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Special DutyA History of the Japanese Intelligence Community$
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Richard J. Samuels

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501741586

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501741586.001.0001

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Tinkering with Failure (1991–2001)

Tinkering with Failure (1991–2001)

(p.134) Chapter 4 Tinkering with Failure (1991–2001)
Special Duty

Richard J. Samuels

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides a straightforward account of Japan's meek surrender to a decade of tentative, groping, half-measure post-Cold War intelligence reform. Like intelligence communities elsewhere, the Japanese intelligence community did not anticipate the end of the Cold War. The “East” and “West” were realigning and even finding common ground—and triumphalism reigned in the “free world.” Since the United States was now by default or by design the world's overwhelming military power, some Japanese policy makers felt less urgency to develop a new, comprehensive intelligence formula to cope with this new world order. The shift in the strategic environment and trade frictions with the United States gave greater purpose to the Japanese's determination to do more and better on their own, and several highly conspicuous intelligence failures would provide the necessary political impetus for change. Experimentation was possible and it was time for tinkering.

Keywords:   Japan, Cold War, intelligence reform, free world, policy makers, new world order, United States

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