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Are India and Japan

Potential Members of the

3 Great Power Club?
H. D. P. Envall and /an Hall

Reader's Guide
This chapter considers whether India andJapan could join the United States and
China as "great powers." It argues that though both India and Japan may claim
such status in the future, it is unclear whether either state actually aspires to this
status and that, for the time being, both are some way from acquiring it. Both
states face major domestic challenges, both have complex relationships with the
United States and China, and both have political elites who are conflicted about
the best direction for their foreign and security policies.

India and Japan face some common strategic challenges-ab ove all, they both
need to manage the rise of China-but they do so with different sets of capabilities
and worldviews. While many realists argue that wealthy and rising powers gener-
ally seek greater political and military power in international relations, the cases
of India and Japan illustrate that liberal and constructivist arguments about the
ways in which international law and institutions, on one hand, and perceptions
and ideas, on the other hand, also shape the security dynamics of the Asia Pacific.
India's economy has grown since the end of the Cold War, and it has acquired
nuclear weapons, but it remains a developing country. It is home to a third of
the world's poorest people, it is located in a difficult immediate geographical
neighborhood, and it faces many internal security challenges. Japan, by contrast,
is a high-income country with an advanced economy, but one that has mostly
stagnated for two decades. Its population is getting older, as fewer children are
born to replace the aged, and the aged live longer.Japan has a well-equipped, pro-
fessional military, but there remain strict limits on what it can spend on defense
and on what it can do with its troops. And though some of India's elite aspire to
the "great power club," Japan's elite is more ambivalent.
This chapter assesses the relative capabilities of India and Japan and the chang-
64 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 65

Table 3.1 India and Japan: Key Facts 1947 to 1964, under its first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India es-
Characteristic India Japan poused "nonalignment," aiming to maintain good relations with both East and
west, and the developing world, but making no alliances. For Nehru, interna-
Official languages Hindi, English Japanese tional security was best achieved by adhering to principles of "peaceful coexis-
Population 1.26 billion (2014) 127.1 million (2014) tence" -respecting the sovereignty and independence of all states, not interfer-
Land area 3.3 million square kilometers 378,000 square kilometers ing in their internal affairs, and refraining from aggression. These convictions
GDP $2,049.5 billion (2014) $4,616.3 billion (2014) were shaken, however, by China's defeat of India in a border war in 1962 and a
Principal export United States (13.3%), United United States (18.6%), China, series of conflicts with Pakistan.
destinations Arab Emirates, Hong Kong South Korea After Nehru's death in 1964, India's foreign and security policy moved toward
Principal import China, Saudi Arabia, United China, United States, Australia what is known as "militant Nehruvianism." India sought what it called "strategic
sources Arab Emirates autonomy," but downplayed its earlier idealism. 2 India modernized its military,
Number of military 2,749,700 (2013) 259,800 (2013) fought and won two wars against Pakistan (in 1965 and 1971), and concluded a
personnel• Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Union of Soviet Socialist Repub-
•world Bank, Armed forces Personnel, Total (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015), http:/ /data
lics (USSR), which gave it access to Soviet markets and military hardware. It also /MS.MIL.TOTL.P1. initiated a program to build a nuclear bomb, in response to China's test of a bomb
Source: Unless otherwise specified above, data are from the Australian Department of foreign Af- in 1964. In 1974, it tested a nuclear device, but did not move to develop or deploy
fairs and Trade, japan Country fact Sheet (Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2014), http://dfat nuclear weapons .; and Australian Department of foreign Affairs and The collapse of the USSR in late 1991 began the third phase of Indian for-
Trade, India Country fact Sheet (Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2014),
eign and security policy. Plunged into economic crisis by the dramatic rise in
/trade/ resources/Documents/ inia. pdf.
oil prices caused by the 1991 Gulf War, India's government embarked on some
liberalization of its heavily protected economy to try to stimulate growth, and
ing worldviews of their policymaking elites who are involved with foreign and began to build new relationships that might give it access to badly needed capi-
security policy. It argues that India's rise is likely to be slower and more difficult tal. It launched a "Look East" policy, trying to improve relations with East Asian
than some enthusiasts might believe and that Japan, with its complicated history states, including]apan and the ASEAN countries. 3 But India's difficult relationship
in the Asia-Pacific, remains conflicted about the kind of power it wishes to be. It with Pakistan, which continued to sponsor insurgency in the disputed region of
argues that India's ability to shape regional order is inhibited by inherited, but Kashmir, persisted, and Beijing's inexorable rise caused concern to New Delhi.
still influential, attitudes in New Delhi that are skeptical about alliances, and by India's elite realized that its economy, though improving, might take decades to
China's ability to dissuade New Delhi from courses of action that might not be catch up with China's, that its military was in desperate need of modernization,
in Beijing's interests. It argues that Japan's influence will depend on whether or and that, unlike other regional states, like Australia or Japan, it was not protected
how it transitions from its current role as a constrained major power, to becom- by great power security guarantees.
ing either a more modest middle power or a fully independent strategic power To give India breathing space to solve these problems, as well as to assert its
(table 3.1). standing as a major power, its leaders ordered the testing of five further nuclear
devices in 1998, declared India a fully fledged nuclear power, and moved to de-
velop and deploy nuclear warheads and delivery systems (principally aircraft,
eventually to be replaced by nuclear-capable missiles launched from land and
When India became independent in 1947, it had a population of about 350 million sea). This move was widely condemned by other states, which were angry about
and a gross domestic product (GDP) of about $222 billion. 1 Sixty-seven years later, the impact of India's move on the nuclear nonproliferation program, and was
in 2014, India's population was over 1.2 billion and its GDP was estimated at about swiftly followed by six Pakistani tests and the announcement that Pakistan was
$2.049 trillion. But with a huge population, the bulk of which is employed in ag- now also a nuclear power.
