15, 2011, http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201105150229.html.
91
Improved civil-military relations are another indicator of increased
public trust of the SDF. After the SDF’s large-scale disaster dispatch ended on August
31, 2011, the Fukushima governor requested members of the CRF to stay and assist with
the ongoing response to the nuclear disaster. In November 2011, the SDF’s footprint in
the no-entry zone increased by 300 GSDF personnel as the governor requested the SDF
to spearhead the decontamination efforts in several Fukushima municipalities.239
240 241
The large-scale deployment of SDF personnel after Typhoon number 12 shows improved
civil-military relations as well. Prefectural governors in Wakayama, Mie, and Nara
requested a higher than average number of SDF personnel, primarily from the GSDF
Middle Army, to assist in the disaster relief efforts. Although the typhoon did usher in
record-breaking rainfall, the natural disaster was of considerable smaller scale, less than
100 casualties, than the Great East Japan Earthquake yet it received a dispatch of 28,790
SDF personnel. 242 The SDF’s central and more active role in domestic disaster relief
indicates improved civil-military relations and increased public trust of the SDF.
The most compelling evidence of increased public trust of the SDF
after the Great East Japan Earthquake comes from polling data released since the
earthquake. In a Mainichi Daily News survey conducted shortly after the disasters and
while the SDF’s disaster dispatch was at the height of its operations, support from local
citizens for the SDF stationed in Yokosuka rose 15.6 points to 54.1%. Of the 54.1%,
35.5% said they supported the SDF because they would feel safer in the event of a
239 This served to pave the way for private organizations to establish base areas from which to
continue decontamination. The SDF was chosen over private organizations because it provided the most
expedient method to initiate the decontamination work. The Fukushima governor did not request that SDF
personnel leave the prefecture until the base areas had been established for private organizations to
continue the decontamination efforts and when the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was
stabilized in December 2011. “Fukushima to Ask SDF on Tuesday to End Relief Ops After Cold
Shutdown,” The Mainichi Daily News, December 20, 2011,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111220p2g00m0dm033000c.html.
240 “Gov’t to Dispatch GSDF to No-Entry Zone,” The Daily Yomiuri, November 18, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111117005750.htm.
241 SDF to Decontaminate No-Entry Zone.
242 The Typhoon number 12 dispatch was one quarter of the dispatch size for the Great East Japan
Earthquake. “Disaster Relief in Response to Typhoons No. 12 and No. 15 “ Japan Defense Focus,
December, 2011, 9.
92
disaster. 243
The PEW Research Center found that an astounding 95% of Japanese
surveyed felt the SDF did a good job and 62% believed they did a very good job. 244
AThe Daily Yomiuri public opinion poll conducted in December 2011 asked respondents
to identify the domestic institutions that they trust the most from a list of over 10
organizations. The SDF topped the list with 75% stating it is the most reliable institution.
This figure rose 12 percentage points from the same 2010 poll and signaled the first time
the SDF commanded the top position.245 A cabinet office poll conducted in March 2012
also found that 97.7% of those surveyed praised the SDF’s disaster dispatch and 91.7%
stated they had a good impression of the SDF. The SDF’s public image levels were the
highest ever since the survey began in 1969. 246 The public’s response to the SDF after
its disaster dispatch shows a noticeable increase in the public’s trust of the SDF.
It has been established that the Japanese public trusts the SDF
more after the Great East Japan Earthquake. What does this increased trust mean in
relation to the SDF trajectory debate? Does the public now think that the SDF’s use of
force in overseas operations is acceptable or does the public still prefer non-military
approaches to resolving conflicts? The evidence available to answer these questions is
less obvious and requires an analysis of prior trends in Japanese public opinion to provide
the most likely interpretation of this heightened trust. The following two sections address
this problem by analyzing two public opinion areas related to the perceived role of the
SDF: utility of force, and utility of non-military force.
243 “Record Percentage of Yokosuka Citizens Support U.S. Base After Quake,” The Mainichi Daily
News, July 22, 2011.
244 The closest competitor was news organizations with only 54% stating they did a good job
responding to the disasters. The national government received a paltry 20% good approval rating for its
response. Japanese Resilient, But See Economic Challenges Ahead (Washington D.C.: PEW Research
Center, [2011]).
245 “Feelings About U.S. are Complex: Disaster Relief Operations Appreciated but Major Ally Not
Fully Trusted,” The Daily Yomiuri, December 19, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111218003925.htm.
246 Of those that praised the SDF’s disaster dispatch, 79.8% highly praised it and 17.9% praised it.
Only 5.3% of respondents have a bad impression of the SDF. “SDF’s Disaster Dispatch Praised at 97.7%
and 91.7%, the Highest Ever, Have a Good Impression of the SDF,” Translated by Shimizu Yuko. The
Sankei Shimbun, March 11, 2012, http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/news/120311/plc12031101020000n1.htm.
93
b.
Utility of Non-Military Force: Useful for Domestic and
International Purposes
Non-military force refers to the SDF’s participation in non-traditional
security activities such as UN PKO and HADR. Previous trends in Japanese public
opinion indicate that the increased public trust of the SDF as a result of its disaster
dispatch will have the most impact on the public’s perception of non-military force’s
utility, especially regarding HADR.
Although the SDF’s response after the Great
Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 was criticized for its lack of timeliness, the SDF ultimately
played a major role in the disaster relief efforts and the public was appreciative of their
participation. The result was a 40% increase from 1994–1997 in the public’s perception
that disaster dispatch is the SDF’s main function. The SDF’s new primary perceived role
even replaced that of ensuring national security. The Japanese public still perceive
disaster dispatch as the SDF’s main function as recent as 2006 (see Figure 25).
Regarding the SDF’s future role, disaster dispatch jumped almost 20% from 1994–1997
as well. In 2003, the SDF’s most effective role remained disaster dispatch at 85%
compared to ensuring national security at 29% (see Figure 26). The SDF’s perceived
future role also changed dramatically after the 1995 earthquake. From 1994–1997, the
SDF’s future role of disaster dispatch remained the primary role and dramatically
increased from 35% to 70%. In 2006, the SDF’s disaster dispatch future role at 69%
continued to beat out its ensuring national security role at 55% (see Figure 27). 247
247 Christopher W. Hughes, Japan’s Remilitarisation (London: Routledge, 2010), 158–159.
94
Figure 25.
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Main Function of the JSDF 1965–
2006 (From “Japan’s Remilitarisation,” 2010)
Figure 26.
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Most Effective Role of the JSDF
1961–2003 (From “Japan’s Remilitarisation,” 2010)
95
Figure 27.
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Future Role of the JSDF 1965–2006
(From “Japan’s Remilitarisation,” 2010)
The preeminence of the SDF’s disaster dispatch role in public opinion
regarding its primary, most effective, and future role indicate that the Great East Japan
Earthquake will likely have a similar effect on public opinion. Furthermore, the high
levels of public opinion maintained in these three areas since 1995 suggest that disaster
dispatch after the 2011 disasters will continue to be of primary importance in the public’s
eyes. These hypotheses held true after the most recent cabinet office poll conducted in
2012. The SDF’s highest perceived role continued to be disaster dispatch at 82.9%. 248
These trends indicate that HADR conducted by the SDF will continue to
be viewed as a useful tool. This eliminates the possibility that non-military force is
248 This cabinet office poll has been conducted every 3 years since 1969. Figures 25–27 are
comprised of data from these polls. Disaster dispatch was also the highest perceived role in the 2009 poll.
“SDF’s Disaster Dispatch Praised at 97.7% and 91.7%, the Highest Ever, Have a Good Impression of the
SDF,” Translated by Shimizu Yuko. The Sankei Shimbun, March 11, 2012,
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/news/120311/plc12031101020000-n1.htm.
96
viewed as never useful and therefore the use of force is a preferred tool, which may lead
to remilitarization. The question then becomes how the SDF’s HADR capabilities will be
applied in the future. If the utility of non-military force is seen as useful for domestic
purposes only then retrenchment can be expected. The most likely outcome is that the
SDF’s HADR capabilities will be used for domestic and international purposes. As the
SDF improved its HADR capabilities after the 1995 earthquake and enacted new laws
permitting SDF participation in international security activities, the SDF participated in
more HADR operations starting in 1998. The trend since 1998 has been that of more
regular participation in international HADR operations (see Figure 17).
c.
Utility of Force: Defensive Force Useful
The previous section illustrated that the Japanese public sees non-military
force as the SDF’s primary, most effective, and future role. Figures 25–27 do not provide
any data showing the public’s willingness for the SDF to engage in offensive force,
however. Instead, most of the alternative roles provided in Figures 25–27 only show
roles supporting defensive force. Is there any situation in which the Japanese public
might find it useful for the SDF to engage in offensive force? According to a Study of
Attitudes and Global Engagement (SAGE) public opinion poll conducted in 2004, most
Japanese are skeptical of offensive force. A majority of Japanese surveyed believes that
offensive force is not legitimate for preventing human rights abuse or when a country is
suspected of harboring terrorists. Only a slight majority believes that it is legitimate for
preventing genocide. A super-majority of 78.1%, however, believes that defensive force
is legitimate if a country is attacked (see Table 4). Midford found in a series of other
Japanese public opinion polls relating to the use of force and the United States’ role in
Iraq that the SAGE report’s findings of a public aversion to offensive force holds true. 249
Based on these findings, it is highly problematic to link an increase in the public’s trust of
the SDF to the Japanese seeing an increased utility in offensive force.
Therefore,
remilitarization is not likely in this regard.
249 Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?, 30–38.
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Table 4.
Japanese Public Opinion Regarding the Legitimate Reasons for Going to
War (From “Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From
Pacifism to Realism?,” 2011)
As stated earlier, Japanese do find defensive force quite legitimate.
Figures 25–27 indicate that ensuring national security is considered a very credible role
for the SDF, although not the most significant. Connecting the public’s increased trust of
the SDF with an increase in utility of defensive force seems more plausible. Despite the
lack of data illustrating these linkages, there seems to be a logical connection between the
two. Figures 25–27 show that from 1994–1997 the SDF’s ensuring national security role
increased with its disaster dispatch role more than any other three-year period. These
figures could be a result of other threatening factors that occurred during this time such as
the 1995–1996 Taiwan Straits Crisis. Little else happened that might have warranted
such large increases in these public opinion figures, however. A more likely explanation
is that the SDF’s disaster dispatch after the 1995 earthquake increased its profile and the
public became more aware of the SDF’s other roles. As SDF participation in domestic
disaster relief increased in the following years, this only added to the public’s awareness
of the SDF’s roles.
The SDF’s disaster dispatch for the Great East Japan Earthquake seems to
have had a similar effect on public opinion. The 2012 cabinet office poll found that
78.6% of those surveyed, the second highest number, believe ensuring national security is
the SDF’s primary function. This figure rose 8.6% from the 2009 poll. The primary
98
reason given for this increase are the threats posed by China and North Korea. 250 It is
reasonable to believe, however, that the SDF’s successful disaster dispatch is also aiding
these figures by increasing the SDF’s profile and showing the public that the SDF can be
trusted to execute defensive roles. Therefore, the SDF’s successful disaster dispatch is
likely to increase public support for defensive force. This is especially true now that the
SDF did such an incredible job, the media portrayed their performance as exceptional, the
public reacted positively, and more clear security threats exist such as China’s military
expansion and North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile program. These factors will
help marginalize pacifists that believe the use of force is never useful. The result is that
the SDF’s disaster dispatch emphasizes the utility of defensive force, which will maintain
the status quo.
2.
Legal Norms: Arms Export Ban (Less Restriction)
Japan operates its security policy through a web of legal norms that significantly
restricts its security activities at home and abroad. Some of these legal norms are clearly
codified and others are informal policy statements that are perpetually followed. The
following is a list of several legal norms that have come to characterize Japan’s security
identity of domestic anti-militarism: Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, “Three Principles
for Restricting Arms Exports,” five PKO principles, three non-nuclear principles, and
250 For those that answered ensuring national security is the SDF’s primary role, 72.3% stated they
believe so because of the threats posed by China and North Korea. “SDF’s Disaster Dispatch Praised at
97.7% and 91.7%, the Highest Ever, Have a Good Impression of the SDF,” Translated by Shimizu Yuko.
The Sankei Shimbun, March 11, 2012, http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/news/120311/plc12031101020000n1.htm.
99
defense budget limits at 1% of GDP. 251 ,
252, 253
These legal norms are not impenetrable
as many have been modified and reinterpreted over the years.
Taken as a whole,
however, these legal norms limit the speed at which a remilitarization trajectory can be
achieved, as they need to be addressed when considering making changes to Japan’s
security practices.
Continuing the logic discussed under the previous security norms section, if
public trust of the SDF increased because of their superb performance during its disaster
dispatch then it might allow for some of the legal norms restricting the SDF’s activities to
be relaxed.
This may call the legal norms into question as the SDF is seen as a
responsible institution capable of conducting itself honorably certainly at home and
reasonably abroad. The disasters’ economic impact may also call some of these legal
norms into question as Japan’s heightened sense of economic vulnerability stemming
from the disasters prompts a more pragmatic approach to making Japan’s defense
industries more competitive. The Great East Japan Earthquake’s recent occurrence limits
the sample data available to evaluate all of the legal norms mentioned. The following
section analyzes the arms export ban as actual changes have been the most apparent in
this area after the disasters.
Oros recognizes that changes to Japan’s arms export ban in 1983 and 2004 were
relatively small but states that a move toward unrestricted weapons exports would signify
251 Article 9 of Japan’s constitution renounces war as a sovereign right of the state, and prohibits the
maintenance of military forces and the use of force to settle international disputes. The “Three Principles
for Restricting Arms Exports” codified in 1967 states that Japan would not export arms to communist
nations, countries subject to a UN Security Council arms embargo, and countries where the risk of
international conflict is high. This ban was later extended to all countries in 1976. Oros, Normalizing
Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice, 106.
252 The International Peace Cooperation Law passed in 1992 allowed the overseas dispatch of SDF
troops in order to participate in UN PKO. However, it severely limited their use of force by limiting the
use of weapons for the minimum necessary for self-defense and allowed for SDF troop withdrawal in the
event hostilities erupted. Michael J. Green, Japan’s Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an
Era of Uncertain Power (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003), 197, 322.
253 Japan’s three non-nuclear principles declared in 1967 state that Japan will not “produce, possess,
or permit the introduction of nuclear weapons.” Japan has also informally limited its defense budget to 1%
of GDP since 1976. Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East
Asia (Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 2007), 43, 56.
100
a fundamental shift in Japan’s security identity of domestic anti-militarism. 254 It appears
that a large step toward this has occurred due in part to the disasters. In December 2011,
the DPJ government announced that it was easing the restrictions on Japan’s existing
arms export bans. Up to then, revisions occurred on a case-by-case basis. The new
regulations represent a more comprehensive change that will allow fundamental changes
in the way Japan approaches arms exports. The new regulations are comprised of two
main elements.
