Japan's Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain Power

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9780312238940: Japan's Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain Power
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Has Japanese foreign policy changed in the post - Cold War era? On the surface, it appears to have been quite consistent since the end of World War II. It has stressed the US-Japanese security alliance, the use of economic tools, and constraints on the use of force. However, this book argues that new ideas and new patterns of diplomacy have in fact come about following the changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Using case studies that look at China, the Korean peninsulas, Russia and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and international institutions, Michael Green uncovers a more Japanese foreign policy in Japan. Though it still converges with the US on fundamental issues, it is increasingly independent. While remaining low-risk, it is more sensitive to balance-of-power issues. It is still reactive, but it is far less passive. Green argues that this emerging strategic view, what he calls “reluctant realism,” is being shaped by a combination of changes in the international environment, insecurity about national power resources, and Japanese aspirations for a national identity that moves beyond the legacy of World War II. As a result, it is time for the US and the world to recognize Japan as an independent actor in Northeast Asia and to assess Japanese foreign policy on its own terms.

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About the Author:

Michael J. Green is Senior Fellow for Asian Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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“With Japan’s Reluctant Realism, Michael Green has artfully captured the essence of Japanese thinking about the world since the end of the Cold War. Green demonstrates how the uncertainties of the Japanese economy and the angst of a more fluid strategic environment in Northeast Asia have unleashed a new assertiveness in Japanese foreign policy. More than any other book on the subject, Japan’s Reluctant Realism explains why the United States must approach Japan as a strategic player in East Asia if we are to continue building a true strategic partnership with Japan in the future.” —Walter F. Mondale

“No single alliance is more important than that with Japan. Can it last in the face of change in Japan and Asia? Michael Green’s positive answer rests on a thorough and sensitive analysis. This is a fine book!” —Joseph S. Nye, Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

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ISBN 10:  1403962359 ISBN 13:  9781403962355
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003
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