riculture, in global terms India remains poor, with a limited capacity to maintain In time, the tests stimulated a process of diplomatic reengagement between
military forces with a regional, let alone global, reach. India and the United States, which had long been estranged from each other,
India's leaders have tried coping with its weaknesses in different ways. From but whose elites began to perceive that better relations might be in their mutual
66 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 67

Table 3.2 India: Key Dates them, if necessary by force-then India is far from becoming one. India's economy
Date Event is growing, but remains small in comparison with those of other major powers,
especially in per capita terms.B The World Bank ranked India's GDP tenth in the
1947 Date of independence
world in 2012, at $1.841 trillion, but that makes its economy only about 11 per-
1947-48 First Indo-Pakistani War cent of the size of the United States' or 22 percent ofChina's. 14 India's economy is
April1965 and September 1965 Second Indo-Pakistani War
roughly the size of Canada's, but supports more than thirty times the population.
December,3-16,1971 Third Indo-Pakistani War
About a third of India's people live at or below the poverty line, and rural literacy
1974 First nuclear test rates, especially among women, remain poor by international standards.
1998 First nuclear weapons test India's linkages with global markets are thin; it is very dependent on imported
oil and natural gas, especially from the Middle East, though its high-technology
and services sectors are well-connected into Western economies. The bulk of
interest.4 This process intensified after the election of US president George W. India's GDP growth over the past twenty-five years has come from growing do-
Bush in 2001. Bush saw India as a "natural ally" (in the words of India's former mestic demand for domestically produced goods and services.IS This is a source
prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee),S a democratic state with values shared by of both strength and weakness-India was arguably able to weather the global
Americans, and a partner in managing China. In 2005 the United States and India financial crisis of 2008-9 better than China because it was less exposed to global
concluded a deal that acknowledged India's possession of nuclear weapons and market instability; but at the same time, its economy would likely grow faster if
lifted restrictions on its access to civilian nuclear technology. 6 it had more access to foreign capital and know-how.
In the mid-2000s, however, India's economic growth slowed, and some in In- India has a huge number of military personnel-the third-largest globally, at
dia's elite began to express doubts about the direction of its policies, stimulating 1.3 million. The army claims the biggest chunk of the defense budget, arguably
a wider debate about India's role and aspirations in the world. Some regretted starving the air force and navy of resources, and the quality of the equipment of
the close ties forged with the United States and argued for a return to "nonalign- all services is variable. Much of the hardware is aging; the bulk of India's tanks
ment" or just "militant Nehruvianism." Others sought a new, more "realist" for- date from the 1970s, while some of its fighter aircraft were supplied in the 1960s.
eign policy that would entail a push for great power status and capabilities, as well It has roughly 80 to 100 nuclear warheads and some systems to deliver them-at
as formal or informal alliances with the United States and some regional powers, present, a mix of aircraft and short- to medium-range missiles-but its warhead
including Japan, to balance China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. 7 designs are the least-tested of any nuclear power and it is far from realizing the
The dominant group worried about India's ability to become a great power, and delivery systems to which it aspires. India has a weak indigenous defense indus-
recommended "hedging," not wanting to confront China directly and not want- try-with some pockets of real excellence, as in ballistic missiles-that struggles
ing to tie India's fortunes to a declining United States (table 3.2). 8 to produce good systems at a reasonable price. For these reasons, it has long
been the biggest importer of military hardware in the world, acquiring billions
of dollars of weapons from traditional suppliers, like Russia and France, and also
Great Power India?
from new ones, like Israel and the United States. But its notoriously slow-and
India's political elite has long debated its actual and preferred status in world pol- sometimes corrupt-defense procurement system commonly delays the purchase
itics.9 Nehru and his followers wanted India to be acknowledged as a great power, of new equipment for years and sometimes decades. 16
but of a new kind: a standard-bearer for more peaceful and just international India is also beset with pressing, complex internal and external security chal-
relations-a "normative power" rather than a conventional one. 10 This idea of lenges. It has faced multiple insurgencies since 1947. These include the ongoing
Indian "exceptionalism" persists today, even when modified by those who want conflict with separatists in Kashmir; clashes with various ethnic groups, like the
India to be strong militarily as well as morally. 11 At the other end of the spectrum, Mizos in India's Northeast, who fought a twenty-year conflict with government
there are those who want India to cast off this moralistic baggage and become a forces from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s; and more recent troubles with the
conventional, realist great power, pursuing only its national interestsY Maoist guerillas known as the Naxalites, whose violence affected fully one-third of
These elite debates depend on differing views-and differing measures-ofin- eastern India in the mid-2000s. While these conflicts have diminished in scale in the
dia's power and potential. If we take Martin Wight's realist definition of a great past decade, they continue to sap the resources of the state and undermine its legit-
power-a power that has global interests and the capacity to promote and defend imacy, especially where the actions of security forces are or have been repressive.
68 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 69

The instability of India's immediate geographical neighborhood, and long- results: India got the "breathing space" it needed to concentrate on economic
running disputes with China and Pakistan over their respective borders, the development and on modernizing its conventional military; Pakistan succeeded
treatment of minorities, and the management of resources, including water, also in balancing India's conventional superiority and arguably in reducing the like-
undermine India's ability to project power and influence beyond its bordersY lihood of another decisive defeat at the hands of its military.