First, Japan will be allowed to participate in joint development of
military equipment and technology with the United States, European nations, specifically
those belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other friendly
nations. Second, Japan will be allowed to export defense-related equipment to enable
PKO and HADR.
These two areas will require government approval and strict
administrative procedures will be in place to ensure defense equipment is properly
transferred to third-party nations. The DPJ government announced that the previous
three principles guiding Japan’s arms export ban remain in effect. 255
These fundamental changes can be partially credited to the economic pressure
placed on Japan after the disasters but also stem from hollowing out fears in Japanese
industries prior to the disasters. After the 2010 NDPG’s release and before the disasters,
attempts were made to revise the arms export ban but were eventually thwarted by strong
opposition from the Social Democratic Party. Senior vice ministers from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA), METI, and MOD met in November 2011 to reopen the
issue. 256
Japan’s exacerbated economic health due to the disasters seems to have
provided the added rationale to enact the new regulations. The first element increases the
defense industry’s production base and will help increase their capabilities as they
254 Japan’s arms export ban codified in 1967 and 1976 has been subject to slight revisions over the
years. The first came in 1983 when Japanese defense technology transfers to the United States were
approved. The second occurred in 2004 as the United States and Japan agreed to jointly develop a ballistic
missile defense program. Oros, Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security
Practice, 92.
255 Yukiko Ishikawa, “Gov’t Decides to Ease Arms Export Ban/ Way Clear for Joint International
Arms Development,” The Daily Yomiuri, December 28, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111227003855.htm.
256 “Gov’t Eyes Eased Ban on Weapons Exports,” The Mainichi Daily News, December 24, 2011,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111224p2a00m0na007000c.html.
101
become involved in more joint development projects. 257 This will lower its defense costs
in the future. The previous arms export ban kept Japan out of the F-35’s joint
development process, which will increase the fighter’s cost.
The economic rationale for the new regulations and maintenance of the previous
three principles suggests that Japan is not going to embark on an unrestricted weapons
export policy. It will enable Japan to become much more active in its development and
procurement of defense equipment. The less restrictive nature of the new regulations will
therefore emphasize remilitarization.
The changes in Japan’s arms export ban illustrate how Japan’s changing
economic situation can affect the rationale for its legal norms that are most directly
connected to Japan’s economic interests. Other legal norms more closely related to
normative constraints than economic interests have not shown as much movement since
the disasters. The one exception is the SDF’s five PKO principles, which was called into
question because of the SDF’s deployment to UNMISS and South Sudan’s potentially
unstable condition. 258,
259, 260
This type of sentiment best represents what might occur if
the public’s increased trust in the SDF makes changes to legal norms more palatable.
257 “Japan Gives Green Light to Limited Arms Exports,” The Asahi Shimbun, December 27, 2011,
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201112270053.
258 The UN official in charge of UNMISS stated that Rwandan soldiers would safeguard the SDF
troops because use of force is limited to self-defense according to the five PKO principles. Yoshiaki
Kasuga, “U.N. Official Says GSDF Troops Will Be Protected in South Sudan,” The Asahi Shimbun,
November 8, 2011.
259 The unstable situation in South Sudan brought the five PKO principles into question as the SDF
would be limited in their ability to provide for their own safety. The Daily Yomiuri released an editorial
calling for the relaxation of the weapon use standard. “GSDF’s South Sudan Mission Significant for
Nation Building,” The Daily Yomiuri, November 3, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T111102004580.htm.
260 Senior Vice Defense Minister Shu Watanabe also advocated that SDF troops should be allowed to
use weapons in the line of duty like other armies and called on the political parties to discuss the matter
further. “SDF Troops on Int’l Duty Should Be Allowed to Use Weapons: Vice Minister,” The Mainichi
Daily News, December 30, 2011,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111230p2g00m0dm014000c.html.
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3.
U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Norms: Trust Maintained
As mentioned previously, the U.S.-Japan security alliance was strengthened due
to the utility of the alliance and the interoperability demonstrated through OPERATION
TOMODACHI.
It was shown that a strengthened alliance combined with Japan’s
reconstruction concerns provides less incentive for a remilitarization trajectory. Another
result of the shifting strength or lack thereof in a security alliance relationship is the fear
of abandonment or entrapment. In the context of the U.S.-Japan security alliance, the
result of a strengthened alliance could increase the fear of entrapment in American led
wars as Japan comes closer to its ally. The inverse effect is that a weakened alliance may
cause Japan to fear abandonment and force Japan to embark on a remilitarization
trajectory in order to fulfill its security needs. Fear of abandonment does not seem likely
based on the evidence of a strengthened alliance already given. The more possible
reaction to a strengthened alliance would be fear of entrapment.
Midford writes that the fear of entrapment in American wars amplifies Japan’s
own domestic anti-militarism sentiment and leads to stronger resistance to even small
expansions in SDF activities and capabilities. 261 He illustrates this point through what he
calls the Iraq syndrome.
The Iraq syndrome encompasses the Japanese public’s
opposition to the Iraq War after hawkish leaders’, Prime Ministers Koizumi and Abe
Shinzo, aggressive pursuit of a larger role in the conflict. The Japanese public’s support
for constitutional revision, the hawkish LDP, and even the SDF’s reconstruction and noncombat missions in Iraq subsequently decreased. 262
Although fear of entrapment seems the more likely of the two, a crucial ingredient
that would spur an entrapment reaction is becoming less potent: American wars. As of
December 2011, the Iraq War is over and Obama has made known his intentions to bring
the Afghanistan War to an end in the next couple of years. Furthermore, the Obama
administration has not pressured Japan into increasing its role in the Afghanistan War or
any other major international security activity for that matter. Instead, Obama announced
261 Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?, 41.
262 Ibid., 146–170.
103
in November 2011 that the United States would shift its strategic focus to the AsiaPacific region as it ends its overseas conflicts, a statement welcomed by Noda. 263 The
result is that Japanese and American security interests are merging since both express
major concern over China’s expanding military and nuclear weapons armed North Korea.
This will likely facilitate greater cooperation in the future between the U.S. military and
SDF on mutual strategic objectives. Therefore, the traditional fear of entrapment does
not seem a likely reaction by Japan either.
Even though the United States is decreasing its footprint in the Middle East and
provided the largest form of international military assistance after the disasters, this does
not necessarily mean the Japanese public will automatically be more inclined to trust the
United States. Midford found that the Japanese public grew more skeptical than trusting
of the United States and its perceived role in the world, especially in the years following
the initiation of the Iraq War. 264 Trust levels have improved in the last two years along
with the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq. A December 2011The Daily Yomiuri poll
indicates 47% of Japanese trust the United States very much or somewhat and 42% do
not trust the United States very much or at all. The trust levels decreased 5% and distrust
levels increased 5% from the same 2010 poll. A vast majority of Japanese, 94%, is
thankful for the U.S. military’s role after the disasters, but the lowered trust levels
indicate other factors are limiting the public’s trust in the United States. 265 Although
trust levels have shifted against the United States’ favor after the disasters, it does not
seem to be driven by the disasters. Furthermore, the changes were slight and can be
considered as maintained.
E.
ACTORS/ INSTITUTIONS
This section examines the various internal and external actors and institutions that
impact the SDF’s trajectory. It focuses on several aspects. First, how powerful is that
263 “Japan Welcomes Stronger U.S. Presence in Asia: Noda,” The Mainichi Daily News, November
20, 2011, http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111120p2g00m0dm052000c.html.
264 Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?, 43–46.
265 “Feeling About U.S. Are Complex/ Disaster Relief Operations Appreciated, But Major Ally Not
Fully Trusted.” The Daily Yomiuri, December 19, 2011.
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actor when it comes to their ability to impact the SDF’s trajectory? This aspect becomes
problematic to measure empirically so the second aspect provides a better understanding
of how much capacity a particular actor or institution has to influence the SDF’s
trajectory. Second, what portion of the SDF trajectory does that actor or institution
mostly affect? Third, what SDF trajectory is that actor most likely to support?
Because previous sections have addressed how the Japanese public, the United
States, and Japan’s neighbors, China and South Korea, were affected by the disasters, this
section will go into more detail on how the disasters have affected Japan’s politicians.
The concluding chapter takes into account the entire system of actors and institutions
discussed hereafter and analyzes where this might take the SDF given the impact to
Japan’s security interests, economic interests, and norms. Therefore, the actors and
institution section is in some cases about how the disasters impacted those particular
entities but more so about how the system in its current state will direct the SDF.
1.
Japanese Public: Primed for a Dynamic Status Quo
The norms section demonstrated that public opinion does have an impact on the
SDF’s trajectory. Midford outlines the Japanese public’s impact on security policies in
Figure 28. This figure illustrates that public opinion impacts elites’ willingness to pursue
certain security policies in response to real-world developments. 266 He further identifies
eight circumstances when public opinion is most likely to be influential on elite security
policy formation. 267 Figure 28 also implies that elites are able to shape policy outcomes
by way of breaking down certain norms such as pacifism through demonstration effects.
Demonstration effects are used to influence public opinion through gradual policy
266 Paul Midford, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism?
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011), 13.
267 These eight circumstances include “when large and stable opinion majorities exist, when there is
political competition, when a united Diet opposition has the support of a stable opinion majority, when an
election is near, when the public has recently engaged in retrospective voting, when the ruling coalition
worries about the consequences of defying a stable opinion majority for other important issues, when a new
policy is proposed or an old policy has perceptible costs, when consensus democracy norms and institutions
are present.” Ibid., 21–25.
105
development as opposed to radical departures. Therefore, Midford’s detailed analysis
indicates that the Japanese public has considerable power to thwart security policies that
run counter to its public opinion especially under the eight circumstance listed, but elites
maintain the ability to gradually shape public opinion.
Figure 28.
Public Attitudes, Measureable Opinions, and Policy Outcomes (From
“Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to
Realism?” 2011)
Based on this relationship, what SDF trajectory is the public most likely to
support in the aftermath of the disasters? As demonstrated in the norms section, the
Japanese public sees the security norms of trust in the SDF and utility of military force
and non-military force as distinctly separate.
Increased trust in the SDF does not
necessarily directly translate into perceived utility of military force.
Through
demonstration effects, elites have cautiously expanded the SDF’s roles since the end of
the Cold War and demonstrated the state’s ability to safely manage the SDF at home and
abroad.
The SDF’s unprecedented and highly successful disaster dispatch can be
considered the capstone event from a demonstration effects perspective in solidifying the
106
SDF’s domestic role. Public trust in the SDF is at an all-time high but as was previously
discussed, this will likely serve to boost the SDF’s profile and make the public more
aware of the SDF’s other roles. The utility of defensive force will likely gain support but
the public’s aversion for offensive force will continue to slow attempts to remilitarize.
Now that the public is almost completely accepting of the SDF’s domestic role, elites
have more room to test the waters on the fringes of a remilitarization trajectory without
facing dramatic public resistance. The result is that the public is primed for changes
within the status quo.
2.
SDF: A More Confident Force
The SDF was formed in an environment of severe distrust of the military
following World War II. Civil-military relations evolved with the focus on protecting the
people from the SDF vice the protection provided by the SDF. The resulting civilmilitary structure subjugated the SDF to civilian institutions in numerous areas. Despite
changes in the international environment after the Cold War, the theme of civilian control
over the SDF has remained largely in place. This fact is evident in the MOD’s structure
(see Figure 29). 268 The Internal Bureau, comprised of approximately 22,000 civilian
personnel, exerts the most influence over security policy within the MOD. Uniformed
SDF officers are not included in the Internal Bureau and are limited to the Joint Staff
Office and the three services (GSDF, MSDF, ASDF). The Chief of Staff for each service
is primarily concerned with equipping and training its forces as a force provider and the
Chairman of the Joint Staff aided by the Joint Staff Office acts as a force user. 269
268 “Japan MOD Organization Chart,” Japan Ministry of Defense,
http://www.mod.go.jp/e/about/organization/chart_a.html (accessed February 19, 2012).
269 Andrew L. Oros and Yuki Tatsumi, Global Security Watch: Japan (Santa Barbara, Denver,
Oxford: Praeger, 2010), 48, 57.
107
Figure 29.
Japan MOD Organization Chart (From Japan MOD website, 2012)
108
This does not mean that the SDF was completely powerless to control any aspect
of its trajectory. Throughout the Cold War, politicians delegated authority to bureaucrats
to control the SDF because it was seen as relatively risk or cost free. The rationale
behind this was that the SDF’s use in the Cold War was deemed much less likely and the
numerous legal norms in place to control the SDF’s remilitarization facilitated a handsoff approach to control the SDF. 270 SDF officers could take advantage of the delegation
relationship when the bureaucracy threatened SDF interests. For instance, SDF officers
could appeal to politicians if the SDF faced budget cuts for bases in a district. The SDF
could also appeal to outside actors such as the United States to further their interests. 271
Because of their taboo nature, the SDF also enjoyed relative autonomy on areas requiring
military expertise such as procurement, recruitment, public relations, military education,
and training. 272
Even though the structure for civilian control over the SDF remains in place, the
SDF is becoming more influential within the MOD. After a series of SDF scandals in
2007, reforms were adopted to address accountability issues in the SDF. Containing the
SDF even further was seen as a counterproductive measure. Instead, it was decided to
engage the SDF in the policymaking process. This will allow for SDF officers to work
more closely with civilian bureaucrats in the MOD. Although these reforms will not
produce dramatic results in the short term, it shows that there is a growing trend to grant
the SDF more influence as they are seen as a necessary tool of the state. 273 The SDF’s
notable disaster dispatch will serve as more incentive to continue this trend.
The SDF’s disaster dispatch will also aid the SDF’s trajectory in two areas: SDF’s
public image and the SDF’s confidence. Japan realized after its checkbook diplomacy
during the Gulf War was berated that the international community would demand more
270 Peter D. Feaver, Takako Hikotani and Shaun Narine, “Civilian Control and Civil-Military Gaps in
the United States, Japan, and China,” Asian Perspective 29, no. 1 (2005), 247–249.
271 The MSDF is best known for using this tactic with the U.S. Navy. Ibid., 250–251.
272 Takako Hikotani, “Japan’s Changing Civil-Military Relations: From Containment to Re-
Engagement?” Global Asia 4, no. 1 (2009), 23.
