On January 23rd, YCAPS welcomed Professor Keiji Nakatsuji of Ritsumeikan University to speak on Japanese national security policy. About 20 Misawa locals curious about this subject gathered on the snowy evening for an informal reception followed by an intimate lecture and question and answer session. Participants were curious to explore why public discourse surrounding security issues has proven polarized and seemingly stale in recent history, what the future of Japan’s military role may entail, and how the term “self-defense” has transformed its meaning over the course of modern Japanese history. Is Japan still in need of idealistic peace in its security dealings or is the core of Article 9 a ghost of the post-war reconstruction? Are there discrepancies between how Japan views its own role in a U.S. Japan military partnership and how the U.S. views this role? What is “global” security?
The lively discussion featured commentary from active Self Defense Force officers and Misawa City Hall staff. Scholars interested in further exploring the themes from this event are encouraged to check out Dr. Nakatsuji’s recent publication, Japan’s Security Policy, where some of these questions are explored at length.