Japan’s foreign policy, as set forth by the 1947 Constitution, is exercised by the cabinet and is subject to the overall supervision of the National Diet. The prime minister is required to make periodic reports on foreign relations to the Diet, to which the upper and lower houses each have a foreign affairs committee. Each committee reports on its deliberations to the plenary session of the chamber to which it relates.
Sometimes special committees are set up to consider the specifics. Members of the Diet have the right to raise relevant policy questions—officially called interpolations—to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister. Treaties with foreign countries require ratification by the Diet. As head of state, the monarch performs the ceremonial functions of receiving foreign envoys and certifying foreign treaties approved by the Diet.
The constitutionally dominant figure in the political system, the prime minister has the final word in major foreign policy decisions. The Minister of External Affairs, a senior member of the cabinet, serves as the prime minister’s chief advisor on matters of planning and implementation. The minister is assisted by two deputy ministers: one in charge of administration, who was at the top of the foreign ministry structure as his senior career official, and the other in charge of the political liaison with the Diet. Other key positions in the ministry include members of the secretariat of the ministry, with departments handling consular, immigration, communications and cultural exchange functions, and directors of various regional and functional bureaus in the ministry.
During the post-World War II period, Japan focused on economic development. It accommodated flexibly to the regional and global policies of the United States while avoiding major initiatives of its own; adhered to the pacifist principles embodied in the 1947 constitution, known as the “Peace Constitution”; and generally took a passive, low-profile role in world affairs.
Relations with other countries were governed by what the leadership called “omnidirectional diplomacy”, which was essentially a policy of maintaining political neutrality in foreign affairs while expanding economic ties wherever possible. This policy was highly successful and allowed Japan to prosper and grow as an economic power, but this was only possible if the country enjoyed the security and economic stability provided by its ally, the United States.
The Yoshida Doctrine was a strategy adopted by Prime Minister Japan under Shigeru Yoshida, Prime Minister 1948–1954. He focused on rebuilding Japan’s domestic economy, relying heavily on a security alliance with the United States. The Yoshida Doctrine emerged in 1951 and has shaped Japanese foreign policy in the 21st century.
First, Japan is firmly aligned with the United States in the Cold War against communism. Second, Japan relies on US military might and limits its own defence forces to a minimum. Third, Japan emphasizes economic diplomacy in its world affairs. The Yoshida Doctrine was accepted by the United States; The actual term was coined in 1977.
The economic dimension was promoted by Hayato Ikeda, who served as finance minister and later prime minister. Most historians argue that the policy was wise and successful, but a minority criticizes it as naive and unfair.
When Japan regained its sovereignty in 1952 and re-entered the international community as an independent nation, it found itself in a world beset by the Cold War between East and West, with the Soviet Union and the United States at loggerheads. Leading the camps. Based on the Peace Treaty with Japan signed in San Francisco on September 8, 1951 (effective April 28, 1952), the state of war between Japan and most of the Allied countries except the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China ended. And the Mutual Security Assistance Treaty between Japan and the United States, signed in San Francisco the same day, Japan essentially became a dependent ally of the United States, which continued to maintain bases and troops on Japanese soil.
Japan’s foreign policy goals during much of the initial post-war period were essential to achieve economic viability and establish its credibility as a peaceful member of the world community. National security was entrusted to the protective shield and nuclear umbrella of the United States, which was permitted under the Security Agreement that came into force in April 1952 to station its forces in and around Japan. The agreement provided a framework governing the use of United States forces against internal or external military threats in the region. A special diplomatic task was to allay doubts and reduce discontent among Asian neighbours who had suffered from Japanese colonial rule and imperial aggression in the past. Therefore, Japan’s diplomacy towards its Asian neighbours is very important.
I was critical, conciliatory and non-assertive. In relation to the world, the nation avoided political issues and focused on economic goals. Under his unidirectional diplomacy, he sought to develop friendly relations with all countries, declared a policy of “separation of politics and economics”, and followed a neutral position on some East–West issues.
During the 1950s and 1960s, foreign policy actions were guided by three basic principles: closer cooperation with the United States for security and economic reasons; promoting a free trade system suited to Japan’s own economic needs; and international cooperation through the United Nations (UN) – to which it was admitted in 1956 – and other multilateral bodies. Adherence to these principles worked well and contributed to the unprecedented economic recovery and growth during the first two decades following the end of the occupation.