273 Ibid., 24.
109
SDF participation in international security activities. Along with the rise of security
threats within the region, China and North Korea, the likelihood of the SDF being used at
home and abroad became much more likely. These factors created the need to shape the
SDF’s public image as the SDF became more visible in a society with deep pacifist
roots. 274 One of the methods aimed at creating a positive SDF image is equating the
SDF’s roles with those for the collective good. These roles are comprised of three
elements that emphasize the SDF’s unique bond with the public, contact with local
communities, and the SDF’s indispensable capabilities that are used for non-violent
missions. 275
Disaster relief is at the heart of this initiative as it satisfies all three
elements. The SDF sees HADR as a means to gain legitimacy at home and in the
international community. The SDF’s disaster dispatch in response to the Great East
Japan Earthquake has provided an enormous source of material to improve its public
image. The SDF has taken advantage of its successful operation and used its disaster
dispatch for numerous public relations materials. 276
HADR also serves the purpose of building morale and confidence within the
SDF’s ranks. Because the SDF contributes most regularly to domestic disaster relief
and international security activities, these are the things that provide satisfaction to
SDF personnel. SDF personnel look back at their involvement in the Great Hanshin
Earthquake as an incredibly positive experience and see it as a significant boost to
their public image.
Stories of rescuing victims and receiving gratitude for their
efforts are what motivate SDF personnel. The impact on SDF morale after the Great
East Japan Earthquake can be considered even more profound since 40% of SDF
274 Sabine Fruhstuck, Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army
(Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2007), 118.
275 Sabine Fruhstuck and Eyal Ben-Ari, ““Now We Show It All!” Normalization and the
Management of Violence in Japan’s Armed Forces,” Journal of Japanese Studies 28, no. 1 (Winter, 2002),
30–31.
276 The Defense of Japan 2011 included a lengthy special feature in its front pages highlighting the
SDF’s disaster dispatch. The SDF also included prominent articles on its disaster dispatch in the Japan
Defense Focus and other smaller pamphlets. Each SDF service website also highlights their contributions
to the disaster dispatch.
110
personnel participated in the disaster dispatch and the public recognized their efforts
in almost exclusively positive terms. 277
Given the SDF’s boosted confidence and the trend to more SDF involvement in
the policy formation process, is there any need to worry that the SDF will embark on a
remilitarization trajectory?
In 2008, fears that the SDF represented a force for
remilitarization were rekindled when ASDF Chief of Staff General Tamogami Toshio
published an essay questioning Japan’s role as an aggressor nation in World War II. He
further stoked the public’s fears by stating 99% of SDF officers held views similar to his.
On the other hand, a survey conducted amongst SDF officers in 2003 found that the SDF
is only moderately conservative. 278 It has also been noted that SDF officers are less
concerned about making the SDF stronger and increasing its influence over civilian
authorities than they are with managing the SDF’s role in society and becoming accepted
by the public as a legitimate asset for the nation. 279 Although the SDF is likely to attract
those that have a more conservative mindset, it does not seem apparent that the SDF
would push for radical remilitarization as Tamogami suggested but rather seek a more
fitting role for the SDF in society within the grey area between the status quo and
remilitarization.
3.
Bureaucrats: Shifting Control Over Security Policy
The bureaucracy has traditionally been the most influential actor in Japan’s
security policymaking process because of the post World War II desire to contain the
SDF from embarking on a remilitarization trajectory. This historical legacy of exerting
277 Ibid., 33.
278 They support the U.S.-Japan alliance but not unconditionally. A request from the United States to
participate in UN PKO was not as good of a reason to send troops as humanitarian needs or national
interests. 58% believe that the SDF should be a role model for society but 64% also believe that the SDF
and the public should interact more in order to introduce civilian values into the SDF. More than 50%
indicated only less than 100 casualties would be acceptable in operations surrounding Japan. This shows
the SDF’s aversion to causalities as a similar survey given to the U.S. military showed more than 83%
would find more than 500 causalities acceptable if defending South Korea. 70% also stated officers should
not criticize the government or society. Hikotani, Japan’s Changing Civil-Military Relations: From
Containment to Re-Engagement?, 25–26.
279 Fruhstuck, Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army, 6.
111
civilian control over the SDF embedded itself in the bureaucratic structure that still exists
in many aspects today. The MOFA emerged during the Cold War as the most powerful
actor influencing security policy.
Three of the MOFA’s bureaus continue to hold
considerable influence over security policy formation: Foreign Policy Bureau, North
American Affairs Bureau, and International Legal Affairs Bureau (see Figure 30). 280 , 281
Figure 30.
Japan MOFA Organization Chart (From Japan MOFA website, 2012)
280 “Japan MOFA Organization Chart,” Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/hq/chart.html (accessed February 19, 2012).
281 The Foreign Policy Bureau and specifically the National Security Policy Division within this
bureau is considered the most important bureaucratic actor influencing Japan’s security policy. Its position
was elevated even higher as the lead division shaping Japan’s security policy after MOFA reorganization
efforts in 2004. The MOFA also highlighted the prominence of the Foreign Policy Bureau by appointing
its most talented bureaucrats to senior positions within this bureau. The North American Affairs Bureau,
specifically the U.S. – Japan Security Treaty Division and Status of U.S. Forces Agreement Division, also
hold significant influence over alliance relations with the United States. The International Legal Affairs
Bureau is another significant actor that is involved with reconciling Japan’s international agreements with
its domestic laws and ensures they are in keeping with Japan’s peace constitution. Oros and Tatsumi,
Global Security Watch: Japan, 28–30.
112
The preeminent role that the MOFA plays in determining Japan’s security policy
is significant for two reasons. First, as one of Japan’s oldest ministries, it has the stature,
talent, and capacity to sustain its control over other ministries such as the MOD and
particularly the SDF. Any attempts to erode the MOFA’s control face many obstacles.
Second, the MOFA’s disproportionate control of security policy over the MOD distances
SDF interests from security policy as the MOFA does not deal directly with the SDF.
The other bureaucratic institution that plays an important but subordinate role in
Japan’s security policy formation is the MOD. Prior to 2007, the MOD was only an
agency known as the Japan Defense Agency (JDA). Throughout the Cold War, the JDA
served primarily as a management agency for the SDF rather than a policy agency. This
historical legacy is still manifest in the MOD’s structure even though its status was raised
to that of a full ministry in 2007. Many of its roles continue to revolve around managing
relations between the U.S. military, SDF, and local governments where those forces are
located. 282
The MOD’s two most important bureaus regarding security policy formation are
the Operational Policy Bureau and the Defense Policy Bureau. The Strategic Planning
Office was created in 2007 under the Defense Policy Division in this bureau. It is tasked
with handling long-term strategy planning issues like the NDPG. The Defense Policy
Bureau also expanded its strategic planning capacity in 2007 by adding the U.S.-Japan
Defense Cooperation Division and the International Policy Division. These additions
illustrate a gradual reorientation of the MOD’s responsibilities from a purely domestic
standpoint to a broader focus on international issues and more responsibility in areas
traditionally handled by the MOFA. The elevation of the MOD to full ministry status
282 For example, many of these responsibilities that were held by the Defense Facilities
Administration Agency under the JDA were folded into the newly established Bureau of Local
Cooperation, Bureau of Finance and Equipment, and the eight Regional Defense Bureaus. The Ministry of
Defense Reorganized (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Defense, 2007), 4–5.
113
also suggests it will have more negotiating influence in areas such as the defense budget
and it can theoretically demand a more equal say in Japan’s security policy formation
with the MOFA. 283
Despite the MOD’s status elevation and reorganization geared toward increasing
its policy planning capacity, its security policy planning capacity compared to the MOFA
remains relatively low due to understaffed divisions and the MOFA’s higher status
among the ministries.
The National Police Agency (NPA) also continues to hold
significant influence over areas concerning Japan’s domestic security and numerous NPA
officials hold senior government positions affecting security policy formation (see Figure
31). 284
285
Given these limitations on the MOD’s influence over security policymaking,
the trend since the end of the Cold War has been greater MOD involvement in security
policymaking. This is coming about because of the increased demand for the SDF to
participate in international security activities and the increased likelihood of the SDF’s
involvement in other roles in and out of Japan. The MOD can no longer be avoided, as it
is the only ministry that commands the SDF. 286
283 The Operational Policy Bureau is charged with employing the SDF’s capabilities for the purposes
of securing Japan’s national interests. The Defense Policy Bureau is primarily tasked with developing a
defense strategy that accounts for Japan’s national security policy and interests. Oros and Tatsumi, Global
Security Watch: Japan, 33–35.
284 The Commissioner General’s Secretariat, Criminal Investigation Bureau, and Security Bureau are
the three bureaus that exert the most influence over Japan’s domestic security within the NPA. Police of
Japan 2011 (Tokyo: Japan National Police Agency, 2011), 3.
285 Oros and Tatsumi, Global Security Watch: Japan, 30–32, 35.
286 Ibid., 41.
114
Figure 31.
Japan NPA Organization Chart (From “Police of Japan Report,” 2011)
Considering the slow inclusion of the MOD in the security policymaking process
along with the powerhouses MOFA and NPA, what trajectory is likely to be influenced
by the bureaucracy? Since the MOFA and NPA will remain very influential in the short
to medium term, the SDF will remain isolated from the security policymaking process.
Therefore, emphasis on including the SDF in activities that resemble remilitarization will
likely continue to be a slow process. Nonetheless, the MOD’s increasing bureaucratic
influence trend suggests that the MOD and SDF will not be the outlier in the long term,
which will aid the “normalization” of bureaucratic control over the SDF. This will make
remilitarization more likely in the long term. The MOD’s successful deployment of the
SDF after the Great East Japan Earthquake will serve as an incentive to continue this
trend.
115
4.
Politicians
a.
Gaining Influence Over the Bureaucracy
Politicians in general have been gaining influence in the security policy
realm since the 1990s. This is evident in the growing capacity and stature of two
institutions at the Prime Minister’s disposal. First, the Prime Minister’s Office expanded
from 582 in 1999 to 2,200 after administrative reorganizations were implemented in
2001.
Second, the Cabinet Secretariat had a staff of only 184 in 1999 but it has
dramatically increased to 716 as of 2008. 287 Even though it is comprised of a mix of
politicians, bureaucrats and retired NPA officials, this institution bolsters the Prime
Minister’s ability to initiate and coordinate important policy issues amongst various
ministries. This organization contains several positions with considerable control over
Japan’s security policy: Chief Cabinet Secretary, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for
Administration, and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management.
The
Cabinet Secretariat’s structural changes suggest politicians, namely the Prime Minister
and Chief Cabinet Secretary, are gaining influence over the bureaucracy especially in its
crisis management capacity. Its policymaking capacity is still considered in its nascent
stage, however. 288
As previously mentioned, this trend is occurring due to the perceived high
political costs of delegating authority to the bureaucracy. The end of the Cold War
created a demand for the SDF to participate in international security activities, which
raised the need for politicians to be able to quickly influence policy in a crisis
287 T. J. Pempel, “Between Pork and Productivity: The Collapse of the Liberal Democratic Party,”
The Journal of Japanese Studies 36, no. 2 (Summer, 2010), 244.
288 The Chief Cabinet Secretary stands out as the most powerful of these as this position has become
second to the Prime Minister and critical in pushing through the Cabinet’s policies. The Deputy Chief
Cabinet Secretary for Administration is also the highest-ranking bureaucrat and therefore commands much
power over interagency policy coordination. The Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management
assists the Chief Cabinet Secretary during national emergencies and the Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary
for National Security and Crisis Management focuses on the daily management of national security policy.
The latter position has become increasingly important in Japan’s security policymaking process. For
instance, the Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary for National Security and Crisis Management played a large
role in key legislation such as the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, the 2003 Iraq
Reconstruction Law, and the 2004 NDPG revision. Oros and Tatsumi, Global Security Watch: Japan, 35–
40.
116
management situation. The 1993 electoral reforms created the structural incentives for a
shift to a two-party system. Politicians then became more vocal on defense issues as
differences between party security policies became more important. Politicians have
therefore begun to take back control of security policy formation from bureaucrats, as the
cost of not doing so could be potentially disastrous for their electoral survival or during a
national emergency. 289 Although the political leadership was criticized for its handling
of the nuclear power station disaster, it was able to rapidly and effectively deploy the
SDF and other national assets to the disaster-stricken regions. This shows the fruits of
more political control during crisis management situations and will likely provide added
incentive to continue this trend.
The DPJ has taken this trend to another level. The DPJ began a campaign
to break from old patterns of bureaucratic-led governance after its historical majority win
in the 2009 Lower House election. The DPJ formed in the mid to late 1990s under the
guise of a progressive party aimed at countering the pork-barrel tactics of the ruling LDP.
The LDP was able to use these tactics along with other factors throughout its 54-year
reign of electoral dominance to cement its position in Japanese politics. This built a close
working relationship between the LDP and bureaucracy. 290 Once in office, the DPJ
began dismantling this relationship. 291 As an example in the security policymaking
process, the DPJ postponed the release of the new NDPG for a year until it could fully
289 Hikotani, Japan’s Changing Civil-Military Relations: From Containment to Re-Engagement?,
247–250.
290 Daniel Sneider, “The New Asianism: Japanese Foreign Policy Under the Democratic Party of
Japan,” Asia Policy, no. 12 (July, 2011), 121–122.
291 Meetings between administrative vice-ministers held before cabinet meetings were cancelled. The
practice of retired high-ranking bureaucrats gaining influential positions in government institutions was
targeted. Bureaucratic agencies came under more oversight from the DPJ and those with close ties to the
LDP on government advisory committees were removed. Pempel, Between Pork and Productivity: The
Collapse of the Liberal Democratic Party, 230.
117
review the policy because its revision was initiated under the LDP government. 292 In this
light, the DPJ’s personal vendetta against the bureaucracy will aid the growing trend to
increase the political leadership’s role over the bureaucracy as long as the DPJ is in
power.
b.
