Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Political Science & International Relations

First Advisor

Erik Pratt

Second Advisor

Robert Swartout

Third Advisor

Phillip Wittman

Abstract

From the 1940s to the 1990s, Japan’s military has undergone serious changes. Reinstitutionalized, defense has grown larger within an American alliance and as a member of the United States containment strategy.3 The United States guaranteed the security of Japan through its nuclear security umbrella and an American commitment of troops to the region. As the United States economy fell into relative decline, it placed pressure upon Japan to increase its defense commitments. In 1991, the Cold War ended and a new regime took power in the Soviet Union. It was a time to celebrate -- large forces no longer opposed each other on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. The superpowers began to change their defense policy to reflect the growing multipolarity of the world. Those nations in alliances with either the United States or the Soviet Union are in a period of reevaluation as to how they will approach the changes in the world strategic balance. Japan as an ally of the United States is faced with the same issues. The basis for the mutual security treaty, the threat of Soviet forces, no longer _ exists. The challenge becomes: Does Japan need the continued presence of U.S. troops and what should be Japan’s future military standing?

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