The U.S./Japanese Military Alliance

Japanese Perceptions and the Prospective Impact of Evolving U.S. Military Doctrines and Technologies

by Paul Fritz Langer, Richard H. Moorsteen


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Explores the consequences for the U.S./Japanese alliance of emerging U.S. strategic thinking and technology. Its principal finding is that Japan's political processes, its perceptions of external threats, and its experience with nuclear warfare make it different: The intuitions and analysis appropriate to thinking about European allies are often inapplicable — or even misleading — in the case of Japan. The paper therefore dwells heavily on relevant Japanese characteristics and perceptions. It also addresses the implications of the new doctrinal and technical developments for the U.S./Japanese alliance. The paper has three parts: (1) An analysis of the present and prospective context for Japanese approaches to defense issues; (2) a more specific, if preliminary, assessment of the U.S./Japanese military alliance in the light of evolving developments, as perceived from the Japanese viewpoint; and (3) an annex containing selections from relevant documents.

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