A Political System in Flux
Even prior to the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan’s political system
was in flux. The end of the Cold War and the 1993 electoral reforms provided less
ideological and structural incentives for the LDP’s main opposition party, the JSP, to
thrive. At the same time, Japan’s stagnating economy that began in the early 1990s
called into question the LDP’s pork barrel political tactics, as it could no longer rely on
positive socioeconomic conditions to sustain its power. With the decline of the JSP,
increasing pressure on the LDP to produce economic results, numerous factions split
from the LDP, JSP, and New Frontier Party and eventually coalesced into the DPJ in the
late 1990s. Koizumi kept the LDP alive and the DPJ out of power from 2001–2006 by
embarking on a progressive campaign to break the status quo by “changing the LDP or
destroying it.” His popularity kept the LDP in power but after his administration ended,
the following three LDP prime ministers reverted to the old style of LDP governance and
found themselves unable to manage Japan’s worsening economy. 293 The DPJ found
itself in a position to carry on the reform banner and provided voters the most credible
alternative to the LDP, a choice voters resoundingly supported in the 2009 Lower House
election. Once in power, however, the DPJ’s own factional makeup and inexperience
made a concerted effort at governance difficult to obtain. The inability to handle issues
such as the Futenma U.S. military base relocation contributed significantly to Prime
Minister Hatoyama Yukio’s drop in public support and ultimately to his resignation in
2010. His successor, Kan, also came under fire for his handling of the Senkaku incident
in late 2010. 294
292 East Asian Strategic Review 2011 (Tokyo: The National Institute for Defense Studies, 2011), 242.
293 Pempel, Between Pork and Productivity: The Collapse of the Liberal Democratic Party, 244–252.
294 Sneider, The New Asianism: Japanese Foreign Policy Under the Democratic Party of Japan, 101.
118
Given this backdrop, the political system was already in flux prior to the
Great East Japan Earthquake. The disasters merely added to the difficulties facing the
DPJ administration. Kan’s disapproval ratings after the disasters continued to be high
(see Figure 32). 295
In April 2011, 60% of survey respondents stated they did not
appreciate the Kan cabinet’s response to the earthquake and 67% did not appreciate the
cabinet’s response to the nuclear power station disaster. 296 Amid Kan’s continuing
unpopularity, the LDP called for a no-confidence vote in the Diet in June 2011. Before
the vote, Kan announced his plans to resign once the situation surrounding the nuclear
disaster had been stabilized and other crucial steps had been taken in the reconstruction
process. The no-confidence motion was rejected with 293 votes to 152. It highlighted
not only the failed governance of another DPJ prime minister but also the intense
factional rivalries within the DPJ itself. Prior to the vote, the Hatoyama and Ozawa
Ichiro factions within the DPJ indicated they would side with the LDP in the noconfidence vote. The factional infighting that ensued threatened to break apart the party.
Hatoyama went as far as saying, “Kan couldn’t be a worse human being.” Hatoyama
eventually changed his mind and voted against the no-confidence vote, as he feared
Ozawa’s siding with the LDP and New Komeito would break up the DPJ. The public
became dissatisfied with the events surrounding the vote as 65% believed the noconfidence motion was improper and 73% could not understand why so many in the DPJ,
including Hatoyama and Ozawa, initially supported the no-confidence motion.
The
DPJ’s infighting caused 60% to have a worsened view of the DPJ. 297, 298
295 This figure is comprised of data collected from a series of Asahi Shimbun public opinion polls
taken from January 2011 – January 2012. “Asian Opinion Poll Database: 2011 Polls,” The Maureen and
Mike Mansfield Foundation, http://mansfieldfdn.org/program/research-education-andcommunication/asian-opinion-poll-database/listofpolls/2011-polls/ (accessed February 19, 2012).
296 “Asahi Shimbun Regular Public Opinion Poll: April 18, 2011,” The Maureen and Mike Mansfield
Foundation, http://mansfieldfdn.org/program/research-education-and-communication/asian-opinion-polldatabase/listofpolls/2011-polls/asahi-shimbun-april-2011-regular-public-opinion-poll-11–03/ (accessed
February 19, 2012).
297 “Kan Should Resign Post, Majority Say,” The Daily Yomiuri, June 6, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110605003011.htm.
298 “Hatoyama Fumes Over Kan’s “Political Promises,” Daily Yomiuri, June 4, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110603005011.htm.
119
Figure 32.
Poll Question: Do You Support the Current Cabinet?
Voter confidence in the DPJ remained low even after Kan stated his
intention to step down. In June 2011, 61% of survey responders stated they did not think
the situations surrounding the disaster areas would improve with a new prime minister.
Over half, 55%, stated they believed the DPJ should split up and 78% felt the Diet was
not fulfilling its duty to handle the reconstruction efforts. 299 Voters preferred that the
LDP and DPJ work together to deal with the situation.
In another June 2011 survey,
84% believed the DPJ and LDP should cooperate more in the Diet. A plurality, 42%,
supported the forming of a grand coalition between the DPJ and LDP. 300 Surveys before
and after also showed majority figures supporting a coalition. Despite voter desire for
299 “Asahi Shimbun Regular Public Opinion Poll: June 5, 2011,” The Maureen and Mike Mansfield
Foundation, http://mansfieldfdn.org/program/research-education-and-communication/asian-opinion-polldatabase/listofpolls/2011-polls/asahi-shimbun-june-2011-regular-public-opinion-poll-11–06/ (accessed
February 19, 2012).
300 “Asahi Shimbun Regular Public Opinion Poll: June 13, 2011,” The Maureen and Mike Mansfield
Foundation, http://mansfieldfdn.org/program/research-education-and-communication/asian-opinion-polldatabase/listofpolls/2011-polls/asahi-shimbun-regular-public-opinion-poll-released-june-13–2011/
(accessed February 19, 2012).
120
political cooperation to pull the nation through this disaster, the LDP refused to form a
grand coalition with the DPJ because it saw the DPJ request as an attempt to build its
support. 301
Kan eventually stepped down in late August 2011 once the situation
surrounding the nuclear disaster was under control. The race for the next prime minister
showed once again the divide amongst DPJ factions, specifically the pro-Ozawa versus
anti-Ozawa factions. Ozawa’s support of METI Minister Kaieda Banri in the final race
united the anti-Ozawa factions to support MOF Minister Noda who won the race with
215 of 392 votes. The results show that the DPJ continued to suffer from intense
factional divides. 302
Noda enjoyed public support at the beginning of his administration, but
faced with the difficulty of dealing with the reconstruction efforts in a hostile political
environment, his public support decreased in December 2011 due to perceived inability
to get things done and unpopular policies (see Figures 32 and 33). 303 In order to fund the
reconstruction supplementary budgets, the DPJ originally proposed a tobacco tax along
with a combination of increases in income, corporate and individual residential taxes.
301 The LDP did state it would do all it could for supporting disaster countermeasures. “LDP Resists
“Grand Coalition”: Party Willing to Help With Disaster Efforts But Not Within Cabinet,” Daily Yomiuri,
March 21, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110320003127.htm.
302 The first round of voting did not produce a majority winner so a runoff election was held between
the top two contenders: Kaieda supported by the Hatoyama and Ozawa faction and Noda supported by his
and the Kan faction. “Noda Elected DPJ President/ 1st Round Leader Undone By Support From Ozawa
Bloc,” Daily Yomiuri, August 30, 2011, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110829004825.htm.
303 This figure is comprised of data collected from a series of Asahi Shimbun public opinion polls
taken from January 2011–January 2012. Asian Opinion Poll Database: 2011 Polls.
121
The public supported including the tobacco tax with a 63% approval rating. 304,
305
The
DPJ had to compromise on the means to finance the budget since the LDP and New
Komeito did not support the inclusion of the tobacco tax, a stance reminiscent of their
pork barrel tactics. In order to reach a compromise, the DPJ was forced to remove the
tobacco tax and place the full burden of reconstruction funding on income, corporate, and
individual residential taxes. 306 The compromise proved to be unpopular as 56% did not
support the revised funding sources. 307
Figure 33.
Poll Question: For Those Who Do Not Support the Current Cabinet, Why
Do You Not Support the Current Cabinet?
304 “Asahi Shimbun Regular Public Opinion Poll: October 17, 2011,” The Maureen and Mike
Mansfield Foundation, http://mansfieldfdn.org/program/research-education-and-communication/asianopinion-poll-database/listofpolls/2011-polls/asahi-shimbun-regular-public-opinion-poll-released-october17–2011/ (accessed February 19, 2012).
305 “Govt May Sell All JT Shares to Lower Tax Hike,” Daily Yomiuri, September 29, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110928006084.htm.
306 “Tobacco Tax Excluded From Hikes to Fund Recovery,” Daily Yomiuri, November 12, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111111004584.htm.
307 “Asahi Shimbun Regular Pubic Opinion Poll: November 15, 2011,” The Maureen and Mike
Mansfield Foundation, http://mansfieldfdn.org/program/research-education-and-communication/asianopinion-poll-database/listofpolls/2011-polls/asahi-shimbun-regular-public-opinion-poll-releasednovember-15–2011/ (accessed February 19, 2012).
122
c.
Voter Uncertainty
Given the dissatisfaction that voters have shown toward the Kan and Noda
cabinets as a result of their unpopular policies and inability to lead the government, let
alone their own party, towards effective reconstruction legislation, is the voting public
ready to retaliate against the DPJ in upcoming elections?
Polling data from
January 2011–January 2012 indicates voters are uncertain about their party loyalties.
When asked what party they support, both the DPJ and LDP received about 20% support
with the DPJ leading in most opinion polls.
The largest majority, about 45%,
consistently stated they support no particular party, however (see Figure 34). 308 When
asked what party they would vote for on the proportional representation ballot if a general
election were held, the DPJ and LDP received around 25% support ratings with the LDP
in the lead in most polls. Those who did not know what party they would vote for
represented a majority in all polls with figures around 35% (see Figure 35). 309 New
parties hoping to gain the support of this large group of disenfranchised voters are
emerging, signaling more party shuffling in the future. 310 The DPJ’s minor coalition
partner, New People’s Party, is also threatening to split from the DPJ and form a party
with Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro. 311
The LDP stands to benefit most from
churning within the DPJ, but it does not appear voters are swinging enthusiastically back
to the LDP. This may afford the LDP the opportunity to win back some Lower House
308 This figure is comprised of data collected from a series of Asahi Shimbun public opinion polls
taken from January 2011–January 2012. Asian Opinion Poll Database: 2011 Polls.
309 This figure is comprised of data collected from a series of Asahi Shimbun public opinion polls
taken from January 2011–January 2012. Ibid.
310 Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru began forming the “Osaka Ishin no Kai” (Osaka Restoration
Association Party) in early 2012. Its manifesto targets voter frustrations by focusing on a reform platform
and stating it supports direct election of the prime minister, an initiative holding large majority support
within the public as of early 2012. Takakazu Matsuda, “With Parties Foundering, Now may be Time for
Direct Election of PMs,” The Mainichi Daily News, February 18, 2012,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20120218p2a00m0na009000c.html.
311 “Rift Grows Between Japan’s Ruling Coalition Partners,” The Asahi Shimbun, February 20, 2012,
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201202200057.
123
seats in the 2013 election. Because parties other than the DPJ and LDP have yet to
solidify into a formidable third force, voter decision will likely come down to the lesser
of two evils.
Figure 34.
Figure 35.
Poll Question: What Political Party Do You Currently Support?
Poll Question: If a General Election Were to be Held, Which Party Would
You Vote For in the Proportional Representation Vote?
124
d.
DPJ and LDP Here To Stay: What Do They Stand For?
Unless a snap election is held and the DPJ loses, the DPJ will be in power
until the next scheduled Lower House elections in 2013 and they will likely remain a
strong force in the government even if they do lose. In that case, what SDF trajectory are
they likely to support? Because the DPJ was formed of former conservative LDP and
less liberal socialists in the late 1990s, their security policy views do not dramatically
differ from those of the LDP. On the liberal-conservative spectrum, they are generally
considered a centrist or slightly right of center party. Therefore, the ends of the DPJ’s
security policy do not significantly diverge from the LDP’s but the means do in several
areas.
First, the DPJ emphasizes the importance of the U.S.-Japan security
alliance but seeks a more equal relationship with the United States in the alliance and
more autonomy in its security policy in general. This translates into a desire to reduce
the burden of U.S. military bases in Japan, an initiative proving difficult particularly in
Okinawa. 312
Second, and related to the first, the DPJ places less emphasis on the
primacy of the U.S.-Japan alliance and seeks regional solutions to its security interests.
The result is that DPJ leaders are more accommodating to its neighbor’s interests. This is
seen in the desire to create an East Asian Community (EAC) and solidify Japan’s identity
in Asia. The DPJ also takes a less hardline approach toward China but still expresses
their concern over China’s growing power. They also seek to engage Japan’s neighbors
over historical issues. 313
Third, the DPJ believes that Japan’s international security activities should
be done through UN auspices rather than solely based on support for the United States.
This was evident in the DPJ’s opposition to the Iraq War and their ending of the MSDF’s
312 Sneider, The New Asianism: Japanese Foreign Policy Under the Democratic Party of Japan, 106–
109.
313 Ibid., 110–112, 115–117.
125
Indian Ocean mission in 2009. This clearly distinguishes the DPJ from the LDP after
Koizumi’s emphatic support for the U.S. war in Iraq. 314 , 315
Although the DPJ generally reflects these three elements in its security
policy, the DPJ’s factional makeup and its relatively short existence has hindered the
solidifying of its security policy foundation. Different DPJ factions can therefore embark
on different methods to obtain its security policy goals. For instance, Maehara is one of
the leading proponents of realist views in the DPJ and takes a more alliance-centric
approach in dealing with China’s rise. 316 Noda has also stated he will not seek an EAC
originally proposed by Hatoyama. 317
The DPJ’s security policy characteristics suggest that it will be less
provocative in its application of the SDF after the disasters. Rather than capitalizing on
the public’s increased trust in the SDF, the DPJ is less likely to push for a more active
SDF international role as it understands this may be provocative to its Northeast Asia
neighbors. Instead, the DPJ may seek more opportunities to cooperate with its neighbors,
specifically South Korea. The DPJ’s preoccupation on Japan’s economic issues and
keeping itself together before the next round of Lower House elections will further
decrease the likelihood of any dramatic changes in the way it employs the SDF.
The LDP is also likely to remain a credible force in Japanese politics for
the foreseeable future. With the churn among the DPJ since it took office in 2009 and the
legitimacy blow from the disasters, the LDP is positioned to perhaps reclaim seats at the
next Lower House elections. It has already done so in the 2010 Upper House elections.
It behooves those concerned with the SDF trajectory debate to not forget what the LDP
stands for in terms of its security policy.
314 Ibid., 107–108.
315 Leif-Eric Easley, Tetsuo Kotani and Aki Mori, “Electing a New Japanese Security Policy?
Examining Foreign Policy Visions within the Democratic Party of Japan,” Asia Policy, no. 9 (January,
2010), 55–56.
316 Sneider, The New Asianism: Japanese Foreign Policy Under the Democratic Party of Japan, 99–
107.
317 “Noda Steps Back From “East Asian Community,” Daily Yomiuri, September 8, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110907004831.htm.
126
The LDP’s 54-year governance connotes the idea that it is a relatively
homogenous party. On the contrary, it stayed in power for so long in part because of its
ability to unite various factions against the communists and socialists on the ideological
left. So labeling the LDP under one identity is problematic but considering the decades
worth of LDP security analysis compared to the DPJ’s short time in office, it is somewhat
easier to identify the LDP’s security policy mainstream positions. Richard Samuels
attributes the LDP mainstream to the normal nationalists identity. As the name suggests,
these individuals support Japan’s remilitarization as a “normal” nation. Therefore, the
LDP can be considered a strictly conservative party. This identity takes on several
characteristics.
First, normal nationalists advocate a global perspective that states Japan
should contribute to international security activities commensurate to its economic status.
