2015 年 2015 巻 180 号 p. 180_1-180_16
“International contribution”, diffused in the wake of Gulf War, is a peculiar idea in Japan. Western International Relations Theory (IRT) talks about “international coordination” and/or “international cooperation”, but never deals with “international contribution”. I’m going to focus on the idea of “international contribution”, which enables me to discuss Japanese perception of international relations and encourages me to reconsider so-called IRT.
How does the idea of “international contribution” rise up to the surface? The historical overview of this question is presented in the first section. Through the rapid economic growth, the prime ministers of Japan such as Eisaku Sato, Yasuhiro Nakasone and Noboru Takeshita came to feel the enhanced international status as one of big powers, which was unaccompanied by Japan’s actual performance. This gap between the expectation from “international society” and the reality in “international society” provided the setting for the idea of “international contribution”. The emergence of this idea was nothing more than contingent use initially. Notwithstanding this genesis, “international contribution” precisely captured something like the flavor of the time and got into circulation.
Then, how was “international contribution” mentioned? The structural outline, which is visible in the use of “international contribution”, is inductively extracted in the second section. The perception that Japan had taken “free ride” on “public goods” arousing international criticism keenly made Japanese realize the necessity of “international contribution”. Furthermore, “international society” is hypostatized in the background of “international contribution”, dredged through the comparison with “international coordination” and “international cooperation”. These understanding denote that at least for most of the Japanese the realm of international relations is not “anarchy”.
Besides, how was “international contribution” as practice put into? Alongside of this question, transition of subject positions, especially pertaining to the Self Defense Force (SDF) and the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), is reviewed in the third section. Although dispatching SDF which evokes the shade of military forces had long been regarded as taboo in the postwar period, the SDF brought about recognition as an actor of “international contribution” together with growing necessity of “international contribution”. NGO, on the other hand, came to accumulate fund and human material due to escalating interest in “international contribution”. Then the governmental awareness of NGO has gradually changed and the government has got to utilize NGOs.
Various aspects of “international contribution” are sketched through the analysis of these chapters. Based on these aspects, I wonder if “international contribution” is a certain type of IRT. It functioned historically as a “lens” which gave us some “answers” at that time. If that’s the case, we ought to consider what the “academic” theory is and what it should be.