Achieving Kyosei in East Asia
Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum
Chapter 9: Foreign Policy Strategies for Japan: A Non-Japanese Perspective
9. Foreign policy strategies for Japan: a non-Japanese perspective 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...
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