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Re-rising Japan

Its Strategic Power in International Relations

by Hidekazu Sakai (Volume editor) Yoichiro Sato (Volume editor)
Monographs VIII, 264 Pages
Series: Asian Pacific Studies, Volume 1

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter One: Introduction: Is Japan Falling or Rerising? (Hidekazu Sakai)
  • Part One: Geopolitics
  • Chapter Two: Japan’s New Grand Strategy: “Proactive Realism” in the Face of an “Increasingly Severe” Security Environment (Thomas S. Wilkins)
  • Chapter Three: The Japan-China-U.S. Triangle: Japan’s Response and Prospects for the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance (Michael R. Porter)
  • Part Two: Domestic Political-Social Norms and Values
  • Chapter Four: Japanese Nationalism and Foreign Policy (Keiko Hirata)
  • Chapter Five: Japan’s Civil Society: A Source of Strength (Philip Streich)
  • Chapter Six: Do Changes in Governing Party Lead to Changes in Foreign Policy? Evidence from Japan (Paul Midford)
  • Chapter Seven: Contending State Identities and Japan’s Policy toward the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan (2001–2010): From a “Normal State” to an “Autonomous Civilian Power” (Kivilcim Erkan)
  • Part Three: Asian Regional Integration and Institutionalizations
  • Chapter Eight: Japanese Foreign Policy and East Asian Regionalism: Inherently Interlinked (Charly von Solms)
  • Chapter Nine: “Private Sector Diplomacy” in Sino-Japanese Relations (Lindsay Black)
  • Chapter Ten: Joining the New Great Game? Japan’s Quest for Region Building in Central Asia (Kuniko Ashizawa)
  • Chapter Ten: Joining the New Great Game? Japan’s Quest for Region Building in Central Asia (Kuniko Ashizawa)
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
  • Series index

Re-rising Japan

Its Strategic Power
in International Relations

Edited by Hidekazu Sakai
and Yoichiro Sato

About the editors

Hidekazu Sakai (Ph.D., political science, University of Hawaii) is Associate Professor of Kansai Gaidai University (Japan). His most recent publication is “The United States-Japan Security Community—Emerging Collective Identity: The Case of the Persian Gulf War (1990–1991)” in Asian Security (2016).

Yoichiro Sato (Ph.D., political science, University of Hawaii) taught at the U.S. Defense Department’s Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Auckland University (New Zealand), and is at the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan). He co-edited United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific (2015) and The U.S.-Japan Alliance (2011).

About the book

“The lost two decades” of Japan’s economic power since the early 1990s have generated the image among scholars in the discipline of international relations (IR) that Japan is no longer a significant player. Hence, today’s IR literature focuses on the rise of China. Re-rising Japan: Its Strategic Power in International Relations challenges this trend by showing up-to-date evidence that Japan is still a major power in today’s international relations where the interests and power of the United States and China have increasingly clashed over many issues.

Indeed, since the Abe cabinet re-emerged in December 2012, there has been growing academic interest in Japan’s bold monetary/financial/social policies (Abenomics) and relatively assertive security policy. Where is Japan heading, and what path has it taken since the 2000s? This book responds to these questions.

Re-rising Japan assembles the latest studies on Japan written by today’s young and energetic scholars. It consists of three parts: (1) Geopolitics, (2) Domestic Political-Social Norms and Values, and (3) Asian Regional Integration and Institutionalizations. Th e individual chapters reveal what power assets Japan has and their strength and weakness in today’s international relations. Readers will attain a complete picture of Japan and its evolving new strategy in the decaying U.S. unipolar system where China has been behaving as a revisionist state.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

chapter

Acknowledgments


Most chapters in this volume grew out of the papers presented at the annual conventions of the International Studies Associations (ISA) in Toronto in 2014 and in New Orleans in 2015. The editors of this book are grateful for the paper contributors as well as the discussants and the audience at these meetings. We are thankful for Tsuneo Akaha, Hugo Dobson, Linus Hagström, Tsuyoshi Kawasaki, and Kimie Hara for their helpful comments and advices. We also appreciate the editorial assistance of Bella Tran.←vii | viii→ ←viii | 1→

Introduction

Is Japan Falling or Rerising?

