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Title: The logic of ballistic missile defence procurement in Japan (1994-2007) : from hedging through self-imposed restraints toward hedging from the position of military strength
Author: Shabalin, Maxim N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 0308
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis asks why Japan decided to procure BMD if it meant building an infrastructure which, because of its technological nature, had the potential to disrupt Japan’s preferred security strategy of hedging, that is, maintaining ambiguity of commitment, vis-à-vis China and the US. The investigation was divided into three parts dealing with the following questions – Why did Japan's BMD procurement matter? Who mattered? Why were the BMD and related decisions made? Such a structure of research was informed by “neoclassical realism,” according to which the relative material power of a country sets the parameters of its foreign policy, but the policy choices within these international constraints are made by political elites. A range of policymaking heuristics were used to investigate the domestic element of the approach. In addition to the conventionally specified policymaking actors such as MOD, MOFA, Prime Ministers, an original attempt was made to identify the possible influences of several elite networks. On the basis of the notes from the Japan-US Security Strategy Conference, two elite networks were analysed, namely the Japan’s Congressional National Security Research Group and Japan-US Centre for Peace and Cultural Exchange. It was concluded that they have probably had some influence on shaping Japan's BMD decisions. The conclusion of this research is that BMD was procured despite its disruptive potential because it was a tool of shifting Japanese policy from one hedging policy to another, that is, from one based on self-imposed restraints toward one exercised from the position of military strength. An analysis of international relations in East Asia in 1994-2007 and an analysis of the views of the security elites make Japan's transition toward a military strength-based hedging appear rational and confirm BMD's utility as a tool in this transition. Some negative consequences of a possible disruption to hedging, induced by BMD, can be contained exactly because of such a reformatting of hedging.
Supervisor: Neary, Ian Sponsor: Hill Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Japan ; Japanese politics ; elite networks ; missile defence ; North Korea ; China ; Northeast Asia ; US-Japan relations ; defence policy ; security strategy ; military procurement ; neoclassical realism