War Memories and Japan’s Security Culture in the Context of the Security Bills: Survey Study

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The Japanese government led by Shinzo Abe passed the Security Bills in 2015. The passage of these bills drastically changed Japan’s passive stance in the security arena. Utilizing the context surrounding the Security Bills in Japan, the present research examines Japanese citizens’ attitudes and behavior toward security issues. In addressing this matter, this study focuses on the roles of war memories in Japanese society. Recognizing that war memories constitute an essential element of Japanese society in the post-World War II era, I present two hypotheses. First, one can expect that those who are deeply immersed in war memories tend to be opposed to the Security Bills. Second, it is possible to hypothesize that those who are extensively exposed to war memories tend to discuss security issues more actively. To test these hypotheses, I conduct an original survey in Japan that is specifically tailored for this study. A statistical analysis relying on the survey data verifies the second hypothesis although it fails to support the first one. By dissecting the processes through which war memories shape Japanese citizens’ attitudes and behavior in the security arena, this study significantly advances our understanding of Japan’s security culture. Findings from the statistical analysis generate critical implications that are essential in understanding the current discourse over security issues in Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalEast Asia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Japan
  • Security Culture
  • The Security Bills
  • War memories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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