On the 7th of December 1941, Japanese submarines and carrier-based planes attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, killing 3000 military personnel, and destroying a great part of the fleet. This led to a 4-years war culminating in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a milestone in human history. Japan was defeated for the first time in its history and occupied by foreigners, imposing their culture and values. Fifty years later, the same country has become one of the three major economic power, creating a brand-new growth model, has experienced years of political democratic stability and has never ceased to cultivate its independence and cultural specificity. Therefore, the country remains surprisingly neutral when it comes to international politics, which is the main reason why common wisdom has it that Japan is both an economic giant and a political waif. Only on this precise point does a strong dependence to the U.S. remain obvious, as Japanese diplomacy merely reflects and follows American positions.
[...] This overthrow of the SJP's political doctrine became official on May 27th 1995 when a new declaration, recognizing the constitutionality of the self-defense forces, the importance of the peace and security treaty and the constitutionality of the 1992 Peace Keeping Operation law, was adopted. This goes to show that when they come into power, politicians are compelled to think and act in terms of their national interest. This national interest is according to realists, given once and for all, may it be defined as security, power or the spread of ideological preferences. [...]
[...] On November 9th 1990, the rupture between the former allies had become clear as the JSP still refused any kind of military intervention while the Komeito and the SDP supported the project of the government that planned to enable a few small units to take part in peacekeeping operations for the United Nations on the condition that the self-defense forces wouldn't take part in them. It authorized the dispatch of Japanese troops abroad for the first time since World War II. [...]
[...] This way, the USA can concentrate on the main dissatisfied power and eventual “contender”: the USSR while Japan will feel it's in its best interest to help uphold the existing norms and institutions of the order. Indeed, Japan benefits economically from the alliance with the US as it enables it to spend the biggest part of its GNP on developing its economy and not to worry about military expenditure as it is protected under the American “nuclear umbrella”. It is thus in its best interest to take part in the free-trade economic regime endorsed by the USA. [...]
[...] The main pre-war parties, descendants of the Seiyukai and the Doshikai-Minseito, competed for power initially, but their dominance was soon challenged by the rapid growth of socialist parties and the now legal Japan Communist Party. In 1955 the parties, which held sway in the prewar period, were forced to merge into the Liberal Democratic Party following the example of the main socialist parties. Since the creation of the LDP, that party remained in control of the government until August 1993. [...]
[...] It states that: Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized. Besides, the Japanese army no longer existed at the time, considering that 80% of the military personal had been fired (compared to only 18% of the politicians and of the public servants). [...]
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