A State of Crisis:North Korea and the Transformation of the Japanese State

Mason, Ra ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4950-9516 (2021) A State of Crisis:North Korea and the Transformation of the Japanese State. In: Crisis Narratives, Institutional Change, and the Transformation of the Japanese State. SUNY Press. ISBN 9781438486093

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The North Korea threat emerged as the main catalyst for Japanese defense and security reforms in the post-Cold War era. Yet, only in recent years has North Korea become deeply embedded into a broad discourse to revise Japan’s postwar state. In 2017, Prime Minister Abe called for general elections to “overcome Japan’s national crisis”. Pivotal to this sense of crisis were North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. Prior to elections, Japanese authorities had conducted unprecedented evacuation drills and issued emergency warnings preparing the public for missile strikes. In this study we show how political elites, scholars and the media in Japan have woven the North Korea threat discourse into a meta-narrative of state crisis that mandates “decisive intervention” revising the Japanese postwar state. As conservative elites pledged to “take Japan back” from the constraints of postwar pacifism, they employed the North Korea threat to delegitimize established institutions and rival liberal elites in steering atransition of the Japanese state. Specifically, we demonstrate how the use of North Korea related narratives of state crisis were instrumental in debates over constitutional reinterpretation, collective self-defense, the deployment of ballistic missile systems, and the build-up of preemptive strike capabilities.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: japan,international relations,discourse,security,abe,north korea
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Centre for Japanese Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 00:19
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/76588

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