In this episode I speak with Yasuyuki Yoshida, Professor of International Law at Takaoka University in Toyama Japan, and former Captain(N) in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force. We discuss Japan’s posture on various aspects of the jus ad bellum regime, and whether or how its position may have changed as a result of the “reinterpretation” of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan. Article 9 famously renounces the threat or use of force, and has long been understood to prohibit any collective self-defense or use of force authorized by the UN Security Council, but in 2014 the government purported to “reinterpret” the provision to relax its constraints. We discuss how the new policy relates to the jus ad bellum, and what Japan’s position is on a number of the more controversial elements of the doctrine of self-defense. The discussion includes surprising insights on how Japan would view a Chinese incursion on the Senkaku Islands, whether Japan would help defend Taiwan, and whether the US could invoke collective self-defense of Japan for preemptive strikes on North Korea. Another fascinating conversation!
– Cabinet Decision on Development of Seamless Security Legislation to Ensure Japan’s Survival and Protect its People, July 1, 2014.
– Sheila Smith, Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power (2019).