Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian Studies

Reader 1

Arthur Rosenbaum

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© 2015 Stephen C. Spencer


This piece tries to determine whether or not Japan’s movement towards rearmament is indicative of a renewed militaristic sentiment or driven by the necessity of improving its defense in view of mounting threats from its age-old enemy, China. The goal of this work is to create a framework using both international events and domestic responses in which to ascertain whether or not the reformation of Article 9 is, in of itself, a reemergence of pre-war bushido/nationalist sentiment or a response to both outside and inside influences necessitating the need for a “normalized” state.

The work focuses on three distinct time periods – early 2000s, latter 2000s, and the 2010s – in which to highlight the initial development, progression, and foreseeable resolution to the Article 9 debate. These stages emphasize several elements persistent in Japan’s quest for a more normalized state, including: the hostile external environment created by the rise of foreign assertiveness, and internal domestic pressures (which to some extent are driven by external pressures) along with its own desire to seek a more normalized position in the international community as well as to gain an enhanced sense of national pride. Additionally a brief synopsis of both the foreign and domestic entities which have contributed to the Japanese reformation movement has been included for better foundational understanding of the question at hand.

In general, results suggested that, though there is some merit towards a reemergence of pre-WWII nationalistic sentiment (especially in the case of the Net Uyoku), the reformation of Article 9 is primarily driven in response to growing tensions – both within East Asia as well as world-wide – as well as a need to assert some semblance of nationalistic identity (an area seriously lacking in Japanese society). Results further implicate that, though the process of reforming Article 9 and thereby revising Japan’s anti-war policy may not be immediate, movement within the Japanese state towards constitutional reformation is indeed on the rise – rearmament being the primary target of said reforms.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.