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Open Lecture: Hegemony and the US-Japan Alliance
September 5, 2017 - 15:15
Whilst it has been widely recognised that the increasing importance of the US-Japan alliance is due to the emerging threat from China’s rise and North Korea, it is questionable whether these factors are the sole determinants of the endurance of the alliance. While the alliance was formed in consideration of the Cold War contexts, US alliances have been harnessed despite the discourse on US decline. Also. even though criticism of the alliance remains in the eyes of some scholars and activists due to Japan’s continuing dependence on the US and the burdens placed on local citizens in the prefectures hosting US bases in Japan, this puts into scrutiny the durability of the alliance in the post-Cold War period as well as US hegemony in the Asia-Pacific. This leads us to one major research puzzle: “why and how is that the U.S.-Japan alliance has managed to adapt its relevance and functions in the post-Cold War period despite critiques, both domestic and international, of its original military rationale”? To answer this puzzle, the nature of US hegemony and the U.S.-Japan alliance is explored by using the neo-Gramscian framework that consider not only material but also institutional and ideational factors.
Misato Matsuoka, is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Tokai University (Japan) as well as several other Japanese universities. She also works for New Diplomacy Initiative (ND), a think tank based in Tokyo that specializes in issues such as US-Japan diplomacy.