Japan-related research in the R.O.C includes various fields such as culture, literature, history, politics, and economics. Among all fields Strategy is a rather uncommon one, its level usually concerns the military and diplomatic strategies of Japan. Scopes of such researches mostly involves the US-Japan Alliance and the “Comprehensive national security Strategy”, and seldom touches Japan’s grand strategy as well as the nation’s “National Defense Program Outline”. On the other hand, the existence of a Japanese grand strategy design that leads the nations national interest and plan her security is under debate.
This dissertation , A Study of Japan''s Grand Strategy in 21st Century: Understanding and Critique of National Defense Program Guidelines (2012), aims to understand, explain and provide a critique to the thinking, Planning, and moves of the“ Japanese Renaissance” in the 21st century, including discourses on agendas such as the duality of Japanese culture, Japanese political party leadership, US-Japanese Alliance, National power and action, Sino-Japan relation, and the Senkaku Islands dispute.
This dissertation applies the strategic studies approach, since the field of grand strategy studies is wide as well as comprehensive and in-depth, it would take an integration to reach a cut discourse. To do so, the dissertation will apply the strategic
discourse of the late scholar Niu Shien-Chong. By applying the organic combination of 4 orientations-History, science, art, philosophy, citing Epistemology theories such as Wilhelm Dilthey’s Hermeneutics, Positivism of International relations, and Jurgen Habermas’ Critical theory and their methodological core: the Aufheben of understanding, explaining, Criticizing as an approach to break the boundaries of orientation as to provide a reference for a new methodology of Strategic Studies.
From the announcing of Japan’s first “National Defense Program Guideline” to the announcing of the first “Comprehensive national security Strategy”and “Middle-term Defense Plan ” , the strength of the Japanese Self-Defense Force, including the Japanese Coast Guards, is now considered among the best in the world and in Asia. On the other hand, being the 3rd largest economy, Japan’s economic strength is one that must be reckoned with. Continuing her Official Development Assistance programs assisted by her strategic and money diplomacy, trying to buy her way to a seat in the Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, a wish she long desired, Japan possess abundant both soft and hard power, as well as an important roll in the international community.
Shinzo Abe will manage to amend the Japanese constitution, and the occasion of exercising her right of collective self-defense. But issues such as the uncertainty of the economy revival, the opposition parties boycott, Sino-Japanese tensions and disputes as well as US-Japanese disagreements, can be the fracturing elements of Japan’s 21th century Grand strategy: A risky hardline expansion strategy under the impartial client relation with the US, with which alongside the nation of Japan resist China, a choice scheduled to realize by 2020A.D, her third founding.