Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

U.S. Pivot to Asia and Japan’s Hedging Strategy

Sun, June 26, 10:30am to 12:20pm, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 1F, 114


President Obama expressed his idea of “pivot to the Asia-Pacific” in November 2011; however, it has been difficult for Washington to implement this idea. This paper analyzes meanings and significances of this U.S. policy and Japan’s triple responses: Adopting the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology in April 2014, establishment of the Development Cooperation Charter in February 2015, and enacting the Peace and Security Preservation Legislation in September 2015. My hypothesis is that these responses are demonstration of Japan’s hedging policy. The United States has been too busy with the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the Ukraine to pay as much attention as it wishes to the Asia-Pacific region. Regarding this situation as an opportunity to strengthen its influence, the Shinzo Abe Cabinet adopted the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology to consolidate Japan’s ties with the ASEAN to contain China, approved Japan’s Development Cooperation Charter to make a more effective coordination between Japan’s ODA and PKO, and enacted the Peace and Security Preservation Legislation to maintain global commons with the United States. Closely connected, these triple responses raise Japan’s status in its alliance with the United States. As the U.S. relative power declines, Japan has been making efforts to play a complementary role to keep the U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, but at the same time, Japan has been trying to establish its ability and to consolidate its own network in this region.