The SDF must therefore be strengthened to fulfill these roles. Stemming from this
stance, the LDP supports constitutional revision and the exercise of collective self
defense. 318
Second, normal nationalists also contain two views that diverge in
interpretation but converge on purpose. Both the revisionists and the realists believe that
Japan should be a “normal” nation and should not be weighed down by its past. The
revisionists, however, support a nostalgic view of the past and are less apologetic and
more provocative in their stance with historical issues as seen in their support for visits to
Yasukuni Shrine. Realists see this sentiment as unnecessarily provocative and advocate a
focus on Japan’s post-war democratic status. 319
Third, the normal nationalists proclaim the efficacy of the U.S.-Japan
security alliance. In this regard, the LDP is less supportive of regional security initiatives
and is more likely to build up the SDF’s joint capabilities with the U.S. military. Like the
DPJ, the LDP also pushes for a more equal alliance relationship. 320
318 Samuels, Richard J. Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia.
Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 2007, 124.
319 Ibid., 124–125.
320 Ibid., 125.
127
Fourth, the normal nationalists take a more realist approach toward China
and are wearier of its military rise and are more vocal about China as a potential threat.
Combined with their less apologetic stance toward historical issues, this makes conflict
rather than cooperation more likely between Japan and China. 321
The LDP’s security policy characteristics suggest that if given the chance
it will push for a remilitarization trajectory as it did under the last four LDP prime
ministers, especially Koizumi. Its stance on historical issues and the efficacy it places on
the U.S.-Japan alliance will impede any opportunity for regional security cooperation.
The LDP may also be more likely to take advantage of opportunities to increase the
SDF’s international role as it did during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The LDP’s fall
from power after its unpopular security policies may temper any strong attempts to push
for remilitarization.
5.
Japan’s Precarious Position
In terms of Japan’s geostrategic position between the United States and its
Northeast Asian neighbors, Japan is caught between diametrically opposed opinions
regarding the SDF’s trajectory.
a.
Northeast Asia: Pro-containment
Japan’s Northeast Asian neighbors, particularly China, North Korea, and
South Korea, generally represent forces that desire to contain Japan’s military potential.
Having endured Japan’s occupation in the early to mid–20th century, it is no surprise
Japan’s Northeast Asian neighbors are skeptical of a remilitarized SDF. Continued
isolation between North Korea and Japan, growing anti-Japanese nationalism in China,
and China and South Korea’s improving economic situation relative to Japan only
embolden these actors to exert more pressure on Japan to remain militarily subjugated in
the region.
321 Ibid., 126.
128
Because the North Korean threat, minus the ballistic missile threat, is
primarily contained on the Korean peninsula, North Korea exerts less of an influence on
the SDF’s trajectory than China. South Korea is also heavily invested in the North
Korean threat and shares a common ally with Japan in the United States. The hub and
spoke security alliance structure between the United Sates, Japan, and South Korea also
prevents security interests between Japan and South Korea from escalating into conflict
but also creates a situation where they are developed independently from each other and
allows historical grievances to fester. For these reasons, the two Koreas represent a
potent but contained force against SDF remilitarization.
China is therefore left as the actor with the most direct influence over
containing Japan’s military resurgence. The power they exert in this regard is seen in two
areas.
First, China’s rhetoric against any sign of rising Japanese nationalism or
remilitarization serves as a means to express its desire to contain Japan. This rhetoric has
only increased since the 1990s partially because of a patriotic education program initiated
after the Tiananmen crisis, which serves as a useful tool to deflect attention away from
China’s own domestic problems. The anti-Japanese sentiment that is making deeper
roots in Chinese society provides a powerful means to show its growing suspicion toward
Japan.
For instance, Koizumi’s Yasukuni Shrine visits sparked large anti-Japanese
protests in 2004 and 2005. 322
Second, China’s growing military capability and operational expansion
into waters surrounding Japan provides a direct means of containing the SDF’s own
expanding roles in the region. China’s demonstrated capability to rapidly modernize and
grow its military strength serves as an indirect check on Japan’s remilitarization in the
sense that it would provide less incentive for Japan to begin an arms race with an
opponent that has much less limiting its ability to do so. The historical legacies of the
Yoshida doctrine such as Japan’s security and legal norms have boxed Japan into a corner
in this regard. If it breaks from these precedents rapidly, Japan threatens to initiate a
disastrous escalatory response from China. On the other hand, Japan cannot ignore the
322 Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia (Ithaca;
London: Cornell University Press, 2007), 136–139.
129
new threats that a growing China presents and must approach them within a structure that
severely limits Japan’s ability to remilitarize.
b.
The United States: Pro-remilitarization
The United States takes a polar opposite approach to the SDF trajectory
from the rest of Northeast Asia. Although the U.S.-Japan security alliance was formed
with the partial intent to contain Japan, the United States has consistently placed pressure
on Japan to increase its military contributions within the alliance. This only intensified
after the end of the Cold War when it seemed that America’s formal alliances could be
replaced by coalitions of the willing.
This elevated Washington’s expectations for
Japan’s international security contributions as the key elements to alliance structures
became how much one was willing to risk. Decades of operating under the Yoshida
doctrine left Japan ill-prepared to meet Washington’s new expectations. This growing
trend is best exemplified in Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s spurring
statement to Japan to “show the flag” after the September 11, 2001, attacks. 323
Considering the U.S.-Japan security alliance has been embedded and
institutionalized in the ways that the United States and Japan interact with each other in
regard to their security issues, it is safe to say that the United States has the capacity to
exert strong pressure on the SDF’s trajectory and is most likely to support a
remilitarization trajectory. The means by which the United States goes about exerting its
influence are likely to take place within a hub and spoke mentality. The U.S. military’s
successful OPERATION TOMODACHI will likely increase the United States’ influence
over the rest of Northeast Asia. Furthermore, the successful joint operations conducted
between the U.S. military and SDF may also embolden the U.S. military to pressure SDF
forces along a remilitarization trajectory. Controlling the United States’ expectations for
the SDF is a crucial concern addressed further in the conclusion chapter.
Between the pro-containment forces of Northeast Asia and the United
States’ pro-remilitarization stance, Japan is stuck in the middle. Considering Japan’s
323 Ibid., 82–84, 95.
130
close economic ties with both entities, it is essential to understand the predicament Japan
faces in order to avoid pushing Japan in a direction that are harmful for its own interests
and may in turn be counterproductive for American interests.
F.
CONCLUSION
This chapter analyzed four key areas that affect the SDF’ trajectory: security
interests, economic interests, norms, and actors and institutions. The following chapter
provides a comprehensive conclusion based on the analysis of these four areas.
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IV.
A.
CONCLUDING REMARKS
INTRODUCTION
This chapter concludes the analysis conducted thus far in the previous chapters.
The first section provides a brief summary of the analysis conducted on the four areas
affecting the SDF’s trajectory in the previous chapter: security interests, economic
interests, norms, and actors and institutions. Themes within these four areas are
highlighted in order to identify the key findings of this research.
Figure 36 illustrates what trajectory influence aspect was emphasized or altered
by highlighting that particular element in green. Based on this analysis, the second
section details the most likely SDF trajectory according to the trajectory formation
process outlined in Figure 14.
The three possible trajectories considered are retrenchment, status quo, and
remilitarization; all of which address two key elements of the SDF trajectory debate:
capacity and will. Retrenchment is defined as a decrease in the SDF’s capacity to
conduct international security activities because the defense budget may be reduced. The
will to use the SDF in these international roles may also diminish because Japan becomes
internally focused as domestic HADR is emphasized at the expense of international
security activities. The status quo means that the SDF’s capacity and will to conduct the
types of international security activities it is currently conducting is not significantly
altered. In this case, the SDF would see little change in Japan’s will to expand or
retrench from these roles. Remilitarization is defined as the increased capacity and will
to use force as a coercive tool of the state. An increased defense budget and shift to more
offensive oriented capabilities would increase the SDF’s capacity to remilitarize.
Removal of legal norms restricting the SDF’s use of force and application of the SDF in
offensive roles would signify an increased will for remilitarization. Increased trust in the
SDF generated by a successful HADR operation may also translate into more deference
for the SDF to expand its roles and become more externally focused. This thesis finds
133
that the SDF is most likely to move toward a new status quo defined by economic
pragmatism and inclusion of SDF interests in domestic policy formation.
The third section gives several policy recommendations based on this thesis’
findings.
The recommendations are intended for those that directly influence U.S.
security policy in the Asia-Pacific region in general and specifically those that manage
various aspects of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. It is also applicable for those that
indirectly participate in the U.S. security policy formation process in order for them to
understand how their actions influence the various forces that affect the SDF’s trajectory.
The final section provides a short synopsis of the significance and shortfalls of
this research, and areas for future research.
Figure 36.
Most Likely SDF Trajectory Post 3/11
134
B.
ANALYSIS SUMMARY: KEY FINDINGS
1.
Security Interests
Japan’s security policy focus and defense budget was not severely altered
primarily because they were not discredited. The 2010 NDPG provided an appropriate
framework of security objectives, roles, posture characteristics, and organization
attributes, which allowed the SDF to carry out a highly successful domestic HADR
operation. The SDF continues to stress a hybrid focus on its domestic and international
roles as seen in its enduring commitment to UN PKO and anti-piracy missions abroad.
Notably, the SDF continues to engage in domestic HADR and seems to have boosted its
profile in this mission area, as seen in its large-scale disaster dispatch for Typhoon
number 12.
Japan’s defense budget weathered the fiscal burdens created by the disasters and
has not dramatically changed in terms of its aggregate level and allocation between
defensive and offensive equipment and missions. The SDF did, however, make minor
adjustments in these two areas. First, the 2012 defense budget broke a decade long
decline in defense spending but the increase does not represent a fundamental change in
the 1% of GDP defense spending norm. 324 Second, allocation for the SDF’s disaster
response and CBRN capabilities received minor budget increases. Japan’s aggravated
economic health after the disasters create uncertainty in its ability to maintain the goals
spelled out in the 2010 MTDP. If economic conditions decline in the medium term, a
324 The finalized 2012 defense budget sheds more light on the nature of the defense budget increases.
The increase in the 2012 defense budget is attributed to expenses related to restoration and reconstruction
activities. If these figures are included, the defense budget grew 2.1% from the 2011 defense budget. If
excluded, these figures represent what the defense budget would have looked like if the Great East Japan
Earthquake had not occurred. The result would have been a .4% decrease in the defense budget from 2011.
This would have continued the decade long trend of a smaller defense budget. These cuts are not
significant, however, and represent only a slight decrease in defense spending levels. This indicates the
defense budget goals laid out in the 2010 MTDP remain achievable. The ODA budget continues to take a
bigger hit than the defense budget. Plan for Defense Programs and Budget of Japan: Overview of FY2012
Budget. Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Defense, 2012, 32–33, 39.
135
revision of the MTDP can be expected in the next several years. Furthermore, Japan’s
selection of the F-35 as its F-X will place added stress on these goals if its cost continues
to rise.
The U.S.-Japan security alliance was strengthened following the disasters. The
U.S. military’s OPERATION TOMODACHI illustrated a functional alliance relationship
and validated years of joint training between the SDF and U.S. military. Evidence of a
strengthened alliance emerged primarily at the elite level in such forums as the SCC 2+2.
A strengthened alliance does not preclude a closer step toward remilitarization. The
fiscal constraints and governance issues facing Japan’s leadership provide less incentive
for this trajectory and make retrenchment or at least maintaining the status quo more
favorable as Japan recovers from the disasters.
The disasters provided numerous opportunities to strengthen relations with its
Northeast Asian neighbors, particularly China and South Korea.
considerable levels of support to Japan.
Both provided
High-level government official visits,
specifically the Japan-China-South Korea Leaders Meeting, took advantage of the
goodwill generated by the disasters and marked a more positive mood in the region. This
was a significant improvement especially with China after the Senkaku incident in late
2010. Despite the improved relations, a foundation for sustained cooperation does not
exist, which will allow heated issues between Japan and its neighbors to quickly squander
any goodwill generated. Territorial disputes and historical interpretations continue to
plague their relations. 325
2.
Economic Interests
Japan’s economic conditions were the most susceptible to change by the disasters.
Serious impacts to GDP growth in the short term, however, were averted because the
affected areas only represented a little less than 3% of Japan’s economy. Furthermore,
many industries in the affected region were able to avert disruptions in supply chains and
325 For example, the Nagoya mayor, Nanjing’s Japanese sister city, recently made comments denying
Chinese estimates of the number killed during the massacre. “Nagoya Mayor Slightly Amends
Controversial Remarks on 1937 Nanking Massacre,” Mainichi Daily News, February 28, 2012,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120228p2a00m0na011000c.html.
136
recovered to pre-disaster production levels. GDP decline since the disasters is more the
result of multiple factors affecting Japan’s economy than the disasters themselves.
Although severe immediate impacts to Japan’s economy were averted, Japan’s
economic health defined in the medium to long term was worsened. In order to finance
the third and fourth supplementary budgets that provided funding for Japan’s
reconstruction efforts, reconstruction bonds were issued that increased reliance on longterm debt to finance its budget. As most of the expected 23 trillion yen in reconstruction
funds has already been allocated, the impact on Japan’s economy from the disasters will
likely be felt in the medium term. Long-term impacts can be better attributed to the
larger stress on Japan’s budget: social security. If these added fiscal burdens manifest
themselves in the medium-term, the 2010 MTDP and defense budget in general may
require re-evaluation, which could lead to retrenchment in terms of more drastic defense
budget cuts.
Japan is placing great emphasis on its reconstruction agenda. The idea that this
might lead to a redefinition of Japan’s economic interests in internal or domestic terms
rather than external or international terms does not seem likely based on reconstruction
guidelines released by the Reconstruction Design Council and the Reconstruction
Headquarters. The Japanese leadership understands that Japan’s economy cannot be
revived through domestic measures only and is advocating a hybrid reconstruction effort
focused on domestic and international elements. The DPJ’s closer leaning toward the
TPP illustrates less deference toward domestic economic issues that are perceived as
detrimental to a revival in Japan’s economy.
In the battle between guns (defense budget) and goodwill (ODA), guns continue
to win. Japan’s traditional source of international influence has been economic aid in the
form of ODA. Since 1997, the ODA budget has declined in comparison to the defense
budget that has remained relatively constant. This trend continued in the 2012 draft
budget and illustrates a growing deference of defense spending over ODA. This is
significant because it indicates the public and government see defense spending as more
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justifiable than ODA. More reliance on defense spending as a means for international
influence through its international security activities indicates a shift toward
remilitarization.
Despite the controversy surrounding nuclear power after the disasters, Japan’s
energy dependency will likely continue into the long-term because of Japan’s energy
dilemma. Japan needs a significant source of domestically produced energy provided by
nuclear power because it lacks energy resources. Even with nuclear power it remains
highly energy dependent in several aspects. Switching to less risky forms of energy such
as renewable energy would become costly as nuclear power is the cheapest form of
energy currently available. Making a dramatic shift to renewable energy is not feasible in
the short and medium term. With or without nuclear power, Japan will remain dependent
on foreign energy sources and will require close attention to the changing international
environment and its impact on energy resources. This will continue to provide incentive
for Japan to exert its influence in the international system.
