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Calling Shotgun: The History and Politics of Japan's Bid for a Permanent United Nations Security Council Position

Holmes, Anthony Wayne (2008) Calling Shotgun: The History and Politics of Japan's Bid for a Permanent United Nations Security Council Position. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Since the founding of the United Nations and the establishment of the Security Council there have been no changes to the makeup of the permanent membership. Indeed, with the exception of one amendment to increase the size of the rotating membership from six to ten the Security Council has continued unchanged. In the fifty-plus years since the founding of the world body and the victory over the Axis Powers that served as the impetus for its creation, the world has changed dramatically. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has ceased to exist; the Republic of China has been exiled to Taiwan and undergone remarkable economic and democratic changes; the British Empire has morphed into the Commonwealth and the French Empire has collapsed. New states have come to the forefront to challenge the post-war status quo. Some, like Egypt and India, were colonial possessions of the imperial powers. Others, like Germany and Japan, were the defeated powers of the Second World War. Japan in particular has a unique economic, financial, political and military history that deserves special consideration as it relates to its ambition for a permanent United Nations Security Council position. Furthermore, the motives and justifications for why it pursues such a seat and the opposition it has received deserve just as much attention. This thesis traces the views of the leading figures in Japanese politics from the founding of the United Nations to the present and demonstrates that from the beginning Japan realized that the UN was a legitimizing force for their new place in the new post-war world. It also demonstrates clearly that lacking a clear definition of what a permanent UN Security Council contender looks like aspirant states are forced to create their own portfolios. Therefore Japan relies heavily on its strengths as an undisputed economic and financial power. Furthermore, it shows that despite strict Constitutional constraints on the use of the military Japan's force is modern, well-funded and well-maintained. Finally, it catalogues opposition to expanding the Security Council into three distinct categories and explains them in their modern geopolitical context.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Holmes, Anthony
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGoldstein, Donald Mgoldy@pitt.eduGOLDY
Committee MemberFinkel, Mugemfinkel@pitt.eduMFINKEL
Committee MemberSmethurst, Richardrsmet@pitt.eduRSMET
Date: 26 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 April 2008
Approval Date: 26 September 2008
Submission Date: 1 May 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > East Asian Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Japanese Economy; Japanese Financial Contributions; Japanese History; Japanese Military; Postwar Security; Security Council Expansion; Japanese Politics; Japanese public opinion
Other ID:, etd-05012008-061552
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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