Political crises and conflict in Burma/Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as Second, India's rise has brought about the forging of a "strategic partnership"
illegal immigration from Bangladesh, compound these problems, tying up India's with the United States, changing the dynamics not just of their relationship but
stretched bureaucracy and security forces and distracting them from other issues. also of American and Indian relations with Beijing. India and the United States are
Finally, India lacks the political and diplomatic apparatus of even a middling very far from being fully fledged allies, but they now cooperate in ways that were
state, let alone that of a great power. Foreign and security policymaking in India inconceivable before 1998-in intelligence sharing, for example, and counterter-
is concentrated in the hands of a small group-the prime minister and a few key rorism. In turn, this new partnership has helped American-aligned states in the
ministers and advisers, with uniformed officers kept well away from the policy- region to improve their relations with New Delhi, not least Australia and Japan,
making process for fear of military interference in civilian decision making. India which have both moved to improve security cooperation and open economic
continues to have one of the smallest diplomatic services of any major state-it opportunities in India. And although neither India nor the United States wants
has roughly the same number of foreign service officers as Singapore-and one to try to "contain" China, both see value in coordinating their hedging strategies
of the weakest academic and think tank sectors providing advice from outside against the risk of more assertive (or even outright aggressive) Chinese policies
government. The few diplomats India has are high quality, but they are widely that might emerge in the near future.
dispersed across the Ministry of External Affairs and its overseas missions, and Third, India's rise is changing the nature and intensity of its relations with
thus are overburdened. 18 states across the Asia-Pacific, from West Asia to the Southwest Pacific. As they
develop their economies, China and India are becoming more dependent on key
commodities, above all oil and natural gas; on the security of the transit routes;
The Rise of India and the Regional Security Order
and on the stability of their suppliers. Chinese and Indian attention is thus in-
For the most part, and in contrast to China, India's rise has been perceived with creasingly focused on the sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean-and
equanimity and some enthusiasm in the wider Asia-Pacific region. In South Asia on their control. 21
and in Beijing, however, the response has been more mixed. Pakistan, above all, Both China and India are increasingly bound to the Middle Eastern states; In-
worries that a stronger India threatens its interests and even perhaps its integ- dia is particularly dependent on Iranian crude oil. This growing dependence is
rity. Beijing protested angrily about India's nuclear tests in 1998 and refuses to beginning to have effects on both the security order in the Middle East and the
acknowledge New Delhi's claim to a permanent seat on the United Nations Se- wider Asia-Pacific, effects that will become more pronounced as the United States
curity Council. It has also made little effort to resolve its long-standing territo- moves to energy independence. As China and India become ever more involved
rial dispute with India. There are also periodic tensions with Bangladesh and Sri in the dynamics of the Middle East, driven by their interests in its hydrocarbon
Lanka, as well as fears in the small states of the region-Bhutan, the Maldives, resources, they will reshape its security order. Arguably, they already have; Chi-
and Nepal-that India can be overbearing and interfering. But these concerns are nese support has helped to stymie Western efforts to aid Syria's rebels in its civil
balanced by the hope that India's economic growth will have spillover effects and war, while Indian connections to Iran have led to exceptions being made to US
stimulate greater regional integration. and UN sanctions on Tehran concerning its oil exports.
From a broad perspective, one can see that India's rise has affected the region's India's impact on the regional security order has been diminished, however,
security order in three ways. First, its 1998 nuclear test decisively shifted the by its elites' ingrained attitudes concerning the West, alliances, and multilat-
strategic balance in Asia, even if commentators argue about India's capacity to eralism. India's elites have long been suspicious of Western motives, scarred
properly deter China. 19 Introducing nuclear weapons into South Asia dramatically by their experience of European imperialism. They remain wary, especially of
raised the stakes of conflict with Pakistan and China, as well as providing an op- American intentions in the region and therefore also of American initiatives.
portunity for a partial rapprochement with the United States. Debate continues Nehru's intellectual legacy makes them cautious about realist tools like military
to rage about the effectiveness of the "deterrent postures" ofboth countries and alliances-redolent, as they are, of the kind of power politics he disdained-along
about whether they have increased or undermined the stability of the India- with multilateralism, except when it is under United Nations auspices or driven
Pakistan relationship. 20 What is clear, however, is that the tests had significant by developing countries. India has now several "strategic partnerships" with
7121 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 71

Asian states-not least with Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam-as well in return for the provision of bases for US military forces in Japan. In the ideolog-
as a partnership, of sorts, with China. And India is a member of several important ical and strategic confrontation of the Cold War, Japan had become an important
regional institutions, including the East Asia Summit. But India remains reluctant but junior ally of the United States within the San Francisco alliance system. 26
to make the kinds of binding commitments inherent in alliances or supranational This unequal relationship required Japan to reassess its strategic priorities.
institutions, and it remains unclear whether these strategic partnerships, which The country now focused on economic development while leaving its security to
vary dramatically in content and momentum, will provide the kind of returns the United States. This policy was encouraged by the United States, but political
that India seeks in terms of economic investment, trade, and security. leaders like former prime minister Yoshida Shigeru also resisted demands for the
Like India, Japan may have claims to great power status in the future. But as country to quickly rebuild its defense capabilities. Indeed, Yoshida and his suc-
is discussed in the next section, it is unclear whether Japan aspires to this status cessors were so successful in these endeavors that the country's grand strategy
and whether it is close to acquiring it. came to be known as the Yoshida DoctrineP The subsequent story of]apan's
Cold War strategic thinking is one of the nation's leadership coming to terms with
the implications of these new, largely self-imposed constraints.