3.
Norms
The SDF’s central and successful role in the disasters has helped break through a
foundational security norm: public trust of the SDF. The large-scale disaster dispatch and
nuclear dispatch thrust the SDF into the media spotlight, which rewarded the SDF’s role
in the disasters with a positive portrayal. Public opinion regarding trust in the SDF has
never been higher as a result.
This is significant as the SDF has a reputation as an
outsider in its own country and calls into question the meaning of domestic antimilitarism. Civil-military relations regarding domestic HADR seem the most likely area
to improve as a result.
Translating gains in public trust for the SDF into utility for non-military force in
the form of non-traditional security activities such as HADR is another likely outcome.
The public’s perception after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake regarding the SDF’s
primary, most effective, and future role significantly boosted the SDF’s HADR role in
each category. The SDF’s perceived HADR role has received a similar boost after the
recent disaster, which will maintain high levels for at least the medium term. As the
SDF’s non-traditional international security activities increased after the 1995
138
earthquake, a similar trend can be expected in the future. These past trends signal that the
utility of non-military force will be seen as useful for domestic and international
purposes.
Public opinion did not peg the SDF as a strictly HADR force after the 1995
earthquake.
Instead, the SDF’s role of ensuring national security also increased
exponentially with its HADR role. This is most likely due to the SDF’s increased profile
from the disasters. The SDF’s defensive role also received a boost in support after the
recent disasters. A 2004 SAGE report found that the public remains averse to the use of
offensive force, but mostly supportive of defense force. The Iraq syndrome detailed by
Midford illustrates a skeptical public toward the use of offensive force. Therefore, it does
not seem probable that increased public trust in the SDF will directly translate into the
utility of offensive force. These linkages are addressed more explicitly in the next
section.
Numerous procedural limitations, legal norms, still exist that would slow a
remilitarization trajectory: five PKO principles, Article 9 of the Constitution, and the
three non-nuclear principles. One of Japan’s long-standing legal norms has changed
since the disasters, however. Legislation passed in December 2011 now allows Japan to
freely engage in joint weapons development with the United States, European Union, and
other friendly nations. This represents a fundamental shift from taking a case-by-case
approach to arms exports in the past to now having blanket authority to embark on joint
weapons development. The fact that this legal norm was the first to change after the
disasters is significant because it is one that is most directly linked to Japan’s economic
conditions rather than pacifist norms such as the three non-nuclear principles. This
suggests that a degree of economic pragmatism is driving changes to Japan’s legal norms
since the arms export ban was revised in order to improve Japan’s industry
competitiveness and keep defense costs down.
The U.S.-Japan alliance norms of entrapment and abandonment and trust in the
United States were not significantly affected. Abandonment fears do not seem probable
because of the U.S. military’s demonstration as a reliable alliance partner through
OPERATION TOMODACHI. Entrapment fears are also not likely to be triggered since
139
the United States has recently ended the Iraq War. Obama has also stated his intention to
end the Afghanistan War by 2014 and redirected his defense strategy focus toward the
Asia-Pacific. A merging of security interests between Japan and the United States is
taking place that would mitigate entrapment fears. The United States’ foreign policy in
the Asia-Pacific may still trigger entrapment fears if a hardline approach is taken in the
region.
This method of engagement will become critical to U.S.-Japan relations
depending on the outcome of the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Another aspect of the
alliance norms is surprising.
Despite the public’s explicit appreciation of the U.S.
military’s assistance after the disasters, it has not had any major impact on trust levels
between the Japanese public and the United States. The perceived impasse over the
Futenma relocation issue is a critical variable in this dynamic. It is worthy to note that
there seems to be a gap between elite and public opinion regarding the U.S.-Japan
security alliance.
4.
Actors and Institutions
The analysis regarding the actors and institutions affecting the SDF trajectory
examines two areas. First, what structure of actors and institutions that affect the SDF
trajectory existed prior to the disasters and what trends were already in motion? This will
describe the filter in which the SDF trajectory is formed after the disasters. Second, how
have the disasters altered the makeup of this structure?
The public exerts indirect control over the SDF trajectory in the sense that it
cannot actively manipulate the SDF’s application within the confines of Japan’s security
policy. Instead, the public’s power is felt in an indirect manner in relation to politicians
and the security policy to which they subscribe. This provides them substantial leverage
over politicians when the SDF is applied in ways that run counter to public opinion.
These beliefs include a strong aversion to anything that resembles the offensive use of
force. This explains the Iraq syndrome developed by the public as this war became
increasingly unpopular due to its perceived illegitimacy and is one of many reasons the
public voted against the LDP leaders in support of this war in the 2009 Lower House
elections. Furthermore, as the SDF’s roles changed after the Cold War from a BDF to a
more active force in the domestic and international arenas, the pubic has had more to
140
discuss regarding security policy and has therefore become more powerful in relation to
politicians by addressing SDF activities that it does not support.
The same increase in SDF activity after the Cold War is affecting the dynamics of
bureaucratic control over the SDF. The likelihood of SDF activity at home and abroad is
causing the bureaucracy to loose some control over security policy to politicians as they
need to be more involved in the formation process for their own political survival as
security matters become more relevant topics in every day political discourse. The
bureaucracy’s capacity and talent to craft security policy remains intact as a result of the
delegation relationship between the bureaucracy and politicians, LDP, during the Cold
War. Changes are also taking place within the bureaucracy between the MOFA and
MOD. Because of the SDF’s increasing domestic and international roles, the need to
include SDF interests in the security policy formation process is becoming more
important. The MOFA continues to have a majority of control over areas affecting the
SDF as opposed to the MOD. The MOD’s elevated status in 2007 and restructuring to
allow for more security policy formation capacity shows the trend of including SDF
interests in security policy, however. This process is slow as the MOD is in the nascent
stage of being able to significantly impact security policy.
The political system is also changing the nature of the SDF’s application. As
politicians become more assertive in security policy and crisis management in particular,
the SDF is subjected to a political system in flux. The power of the ideological left,
communists and socialists, which supported the containment of the SDF and
characterized the main political opposition party during the Cold War, has diminished
significantly in the last two decades. Today, the two largest political parties, DPJ and
LDP, support engaging the SDF and increasingly rely on the SDF as a tool of the state to
manage domestic crisis such as natural disasters, and growing potential threats in the
region such as China and North Korea. The disasters have complicated this changing
political system even further as the pubic is dissatisfied with the DPJ’s crisis
management. This may serve to once again shift the balance of power away from the
ruling party in the next Lower House elections. Although the LDP may benefit from the
DPJ’s poor performance because it is the only credible alternative, voters do not seem
141
enthusiastic about returning to LDP-style governance. Voter dissatisfaction is creating
more opportunities for third parties to present a valid alternative to DPJ or LDP rule that
may further complicate the SDF’s trajectory if these parties gain any significant
representation.
Despite the evolving internal structure of actors and institutions affecting the
SDF’s trajectory, Japan remains stuck between Northeast Asia and the United States.
Northeast Asia continues to advocate containing the SDF. China’s distanced relationship
with the United States and Japan in terms of security interests, its rapid military
modernization, and economic growth present an increasingly strong force against SDF
remilitarization. The United States continues to be an external force for remilitarization.
The U.S. military’s OPERATION TOMODACHI will likely embolden the United States
to place added pressure on the SDF to expand its joint interoperability and in doing so
fuse their security interests.
C.
ANSWER: TOWARD A NEW STATUS QUO
1.
Security Interests:
Staying the Course
Japan’s security interests remain relatively unchanged after the disasters. The
only trajectory influence within the security interests category that seems to have been
altered in any significance was the strengthening of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. Yet,
the implications of this still seem to be limited within the confines of the status quo.
Japan’s security relationship with the United States remains based on a hub and spoke
alliance structure originally designed to allow the United States to build strong bi-lateral
relations with Northeast Asian states with the desire to balance against a well-defined
threat, the Soviet Union and its communist ideals.
Japan’s security policy and defense budget were not severely affected because
they proved relatively successful in handling the disasters. Only minor changes in these
areas have occurred as the SDF incorporates lessons learned from the disasters.
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2.
Economic Interests: No Cause for Alarm … Yet
Changes in Japan’s economic interests have not been radically different with most
changes exacerbating trends already in place.
Japan averted catastrophic economic
effects because the widespread destruction was limited to a fairly limited portion of
Japan’s economy in the less industrialized and populated Tohoku region.
The
devastation in this region has caused some industries and businesses to relocate
elsewhere, especially in large industrial centers such as Tokyo. This will make Japan’s
economy more susceptible to disasters in the future in these areas with dense industry and
population concentrations. Another “great” disaster striking an area like Tokyo in the
medium term is considered likely and in the long term deemed inevitable. 326 A disaster
of the Great East Japan Earthquake’s magnitude in these areas will have a much greater
impact on Japan’s economy and subsequently its defense budget.
The disasters did, however, aggravate several trends already in motion that may
have a medium-term affect on the SDF trajectory. Japan’s budget is increasingly reliant
on new debt as its social security costs climb. Significant restructuring of Japan’s tax
system to alleviate this financial burden is required and is taking place at a heightened
pace as a result of the fiscal pressure from the disasters. Japan’s inability to weather this
economic storm may continue to place pressure on Japan’s defense budget and further
complicate the political system affecting the SDF trajectory, as voters become dissatisfied
with a lack of economic progress. Japan’s increased deference to the defense budget over
ODA for a source of international influence signals a degree of economic pragmatism is
infiltrating Japan’s security interests. Because the international community demands
participation in international security activities more so than financial contribution, the
SDF is becoming a more attractive and justifiable tool to legitimize Japan’s position in
the international community.
326 The authoritative Earthquake Research Institute in Japan placed the likelihood of a 7.0 magnitude
earthquake hitting Tokyo in the next 4 years at 70%. “Anxiety and Inattention Over Tokyo’s Next Big
One,” Mainichi Daily News, January 30, 2012,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/pulse/news/20120130p2a00m0na002000c.html.
143
3.
Dueling Interests: Economic Interests Win
In Figure 14, it was suggested that economic and security interests are positioned
in a manner that could allow one to become more influential than the other. In the course
of analysis regarding security and economic interests, Japan’s economic interests have
received the most attention following the disasters. Japan’s economic conditions,
reconstruction agenda, and Japan’s energy situation has received the most attention in
particular. The Japanese media since the disasters has been saturated with stories related
to these three economic interests. Japan’s politicians have spent a heavy dose of political
capital on managing Japan’s economic interests as well. This economic preoccupation
does not suggest that changes in Japan’s security interests are inconsequential but that a
heightened awareness of Japan’s economic interests will make changes in these areas
more likely.
The result is that the direction of the SDF’s trajectory will be driven primarily in
terms of its impact to Japan’s economic interests. That is likely a partial explanation as
to why Japan’s arms export ban was the first legal norm to change after the disasters, as
politicians and the bureaucracy saw it as detrimental to Japan’s economy in the longterm. In a sense, Japan’s weakened economic situation is facilitating a transition in the
SDF’s trajectory from ideological dogmatism based on a security identity of domestic
anti-militarism to economic pragmatism.
4.
Norms: Conducive Environment for a Dynamic Status Quo
Of all the areas analyzed, norms seem to be the most profoundly impacted by the
disasters. It is not necessarily the area where the most aggregate changes were realized
but where the most significant change occurred. This significant change occurred at the
foundation of Japan’s security identity of domestic anti-militarism. The three central
tenets of domestic anti-militarism defined by Oros all hinge on the public’s trust in the
SDF. If the public does not trust the SDF or the state’s ability to maintain adequate
control over the SDF, then they will certainly not tolerate the SDF’s involvement in
domestic policymaking (first tenet), the use of force to resolve international disputes
(second tenet), or the SDF’s participation in foreign wars (third tenet). The SDF’s
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successful disaster dispatch demonstrated to all of the internal actors and institutions that
affect the SDF’s trajectory that the three central tenets of domestic anti-militarism are
partially flawed.
The way in which this has occurred can be thought of in two ways identified by
Oros. 327 The first scenario is part of a long-term trend that was set in motion from the
early 1990s. The SDF’s role as an effective domestic tool became elevated after a series
of significant natural and man-made disasters: Mount Unzen’s eruption in the early
1990s, the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, and the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas
attacks. 328 Increased SDF participation in domestic HADR since then has been a longterm trend that makes the first central tenet increasingly irrelevant. The SDF’s disaster
dispatch after the Great East Japan Earthquake provided a significant shock to domestic
anti-militarism in line with the second scenario. The long-term trend initiated in the
1990s culminated in the SDF’s response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Thus, two
different scenarios, one long-term and the other sudden, show the irrelevance of the first
central tenet of domestic anti-militarism. The trends in increased deference toward the
defense budget, public trust in the SDF, and more inclusion of SDF interests in the
security policymaking process show this lesson has been learned.
The environment in which the SDF trajectory is forming is therefore more
conducive to a remilitarization trajectory. The changes in legal norms since the disasters
suggest the nature of this environment is more conducive to changes in legal norms that
are more related to economic interests than pacifist norms. This is manifest in the
relaxation of Japan’s arms export ban. Other legal norms that are rooted primarily in
pacifist norms remain intact. This suggests that sufficient will still exists to prevent more
overt forms of remilitarization from emerging like revising Japan’s peace constitution.
The result is that the SDF’s trajectory is more likely to see changes between the status
quo and remilitarization that benefit Japan’s economic interests. This will lead to a
dynamic status quo.
327 Andrew Oros, Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 187.
328 Ibid., 72.
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5.
Actors/ Institutions: Pushing The Envelope toward Remilitarization
The survey of actors and institutions shows that most are in favor of something
between the status quo and remilitarization. The opposition to this trajectory is limited to
Japan’s Northeast Asian neighbors, which are growing increasingly powerful in their
ability to contain the SDF, specifically China. The JCP and SDP have lost significant
power since the 1990s leaving the DPJ and LDP to guide the SDF’s application, both of
which are pushing the SDF in a dynamic status quo or remilitarization direction. The
third political parties that are forming from the recent churn in Japan’s domestic politics
do not want to contain the SDF but actually support security policies that resemble
remilitarization.
The trends in the majority of internal actors and institutions that
influence the SDF’s trajectory are twofold.
First, the SDF is increasingly included rather than excluded in matters related to
domestic security. The public relies on the SDF for its HADR and ensuring national
security roles and shows more deference to the SDF in these areas through public opinion
polls and more civil-military cooperation.
