Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Tom Le

Reader 2

Hans Rindisbacher

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Rights Information

© 2016 Yuki Numata


This study examines why Japan and Switzerland have chosen to keep the vocabulary of Article 9 and neutrality, respectively, and to reinterpret their definitions to suit their needs (policy reinterpretation), instead of simply abandoning the original policy and replacing it with a new, more suitably worded policy that clarifies the changing policy position of the government (policy abandonment). By analyzing the legal history of the overseas capabilities of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Swiss Armed Forces, as well as the actions and influences of the government, political parties, and the public, this study finds the following trends. First, the government tends to refrain from policy abandonment either due to perceived public opposition or benefits in international negotiations. Second, party resistance is not an significantly influential factor in the choice of policy abandonment over policy reinterpretation. Finally, public opinion is influential, but self-contradictory; often supporting the change in policy (increased overseas capabilities of armed forces) but opposing the concept of policy abandonment due to high attachment to the respective policies of Article 9 and neutrality.