The Militarists: The Rise of Japanese Militarism Since WW II
By Edwin P. Hoyt
Donald I. Fine, 1985, 256 pp
Beyond War: Japan's Concept of Comprehensive National Security
By Robert W. Barnett
Pergamon-Brassey's, 1984, 155 pp
Robert Barnett's short volume contains 54 selected conversations with American, Japanese and Southeast Asian officials and scholars on the Japanese concept of "comprehensive security"-the notion that Japan can contribute to mutual security in ways other than an arms buildup. One of the basic issues, confronted directly by Hoyt and indirectly by Barnett, is whether there is likely to be a revival of Japanese militarism. On one side, Commander James Auer of the U.S. Defense Department points out in the Barnett volume that the American military presence in Japan has obviated the need for Japan to build up its armed forces so much as to thrust the military extremists close to power. Withdrawal of the United States, not greater Japanese burden-sharing, Auer argues, might cause a swing to the right. In contrast, Hoyt argues that Japanese militarism is on the rise and encouraged by U.S. pressure on Japan to rearm. Although full of exaggerations, Hoyt's book does contain some scenarios that need to be taken seriously and avoided. The most alarming: a serious economic recession in the 1990s causes the U.S. to impose paralyzing penalties on Japanese exports and the result is a serious depression in Japan. This leads to the breakup of the U.S.-Japanese alliance, the rearmament of Japan, and the conclusion of a Chinese-Japanese Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.