Militarisation and Demilitarisation in Contemporary Japan by Glenn D. Hook

By Glenn D. Hook

The intertwined problems with eastern `identity' and `normality' are on the centre of the stress among inner and exterior pressures on jap defence and protection rules. With chapters on peace inspiration, the militarisation and demilitarisation of language in addition to the `hard' elements of the japanese army increase within the Eighties and the reaction to the Gulf conflict within the Nineties, this examine demanding situations the various preconceived notions on jap defence and safeguard regulations and the coverage making strategy in Japan.

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In order to draw attention to the relevant aspects of the Danwakai’s peace thought, it will help to clarify first the meaning of the Japanese term shisō, by introducing a distinction between ‘thought’ and ‘idea’. Then follows an analysis of the Group’s statements on peace and security in light of this distinction. Finally, a number of comments on the significance of its ideas are presented. ‘THOUGHT’ AND ‘IDEA’ In elucidating the meaning of ‘thought’ (shisō, in Japanese), we bear in mind the warning of Aoki Shoten’s Tetsugaku Jiten that ‘the content of this term is complex and ambiguous.

Such questions were raised and continue to be raised in the post cold-war era in Japan. The government’s adoption of restrictions on military spending cannot be understood without taking into account the popular attitude at the base of these questions. At the individual level, the Danwakai put forward the idea that the individual has the right to choose not to become either an ‘aggressor’ or a ‘victim’. This linked democracy and peace as essential to the creation of a new identity for the Japanese people.

16 MILITARIZATION: A CRITICAL APPROACH 1) ‘The onesided determination of political decisions by militarytechnical considerations replacing a comprehensive examination of what is required by raison d’état’—which comprised both the military aspect of state policy as well as the moral code. 11 The predominance of the military in the Third Reich thus was not a historical product of the social and economic structure of Germany, but rather an anomaly, divorced from the past. In The Sword and the Sceptre he developed his ideas on the nature of German militarism more fully.

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