A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation
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A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation

Achieving Kyosei in East Asia

Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum

Scholars from Japan and a range of other countries explore in this book the still-unfinished effort to achieve the reconciliation of old enmities left over from past wars in East Asia. They present concrete policy proposals for a ‘grand design’ of peace based on the Japanese concept of ‘kyosei’, a word roughly translated as ‘conviviality’. A positive peace through kyosei means not only the absence of violence, but also the amelioration of past injustices, exploitation and oppression. The diversity of disciplines represented in the volume—international law and politics, history, philosophy and theology – enrich the contributors’ search for an intellectually appropriate, practically transformative and viable grand theory of peace in the twenty-first century. Chapters address issues such as security in North–South conflict situations, foreign policy strategies for Japan, the perspective of comparative religions, and current skepticism for the possibility of peace and reconciliation. These insightful and compelling analyses will be of great interest to students and researchers of East Asia and the politics of peace in general.
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Chapter 9: Foreign Policy Strategies for Japan: A Non-Japanese Perspective

Thomas J. Schoenbaum


Thomas J. Schoenbaum 1. INTRODUCTION Japan in the early years of the twenty-first century seems to have reached a crossroads with respect to its international relations with the rest of the world. Since the end of World War II, Japan has been closely tied with the United States and profoundly committed to the pacifism expressed by Article 9 of its “peace” constitution.1 Now, however, while both of these bedrocks of foreign policy remain important, new concerns have emerged: ● ● ● Unease among Japanese leaders and people about the wisdom and the legality of certain American foreign policy decisions. Japan’s wish to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Japan’s need for good relations with Asian countries, especially its neighbors China and South Korea. It is evident that Japan has now reached a crossroads in foreign policy. In truth Japan’s foreign policies must juggle three important goals: (1) commitment to observe international law and to work with international institutions, especially the United Nations; (2) maintenance of the alliance with the United States; and (3) efforts to improve relations and to deepen connections with Asia. However, these three goals sometimes come into conflict. Japan is then faced with dilemmas that demand priorities be sorted out between these three important matters. I make bold to suggest that when these priorities come into conflict Japan should follow international legal and institutional norms as its first priority. This may lead Japan to follow a somewhat new approach in its...

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