By the 1970s Japan was no longer a country devastated by war but was again a
Japan's rise to great power status in the late nineteenth and early twentieth cen- leading economic power. Yet it remained largely absent from the security field,
turies was unique. Facing increasing challenges from Western imperialism in and implemented a range of pacifist policies such as those based on its three
Asia, Japan responded by replacing feudal isolation with a modern economic, po- nonnuclear principles-banning the possession, manufacture, and introduction
litical, and social system. The slogan of"strong army, rich nation" (fukokukyi5hei) of nuclear weapons into the country. 28 According to constructivists, this has been
encapsulated the government's strategic thinking during this period; Japan evidence that Japan's grand strategy has not followed a realist path but has in-
would modernize by building up its economic and military structures to achieve stead been based on the structure of the state and a mix of social and legal norms.
greater prestige and powerY These norms have included the primacy of economics over security and a "post-
Japan's strategy proved remarkably effective, and the country quickly sought war culture of antimilitarism." Others have continued to view Japan in realist
to take a leading role in international affairs. Indeed, unlike much of Asia, Japan terms, but as a "mercantile" rather than traditional realist. 29 Japan undoubtedly
was not only able to resist Western incursions but also soon came to emulate developed new ways of thinking about "security," broadening the term's mean-
Western imperialism.B Starting in 1876, when it became increasingly active on ing from the late 1970s, under the banner of comprehensive security, to also
the Korean Peninsula, until its empire reached its zenith in 1942,Japan amassed include energy, food, and other types of security. 30
colonies throughout Asia and the Pacific. By August 1945, however,Japan's strate- When the Cold War came to an end, however, the international environment
gic overreach and the increasing militarization of its foreign policies had led the underpinningJapan's strategic thinking disappeared. Japan was again searching
country to disaster; in its push for empire, Japan had suffered immense physical, for a new international role. The 1991 GulfWar exposed the nation to accusations
economic, and social destruction while also inflicting enormous suffering on the of free-riding on the United States' security guarantee and of resorting to "check-
peoples of Asia and the Pacific. 24 book diplomacy" as a result of its failure to do little more than provide financial
The legacies of these horrors, and the comprehensive reforms implemented by support, albeit to the tune of $13 billion. The shifting post-Cold War order also
the United States-led Occupation authorities in Japan from 1945 until1952, had a prompted wider reassessments. Realists soon came to argue that the changes to
major impact on the country's postwar society. They also continue to resonate in the international order would increasingly push Japan toward accepting a more
Japan's strategic thinking today. The immediate Occupation reforms focused on normal international role; to not do this would be a "structural anomaly." Such
democratization, demilitarization, and economic revitalization, with an important diplomatic humiliations and wider changes would lead the country to engage in
change being the introduction of a new Constitution. For foreign affairs, it was a lengthy debate over its international role (table 3.3). 31
Article 9 of this new document that left the greatest legacy, underpinning the
pacifism of Japan's postwar security strategy by renouncing "war as a sovereign
Great Power Japan?
right." 25 When the Occupation ended, Japan entered into an alliance with its former
enemy, the United States, which would underpin Japan's national security strategy Given this complicated strategic legacy, is Japan a great power today? If measured
for the remainder of the Cold War and beyond. Yetthe relationship with the United by defense spending, the answer is yes. At $50.1 billion in 2013,Japan's spending
States was an unequal one. Japan's security was now provided by the United States, on defense remains the seventh highest in the world, and Japan's defense forces
72 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 73

Table 3.3 Japan: Key Dates Takashi Inoguchi and Paul Bacon have argued that during the 1990s, Japan first
Event sought to define itself as a "global civilian power" before becoming a "global
ordinary power." 37 Conversely, Yoshihide Soeya has argued that Japan's na-

1876 Began colonial expansion tional strategy has effectively remained consistent-a "de facto "middle power"
August, 1,1894-April, 17, 1895 First Sino-Japanese War choice." 38 Soeya sees the idea of middle power diplomacy as an appropriate en-
July 7, 1937-September 9, 1945 Second Sino-Japanese War capsulation of Yoshida's decision to rely on the United States for security and
December 7, 1941 Entered World War II instead focus on economic development. This decision has been maintained into
September 2, 1945 Surrendered to end World War II the post-Cold War period, despite the efforts of nationalist politicians such as
1945-52 Occupied by the United States Koizumi and Abe. Indeed, Japan's policies, Soeya argues, "hardly reflect the sort
1947a Adopted its Constitution of diplomacy conducted by strategically independent great powers." 39
•The Constitution was promulgated in 1946, but it is generally referred to as "the 1947 Constitution"
Yet if]apan is a middle power, it is an atypical one. In addition to its high level
after the year it came into effect. Government of]apan, The Constitution ofjapan (Tokyo: Government of defense spending, as well as the exceptional technical proficiency of its defense
of] a pan, 2015 ), http:/ / / constitution_and_government_of_japan/ constitution_ e forces, Japan has considerable capacity to upgrade its strategic capabilities. As the
.html. world's third-largest economy, and being still far more advanced technologically
than other countries in the Asia-Pacific, it enjoys the industrial base to further
have been described as "the most modern Asian armed forces in terms of equip- develop its defense forces, even within current political constraints. Japan's ca-
ment."32 This is true despite the fact that the country spends less than 1 percent pacity to influence regional diplomacy through links resulting from its extensive
of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. Although its security strategy trade and official development assistance also continues to be strong, even if] a-
remains defensive, Japan continues to strengthen its hard power capabilities. In pan does not dominate the region's economy as it once did. Japan remains a key
August 2013, for example, Japan launched the 27,000-ton helicopter carrier the ally of the United States. If it could further reorient its national security strategy,
Izumo, allowing it to deliver air defense more effectively over its distant territo- continue strengthening its diplomatic partnerships around the region, and press
ries. In its National Security Strategy of December 2013,Japan announced that it ahead with economic reform, Japan could once again become a strategically in-
would build a "comprehensive defense architecture" while also focusing on the dependent great power. 40
protection of the nation's territorial integrity. 33
The question of whether Japan is a great power, therefore, has so far revolved
Japan and the Regional Order: In Decline or Resurgent?
