Dr. Gui Yongtao Accepts the Interview of Asahi Shimbun about Japan’s Lifting of the Ban on Collective Self-defense Right

Date:2014-08-29

Dr. Gui Yongtao, Assistant President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IISS) and Associate Prof. of the School of International Studies (SIS), Peking University (PKU), recently accepted the interview of Asahi Shimbun about Japan’s lifting of the ban on collective self-defense right. The brief Chinese translation, original Japanese and website link of the interview are as described as follows.

The basic security issue for China in East Asia is how to deal with the US the military presence. Japan’s lifting of the ban on collective self-defense right will not cause any significant changes to the US’ military deployment in this region, so it will generate limited impact on China's security policy.

It is unnecessary to totally deny the changes in Japan's security policy. The problem is that the driving force for the changes is not Japan's real security needs, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s individual political agenda as a nationalist.

Japan’s lifting of the ban on collective self-defense right is not a critical issue for the Obama government which is trying to avoid external wars. The US is unwilling to have armed conflict with China, and China doesn’t want to solve the Diaoyu Islands issue by force either. 

However, Shinzo Abe is engaged in taking back the international status that Japan is losing but deserves in his view. 

Fearing of China's rise is indeed one of the factors that drove the changes of Japan's security policy. However, from China's view, Abe is actually utilizing the "China Threat Theory” to achieve the his own political goals.

For China, the long-term problem behind Japan’s lifting of the ban on collective self-defense right is how to face Japan which is committed to becoming a "normal country".

Japan's pacifist route is the political foundation of Sino-Japanese relations. This is not only because the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations was established on the premise of Japan’s reflecting on the history of invasion and taking the peaceful and friendly road, public opinion has already become a new factor deciding China's foreign policy as well. Chinese public are still very concerned about the revival of Japanese Jingoism and the danger of its military power. If Japan abandons pacifism, it will be difficult to convince the Chinese public to support the improvement of Sino-Japanese relations. ("Asahi Shimbun", July 10th, 2014)


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