Subversive Ontology: Approaching Japanese Intelligence Culture as a Non-Western Intelligence Practice

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This article aims to achieve several goals. Theoretically, engaging with two
theoretical approaches of Western intelligence culture which emerged in
the past twenty years, this article aims to devise a new approach to better
understand Japan’s intelligence culture as a non-Western intelligence
Policy-wise, this article contextualizes the English-speaking
intelligence policy discussion for Japan to join the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence
alliance. It delineates the origins of the ‘Five Eyes’ and the ideation and
considerations for Japan to join the ‘Five Eyes.’
Empirically, it examines the historical development of Japan’s
intelligence system from before the First World War to the 2010s. By
identifying the patterns along the interface between international
dynamics and domestic politics that have entangled Japan’s intelligence
system after the Second World War, it argues that Japan’s subversionoriented intelligence culture has been prevented from developing by the
United States.
Finally, based on the lessons learnt, in the light of ancient Chinese
and Indian strategic thought, this article reflects upon the cultural
uniqueness of Japan’s intelligence culture through the prism of ‘subversive
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-478
Number of pages53
JournalRising Asia Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


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