largely around whether Japan desires to be one. Power, as constructivists might
argue, is what states make of it. 34 In the debate that followed the 1991 Gulf War, How might a shift in Japanese power-toward either middle power or great power
politicians and commentators began to question whether the country needed to status-affect the regional order? Until now, Japan's postwar grand strategy to-
become a "normal nation" (futsii no kuni) once again. During this debate, figures ward the region has been heavily reliant on strategic reassurance. 41 That is, mind-
such as Ichir6 Ozawa argued that Japan should take up greater responsibilities as ful of the mistrust in the region due to its legacy of aggression from World War II,
part of the international community. 35 This would include working more closely Japan accepted the limitations on its own power as a way to reassure the region
with the United Nations and other multilateral organizations in activities such as about its intentions. The vital alliance with the United States provided a so-called
international peacekeeping and official development assistance. For others, how- cap in the bottle of potential Japanese militarism by sidestepping the need for
ever, becoming a normal nation entailed removing the postwar restrictions on Japan to rapidly rebuild its own defense capabilities. To this, Japan added an ex-
national security, such as Article 9 of the Constitution and the Yoshida Doctrine. traordinarily cautious defense policy known as defensive defense (senshuboei),
They argued that Japan needed to become a country more capable of defending while committing to never again play a "unilateral military role" in the region. 42
itself and its partners. Since 2001 prime ministers such as Jun'ichir6 Koizumi and At the turn of the century, therefore, it could be argued that Japan was a "cir-
Shinz6 Abe have strongly argued that becoming a normal nation required chang- cumscribed balancer": weary of creating countervailing alliances and avoidant
ing the Constitution, relaxing restrictions on arms exports, and giving Japan the of developing offensive grand strategies. 43
right to collective self-defense, that is, the right to help defend others if they Japan's potential impact on the Asia-Pacific order, of course, presupposes an
are under attack. 36 already set order in the region. Yet the region is undergoing dramatic change. Ja-
Japan's self-conception of its international role thus remains ambivalent. pan's strategic reassurance and circumscribed balancing followed from its domi-
74 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 75

nance in Asia, the continuance of American hegemony in the region, and the rec- even balance to emerge between the United States and ChinaY Yet it is not clear
ognition of these realities by China-all elements of the Cold War order. The rise that Japan, sidelined by the other great powers, could then manage this kind of
of China and the emergence of clear Sino-Japanese rivalry since 2010, however, transition without upsetting the Sino-American accommodation. The question,
have raised doubts about all these assumptions. To understand how Japan might then, is whether Japan would become a destabilizing force in this new order.
affect the regional order, therefore, it is necessary to consider simultaneously To avoid such a scenario, Japan would need to strengthen its reassurance pol-
how these changes could reshape Japan's future strategic circumstances and the icy rather than discard it, perhaps by recommitting to its postwar antimilitarist
type of power it now wishes to be. norms. Yet the mixture of nationalism and security assertiveness pushed by the
One can envisage a number of different scenarios that Japan might face in the Abe administration belies such a possibility.
coming decade or two and then extrapolate Japanese responses and likely effects In the end, Japan's status will depend heavily on its own capacity to build and
from there. At present, a regional order shaped by Sino-American strategic ri- maintain the attributes of a great power. Japan has stagnated economically for
valry seems most likely. Faced with such a strategic rivalry scenario, Japan would more than twenty years now-the so-called lost decades-and has only rarely
most likely seek to reinforce its alliance with the United States and expand its demonstrated the capacity or willingness to undertake the reforms necessary
relationships with other US partners. In fact, signs of this scenario are already for recovery. If this situation persists, economic stagnation and demographic de-
apparent, with Japan establishing a range of strategic partnerships around the cline will make Japan's great power prospects considerably different than those
region, most notably with Australia and India. 44 Continuity would be the main of younger, more dynamic India. Optimistically, a slow decline implies that Ja-
feature of such a scenario, and Japan's great power status would have the least pan would become a "marginal weight" in regional affairs, happy with its mid-
impact on the regional order, because the pressures of a new balance of power dle power status and continuing to support its alliance with the United States,
across Asia would push Japan even further into the region's American-led se- but without being a central player. 48 Under a scenario where the United States
curity framework. These pressures would, however, also push Japan away from retrenches from Asia, a declining Japan could choose to accommodate a rising
being a circumscribed balancer or constrained great power following a policy of China, or continue this accommodation according to some, and so choose the
strategic reassurance; indeed, Prime Minister Abe has already moved Japan to- middle power path. 49 Conversely, extended decline could be dangerous if it were
ward a policy of collective self-defense. Under such a scenario, it can be assumed to lead to something like the abandonment scenario mentioned above. In decline,
that this transition would continue and Japan would become a more assertive and in attempting to reverse such a middle power choice, Japan could become
actor in international affairs, though not necessarily a great power. more nationalistic and a destabilizing force in the region. 5°
Such circumstances might have a particularly destabilizing effect on regional All these scenarios contain significant elements of risk for both Japan and Asia.
order under an abandonment scenario-that is, if] apan were to be abandoned as An accommodation of China-particularly regarding the dispute over the Sen-
part of a new balance of power in the region. If the United States were to retrench kaku/Diaoyu Islands-would assist in defusing the growing Sino-American ri-
from Asia rather than consolidate its alliance system, and if this were to lead valry and potentially help create a concert situation like the one described above.
