1st Edition

Japan and the IISS Connecting Western and Japanese Strategic Thought from the Cold War to the War on Ukraine

Edited By Robert Ward, Yuka Koshino, Matthieu Lebreton Copyright 2023

    Strategic links between Japan and Europe during the Cold War were limited. During this period the IISS helped bridge the gap between the two, exposing its membership base to the international affairs of Asia and Japan and providing Japanese scholars, strategists and diplomats with a platform from which to amplify their voices in the West. Analyses by these experts often appeared in IISS publications, but the Institute also gained key insights through its well-established conferences and lecture series. These initiatives illuminated Japanese strategic thinking and perspectives on contemporary critical issues in Japan’s and Asia’s foreign, security and defence policy.

    This Adelphi book, through its collection of earlier analysis, helps the reader to understand the evolution of Japanese strategic thought from the 1960s until today, and shines a light on the continuities and changes in this thinking. New, original analysis of the material seeks to identify areas where such thinking was prescient and remains relevant to the contemporary strategic environment, and other areas where predictions failed or assumptions were proved wrong. These new essays were also informed by interviews of Japanese senior scholars and diplomats who spent time with the IISS. This book seeks to frame, educate and guide strategic thinking on the most pressing issues of today, both in and outside Japan and Asia, and will be of great interest to analysts, practitioners and students of international affairs.

    Editors’ Note



    Map: East Asia


    Sir John Chipman KCMG


    Robert Ward

    Chapter One: Japan’s bridging role between Asia and the West

    Hosoya Yuichi

    Chapter Two: The role of the IISS in bridging Japanese and Western strategic thinking

    Yuka Koshino and Matthieu Lebreton


    Timeline of events (1945–1960s)

    Chapter Three: The Japanese attitude towards China

    Ogata Sadako

    Chapter Four: American–Japanese relations

    Matsumoto Shigeharu

    Chapter Five: The Asian balance of power: a comparison with European precedents

    Royama Michio

    Chapter Six: The non-proliferation treaty and Japan

    Imai Ryukichi


    Timeline of events

    Chapter Seven: Japan’s security in a multipolar world

    Saeki Kiichi

    Chapter Eight: Japan’s non-nuclear policy

    Kishida Junnosuke

    Chapter Nine: Options for Japan’s foreign policy

    Kosaka Masataka

    Chapter Ten: The energy problem and alliance systems: Japan

    Momoi Makoto

    Chapter Eleven: Naval competition and security in East Asia

    Uchida Kazutomi


    Timeline of events

    Chapter Twelve: The changing security circumstances in the 1980s

    Satoh Yukio

    Chapter Thirteen The 1984 Alastair Buchan Memorial Lecture

    Nakasone Yasuhiro

    Chapter Fourteen: Japanese security policy: address by Mr Tadashi Kuranari, foreign minister of Japan, 8 September 1986 (excerpts)

    Kuranari Tadashi

    Chapter Fifteen: East Asia, the Pacific and the West: strategic trends and implications: part II

    Kosaka Masataka

    Chapter Sixteen: The security of north-east Asia: part I

    Nishihara Masashi

    Chapter Seventeen: Prospects for security co-operation between East Asia and the West

    Okawara Yoshio


    Timeline of events

    Chapter Eighteen: Japan’s role in international affairs

    Inoguchi Takashi

    Chapter Nineteen: What role for Europe in Asian affairs?

    Takahashi Fumiaki

    Chapter Twenty: Rethinking Japan–US relations: security issues

    Sasae Kenichiro

    Chapter Twenty-One: Identities and security in East Asia

    Bessho Koro


    Timeline of events

    Chapter Twenty-Two: China debates missile defence

    Urayama Kori

    Chapter Twenty-Three: Great-power relations in Asia: a Japanese perspective

    Okamoto Yukio

    Chapter Twenty-Four: The 13th IISS Asia Security Summit – the Shangri-La Dialogue: keynote address

    Abe Shinzo

    Chapter Twenty-Five: ‘We are all small countries now’: IISS 2019 Alastair Buchan Lecture

    Funabashi Yoichi

    Chapter Twenty-Six The 19th Regional Security Summit – the Shangri-La Dialogue: keynote address

    Kishida Fumio



    Robert Ward is the IISS Japan Chair and leads the Institute’s Geo-economics and Strategy research programme, which focuses on a range of issues including global economic governance, rules and standards setting, and how economic coercion impacts policy at a national and corporate level.

    Yuka Koshino is a Research Fellow for Security and Technology Policy at the IISS where she carries out independent research on the impact of emerging technologies on security. Her research contributes both to the Defence and Military Analysis Programme and the Japan Chair Programme.

    Matthieu Lebreton was a Research Assistant for the Japan Chair Programme at the IISS between January 2022 and June 2023.

    ‘This notable book collects and considers important articles and speeches on strategic questions by Japanese prime ministers, diplomats, journalists and scholars. It serves as a historical record of Japan’s evolving strategic thought over the past six decades. It will be of great interest to anyone interested in Japan’s transition since 1945 into a peaceful nation and then an international power as the sole Asian member of the G7; as well as Tokyo’s more recent geopolitical adaptations in response to China’s rise as an economic and military challenge.’

    Professor Nishihara Masashi, former President, Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS) and former President, National Defense Academy

    ‘This authoritative work is a must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of Japanese strategic thought and how Japan sees itself in the world. The careful curation of articles from each era, alongside excellent introductory chapters, results in an engaging and insightful work. With the signing of the Hiroshima Accord, the work of the IISS and the deep understanding and knowledge codified in this work have never been more vital.’

    Michael Rivera King, Chief Executive, The Japan Society