This thesis seeks to demonstrate that Japan can best satisfy its international security interests by assuming a combatant role in current and future multinational military coalitions. The thesis labels this alternative military posture "martial internationalism." An understanding of how Japanese military policy serves its overall international security interests is a central concern of this thesis. Japan's international security interests are defined as: (1) shaping a stable international security environment, (2) supporting the United Nations, and (3) upholding the Japan-United States alliance. Factors considered in this argument include trends in Japan's postwar military policy evolution and recent military activities and developments. The nature of Japan's current domestic military policy debate is analyzed in terms of relevant political, social, military, and economic perspectives. Regional and international ramifications of a more militarily assertive Japan are explored. The thesis investigates the potential for martial internationalism to realize Japan's international security interests and to permit a greater Japanese military contribution to the ongoing War on Terrorism. Finally, the thesis offers specific recommendations for both Japan and the United States toward implementing this alternative strategic design.
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