to Japan's loss of America's security guarantee, Japan could respond, as realists This could be Japan's most positive contribution to a stable regional order. Yet
have long suggested, by rapidly building up its own military capabilities, such as accepting the resulting middle power status would be unpalatable to Japanese
a nuclear deterrence capability, to quickly become a traditional great power. 45 leaders. Greater nationalism in the political class, especially since Abe became
This would likely trigger a major regional arms race, heightening the risk of a prime minister in December 2012, reduces the likelihood that Japan will accept
confrontation between Japan and other regional powers, particularly China. A such a status. 51 Abe has asserted that Japan will not become a "tier two nation." 52
US departure from the region, however, appears a remote possibility in light of Instead, Japan's troubled relationship with China provides further impetus for it
the Obama administration's efforts to boost the United States' engagement with to become a great power once again, while also suggesting that any transition is
the region and the strong possibility of Obama's successor following a similar, if unlikely to be smooth.
not even more assertive, approach. 46
Abandonment, however, may not come about as part of a US strategy of re- Conclusion
trenchment. Under a concert-of-powers scenario-whereby the United States
and China agree to a mutually constructed regional order-Japan would not be Neither India nor Japan is likely to emerge as a great power anytime soon, but
abandoned by the United States so much as sidelined as the United States came both will play major roles in the regional security order. Conscious of China's
to a strategic accommodation with China. According to Hugh White, a Concert of rise and its own limited economic and military power, India, like many other
Asia would require Japan to become a more independent actor, allowing a more regional states, has adopted a hedging strategy: concentrating as its first prior-
76 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 77

ity on raising its population out of poverty; acquiring nuclear weapons to buy it • The factors shaping Japan's great power status are as much political and insti-
time to modernize its conventional forces; and tentatively engaging with selected tutional as they are material. Yet Japan remains ambivalent about the kind of
strategic partners and regional institutions. This strategy is not likely to change great power it wishes to become.
for a decade or two, unless India suffers some dramatic endogenous or exogenous • A fundamental transformation of]apan's international status could destabilize
shock, such as a severe downturn in its economic fortunes or a surprise attack the regional security order. Two key variables in this respect are Japan's rela-
from China or Pakistan. tionship with the United States and the latter's own rivalry with China.
Japan's strategic direction, by comparison, seems poised for change. Certainly,
its currently ambiguous status-not quite a great power, but much more than a
middle power-complicates the regional security order and, in particular, Sino-
American relations. Yet which strategic trajectory provides the best route to 1. Is Indian foreign policy still driven more by ideology than self-interest?
stability, either for the region or for Japan, is unclear. Certainly,Japan has sought
2. Did India's acquisition of nuclear weapons in 1998 enhance or diminish its
to develop its relationships across the region as well as its own security capabil-
ities, and its latent power means that it could extend its diplomatic and military
capacities considerably. However, its troublesome relationship with China and 3. How has the Yoshida Doctrine shaped Japan's strategic thinking and interna-
its confused vision for its own international status means that Japan has become tional status?
less able to provide strategic reassurance to the region than in the past.
4. What does it mean for Japan to become a "normal nation"?
In conclusion, it should be observed that the policies of both India and Japan
call into question a number of key theoretical arguments. Neither has behaved 5. Are India and Japan great powers or not great powers? How do the different
as realists would expect: putting security first, building military power, and us- security study theories help to answer this question?
ing force to secure their interests. Instead, India remains restrained, even when
subjected to cross-border attacks and incursions from Pakistan or China, and
Guide to Further Reading
focused on domestic challenges, while Japan continues to adhere to the postwar
limitations placed upon its security policies, notwithstanding recent changes. On India
Both nations continue to aspire to being normative or middle powers, influencing Cohen, Stephen P. India: Emerging Power. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution
the world with ideas rather than coercion. But at the same time, democratic India Press, 2004.
A classic-and very accessible-American assessment of India's foreign and security policy.
does not always behave as liberals would predict-it remains wary about the sup-
posed benefits of economic interdependence and multilateral security pacts. In Ganguly, Sumit, ed. India's Foreign Policy: Retrospect and Prospect. New Delhi: Oxford Uni-
both states, there are active debates about what sorts of powers India and Japan versity Press, 2012.
should be, lending some support to the constructivist argument that ideas and Mohan Raja, C. Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India's New Foreign Policy. New Delhi:
identities shape policies and behavior. Viking, 2003.
Another classic work, but written by a prominent Indian realist, arguing that India's foreign policy has
been transformed since 1991.
Key Points
Panagariya, Arvind. India: The Emerging Giant. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
• India is an emerging power, but it is some way from becoming a great power- The major study of India's changing economy.
even if its elites decided that it ought to be a conventional, instead of a "nor-
mative," great power. On Japan
• India remains very cautious about binding multilateral agreements or even Goh, Evelyn. "How Japan Matters in the Evolving East Asia Security Order." International
bilateral alliances, preferring to pursue a hedging strategy to deal with the rise Affairs 87, no. 4 (2011): 887-902.
of China and the relative decline of the United States.
Pyle, Kenneth B.]apan Rising: The Resurgence ofjapanese Power and Purpose. New York:
• The legacy ofJapan's imperial past, wartime experience, and recovery during
Public Affairs, 2007.
the Cold War continues to play a major role in Japan's contemporary strategic Written by one ofthe foremost historians of]apan,]apan Rising traces the country's engagement with the
thinking. Of particular importance has been the Yoshida Doctrine. world from the nineteenth century until today.
78 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 79

Samuels, Richard). Securing japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the future ofEast Asia. Ithaca, 15. For the best general discussion of India's changing economy, see Arvind Panagariya,
NY: Cornell University Press, 2007. India: The Emerging Giant (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).
Samuels's Securing japan remains the seminal work on japanese strategic thinking in the twentieth 16. Stephen P. Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta, Arming without Aiming: India's Military Mod-
century. ernization (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2012).
