Keiko Hirata's Research Projects


Conflict of Identity: The Struggle for Japan's Security Future

This study is investigating contestation of state identity in Japanese society since the end of the Cold War. Through analysis of discourse by political leaders and public figures of the left, center, right, and extreme right on issues ranging from Japan's relationship to the U.S. and Asian countries to constitutional revision and overseas deployment of the country's Self Defense Forces, this study seeks to illuminate the underlying notions of state identity among major Japanese groups and their relationship to Japan's evolving security policy.

Domestic Adoption of International Norms

This project, carried out from 2002 to 2007, investigated how domestic factors affect Japan's adoption or rejection of international norms, particularly on environmental issues. The research focused on the role of non-state actors, the nature and impact of domestic political structure, and the saliency of norms with domestic cultural values.

Civil Society in Japan: The Role of NGOs in Tokyo's Aid and Development Policy

This study, carried out from 1997 to 2002, analyzed the growing role of civil society actors in Tokyo's aid and development policy. Issues addressed included the historical trajectory of Japanese civil society, the decline of the Japanese developmental state, the emergence of new values in Japan in the post-industrial era, and the relationship between the state and civil society in shaping, implementing, and contesting foreign policy.

Japan in Southeast Asia

This study, carried out from 1993 to 1998, examined Japan's foreign policy in Southeast Asia, especially in Indochina. Issues addressed included the nature and goals of Japanese Overseas Development Assistance, the impact of US pressure on Japanese policy, Japan's relations with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the change in Japanese foreign policy with the end of the Cold War.