Understanding Shinzo Abe's Vision for Japan: a Political Theory Approach
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Shinzo Abe won his second term as Japan’s Prime Minister in 2012, and with his landslide victory intends to fulfill his ambitious plan to strengthen Japanese standing domestically, regionally, and internationally. As part of this plan, Abe proposes to amend Article 9 of the national constitution to permit the establishment of a Collective Security Defense Force, effectively reversing Japan’s post World War II demilitarization and allowing it to extend military protections to its allies. This thesis provides an analysis of Abe’s actions in the context of three political theories (Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism). Of the three, Constructivism provides the best framework for understanding the motivations and aspirations behind the move to re-establish an international military presence.