The goals of my project are to place the US/Japanese Guidelines for Security Cooperation in a historical context with past security acts to show the degree of change this represents for Japan. Explaining both sides of the rearmament controversy, I will show that the "New Guidelines" are a policy preference of Japan's conservative coalition government.
I approached this problem by developing an understanding of the history of Japanese rearmament through textual study. To see the security debate first-hand, I went to Japan during the legislation of the New Guidelines and interviewed opinion leaders, local government officials, and protestors of the security alliance. I attended assemblies, demonstrations and a joint examination meeting of the security committee in the legislature.
The text will present the major security acts conducted by Japan's postwar conservative governments including the creation of the Police Reserve Force, National Security Force and finally the Self-Defense Forces. An evolution of the US/Japanese Security Alliance will also be presented. Finally, my observations of the current legislation will be incorporated to show the magnitude of the present security act.
I have made it a point to hear both sides of the security debate. Through this research, I have seen both the positive and negative aspects of the US/Japanese Security Alliance. It is apparent that some opposition groups, concerned with the inherent dangers of closer US/Japanese military cooperation, denounce the American government as the originator of the new security arrangement. While it is true that the New Guidelines promote the interests of American security planners, my explanation of the security alliance will show that Japan's conservatives in the legislature are the authors of the present security legislation.