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Identity, Culture and Memory in Japanese Foreign Policy

Edited By Michal Kolmaš and Yoichiro Sato

This book interprets the changing nature of Japanese foreign policy through the concepts of identity, culture and memory. It goes beyond rational interpretation of material interests and focus on values and ideas that are inseparable and pervasive in Japanese domestic and foreign policy. A set of chapters written by established Japanese and foreign experts show the nuances of Japanese self-images and their role in defining their understanding of the world. Stemming from historical memories of World War Two, the reconciliation between Japan and other Asian countries, the formation of Japanese self in media discourse to the role of self-perception in defining Japanese contemporary foreign and economic policies, the book offers a holistic insight into Japanese psyche and its role in the political world. It will be of utmost interest not only to the scholars of Japanese foreign policy, but also to a wide public interested in understanding the uniqueness of Japanese state and its people.

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4. Industrial Policies, the East Asian Miracle, and Regional Integration after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis: Yoichiro Sato

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In the process of implementing Japan’s doctrine of “following the West” and the subsequent industrialization which began in the Meiji period, the government led a trend toward “state capitalism.” This can be identified, for example, in the construction of government-operated steel and textile factories. Even though the ensuing economic development, private capital growth, industrial diversification, and political democratization worked to weaken the state’s industrial control, economic control which accompanied the start of the Sino-Japanese War again strengthened the state’s involvement in the economy. The approach of economic and regional integration devised during the construction of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity, which merged the public and the private sectors (Akamatsu 1937), was continued in the process of postwar Japanese economic recovery and regional economic integration with East Asia. Published by the World Bank in 1993, the report titled “The East Asian Miracle” (World Bank 1993) attracted attention of researchers and policymakers in Japan as well as abroad as a development paradigm, an alternative to the American-style liberal capitalism doctrine. While developing countries positively evaluated the role of the state in suppressing the “exploitative” aspect of globalized capitalism, the United States criticized Japanese-style capitalism due to its perceived “unfair” advantage from the point of view of international competition (Wade 2003).

The 1997–1998 Asian economic crisis and the subsequent response of each of the affected countries was a major challenge to the “East Asian ←85 | 86→model.” Taking advantage of IMF emergency loans, Korea, which had already stopped...

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