Japan's Defense and Foreign Policy Strategy in the Post Cold War World

Date of Graduation

Spring 1998


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


With the end of the Cold War, the security environment surrounding Japan has changed. The threat of the Soviet Union has vanished but several security issues remain. This thesis begins with a summary of Japan's defense and foreign policy since 1947, examining U.S.-Japan relations, Japan's nuclear weapons policy, and the Self-Defense Forces. The thesis also analyzes the potential threats Japan faces from North Korea, China, Russia and strategic cooperation between China and Russia. The thesis also assesses U.S.-Japan relations by focusing on the issues of Okinawa, trade, and the credibility of the security commitment for both sides. While there are several policy options Japan can take in this post Cold War era, this thesis proposes that Japan maintain and even strengthen military ties with the United States by joining in the development of ballistic missile defense, by amending its peace constitution, and by playing a more active role in the area of international security issues.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Hitoshi Yamashiro