Japan's Role in the Post-Cold War World

Japan's Role in the Post-Cold War World

Japan's Role in the Post-Cold War World

Japan's Role in the Post-Cold War World

Synopsis

American and Japanese experts provide a concise and clearly written survey of Japan's relationships around the world and the foreign policy perspectives in Tokyo today based on lively interviews with key policymakers and new research there. The study offers a short background history of Japanese perceptions of the international system from the mid-19th century to the end of the Cold War, considers Japan's role in the post-Cold War world, and concludes with views about the future possible relationships with Asian neighbors, Europe, the Russian Republic, and the United States. Recommended for general readers and as a text for undergraduate and graduate students in courses in comparative politics, U.S. foreign policy, and world history.

Excerpt

In the history of the world, the bipolar structure of the Cold War was but a brief interlude that in a perverse way brought relative stability to the international order. the threat of nuclear war between the superpowers created a balance of terror and, combined with the commitment of the two superpowers to block the other's ideological aspirations, produced a continuously tense, yet relatively predictable, international environment. At the same time, this standoff between the United States and the former Soviet Union also provided a foundation upon which most nations could devise their short-term and long-term foreign policy objectives. Depending on geostrategic factors, some nations were greater beneficiaries of superpower budgets and security assurances than were others, and most (though not all) of these nations in turn aligned their foreign policy programs closely to the objectives of their ideological leader. in the post-Cold War world, however, that raison d'être upon which to construct a foreign policy, a foundation that at one time seemed nearly inviolable, has been lost for many foreign ministries throughout the world. Both the Soviet Union and the United States are now paying domestically for the price of a war that never transpired, and their ideological followers are left groping for a policy course that is coherent, flexible, and that can be gradually implemented. Japan is one of these nations.

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