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Title: The transformation of Japan's grand strategy under the Democratic Party of Japan and the second Abe administration : change and continuity
Author: Filippov, Dmitry
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 5887
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis analyses the shifts in Japan’s grand strategy in the last decade, examining the role that the Democratic Party of Japan and the second Abe administration played in Japan’s strategic trajectory relative to the postwar Yoshida doctrine. To determine the extent to which these governments’ reforms were transformative to the direction of the Japanese foreign policy, it uses the concept of grand strategy as an analytical framework and examines the recent changes in Japan’s foreign policy on three levels, including the prime ministers’s views, the foreign-policy making process, and the security environment surrounding Japan. It also engages in a number of contemporary debates regarding the evolution of Japan’s grand strategy and the emergence of a so-called Abe doctrine, as well as its transformative power and ideological foundations. The thesis concludes that the Kan, Noda, and Abe administrations all developed the same trend aimed at adapting Japan’s grand strategy to the post-Cold War security environment and gradually relaxing postwar military constraints by increasing its influence in international affairs, moderately modernising its national defence capabilities, and expanding the geographical and substantive scope of the US-Japan alliance. This strategic direction towards goes against the principles of the Yoshida doctrine but reflects the domestic debates about the future of Japanese foreign and securityp policies. The first DPJ prime minister Hatoyama Yukio attempted to deviate from that trend by proposing an alternative strategy based on Japan conducting a more independent foreign policy, distancing itself from the US, and strengthening ties with East Asia. However, after he failed to implement it, his successors not only returned to the previous direction of foreign policy, but accelerated it by passing a number of epochal reforms, which were continued in a more strategic manner by Abe and led to the transformation of Japan’s security posture. However, despite these reforms signifying a clear departure from the Yoshida doctrine, they ultimately represent evolution rather than revolution within the context of Japan’s post-Cold War adjustment and realignment of its security stance. Furthermore, the DPJ’s reforms were instrumental in the implementation of Abe’s agenda and it can be argued that it is in the DPJ’s policies that the origins of Abe’s grand strategy lie.
Supervisor: Dobson, Hugo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available