In the wake of World War II, the U.S. helped Japan draft a new constitution that forever renounced the use of military force as a means of settling international disputes. Japan has nonetheless maintained a well-equipped military for the purposes of self-defense, even while largely relying on the security umbrella provided by U.S. forces in the region.
In a book that came out in April, Sheila Smith, the senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, makes a compelling case that Tokyo is now reevaluating that security posture in response to a militarily ascendant China, a nuclear North Korea and an erratic and unreliable Trump administration. For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, she joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman for a conversation on the evolution of Japan’s postwar military strategy.
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Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.
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