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Social Sciences
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Japan Grand Strategy Social Sciences Essay Research (Essay Sample)

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ADSP Term Paper
Title: Critically evaluate whether Japan has achieved its grand strategic objectives in Asia over the past two decades. Make a case for whether it will or will not fulfill its objectives in the next 10 years.
Approach the essay by first defining what are Japan's grand strategic objectives (for instance, neutralising security threats from China and North Korea, carving out a bigger role for its Self Defence Forces amongst others).
For the first part of the question (whether Japan has achieved its objective in the past 2 decades), explore the following angles for the body of the essay:
1) Short Term vs Long Term: Japan achieved its strategic objectives in the short term (2000-2015) due to friendly relations and strong security arrangements with the USA. However, with the rise of Trump who cut defence spending on Japan, and the rise of peer competitors to the USA like China, Japan is no longer a top priority for the US. As such, it has to increasingly pay for its own defence, which is costly. This will present long term challenges to fulfilling its strategic objectives.
2) Short Term Gain vs Long Term Backlash: Japan's rapid modernisation of its military has ensured a credible deterrent. However, such modernisation will increasingly anger its neighbours who might argue that it does not have the constitutional right to do so. If its neighbours work to suppress Japan's capabilities, its ability to achieve its objectives in the long term will be limited. As such, building up its military had short term gains but would incur a long-term backlash.
For the second part of the question (whether it will do so in the next 10 years), refrain from providing a definitive yes / no answer. Instead, list down and elaborate the various factors that would affect its success. These would include:
1) USA's support for Japan: this would depend on the current president.
2) USA-China Competition: Some might argue that increased US focus on China would cause it to neglect Japan. However, some could also argue that the US would strengthen Japan as an ally against China.
3) North Korea's regime stability: an unstable North Korea would present security challenges that it is military cannot predict.
4) International acceptance: on whether the world would accept the current Japanese PM overturning the constitution to convert its self-defence forces into a legitimate armed force.

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Japan Grand Strategy
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A state’s grand strategy is a fundamental component in the implementation and fulfillment of the long-term objective amidst the geopolitical flux. Typically, a state grand strategy makes history more relevant, public resources more broadly contextualized, political science more solid, and economics more security-oriented (Kanehara, 2013). It encompasses a state’s plans and policies that harness military, political, diplomatic, as well as economic tools thus achieving a state’s national interest and objectives in the foreign policy (Bailey,2019; Kanehara, 2013). Also, a grand strategy helps policymakers define a state international goals, guide the alignment of means and ends, as well as enhance foreign policy decisions.
Usually, human beings form a state to provide their survival as well as that of their community, well-known as a state. Consequently, a community chooses capable leaders to lead them as well as safeguard their interests as a nation. The leaders are required therefore to ensure the survival of the members in the community and this expectation guarantees an individual’s voluntary obedience (Kanehara, 2013). This is possible by protecting the weak as well as ensuring the affluent interests are also taken care of (Kanehara, 2013). For this reason, it is unanimously agreed the state is the powerful human group in the community. Today, individuals, corporations, and nations operate in a global environment, but the sovereign state still plays a fundamental role. Although there is no human group like a superstate that incorporates the whole globe, an individual state must position itself to safeguard the national interests across the world.

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