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Professor Easley’s analysis of Japanese security policy was published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs.  Over the weekend, an Upper House election in Japan delivered a two-thirds supermajority to politicians who support revising the pacifist Article 9 of the Japanese constitution.  A more proactive and less pacifist Japan is bound to stoke concerns in Asia over Japanese “remilitarization,” even as it is welcomed by Japanese conservatives advocating greater defense “autonomy,” as well as by U.S. policymakers calling for Japan to be a more “active ally.”  Many books and articles have been written about the “normalization” of Japanese security policy, but this is the most up-to-date study that is both theoretically informed and historically detailed in evaluating competing explanations about Japan’s defense posture trajectory.

* Leif-Eric Easley, “How Proactive? How Pacifist? Charting Japan’s Evolving Defense Posture,” Australian Journal of International Affairs, July 2016,


About Experts

Leif-Eric Easley
Leif-Eric Easley

Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Leif-Eric EASLEY is a visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Easley is also an associate professor of International Studies at Ewha Womans University where he teaches international security and political economics. His research interests include contested national identities and changing levels of trust in the bilateral security relationships of Northeast Asia. He was the Northeast Asian History Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. He was also a visiting scholar at Yonsei University and the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute. He is actively involved in US-Asia dialogues (Track II diplomacy) with the Asan Institute and the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Easley received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.