This book has examined the Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF)’s quest for legitimacy, specifically the challenges of establishing a good reputation at home and abroad while proving its relevance in Japan and overseas. It did so by seeking answers to three questions: How was the GSDF able to emerge as the post-war successor of the Imperial Japanese Army despite Japan’s war-renouncing and anti-militarist constitution? How was the GSDF, despite the public’s great initial skepticism and even hostility that greeted its creation, able to build both domestic and international legitimacy? Finally, how has the GSDF’s mission and organization evolved over the decades since its creation in response to changes in the international and domestic environments in ways that demonstrate its relevance? These questions were addressed by focusing on three different issues that have shaped the GSDF’s development: civilian control, disaster response, and public opinion.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for International Policy StudiesTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Political ScienceNorwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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