In the 1970s, the basic post-war principles remained unchanged, but due to the pressure of pragmatic politics at home and abroad, a new approach was approached. However, there was growing domestic pressure on the government to take more foreign policy initiatives independent of the United States, without compromising vital security and economic ties.
The so-called Nixon “shock”, including a sudden visit to China by Richard Nixon and a sudden rapprochement in Sino-American relations, also argued for a more independent Japanese foreign policy. A similar step was taken in Sino-Japanese relations as well.
The country’s phenomenal economic growth made it a ranking world economic power by the early 1970s and instills a sense of pride and self-esteem, especially among the younger generation. The demand for a more independent foreign policy reflected this increased self-image.
On the other hand, Japan’s growing economic growth and expansion into overseas markets led to foreign accusations of “economic aggression” and demands that it adopt more balanced trade policies. Changes in power relations in the Asia-Pacific Quadrilateral—composed of Japan, the People’s Republic of China, the United States, and the Soviet Union—also called for a re-examination of policies.
The deepening Sino-Soviet divide and confrontation, the dramatic rapprochement between the United States and China, the rapid reduction of the United States’ military presence in Asia after the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War, 1954–75), and the Soviet Union in the 1970s The expansion of military power in the western Pacific all required a re-evaluation of Japan’s security position and overall role in Asia.
The move toward a more autonomous foreign policy was accelerated by the United States’ decision to withdraw troops from Indochina in the 1970s. Japanese public opinion had previously supported some distance between the involvement of Japan and the United States in the war in Vietnam. The collapse of the war effort in Vietnam was seen as the end of the United States’ military and economic dominance in Asia and brought about a marked change in Japan’s view of the United States.
This shift, which had been developing since the early 1970s, took the form of questioning the credibility of the United States’ nuclear umbrella, as well as its ability to underwrite a stable international monetary system, and access to energy and raw materials. Japan’s interest in a stable political system was guaranteed, and Japan’s access was guaranteed. The change, therefore, required a reappraisal of omnidirectional diplomacy.
Changes in world economic relations during the 1970s also encouraged a more independent stance. Japan became less dependent on the Western powers for resources. For example, oil was obtained directly from producing countries in the Middle East, not from Western-controlled multinationals. Other important materials also increasingly came from sources other than the United States and its allies, while trade with the United States as a share of total trade declined significantly during the 1970s. But the oil crisis of the 1970s sharpened Japanese awareness of the country’s vulnerability to cutoffs of raw material and energy supplies, underscoring the need for a less passive, more independent foreign policy.
Thus, political leaders began to argue that in the interest of economic self-preservation, more attention should be paid to the financial and development needs of other countries, especially those countries that supplied Japan with vital energy and raw materials. Provide.
Shortly thereafter, in the crisis year of 1979, Japan’s leaders welcomed a reassessment of United States military power in Asian and world affairs following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Tehran hostage crisis, and the Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan. Japanese leaders played a strong supporting role in halting economic and other interactions with the Soviet Union and its allies to help prevent the expansion of Soviet power into sensitive areas among developing countries.
Japanese thinking on foreign policy was also influenced by the rise of a new generation of leadership and policymaking positions after the war. The difference in outlook between the older leaders still in positions of power and influence and the younger generation that was replacing them Complicated formulation of policy. Under Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, a more hardline stance on foreign policy was introduced.
Japan forged close political-military ties with the United States as part of a de facto international front of several developed and developing countries intended to check Soviet expansion. Japan’s defence spending continued to increase despite overall budgetary restraint. Japan became increasingly active in providing foreign aid to countries of strategic importance in the East-West competition.
The realignment of the United States and Japanese currencies in the mid-1980s led to increased Japanese trade, aid, and investment, particularly in Asia. It also accelerated the reversal of the United States’ financial position from one of the world’s largest creditors in the early 1980s to the world’s largest debtor at the end of the decade. Japan became the world’s largest creditor, an increasingly active investor in the United States, and a major contributor to International debt relief, financial institutions, and other aid efforts. Japan had also become the second largest donor of foreign aid.
