Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy

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296 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781647120634 ()

296 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781647120641 ()

ISBN: 9781647120658

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March 2021
Sales Rights: World


Table of Contents

Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy
From the Cold War to the Abe Era
Brad Williams
Incisive insights into the distinctive nature of Japanese foreign intelligence and grand strategy, its underlying norms, and how they have changed over time

Japanese foreign intelligence is an outlier in many ways. Unlike many states, Japan does not possess a centralized foreign intelligence agency that dispatches agents abroad to engage in espionage. Japan is also notable for civilian control over key capabilities in human and signals intelligence. Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy probes the unique makeup of Japan's foreign intelligence institutions, practices, and capabilities across the economic, political, and military domains and shows how they have changed over time.

Brad Williams begins by exploring how Japan's experiences of the Second World War and its new role as a major US ally influenced its adoption of bilateralism, developmentalism, technonationalism, and antimilitarism as key norms. As a result, Japanese intelligence-gathering resources centered primarily around improving its position in the global economy throughout the Cold War. Williams then brings his analysis up to the Abe Era, examining how shifts in the international, regional, and domestic policy environments in the twenty-first century have caused a gradual reassessment of national security strategy under former prime minister Shinzo Abe. As Japan reevaluates its old norms in light of regional security challenges, the book concludes by detailing how the country is beginning to rethink the size, shape, and purpose of its intelligence community.

Anyone interested in Japanese intelligence, security, or international relations will welcome this important contribution to our understanding of the country's intelligence capabilities and strategy.
Brad Williams is an associate professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong. He has studied, taught, and conducted research in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Taiwan, and the United States. He is the author of Resolving the Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute: Hokkaido-Sakhalin Relations and has also coedited and translated a number of volumes, including Japan in Decline: Fact or Fiction?
"This book is one of the best texts written in English to understand a history of Japanese foreign intelligence after World War II. Dr. Williams sheds light on Japan's dark intelligence world by using numerous interviews and sources, and reveals several factors which have made the present Japanese intelligence community."—Ken Kotani, professor, Nihon University, Japan

"Williams's description of Japan's latest intelligence and security reforms provides excellent background and analysis both of continuing challenges Japan faces and how it has addressed past gaps and failures."—Andrew L. Oros, author of Japan's Security Renaissance, Washington College

"Brad Williams has produced a work of essential interest to scholars and students in the fields of IR and Japanese security studies. The volume is highly distinguished in providing a comprehensive and sharp analysis of Japan's evolving intelligence systems, and using this to point the way in larger questions of understanding Japan's shift in grand strategy from the Yoshida Doctrine to the new 'Abe Doctrine'."—Christopher Hughes, Professor of International Politics & Japanese Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS), University of Warwick

"I recommend this book as a solid work for those interested in the evolving intelligence community of the world's third economic power."—The Cipher Brief

"An impressive and seminal work of meticulous research and outstanding scholarship, "Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy: From the Cold War to the Abe Era" will be of particular interest to students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of Japanese intelligence, security, or international relations."—Midwest Book Review

"Williams provides English-language readers with one of the best books on the evolution of Japan's intelligence community. This book is, therefore, an important piece of the puzzle for explaining not just Japan's past security behavior, but also its likely future."—H-Diplo

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations



List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Normalizing Japan's Foreign Intelligence System

1. Japanese Grand Strategy and Embedded Norms: From the Yoshida Doctrine to an Abe Doctrine

2. US Covert Action in Japan: Nurturing a Bilateralism-Adhering Junior Ally

3. Beneath the Umbrella: Bilateralism and Japanese Cold War Foreign Intelligence

4. Technology Quest: The Foreign Economic Intelligence System of a Developmental State

5. Japan's Foreign Intelligence System: The Impacts of Antimilitarism and Sectionalism

6. Reinstitutionalizing Grand Strategy: Japan's Evolving Foreign Intelligence System

Conclusion: Eschewing Unorthodoxy in International Intelligence



About the Author