Hidekazu Sakai


Introduction

With China rising as a challenger to the United States in the world arena, we pose the following questions: What happened to Japan? Is Japan no longer the powerful state that it was before? Is Japan in decline? This volume assembles the latest studies by Japan specialists to answer these questions. In so doing, this volume reveals a new Japan and its strategic vision coping with dynamic changes in the Asia Pacific region.

Japan as an “economic superpower” represented the mainstream discourse in academia until the early 1990s.1 However, the bubble economy burst in the early 1990s, followed by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and the subsequent global financial crisis have led us to recognize that Japan is no longer an economic superpower. The loss of its position as the second largest economy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), yielding to China in 2010, served to symbolize this trend. “The lost two decades” of Japan’s decline in its economic power generated the image that Japan is no longer a significant player in international relations (IR). The great earthquake in eastern Japan in 2011 further emphasized the country’s changed image.

Nonetheless, Japan is still home to numerous multinational corporations that bring in sizable investment and service trade revenues. Japanese multinational corporations have established production networks throughout Asia through the relocation of production sites and the transfer of technology and management skills to←1 | 2→ foreign countries. Japan’s economic transformation has altered the country’s trade policy from single-minded support of GATT/WTO multilateralism to the active pursuit of bilateral economic partnership agreements, which often involve both trade and investment rules.

Furthermore, the pessimistic discourse on Japan’s economy has not automatically led scholars to predict Japan’s decline as a security player. Rather, the opposite is true. The emergence of new regional security dynamics in the post–Cold War period has led Japan to revise its pacifist orientation and play an active role in international security by dispatching its Self-Defense Forces (SDFs) overseas. Zupančic and Hribernik argue that after the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Japan became a “normative power” that promotes international norms such as multilateralism, regionalism, human security, and peacekeeping.2

Lastly, scholars inside and outside of political science have paid increasing attention to Japan’s “soft power” or intangible sources of power. Whereas the utilitarian (material) sources of power such as the military and the economy continue to occupy the center of scholarly analysis of Japanese foreign policy, constructivist scholars have both countered and supplemented the utilitarian analysis with their focus on intangible values and norms. Even the Japanese Foreign Ministry has identified some unexplained degree of utility in promoting Japanese cultural products including comic books (manga) and animation films (anime) as “cool Japan.”3 If Japan can combine hard power and soft power and balance them in its foreign policy formulation, the country may become a “smart power” rather than simply a declining power.4 With lines of critical analysis, this volume challenges the prevailing thesis of a declining Japan.

This opening chapter will describe the structural change in international politics by discussing the power status of the United States, China, and Japan. This chapter refers to arguments on hard power, soft power, and their combination to determine whether Japan has declined, sustained, or rerisen. Then, the chapter will present a brief survey on the current state of Japan’s power from the perspectives of geopolitics, domestic political-social norms and values, and regional integration and its institutionalization. Lastly, this chapter will present the organization of the volume.

Hard Power and Soft Power

The landscape of international politics represents the nature of power itself. It is meaningful to revisit Nye’s concepts of hard power and soft power. Nye explains that there are two directions of power, which are command power and co-optive power. Command power is the ability to get others to do what you want, which can be effected by coercion or inducement. In contrast, co-optive power is the←2 | 3→ ability to shape what others want based on the attraction of one’s ideas, culture, and values or the ability to manipulate the agenda of political choices in a way that shapes the preferences that are expressed by others.5 Hard power resources lean toward the behaviors of command power, whereas soft power resources tend to be associated with the co-optive purpose of various behaviors.6 However, this relationship is not perfect. For example, some states may be attracted to other states with their command power based on myths of undefeated military forces. Command power may sometimes be utilized to create institutions that later become regarded as being legitimate. Hard power tends to be more tangible, such as force, sanctions, payments, and bribes. Soft power is usually intangible, and it can be represented by institutions, democratic values, ways of life, or domestic and foreign policies.7

