Sanctions and Honorary Whites: Diplomatic Policies and Economic Realities in Relations between Japan and South Africa

Synopsis

This study critically examines for the first time the unlikely friendship between apartheid South Africa and "non-white" Japan. In the mid-1980s, Japan became South Africa's largest trading partner, while South Africa purportedly treated Japanese citizens in the Republic as "honorary whites" under apartheid. Osada probes the very different foreign policy-making mechanisms of the two nations and analyzes their ambivalent bilateral relations against the background of postcolonial and Cold War politics. She concludes that these diplomatic policies were adopted not voluntarily or willingly, but out of necessity due to external circumstances and international pressure.