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From the Publisher"Kliman provides an insightful analysis of current Japanese defense policy and the rise of creeping realism, based on the Koizumi administration's pragmatic responses to external threats, pressures from the US, and generational change. Since 2001, Japan has shifted its strategic thought away from the caution of the postwar era, transforming its role in today's global security environment. The author describes a transitional realism where Tokyo clearly has been motivated by calculations of state interest rather than normative values. The author's evidence includes the expansion of Japan's role in international peacekeeping operations and regional agreements, the removal of past inhibitions against cooperation with the US on Ballistic Missile Defense, and the launch of real debate on a possible revision of the constitution's prohibition against using the Japanese military in action abroad. Kliman concludes that Koizumi's decisions to introduce Ballistic Missile Defense, endorse US actions in Iraq, and send Japanese personnel to participate in Iraq's reconstruction indicate that Japan will continue down the path of becoming a normal nation, as a growing proportion of elites and the public continue to adopt more pragmatic views of national security. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."