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PacNet #42 – A string of worrisome incidents…

Japan is debating its place in the region and the world. Or so it seems. There is no mistaking the attempt by some Japanese officials and intellectuals – from Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro on down – to redefine Tokyo’s international role. This process is behind the prime minister’s controversial visits to Yasukuni Shrine, the historic deployment of Self-Defense Forces to aid coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the redefinition of the U.S.-Japan security alliance that has been laid out in various documents, most notably the “2+2 meetings” of the two allies’ leading foreign policy and defense officials.