Taylor, Brendan. "Asia's Century and the Problem of]apan's Centrality." International 17. On this topic, see Brahma Chellaney, Water: Asia's New Battleground (Washington, DC:
Affairs 87, no. 4 (2011): 871-85. http:/ / Georgetown University Press, 2013).
In this important debate, Goh and Taylor lay out contrasting prognoses ofjapan's future significance to 18. See, especially, Daniel Markey, "Developing India's Foreign Policy 'Software,"' Asia
the Asia-Pacific order. Policy 8, no. 1 (2009): 73-96; and Manjari Chatterjee Miller, "India's Feeble Foreign Policy,"
Foreign Affairs, May-June 2013.
19. Ian Hall, "The Requirements of Nuclear Stability in South Asia," Nonproliferation
Review 21, nos. 3-4 (2014): 355-71.
1. jonathan Holslag, China and India: Prospects for Peace (New York: Columbia University 20. See, e.g., Sumit Ganguly and S. Paul Kapur, India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating
Press, 2009), 10-11. Nuclear Stability in South Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010).
2. Stephen P. Cohen, India: Emerging Power (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution 21. See C. Raja Mohan, Samudra Man than: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific (Washing-
Press,2004),41-43. ton, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2012).
3. Christophe )affrelot, "India's Look East Policy: An Asianist Strategy in Perspective," 22. Richard). Samuels, Securing japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the future of East Asia
India Review 2, no. 3 (2003): 35-68. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 15-18. See also Richard J. Samuels, "Rich Na-
4. Ian Hall, "The Engagement of India," in The Engagement of India: Strategies and Re- tion, Strong Army": National Security and the Technological Transformation ofjapan (Ithaca, NY:
sponses, ed. Ian Hall (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2014). Cornell University Press, 1994), 34-42.
5. George J. Gilboy and Eric Heginbotham, Chinese and Indian Strategic Behavior: Growing 23. Akira Iriye,japan and the Wider World: From the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present
Power and Alarm (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 254. (London: Longman, 1997), 11-22.
6. Harsh V. Pant, "The US-India 1XFOHaUPact: Policy, Process, and Great Power Poli- 24. See Kenneth B. Pyle, japan Rising: The Resurgence ofjapanese Power and Purpose (New
tics," Asian Security 5, no. 3 (2009): 273-95. York: Public Affairs, 2007), 185-96. For a study of the suffering inflicted by Japan on the
7. Ian Hall, "China Crisis? Indian Strategy, Political Realism and the Chinese Challenge," region, see Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the japanese Military during
Asian Security 8, no. 1 (2012): 84-92. World War II, trans. Suzanne O'Brien (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995). On the
8. Sunil Khilnani and Srinath Raghavan, Nonalignment 2.0: A Foreign &Strategic Policy for strategic thinking that led Japan to war, see jack Snyder, Myths ofEmpire: Domestic Politics
India in the 21st Century (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 2013). and International Ambition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991), 112-52.
9. For an interesting discussion, see Amrita Narlikar, "All That Glitters Is Not Gold: 25. Prime Minister of]apan and His Cabinet, Constitution ofjapan, May 3, 1947, www
India's Rise to Power," Third World Quarterly 28, no. 5 (2007): 983-96; and Cohen, India: .kantei.go .j p /foreign/ consti tution_and_governmen t_ of_j a pan/constitution_ e .html.
Emerging Power. Concerning the drafting of the postwar Constitution, see John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat:
10. Ian Hall, "Normative Power India?" in China, India, and International Society, ed.Ja- japan in the Wake ofWorld War Two (New York: W. W. Norton), 346-404.
mie Gaskarth (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). On Nehru's views, see inter 26. See Roger Buckley, US-japan Alliance Diplomacy, 1945-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge
alia Ritu Sharma, "Nehru's World-View: An Alternative to the Superpowers' Model of University Press, 1992), 27-114; and Kent E. Calder, "Securing Security through Prosper-
International Relations," India Quarterly: Ajournal of International Affairs 45, no. 4 (1989): ity: The San Francisco System in Comparative Perspective," Pacific Review 17, no. 1 (2004):
324-32. The classic study of the idea of a "normative power" is by Ian Manners, "Norma- 135-57. See also Michael]. Green, "Balance of Power," in US-japan Relations in a Changing
tive Power Europe: A Contradiction in Terms?" journal of Common Market Studies 40, no. 2 World, ed. Steven K. Vogel (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2002), 9-34, at
(2002): 235-58. 12-14.
11. Ian Hall, "The other Exception? India as a Rising Power," Australian journal of Inter- 27. Samuels, Securing japan, 29-37.
national Affairs 64, no. 5 (2010): 601-11. 28. On Sate's three nonnuclear principles, see Andrew L. Oros, Normalizing japan: Poli-
12. See, e.g., Raja C. Mohan, Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping ofIndia's New Foreign Policy tics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press,
(New Delhi: Viking, 2003). 2008), 102-7.
13. Martin Wight, Power Politics, ed. Hedley Bull and Carsten Holbraad (London: Leices- 29. For Japan's postwar culture of antimilitarism, see Thomas U. Berger, "From Sword
ter University Press, 1995), 50. to Chrysanthemum: Japan's Culture of Anti-Militarism," International Security 17, no. 4
14. World Bank, "Gross Domestic Product, 2012," http:/ / (1993): 119-50. On the wider norms underpinning Japanese security policy during this pe-
/download/ GDP .pdf. riod, see Peter J. Katzenstein and Nobuo Okawara, "Japan's National Security: Structures,
8111 H. D.P. Envall and Ian Hall Are India and japan Potential Great Powers? 81

Norms, and Policies," International Security 17, no. 4 (1993 ): 84-118. For Japan's mercantile Armed Conflicts," Asahi Shimbun, February 23, 2014,
realism, see Eric Heginbotham and Richard]. Samuels, "Mercantile Realism and Japanese /politics/AJ201402230016.
