Japan was once a feared and aggressive military power that invaded its neighbors and provoked America’s entrance into World War II. But no longer, Sheila Smith explains in this history of Japan’s largely submissive stance, postwar. Under pressure from the United States, Japan adopted a constitution that outlawed waging war. Now, decades of peaceful cooperation later, Japan remains skeptical of military force and has refused to build a nuclear arsenal in response to North Korean provocations. Faced with a more belligerent China, however, Japan’s passive pose is under increasing pressure.
About the Author
Sheila A. Smith is Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China. She teaches at Georgetown University.