Japan as an Active Agent for Global Norms: The Political Dynamism Behind the Acceptance and Promotion of “Human Security”
Japan has shaped a distinct human security policy based on evolving policy preferences of successive domestic political leaders and the gradual assimilation of external norms into its own foreign policy. Independent experts have played a particularly significant role in advising Japanese
policy elites on how human security could be used by Japan to become an “intellectual leader” within the United Nations and other relevant institutions. This article explores those processes that occurred in the early phase of norm acceptance on the part of key Japanese policy
actors and change agents in Japan from the late 1990s through 2003. It argues that human security has served as an effective approach for Japan to establish itself as a more independent foreign policy actor in contemporary international politics.