Foreign Policy," International Security 22, no. 4 (1998): 171-203. See also H. D. P. Envall, 41. Paul Midford, "The Logic of Reassurance and Japan's Grand Strategy," Security Stud-
japanese Diplomacy: The Role of Leadership (Albany: State University of New York Press, ies 11, no. 3 (2002): 1-43, at 1.
2015), 63-67. 42. Ibid., 28-30. Regarding Japan's role in the regionalization process, see Evelyn Goh,
30. Eiichi Katahara, "Japan's Concept of Comprehensive Security in the Post-Cold War "How Japan Matters in the Evolving East Asia Security Order," International Affairs 87, no.
World," in Power and Prosperity: Economics and Security Linkages in the Asia-Pacific, ed. Susan 4 (2011): 887-902, at 899-900.
L. Shirk and Christopher P. Twomey (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1996), 213-31, at 43. Christopher P. Twomey, "Japan, a Circumscribed Balancer: Building on Defensive
214-19. Realism to Make Predictions about East Asian Security," Security Studies 9, no. 4 (2000):
31. Christopher W. Hughes,japan's Security Agenda: Military, Economic, and Environmental 167-205, at 168.
Dimensions (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2004), 159-60. Also see Samuels, Securing japan, 44. Thomas S. Wilkins, "Japan's Alliance Diversification: A Comparative Analysis of the
66-67. For the 1990s' structural realist viewpoint on Japan as a "structural anomaly," Indian and Australian Strategic Partnerships," International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 11,
see Kenneth N. Waltz, "The Emerging Structure of International Politics," International no. 1 (2011): 115-55; H. D. P. Envall, "Japan's India Engagement: From Different Worlds to
Security 18, no. 2 (1993): 44-79. Strategic Partners," in Engagement of India, ed. Hall, 39-59.
32. International Institute for Strategic Studies, "Asia," Military Balance 114, no. 1 45. Samuels, Securing japan, 151.
(2014): 250. See also International Institute for Strategic Studies, "Comparative Defense 46. Mark E. Manyin, Stephen Daggett, Ben Dolven, Susan V. Lawrence, Michael F. Mar-
Statistics," Military Balance 114, no. 1 (2014): 23. tin, Ronald O'Rourke, and Bruce Vaughn, Pivot to the Pacific? The Obama Administration's
33. Regarding the Izumo, see Benjamin Schreer, "The 'Aircraft Carrier' That Isn't: Ja- "Rebalancing" toward Asia, CRS Report for Congress R42448 (Washington, DC: Congressio-
pan's New Helicopter Destroyer," Strategist, August 19, 2013, http:/ /www.aspistrategist nal Research Service, 2012). OnJapan's com- 47. Hugh White, The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power (Collingwood, Aus-
prehensive security architecture, see Gove~nment of]apan, "National Security Strategy," tralia: Black Inc., 2012), 142-43.
December 17, 2013, 15. 48. On Japan becoming a "marginal weight," see Brendan Taylor, "Asia's Century and
34. Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of the Problem of]apan's Centrality," International Affairs 87, no. 4 (2011): 871-85, at 882.
Power Politics," International Organization 46, no. 2 (1992): 391-425. 49. BjornJerden and Linus Hagstrom, "RethinkingJapan's China Policy: Japan as an Ac-
35. David A. Welch, "Embracing Normalcy: Toward a Japanese 'National Strategy,"' in commodator in the Rise of China, 1978-2011," journal ofEast Asian Studies 12, no. 2 (2012):
japan as a "Normal Country"? A Nation in Search of Its Place in the World, ed. Yoshihide Soeya, 215-50.
Masayuki Tadokoro, and David A. Welch (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011), 50. H. D. P. Envall, "Implications for Asia in Japan's Economic Decline," East Asia Forum
16-37, at 29-30. Quarterly 2, no. 3 (2010): 28-29, at 28.
36. H. D. P. Envall, "Transforming Security Politics: KoizumiJun'ichiro and the Gaullist 51. H. D. P. Envall, "Abe's Yasukuni Visit Escalates Tensions in Asia," East Asia Forum,
Tradition in Japan," Electronic journal ofContemporary japanese Studies 8, no. 2 (2008), www January 3, 2014,; H. D. P. Envall, "Japan's Strategic -tensions-in-asia/ .
Challenges in Asia," AliA Policy Commentary 15 (2013): 37-43, at 38-39. 52. Cited by Green, "Japan Is Back," 2.
37. Takashi Inoguchi and Paul Bacon, "Japan's Emerging Role as a 'Global Ordinary
Power,"' International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 6, no. 1 (2006): 1-21, at 4-5.
38. Yoshihide Soeya, "A 'Normal' Middle Power: Interpreting Changes in Japanese Se-
curity Policy in the 1990s and After," in japan as a "Normal Country?" ed. Soeya, Tadokoro,
and Welch, 72-97, at 74.
39. Yoshihide Soeya, "Japanese Middle-Power Diplomacy," East Asia Forum, No-
vember 27, 2012, http:/ /
-diplomacy/. Also see Yoshihide Soeya, Nihon no MidoruPawiiGaiko: Sengo Nihon no Sentaku
to Koso (Japan's "Middle Power Diplomacy": The Choices and Plans of Postwar Japan) (To-
kyo: Chikuma Shinsho, 2005), 23-24.
40. Michael J. Green, "Japan Is Back: Unbundling Japan's Grand Strategy," Analysis,
Lowy Institute for International Policy, December 2013, 3-4. On recent movements in Ja-
pan's approach to arms exports, see "Abe Set to Lift Arms Embargo to Nations Involved in