The MOD’s growing influence in the
bureaucracy ensures SDF interests are included in security policy. Politicians cannot
ignore the SDF and must employ them effectively in crisis situations in order to maintain
their party’s validity. The SDF is able to capitalize on this trend by creating an image of
itself within the public of contributing to the collective good; a marketing tool made all
the more powerful by its successful disaster dispatch.
Second, actors and institutions are replacing or being forced to replace ideological
dogmatism with economic pragmatism. The defense budget is winning over the ODA
budget in part because the SDF is an easier sell to the public in terms of preserving
Japan’s well-being at the lowest price possible.
Legal norms based on domestic anti-
militarism that impede economic growth cannot survive this transition either, as seen in
the collapse of the arms export ban. The SDF stands to benefit from this transition as
well, since it is able to increase its operational tempo in areas surrounding Japan and
internationally without creating significant pressure on the defense budget. This is being
146
manifest in the switch from a BDF to a DDF, where capabilities are eliminated in some
areas, concentrated in others, and replaced overall with more flexibility and operational
capacity.
6.
The New Status Quo: A Brief Summary
In light of the two key elements that define the SDF trajectory debate, the new
status quo that is forming has several implications for Japan’s capacity and will.
In regard to capacity, major changes in defense budget levels or allocation will
not occur and will be geared toward maintaining the status quo in terms of the
capabilities laid out in the 2010 MTDP in accordance with the 2010 NDPG. This
represents a dynamic rather than static status quo that increases the policy space allowing
for a more active SDF in domestic, regional, and international roles. Although the
defense budget will not change dramatically, it continues to survive fiscal austerity
measures that are targeting Japan’s more traditional source of international influence:
ODA.
In regard to will, the SDF will not significantly depart from a focus on domestic
or international roles. The SDF stands to become more utilized within the roles identified
in the 2010 NDPG. The SDF will become more active in its domestic role as civilmilitary relations improve regarding the SDF’s domestic HADR role.
This was
exemplified in the SDF’s robust response to Typhoon number 12. The SDF’s increased
activity in the domestic arena will not come at the expense of its regional and
international roles either.
The new SDF facility in Djibouti, continued anti-piracy
mission, and participation in UNMISS attests to this. The public’s increased trust in the
SDF and its proven utility as a tool of the state will allow for more public and elite
support of the SDF’s roles already defined in the 2010 NDPG. The SDF’s elevated status
will also create a more conducive environment that allows a re-evaluation of legal and
security norms that limit the SDF along a remilitarization trajectory.
Economic
pragmatism will be the most influential driving force when these norms are addressed
given the prominence of economic issues after the disasters.
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D.
NATURAL DISASTERS AS AGENTS FOR CHANGE
Natural disasters will be a persistent threat to Japan and the SDF will play a larger
role in domestic HADR for the foreseeable future. It behooves those that shape security
policy in relation to Japan to understand where these disasters affect change, as another
“great” disaster is likely within another generation’s time.
1.
Direct Impact
There are several SDF trajectory influences that are most likely to be affected by
natural disasters. The first are those areas that the natural disasters directly impact that
actors or institutions have no control over. This is primarily related to the economic
damage caused by natural disasters. Increasing urbanization, industrial concentration,
and the need to remain close to the sea as a source of food and trade will make Japan’s
economy more vulnerable to major disasters in these areas.
This could have a
detrimental impact to Japan’s economy as a whole and subsequently its defense budget if
these areas suffer a major disaster.
2.
Crisis Management Capacity
All of the other SDF trajectory influences affected by natural disasters can be
controlled to some degree and they all fall under the umbrella of crisis management.
Crisis management can be further broken down into capacity and competency. Capacity
deals with the adequate structure and tools to handle a natural disaster. Pressures on
capacity are felt in several areas.
First, Japan’s security policy is tested in this regard as it must provide the SDF
with the authority and flexibility to adequately handle natural disasters. No significant
changes were realized in Japan’s security policy because it already accounted for natural
disasters and promoted certain SDF characteristics that allowed it to react quickly and
effectively.
Second, the SDF’s HADR capabilities were also tested. The areas that the SDF
found lacking were identified and were targeted for improvement in the 2012 defense
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budget.
These include the SDF’s disaster response and CBRN disaster response
capabilities. 329
330
With a transition toward a DDF, however, the type of equipment that
can be related to HADR is expanding as seen in the inclusion of a DDH under the
defense budget’s disaster response capabilities.
Third, the political structure comes under pressure for its capacity to manage
crisis and incorporate assistance from the international community. This occurred after
the Great Hanshin Earthquake when the public found that bureaucratic red tape hindered
a quick reaction and receipt of international assistance and pacifist norms created a
hostile environment that limited the SDF’s capacity to immediately react to the disaster.
This placed pressure on the political leadership in following years to exert more
executive control in crisis management situations and incorporate rather than exclude the
SDF in domestic HADR. The public’s dissatisfaction with the DPJ’s handling of the
disasters seems to be directed more at their handling of the nuclear disaster and the speed
of their reconstruction efforts than their employing of national assets to include the SDF
to handle the affected areas. Years of improved civil-military relations were validated in
that regard but more pressure will be placed on the political leadership to increase its
ability to rapidly respond to natural disasters. 331 The LDP’s latest constitution revision
draft takes aim at expanding the prime minister’s power in the event of a large natural
329 The disasters did highlight the SDF’s lack of transport capabilities as many SDF members and
relief goods had to be moved by private ferries. “Revitalizing Japan: Building a Disaster Resistant Nation;
How Should We Be Prepared for Calamity in 1,000 Years?” The Daily Yomiuri, January 18, 2012,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120201006982.htm.
330 Changes in the defense budget regarding the SDF’s transport capabilities were not realized because
making changing in this area would require a significant rise in the defense budget. The current fiscal
constraints are preventing the SDF from addressing this deficiency. The SDF is not completely unable to
mobilize, however, and is using contracts with private ferries to augment its transport capabilities in the
event the SDF needs to conduct contingency operations in areas surrounding Japan. “Tanks to Reach Oita
Exercises by Private Ferry,” The Daily Yomiuri, October 27, 2011,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111026005221.htm.
331 A Daily Yomiuri editorial emphasized the need for the government to improve its crisis
management capabilities and address states of emergency. “Editorial: Talks on Revising Constitution
Should Focus on Emergencies,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 5, 2012,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T120304004012.htm.
149
disaster. 332
Pacifist norms that hinder the SDF’s ability to cooperate with local
governments were also tested but it seems that there were no major issues since this
lesson was learned after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. The recent disasters will help
discredit any remaining sentiment along these lines.
Fourth, natural disasters present an opportunity to test the capacity of the U.S.Japan security alliance to function effectively.
The test is less related to the U.S.
military’s ability to assist Japan in the event of a large natural disaster since Japan is not
reliant on the U.S. military to provide support for natural disasters.
The relatively
unchanged alliance norms after the disasters show the public did not translate their
appreciation for OPERATION TOMODACHI into increased trust in the United States or
improve their view of U.S.-Japan relations.
This indicates that the U.S. military’s
assistance during domestic HADR in Japan should be used as a tool to show the
functionality of the alliance and as a simple gesture of goodwill. Attempts to improve
relations or trust in the United States through U.S. military assistance does not seem to
have any long-term benefit.
3.
Crisis Management Competency
Natural disasters in Japan mobilize the actors and institutions that have the most
to lose through failure to competently respond. These actors include the SDF, governing
party (DPJ), and the U.S. military. The SDF stands to lose legitimacy as a competent tool
of the state if it does not respond effectively. The SDF’s effective performance of all
HADR missions demonstrated to the public its rightful domestic role.
Therefore,
domestic HADR is an important tool for the SDF to boost its public image and garner
trust. The DPJ needs to maintain its reputation as a competent governing party so a
natural disaster will cause its reactions in several areas to be under the spotlight. Its
ability to manage Japan’s economic conditions and energy dependency has been subject
332 The recent draft is the first LDP constitution revision draft since 2005 and provides power to the
prime minister to declare a state of emergency. The Cabinet can create and enforce ordinances during a
state of emergency with the same effect as law. The public is also obligated to obey state and local
government instructions during a state of emergency. “LDP Constitution Revision Draft: Expands Govt
Power in Emergencies and Calls for Self-Defense Right,” The Daily Yomiuri, March 4, 2012,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120303003947.htm.
150
to criticism from the public. The DPJ was also forced to examine the utility of ODA and
legal norms such as the arms export ban because of the disasters. The U.S.-Japan
security alliance stands to lose credibility if the U.S. military does not function
effectively with the SDF. OPERATION TOMODACHI served to highlight the U.S.
military and SDF’s joint functionality.
In all cases, the performance of the SDF, DPJ, and United States in a domestic
HADR situation is key to determining how natural disasters affect change on these
entities. Consider what might have happened if these actors’ response was perceived
differently. A poor SDF performance could result in less public trust, which would make
the public more skeptical of changes to legal norms and the SDF’s international security
activities.
A proactive response to the nuclear disaster and quick movement on
reconstruction efforts might have boosted the DPJ’s popularity with the public and given
it a better chance of maintaining power at the next Lower House elections. If major
confrontations emerged from OPERATION TOMODACHI between the SDF and U.S.
military, it could have seriously damaged Japan’s faith in one of the alliance’s main
functions: the U.S. military’s commitment and ability to defend Japan.
4.
Limited But Significant Capacity for Change
The main takeaway from this is that natural disasters have a limited capacity for
change but where change is likely it can create serious shifts in the influences governing
the SDF trajectory. The effect on Japan’s economic conditions depends on the location
and magnitude of the disaster. Japan’s security policy, SDF capabilities, and political
structure are tested in terms of its crisis management capacity. The U.S.-Japan security
alliance is also tested but more as a function of the alliance’s broader strength to fulfill its
purpose of defending Japan. The three actors and institutions with the most to lose in
terms of being found incompetent in crisis management are the SDF, governing party
(DPJ), and the U.S. military. These entities are tested more than any other.
Natural disasters do not directly test on any foundational level relations with its
Northeast Asian neighbors, the need to remilitarize with offensive capabilities, the utility
of force, or legal norms that do not have economic repercussions nor do they place direct
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pressure on the bureaucracy, as their competency is predetermined in the policy they
formulate. This partially explains why some of these factors did not change. The next
section deals with how some of these areas may be affected indirectly based on the nature
of the SDF trajectory revealed earlier in this chapter.
E.
PROSPECTS FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
1.
Economic Pragmatism Leading to Remilitarization
The SDF trajectory debate comes down to two elements: capacity and will. So
far, this thesis has indirectly demonstrated that the SDF has the capacity to operate as a
“normal” military so long as it breaks down the legal barriers to remilitarization. SDF
capabilities are robust as demonstrated by its disaster dispatch and for 20 years it has
participated in international security activities. The final step to becoming a “normal”
military rests in Japan’s will to wield this type of force. Public opinion polls have
demonstrated that the public remains extremely averse to anything that resembles the use
of force outside of non-preemptive defense. A fundamental change has come about in its
arms export policies, however, that runs counter to the third central tenet of domestic
anti-militarism identified by Oros: no participation in foreign wars. It is reasonable to
assume that under the new regulations, military equipment developed jointly between
Japan and other friendly nations will be used in tomorrow’s foreign wars. If one asked
the Japanese public if they should supply the United States with military equipment to be
used directly in the Afghanistan War today the likely answer would be no. This does not
preclude that this will occur in the future under the new regulations. This change is
occurring because of a growing relevance of economic pragmatism over the forces of
ideological dogmatism.
As Japan becomes more focused on its current economic
situation it becomes near-sighted and distracted from thwarting long-term ideological
based goals, namely remilitarization.
The result is that decisions made to improve
Japan’s economic situation now provide the capacity to remilitarize according to the third
central tenet of domestic anti-militarism. This growing sense of economic pragmatism
will become stronger as long as its economy continues to stagnate and its economic
situation vis a vis Northeast Asia continues to decline.
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2.
Security Pragmatism Leading to Remilitarization
Although it is possible that Japan could find itself in a position that breaks the
third central tenet because of growing economic pragmatism, it still does not address
Japan’s willingness to directly break any of the three central tenets of domestic antimilitarism.
In regard to the first central tenet, the SDF’s crucial role demonstrated in domestic
HADR stands to aid a shift from ideological dogmatism that seeks to contain the SDF at
all costs to security pragmatism that increasingly includes the SDF in domestic
policymaking. This trend has been in motion at least since the early 1990s and has made
significant improvements in the area of civil-military relations and elevation of SDF
interests in conjunction with the MOD.
Breaking the second and third central tenets require a more fundamental step
toward remilitarization. Once again, Japanese public opinion and SDF employment to
date shows a lack of willingness to use force to resolve international disputes or
participate directly in foreign wars. Based on the trends in the SDF trajectory identified
thus far, there are two plausible scenarios where the second and third central tenet could
be broken.
First, creeping remilitarization occurs where inertial forces aided by certain
conditions facilitate a gradual change that eventually breaks the second and third central
tenet. For instance, the constitutionality of sending SDF troops abroad for the first time
after the Gulf War was fiercely contested but 20 years later SDF participation in UN
PKO has become the new norm. 333,
334
Now that the SDF is a routine participant in UN
PKO it is more susceptible to international pressure to expand its areas of operation away
from safe places.
MOD and SDF officials expressed this pressure regarding its
333 Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia (Ithaca;
London: Cornell University Press, 2007), 65–67.
334 Although commonplace, The Mainichi Daily News made notice of this trend in a September 2011
article, which suggests the constitutionality of SDF participation in UN PKO has not completely eluded the
public. “Overseas SDF Deployment Becoming the Norm as Constitutional Questions Left Hanging,” The
Mainichi Daily News, September 13, 2012,
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/column/archive/news/2011/09/20110913p2a00m0na011000c.html.
153
participation in safe areas of UNMISS. The discussion now is not if the SDF’s
participation in UN PKO is constitutional but if the five PKO principles governing the
SDF’s use of force should be revised. 335 The SDF’s demonstrated competence during its
disaster dispatch stands to place indirect pressure in this regard, as the most trusted
institution in Japan is subjected to borderline humiliating restrictions in seemingly
innocuous activities like UN PKO. Nonetheless, the SDF’s routine involvement in UN
PKO today has evolved very slowly since 1991, which suggests numerous conditions
exist to limit a remilitarization trajectory. The current conditions influencing the SDF
trajectory make fundamental change more likely, however.
Second, bait and switch tactics from more remilitarization minded actors and
institutions might allow an expansion of the SDF’s roles or relaxation of legal norms.
This could first provide the capacity to execute missions counter to the second and third
central tenets without the initial intent of doing so. Actors and institutions that push for
remilitarization could then take advantage of these expanded roles or relaxed legal norms.
For instance, the government’s perceived inability to react quickly to the disasters has
created a desire in Japan to increase the government’s crisis management capacity. 336
The LDP’s new constitutional revision draft takes aim at this sentiment but it also
includes several measures that would bring the SDF closer to remilitarization.
