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Department 1

Political Science


Has Japan’s post-Second World War transformation into one of the most militarily capable nations been the result of 60 years of truly representative government? This research compares government-collected opinion polls to policy trends and actions, to determine whether the case of Japan’s remilitarization argues for or against the country’s democratic quality. For the purpose of this research, the size of Japan’s military and its legislative freedom to act as a more conventional military were considered the most pertinent militarization policies. Results indicated that those policies were consistently unjustified by measured opinion, suggesting elitist policy formation. However, other policy areas, such as Japan’s military budget, participation in UN peacekeeping, and national defense capability, have indicated a more pluralist model of policy formation. Therefore, results suggest that the country’s remilitarization has been the product of both elitist and pluralist governance.

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