Asian Security JournalDr. Jeffrey Hornung’s paper “ Japan’s Growning Hard Hedge Against China” is featured in the latest edition of  “Asian Security.”


As China accumulates more power, Japan is often overlooked as being capable of affecting China’s continued trajectory because of material differences and narratives of Japan being a reactive state. Yet, Beijing’s strategic planning cannot ignore Tokyo because Japan has the ability to affect the region’s security environment. Feeling its presence and influence becoming relatively smaller, Tokyo has been increasingly proactive in its effort to expand its strategic space and shape the regional environment in ways conducive to its interests. A review of Japan’s approach to China since 1972 reveals that it has shifted away from its traditional engagement policy toward first a soft hedge, followed by a harder hedge that continues to this day. Today’s mix of partnerships and capabilities enable Japan to complicate China’s freedom of action and frustrate its continued rise.

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