The world has been “softened” by the fact that a war between major powers is almost unthinkable. Some reasons for this softening are the enormous costs of war (e.g., nuclear wars and/or wars with highly advanced conventional weapons), economic interdependence, the prevalence of democratic political cultures, social and economic interpenetration caused by globalization, and the growth of international organizations and regimes.8 In the current state of international order, a nation can optimize power for its security only through the combination of both hard and soft power resources.9 Excessive dependence on hard power will generate power intoxication, which will in turn result in the “self-defeat” of a hard power nation because other nations will not fully support a hard power nation; other nations will obey it at a minimum level or superficially, which erodes the “power” of the hard power nation in the long term.

This does not mean that hard power is not important because the lack of hard power or the sole dependence on soft power creates a so-called paper tiger. Rather, the application of hard power, that is, military power, functions as a type of insurance that guarantees responses against certain potentially disastrous situations.10 Economic power also includes the important assets of hard power.11

Nevertheless, in terms of international support and its consolidation, soft power is superior to hard power in several ways. Gallarotti argues that, as direct effects, specific requests for assistance or cooperation are more likely to be accepted (e.g., permission for an aircraft landing for a military exercise, preferential trading privileges, or votes to support motions in international organizations). For indirect effects, soft power nations can consolidate a greater community or confederation of nations that share similar foreign policy goals. This mode of compliance is largely self-motivated, and it is most likely to lead to the enactment of specific policy goals of target nations at levels that are higher than “coercion” by hard power exercises.12 This is highly related to the “soft balancing” diplomacy that has been previously argued.←3 | 4→

Three Powers: The United States, China, and Japan

Summary

"The lost two decades" of Japan’s economic power since the early 1990s have generated the image among scholars in the discipline of international relations (IR) that Japan is no longer a significant player. Hence, today’s IR literature focuses on the rise of China. Re-rising Japan: Its Strategic Power in International Relations challenges this trend by showing up-to-date evidence that Japan is still a major power in today’s international relations where the interests and power of the United States and China have increasingly clashed over many issues.
Indeed, since the Abe cabinet re-emerged in December 2012, there has been growing academic interest in Japan’s bold monetary/financial/social policies (Abenomics) and relatively assertive security policy. Where is Japan heading, and what path has it taken since the 2000s? This book responds to these questions.
Re-rising Japan assembles the latest studies on Japan written by today’s young and energetic scholars. It consists of three parts: (1) Geopolitics, (2) Domestic Political-Social Norms and Values, and (3) Asian Regional Integration and Institutionalizations. The individual chapters reveal what power assets Japan has and their strength and weakness in today’s international relations. Readers will attain a complete picture of Japan and its evolving new strategy in the decaying U.S. unipolar system where China has been behaving as a revisionist state.

Details

Pages
VIII, 264
ISBN (PDF)
9781433144431
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433144493
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433144509
ISBN (Book)
9781433144394
Language
English
Publication date
2018 (January)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2018. VII, 220 pp., 2 b/w ill., 6 tables

Biographical notes

Hidekazu Sakai (Volume editor) Yoichiro Sato (Volume editor)

Hidekazu Sakai (Ph.D., political science, University of Hawaii) is Associate Professor of Kansai Gaidai University (Japan). His most recent publication is "The United States-Japan Security Community—Emerging Collective Identity: The Case of the Persian Gulf War (1990–1991)" in Asian Security (2016). Yoichiro Sato (Ph.D., political science, University of Hawaii) taught at the U.S. Defense Department’s Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Auckland University (New Zealand), and is at the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan). He co-edited United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific (2015) and The U.S.-Japan Alliance (2011).

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