It
reclassifies the SDF as a self defense military, adds the right to self defense to Article 9,
clarifies language that would allow the right to collective self defense, and makes it easier
to amend the constitution. 337 If the LDP were able to push through this revision, it would
provide the LDP with additional legal room to push for direct participation in foreign
wars.
335 “Review of SDF Guideline on Weapon Use Postponed,” The Daily Yomiuri, January 11, 2012,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120110006213.htm.
336 A March 2012 Daily Yomiuri editorial stated constitutional revision should center around
emergencies. It also praised the LDP’s efforts to revise the constitution given the need to address the
government’s crisis management capabilities. Editorial: Talks on Revising Constitution Should Focus on
Emergencies.
337 LDP Constitution Revision Draft: Expands Govt Power in Emergencies and Calls for Self-
Defense Right.
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3.
A Dynamic Status Quo Rather than Remilitarization
Although the factors previously mentioned seem to be leaning toward
remilitarization, complete remilitarization in the short or medium term does not seem
likely for several reasons.
These reasons act as disincentives for a remilitarization
trajectory and serve to limit changes to the fringes of the status quo bordering
remilitarization.
First, the U.S.-Japan security alliance continues to guarantee Japan’s security
from external threats. Call it buck-passing, free riding, or cheap riding; Japan is fulfilling
its obligations according to the provisions agreed upon in 1960. Japan provides bases for
the U.S. military, which allows the United States to project its power and influence in the
region, and in turn the United States guarantees Japan’s safety in the event of an attack.
Even though Japan does not believe a large-scale conventional attack is likely according
to its 2010 NDPG, the United States continues to reassure Japan of its defense in more
likely but smaller scale conflicts over territorial disputes. This was made known by the
United States after the 2010 Senkaku incident. The deepening of the alliance after the
disasters, and the United States’ refocus on the Asia-Pacific will make dislodging the
alliance’s structural limitations against remilitarization more difficult.
Second, a dramatic leap toward remilitarization could prove disastrous with the
most volatile threat for pro SDF containment: China. If politicians or the bureaucracy
were to push through radical revisions to many legal norms it would signal a clear break
from the status quo and may initiate an overt arms race with China. 338
Third, the nature of Japan’s relations with China also serves to mitigate the need
to embark on a remilitarization trajectory in terms of balancing against China. Much
skepticism remains between the two nations on security issues but economically the two
are highly interdependent. China is Japan’s largest import and export market. 339
338 Christopher Hughes believes Japan is already in a quiet arms race with China. Christopher W.
Hughes, “Japan’s Military Modernisation: A Quiet Japan-China Arms Race and Global Power Projection,”
Asia Pacific Review 16, no. 1 (2009), 96.
339 “CIA World Factbook: Japan,” Central Intelligence Agency,
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html (accessed December 10, 2011).
155
Fourth, two lost decades of economic stagnation compounded by the disasters
does not bode well for Japan’s capacity or will to remilitarize. A strong U.S.-Japan
alliance and entangling itself economically with China provide a more fiscally sound
alternative to remilitarization.
Fifth, a web of legal norms still exist that Japan must overcome before it can even
begin to argue that it has remilitarized. Many of these norms such as the constitution
have proven to be very difficult to procedurally revise. A great deal of political capital
must be spent in order to make these changes and currently Japan’s economy is taking
center stage.
Sixth, even though some actors and institutions may push for a remilitarization
trajectory, the post World War II environment under which these entities were formed
does not support a radical return to a militarist past. For example, the SDF has never
used force except one time in 2001 in an act deemed entirely within the scope of self
defense. The activities that the SDF find rewarding are those related to international
security activities and domestic HADR. The SDF may desire to be accepted by the
public but they are not about to embark on a militarist past reminiscent of the 1930s. 340
Finally, even though this thesis suggests a transition is occurring between
ideological dogmatism and economic pragmatism, elements of Japan’s security identity
of domestic anti-militarism still remain. The public remains largely averse to anything
resembling the offensive use of force. Japan’s close ties with the United States also make
Japan weary of the SDF’s own, even innocuous, international security activities as fears
of entanglement are reinforced.
Altogether, these numerous disincentives provide serious limitations to Japan’s
capacity and will to rapidly remilitarize. The only plausible path to remilitarization is
through a long-term gradual shift brought about by economic and security pragmatism.
340 Fruhstuck indicates that Japan, like many other European states, is in a “post-heroic” cultural
phase. This type of environment does not lead states to glorify violence. International security activities
and domestic HADR provide more motivation in this type of society. Sabine Fruhstuck, Uneasy Warriors:
Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army (Berkeley, CA: University of California
Press, 2007), 181–184.
156
A significant shock to the system may address some of these disincentives but would
need to discredit all in order to facilitate a major change. This is not likely. For instance,
a fait accompli action on the Senkaku Islands by China would likely be handled within
the U.S.-Japan alliance structure. The public’s aversion to offensive force would not be
tested because it would be seen as a defensive action. Such an action on China’s part
would seriously jeopardize its economic relations with its two largest trading partners, the
United States and Japan, and is likely a reason why the territorial dispute has not
escalated into conflict to date.
F.
UNITED STATES SECURITY POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
1.
Be Skeptical of the Efficacy of HADR
At least in Northeast Asia, the short-term change in relations with China and
South Korea shows that HADR is not an effective long-term tool for improving relations.
This should not come as a complete surprise given the lack of security cooperation
between Japan and its neighbors. HADR is effective in providing a positive environment
of cooperation for the political leadership to meet and discuss non-related issues. The
short-term gains in this regard may pay off in the long-term but fundamental issues such
as historical interpretations and territorial issues will continue to trump these efforts as
long as they are not solved. Japan-South Korea relations stand to benefit the most as the
2010 NDPG is targeting South Korea for improved relations and the DPJ is more
amenable to non-provocative actions in the region.
In regard to U.S.-Japan relations, the efficacy of HADR is somewhat surprising.
At the elite level, OPERATION TOMODACHI proved to be an effective tool for
strengthening the alliance. The SCC 2+2 statements made this very clear and Japan has
in many ways come closer to the United States in the year following the disasters. For
instance, Japan selected the F-35 as its F-X. Noda has leaned closer to the United Statesled TPP and has also welcomed the U.S. strategic focus shift to the Asia-Pacific.
Surprisingly however, while the Japanese public is extremely thankful for the U.S.
military’s support after the disasters, this has not translated into any significant change in
157
the public’s opinion regarding trust in the United States or positive views of U.S.-Japan
relations. In this sense, HADR is not an effective tool to boost the public’s positive
perception in these two areas. Public opinion matters because the public is becoming
more aware of its security environment and has the ability to punish or reward politicians
based on their increasing need to have a distinguishable security platform.
This is not to say the United States or any other state should not do its utmost in
supporting countries in times of need, but that expectations should be managed as to how
far this goodwill will create change.
2.
Focus on Futenma
As illustrated in the previous recommendation, Japanese public opinion toward
the United States has not improved but actually worsened slightly since the disasters.
Those that view U.S.-Japan relations negatively have outnumbered those that see it
positively for the last two years. The previous ten years before that were marked by a
majority of positive views on U.S.-Japan relations (see Figure 37). 341 This is a curious
development given the conditions that should warrant an improved view of the United
States. The United States has ended the war in Iraq, not pressured Japan to support the
Afghanistan War, aligned its strategic interests more closely with Japan in its focus shift
toward the Asia-Pacific, and conducted a significant HADR operation after the Great
East Japan Earthquake. 342
341 The topic Figure 37 is illustrating is how Americans and Japanese view U.S. – Japan relations.
“Feelings About U.S. Are Complex: Disaster Relief Operations Appreciated But Major Ally Not Fully
Trusted.”
342 The Obama administration has not pressured Japan to contribute in Afghanistan primarily because
international support for the war is decreasing. The conclusion of the MSDF’s Indian Ocean mission was a
non-event in U.S. – Japan relations because it was seen from the U.S. perspective that it was no longer
needed. Chris Nelson, “Obama Team OK With DPJ,” The Oriental Economist 77, no. 9 (September, 2009),
11.
158
Figure 37.
The Daily Yomiuri Poll on Japan-U.S. Relations (From “Feelings About
U.S. Are Complex: Disaster Relief Operations Appreciated But Major Ally
Not Fully Trusted,” 2011)
The issue that seems to be driving a wedge between the Japanese public and the
United States is Futenma according to a December 2011 poll that revealed 82% of the
public feel a lack of progress on the Futenma relocation issue is having a negative effect
on U.S.-Japan relations. This should serve as a warning that if progress is not made on
the Futenma issue in the eyes of the Japanese public, they are likely to be more skeptical
of the United States and its policies in the region. Not having the public’s backing will
make the political leadership less inclined to risk loss of power and make a concerted
policy effort with Japan in the Asia-Pacific more difficult.
The Futenma relocation issues needs further review to determine whether this is a
temporary or permanent feature in U.S.-Japan relations.
3.
Do Not Miscalculate the SDF’s Trajectory
At first glance, the catastrophic nature of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the
SDF’s unprecedented involvement might give significant evidence on the surface to
159
assume the SDF may rapidly retrench or remilitarize after the disasters. Assuming either
can lead to missed opportunities or a setback in relations.
If the United States assumes the SDF is retrenching after the disasters and places
pressure on Japan for doing so, it has the potential to create a rift in relations.
Furthermore, this assumption will distract policymakers and policy practitioners away
from the opportunities available for increased cooperation in two areas. First, the United
States and Japan’s security policies have aligned in terms of its focus in the Asia-Pacific
and on China and North Korea particularly. Because Japan’s security policy supports an
increased SDF operational tempo, the U.S. military stands to benefit in its own effort to
monitor areas surrounding Japan. A collaborative effort should be pursued in these areas
in order to avoid unnecessary mission overlap and capitalize on the SDF’s robust MSDF
and ASDF assets in areas surrounding Japan.
Second, the SDF proved itself as a competent HADR force and Japan’s security
policy opens the door wider for more regional and international security activities.
Although the opportunity for cooperation in Northeast Asia is limited, the SDF is
increasingly participating in international HADR. With the proven utility of the SDF’s
DDHs and other MSDF assets for HADR, these assets can be used for more regional
HADR in areas such as South and Southeast Asia. A more confident SDF will also
embolden their participation in these activities.
If the United States assumes the SDF is rapidly remilitarizing and pressures the
SDF for increased international security contributions in a similar manner during the
initial stages of the Iraq War, then entrapment fears may be triggered. The ending of the
Iraq War and planned withdrawal from Afghanistan make igniting these fears less likely
but even the United States’ approach to the Asia-Pacific region has the potential to stoke
these fears. A confrontational approach toward China and North Korea by the United
States will likely create distrust among the Japanese public and distance the DPJ from the
United States in its efforts to be non-provocative in the region. Entrapment fears could
seriously setback any efforts on the United States part for the SDF to increase its
international security contribution.
The alliance norms may be subject to dynamic
changes as the United States holds elections in 2012 and Japan is poised for another
160
Lower House election at least by 2013 that could bring the LDP back into power or
further fracture the government as third parties become more influential. Managing the
shift in security policy priorities will become essential.
The safest course of action the United States can embark on at this point is to
understand a dynamic status quo is in the offing, which means there is some room for
increased SDF activity especially in HADR and SDF operations in areas surrounding
Japan. Building on the U.S.-Japan’s joint relations in both areas will serve both states’
security interests.
G.
RESEARCH OVERVIEW
1.
Significance Revisited
The Great East Japan Earthquake will be seared into Japan’s collective conscience
for generations. The SDF’s disaster dispatch will also have significant meaning for the
SDF, as it was the first time the SDF received on a large-scale the public’s support and
gratitude for its role. Understanding what the disasters mean and do not mean for the
SDF’s trajectory is a critical factor in the ongoing debate of the SDF’s future application.
The disasters do not mean the SDF will embark on a retrenchment or rapid
remilitarization trajectory.
Japan’s security and economic interests have not seen
fundamental change but rather trends in place prior to the disasters were aggravated or
policies were validated. Japan’s norms appear to have been the most fundamentally
changed as the SDF came out of the disasters’ aftermath on top in the publics’ eyes.
Nonetheless, changes will occur on the fringes of the status quo bordering
remilitarization as numerous disincentives keep the SDF from rapidly moving toward
remilitarization. These changes will come about from a growing sense of economic and
security pragmatism that results in engaging rather than containing the SDF.
2.
Research Shortfalls
It has only been one year since the disasters, which has significantly limited the
sample size available for this research. This thesis serves as a starting point for future
research to focus on certain areas that are most likely to be affected by the disasters such
161
as norms and the evolving structure of actors and institutions that affect the SDF’s
trajectory.
More time will also allow researchers to identify more distinguishable
departures in these two areas.
Since extensive research has not been conducted on the Great East Japan
Earthquake and its impact on the SDF trajectory due primarily to its recent occurrence,
this thesis has necessarily focused on a broad range of SDF trajectory influence
categories that may have been affected by the disasters: security interests, economic
interests, norms, and actors and institutions.
Therefore, in depth research in any
particular area has been limited but it has helped identify the most likely affected areas as
discussed previously.
3.
Future Research
This thesis highlights several areas that would be useful for the SDF trajectory
debate as more data becomes available. First, the SDF’s domestic HADR involvement
has been on the rise since the 1990s and culminated in its disaster dispatch after the Great
East Japan Earthquake. How transferable is the public’s increased trust in the SDF
because of these activities to other more “normal” military operations? More time may
reveal that the SDF never fundamentally changes its international security activities.
Why would that be the case?
Second, the trend among actors and institutions that control the SDF trajectory is
to engage the SDF. As the SDF becomes more involved in domestic HADR, is this trend
defined more by the desire to improve the government’s crisis management capacity or
are SDF interests also considered in general security policy formation?
Third, what are the limits of the trend from ideological dogmatism centered
around domestic anti-militarism to economic and security pragmatism?
As the
environment surrounding the SDF changes, how are these factors facilitating or hindering
this transition?
Fourth, the U.S.-Japan alliance will likely be tested again in the near future by
another “great” natural disaster in Japan. How involved should the U.S. military be in
these disaster relief efforts? Japan does not rely on U.S. military forces in any significant
capacity to support HADR in Japan. Therefore, the mechanism to involve the United
162
States in this situation does not exist outside of the relationships already in place for other
joint military operations. Too much U.S. military involvement in this case may prove
detrimental to the overall relief efforts, as this requires a significant amount of
coordination effort on Japan’s part. At the same time, too little of a response may trigger
negative views of U.S. military forces stationed in Japan. An appropriate balance must
be reached to ensure the U.S. military does not detract from the overall HADR operation
and does not trigger negative views of the U.S.-Japan security alliance.
163
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