(The Cipher Brief) Germany has been dealing with the Russian threat ever since World War II ended. In the island nation of Japan, however, its neighborhood threat only recently appeared. China and Japan are in the midst of a maritime dispute in the East China Sea, and even though they are not bickering over the South China Sea, China is making its assertive presence known there as well.
Sheila Smith, a senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, says the way the Japanese think about using their military forces is changing. “Since the end of the Cold War, military coalitions have become the norm for responding to global conflicts,” she says. “Japanese leaders have gradually accepted the idea that Japan ought to contribute to these multinational efforts to provide for collective security.”