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Japan's International Agenda

Edited by Yoichi Funabashi
Copyright Date: 1994
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Japan's International Agenda
    Book Description:

    What is Japan's political role in the world? Over the past decade, Japan has been increasingly pressured to assume more financial and political burdens globally. Its foreign policy has thus evolved in a piecemeal manner, around the question of managing foreign pressures. To date, policy has been largely developed by bureaucrats, who are traditionally responsible for public policy in Japan. The lack of a clear set of foreign policy objectives, however, has made it impossible for the bureaucracy to play its previous role as the arbiter of public interests. Today, there is increased recognition that in a more pluralistic society, nongovernmental public policy specialists are needed to provide a more integrated and longer-term vision of foreign policy goals. This book represents the first private and non- governmental indigenous effort to stimulate public debate of Japanese foreign policy. Japan's International Agenda makes a distinctive contribution to the foreign policy debate. Its contributors are younger Japanese non-governmental foreign affairs specialists, each with considerable international experience and committed to the belief that significant policy reforms are essential. As a statement of Japan's ability to contribute substantially to international policy debates on such broad questions of security and trade and development, Japan's International Agenda will enable scholars and experts in North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and elsewhere to engage in substantive dialogue on critical public policy issues with their Japanese counterparts. This book represents the first private, indigenous effort to stimulate public debate of Japanese foreign policy. Its contributors are young Japanese foreign affairs specialists, each with considerable international experience and a commitment to the belief that significant policy reforms are essential.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-2813-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Tadashi Yamamoto

    In January 1990, the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) launched a new, independent research project under the title “Japan’s International Agenda.” Involving younger Japanese scholars, this project was intended to provide an indigenous reassessment of Japan’s national interests in the context of a changing international environment and to promote policy debate on its international role within Japan and in its major partners. Research was to cover eight topical areas of security; relations with socialist countries; macroeconomic policy; structural adjustments; trade policy; economic cooperation; science, technology, and environment; and the relationship of domestic politics to foreign policy.

    The project was...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Yoichi Funabashi
  5. Introduction: Japan’s International Agenda for the 1990s
    (pp. 1-27)
    Yoichi Funabashi

    Japan has increasingly become an enigma to the rest of the world because of a variety of seeming inconsistencies. Japan is unquestionably an economic and technological superpower. But it remains an immature political player, keeping a low profile in world politics: Japan has often been described as having a first-class economy with “economy class” politics. Even within its economy a gap exists between the world-class competitiveness of many of its industries and the humble living standards of the ordinary Japanese. As a result, Japan may appear paramount and strong from one angle, but it may seem weak and small from...

  6. 1. Japan’s Security Policy in the 1990s
    (pp. 28-56)
    Akihiko Tanaka

    The end of the Cold War forces many nations to reformulate or at least rearticulate their respective security policies. Japan is no exception. Japan’s defense policy has long assumed that the main threat to its security comes from the North. But with the complete collapse of the Soviet Union, new defense planning in a narrow sense as well as redefinition of a more broad security policy are required for Japan. It is obvious that the end of the Cold War hardly means the beginning of a harmonious and peaceful world. New threats are emerging; Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was the...

  7. 2. Technology and the Setting for Japan’s Agenda
    (pp. 57-80)
    Taizo Yakushiji

    Debates on Japan’s international agenda would not have been seriously entertained during the height of the Cold War. Japan’s role was trivial, and the international system was largely managed by two superpowers.

    If a fresh need for such a debate emerges today, it has two causes. First, the superpowers are less “super”; that is, they have relatively declined. Second, Japan’s power has risen. How has it risen? Of course, Japan has become economically and technologically powerful, but the political and military implications of this remain unclear.

    Technology increases economic strength and thus is conventionally regarded as playing a role in...

  8. 3. U.S.–Japan Macroeconomic Policy Coordination: Agenda for the 1990s and Beyond
    (pp. 81-110)
    Takatoshi Ito

    Policy coordination is critical in the 1990s, an era in which no one country dominates the world economy or world politics. The United States, which had dominated for the previous four decades, became the world’s largest debtor in the mid-1980s, while Japan emerged as the largest creditor. The last years of the 1980s witnessed dramatic changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The change in the political stance of these countries, however, requires a major infusion of economic assistance from the Western world. In order to sustain a movement toward worldwide democracy, economic prosperity is crucial, and in order...

  9. 4. Rule Maker of World Trade: Japan’s Trade Strategy and the World Trading System
    (pp. 111-142)
    Kazumasa Iwata

    Now that much of the military threat by Communist countries has disappeared, economic frictions between the United States and Japan could reemerge at the forefront of political debates. Notably, after the Gulf War Japan was criticized for its failure to play a stronger role in constructing a new world order. The failure to conclude the GATT Uruguay Round talks in December 1990 undermined the base of the multilateral free trade system and increased the risk of mounting protectionism in the forthcoming decade. It is of critical importance that Japan move to maintain the free trade system that has been the...

  10. 5. Japan’s Role in Economic Cooperation and Direct Foreign Investment
    (pp. 143-163)
    Makoto Sakurai

    In the 1980s the position of developing countries with regard to global money flow was quite different from that of the 1960s and 1970s. In spite of the development and growth of the world economy, many developing countries found themselves facing problems such as huge debt burdens, serious deficits in their balance of payments, higher inflation, and so on. Especially in global money flow, developing countries as a whole had a negative net resources transfer in the 1980s.¹ And even now we can see a net resources transfer from developing to developed countries. Under this pattern of global money flow...

  11. 6. Japan’s International Agenda: Structural Adjustments
    (pp. 164-186)
    Heizo Takenaka

    Since the release of the Maekawa Report in 1986, the term “structural adjustment” has become a key phrase in discussions of issues and policies regarding the Japanese economy. There should be no need to mention the importance of promoting the international harmonization of macroeconomic policies in ameliorating external imbalances among the leading industrial nations, particularly between Japan and the United States. Furthermore, awareness has been growing among Japanese and foreign policy analysts of the need for structural changes to the societies and economies of Japan and the United States. This awareness has strengthened among mainstream analysts and policymakers as those...

  12. Contributors
    (pp. 187-190)
  13. Index
    (pp. 191-202)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 203-203)