Japan’s Foreign and Security Policy Under the ‘Abe Doctrine’: New Dynamism or New Dead End?, by Christopher W. Hughes

Dr Titli Basu is Associate Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • April 2017
    Book Review

    Prime Minister Abe’s legacy will rest on his attempts to redefine Japan’s relative position of power in the international system and marks a departure from the narrative of Japan being a reactive state.1 In 2013, he envisioned ‘Japan is back’2 while responding to the larger debate concerning Japan’s strategic future, as captured by Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye who raised a pertinent question: ‘does Japan desire to continue to be a tier-one nation, or is she content to drift into tier-two status?’3 Given the fluidity in East Asian geopolitics and China’s arrival as a key variable in the international system, Japan has been forced to respond to the asymmetrical power politics. As China is carving out a sphere of influence for itself which is increasingly eclipsing Japan’s international stature, Abe has the task of presenting the case of where and how does Japan fit in.

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