AAS Annual Meeting

Japan Session 235

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Session 235: U.S.-Japanese Relations and Post-War Security in North East Asia

Organizer: Fintan Hoey, Independent Scholar, Ireland

Discussant: Michael A. Barnhart, State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA

This panel explores the ongoing struggles over the issues of defence and security in Northeast Asia with a particular focus on U.S.-Japanese relations in the post-war and post-cold war period. It brings together scholars at different career levels based on four different continents. The paper presenters have engaged incutting edge archival research in their respective fields. Dr. Kuniyoshi Tomoki, a lecturer at Waseda University Tokyo, will speak on British attempts in the early 1950s to ensure Japan did not enter SEATO; Fintan Hoey (a PhD candidate at University College Dublin, Ireland) will speak on the controversy surrounding port-calls by U.S. nuclear powered submarines on Japan in the early 1960s and how this affected Japan's security relations with the U.S. and its neighbours; Daitoku Taka (a PhD candidate at Northwestern) will address the reasons behind Japan's prevarication over ratifying the NPT (signed 1970, ratified 1976) and explore the domestic and international factors behind this; and, finally, in a neat bookend to Kuniyoshi’s paper, Dr. Sato Takeshi a lecturer at Shimane University will speak on bilateralism and multilateralism in North East Asian security since the 1990s with a particular focus on Japan. Each paper will last fifteen minutes which will leave ample time for a response from Professor Roberto Duran of the Catholic University of Chile, a leading figure in the twentieth century international history, and questions and comments from the audience.

Britain and Japan’s exclusion from SEATO
Kuniyoshi Tomoki, Waseda University, Japan

The paper discusses the previously unexplored relationship between the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and the US-Japan security agreements, particularly the British involvement. With the conclusion of the US-South Korean defence treaty in 1953 and the inauguration of both the US-Taiwan security treaty and SEATO in 1954, the West’s post-war security arrangements in East Asia took their final form. Through this process, the ‘bilateralisation’ of Japan’s security treaty was strengthened, and an East Asian version of NATO became impossible. In explaining SEATO’s failure to accommodate Japan, the paper pays special attention to Britain’s input into that disconnection. In the peace-making process of 1951, Britain had contributed to the breakdown of a US-sponsored regional multilateral pact including Japan, called the ‘Pacific Pact’, leaving the US-Japan security treaty the sole option available to the US. Some time after the Japanese peace settlement, Britain renewed its efforts to block Japan’s inclusion in a multilateral security pact, opposing both Japan’s inclusion in SEATO and any Japanese military association either with either Taiwan or Korea, the ideas pondered by Washington. The paper explores the major motivations behind Britain’s objection to Japan’s inclusion in the wider security scheme, especially SEATO, with special reference to its intention to militarily isolate Japan in order to foster the impression that the Western defence system was not primarily aimed at the PRC but still partly at Japan. The paper looks into how this affected American decision-making, and concludes by investigating the degree to which Britain’s position played a role in the final form of security arrangements in East Asia.

Successful Crisis Management? U.S.-Japanese Alliance Diplomacy and U.S. Nuclear Submarines, 1964-65
Fintan Hoey, Independent Scholar, Ireland

This paper examines the alliance diplomacy between Washington and Tokyo regarding calls by U.S. Navy nuclear-powered submarines on Japanese ports between 1964 and 1965. The prospect of such visits were a hotly contested issue in Japanese political life in the early 1960s and posed a challenge for Sato at the outset of his tenure as Prime Minister of Japan (1964-1972). In addition they were a test of the Alliance’s credibly in the aftermath of left-wing ‘Anpo’ protests regarding the re-negotiated U.S.-Japanese Mutual Security Treaty in 1960 which led to the fall from power of Kishi Nobusuke (Sato’s elder brother). For Sato and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) the alliance took on new importance in the context of the People’s Republic of China’s successful nuclear test (1964) and Japan’s consequent need for the United States’ Extended Deterrence (ED) or ‘nuclear umbrella’. Ultimately Sato was able to successfully navigate these troubled waters and was fortunate in dealing with an understanding and responsive U.S. State Department, a factor which ensured the port-calls could go ahead while limiting the potential domestic political fallout for Sato and the LDP.

Strategy and Emotion: The Two Faces of the Yoshida School, 1952-1976
Taka Daitoku, Northwestern University, USA

This study analyzes previously neglected emotional, and rather militaristic, aspects of the Yoshida School from 1952 to 1976. A standard understanding of the Yoshida Doctrine is that Premier Yoshida Shigeru and his followers in the postwar Japanese Government have consistently pursued a grand strategy of economic growth based on light armament and U.S. extended deterrence. This view, labeled “political realism,” focuses overly on the exoteric discourses of those conservative policy-planners. In contrast, the paper highlights their esoteric aspirations for, and actions toward, re-creating post-independent Japan as a middle-class nuclear power. First, the research traces a shift in both Yoshida and Premier Ikeda Hayato in favor of acquiring nuclear capability in Japan. It then describes how the Japanese Government conducted incipient feasibility studies of nuclear weapons development during the tenure of Prime Minister Sato Eisaku but finally abandoned them, with reference to the alleged “indirect” intervention of Emperor Showa in the mysteriously sudden passage of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) ratification bill in Parliament in 1976, six years after its signature. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of those two conflicting sides of the Yoshida School for the future of Japan.

Beyond Bilateralism and Multilateralism toward Regional Governance: Japan’s Foreign Policy and Post-Cold War Regional Security Institutions in Northeast Asia
Takeshi Sato, Independent Scholar, Japan

This paper analyzes an emerging interaction between bilateral and multilateral security institutions in Northeast Asia since the 1990s. As the protracted conflict of the Korean Peninsula, the Pyongyang’s nuclear program and the Chinese military rise have threatened regional prosperity and stability, building regional security institutions has become an important policy concern in the post-Cold War era. Detecting nascent multilateral institution-building in Northeast Asian regional security, this paper asks how and why the U.S.-led bilateral alliances interact with multilateral security arrangements such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Six Party Talks, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), and Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD). In order to examine this puzzle by focusing on Japanese foreign policy, the arguments of this paper are two-folded: (1) Japanese foreign policy strategies after the end of the Cold War; and (2) Japanese national interests concerning the feasibility and legitimacy of supplementing bilateralism with multilateralism in Northeast Asian security. I then try to demonstrate how the complementary dynamics between bilateralism and multilateralism in Northeast Asian security is evaluated in terms of ‘regional governance.’