Drawing on the work of Karl W. Deutsch, this book argues that the United States and Japan have formed their own security community, based on a sense of “collective identity.” In so doing, it provides a new theoretical outlook on co- operation between the United States and Japan, offering a fresh understanding of their bilateral relationship as one that goes beyond a mere military alliance or free trade partnership.
Taking an empirical approach, Sakai analyzes three key case studies: the Persian Gulf War of 1990–1, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. He examines how the United States and Japan interacted with one another in their discourses and behaviors in these three instances and thus demonstrates the existence of a collective identity between the two nations.
2. Theory and Methodology
3. Emerging Collective Identity: The Persian Gulf War (1990–1991)
4. Nurturing Collective Identity: The September 11 Terrorist Attacks (2001)
5. Cementing Collective Identity: The Tohoku Earthquake (2011)
6. Conclusion: New Understanding on the U.S.-Japan Relationship
Asia’s dynamic economic growth during the past three decades has elevated the region’s significance in the global economy. The growing American economic linkage with the region has also elevated the region’s significance in U.S. foreign policy, as typified by President Obama’s "Rebalance to Asia" policy. While U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist outlook cast some doubt about the continuing U.S. engagement with the region, Asia’s growth has not only been an economic blessing, but also a potential destabilizing factor in regional security. The continuing isolation of North Korea and its development of weapons of mass destruction, China’s rapid military modernization and growing maritime ambitions, uncertainties about U.S. security commitment to the region, and responses of the major powers (like Japan, India, and Russia) have dynamically interacted to shape the transformation of regional security.
At the same time, economic growth has affected domestic socio-political balance in each country, and the growing economic linkages have also boosted transnational interactions between both legitimate and illegitimate societal actors; business alliances, human rights groups, environmentalist networks, and transnational criminals are some examples. These changes in governance in the region have offered a very important subject to study.
This series aims to cut across the arbitrary sub-regional focus of much of Asian Studies and to explicitly incorporate the role of the United States in the region. In order to capture the dynamic economic, political, social, and cultural transformation of the region, a broader geographical scope must be studied together in multi- and inter-disciplinary fashion. Topics covered will include international relations, comparative politics, history, popular culture, media, crime, urbanization and economic integration.