By 1990, Japan’s foreign policy choices challenged the leadership’s tendency to avoid radical change and rely on incremental adjustments. Although still generally in favour of closer ties, including alliance ties with the United States, Japanese leaders were well aware of strong American frustration with Japanese economic practices and Japan’s growing economic power relative to the United States in world affairs. Knew Senior United States leaders were calling on Japanese officials to work with them in crafting “a new ideological framework” for Japan–United States relations that would change Japanese and the United States views of bilateral relations.
Will take into account strategic and economic realities and changes. The results of this effort were unclear. Some optimistically predicted “a new global partnership” in which the United States and Japan would work together as truly equal partners in tackling global problems. Pessimists predicted that negative sentiment resulting from reevaluations in the United States and Japanese economic power and continuing trade friction would lead Japan to strike more on its own, without the “guidance” of the United States. Given Japan’s growing economic dominance in Asia, Tokyo was seen as likely to strike first independently there, translating its economic power into political and, perhaps, eventually military influence.
Nevertheless, Japan’s image as a “military dwarf” was somewhat ironic, as in the 1980s and 1990s Japan had one of the world’s largest defence budgets and defence expenditure was the most widely used source of military power. Is one of the indicators. It also had very advanced naval and air self-defence capabilities.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the increasing preoccupation of its former republics and Eastern European countries with internal political and economic problems increased the importance for Japan of economic competition rather than military power. These former communist countries were eagerly seeking aid, trade and technological advantage from developed countries like Japan.
The power of Japan’s ally, the United States, was also seen by many as diminishing. The United States was increasingly forced to look to Japan and others to shoulder the financial burden that came to the transformation of former communist economies in Eastern Europe and other urgent international needs that fell on the shoulders of world leaders.
Japanese industry and enterprise were among the most efficient in the world. High savings and investment rates and high-quality education strengthened the international leadership of these enterprises in the mid to late 1990s. Its economic power has given Japan an ever-increasing role in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other international financial institutions.
Investment and trade flows gave Japan, its by far dominant economic role in Asia, and Japanese aid and investment were widely sought in other parts of the world. It appears that it is only a matter of time before such economic power is translated into greater political power. The key issue for the United States and many other world governments centred on how Japan would employ this growing economic power.
In Japan, both elite and popular opinion expressed growing support for a more prominent international role in proportion to the country’s economic power, foreign aid, trade and investment. But a reluctance to play a major military role in the traditional post-World War II world remained.
There continued to be a firm agreement to support the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and other bilateral agreements with the United States as the basis for Japan’s security policy. However, Japanese officials use their economic and financial resources to seek a greater voice in international financial and political organizations and to shape the policies of developed countries towards international crisis sites, particularly in Asia.
Role of domestic politics
General satisfaction in Japan with the peace and prosperity brought to the country made it difficult for opposition parties to garner much support for a radical move to the left in Japan’s foreign policy. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the widely publicized brutalities of communist regimes in Asia in the late 1980s further reduced popular Japanese interest in shifting foreign policy to the left.
Meanwhile, the ruling LDP revised its base of political power. By the 1980s, it had clearly changed the social composition of LDP support away from traditional conservative reliance on business and rural groups to include every category of voters. This change resulted from efforts by LDP leaders to align various local interests in a mutually beneficial arrangement in support of LDP candidates. The LDP brought together various candidates and their supporting interest groups and reached a policy consensus on pursuing economic development, while relying strongly on the security umbrella of the United States.
Domestic political challenges to LDP dominance waxed and waned later in the 1980s as the party suffered major influence-peddling scandals such as the Lockheed bribery scandal and the recruiting scandal, along with the weak and divided leadership. In 1989, the opposition Japan Socialist Party gained control of the Diet’s House of Councillors.
But the Japan Socialist Party’s previous ideological position on foreign policy appeared to be more a liability than an asset going into the elections to the House of Representatives in 1990, and the party attempted to revise several positions, including pushing foreign policy to the left. The call was made. , In contrast, Prime Minister Kaifu Toshiki, the LDP standard bearer, used the identification in the United States and the West to his advantage in a successful LDP attempt to retain control of the House of Representatives in February 1990.
In 1993 the coalition government of Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiro pledged to continue the LDP policy of increased economic and security ties with the United States; Responding to domestic and international expectations of greater Japanese political and economic contributions; and international cooperation through the United Nations and other international organizations for world peace, disarmament, aid to developing countries, and educational and technical cooperation. Foreign policy speeches by the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs were widely disseminated, and pamphlets and booklets on major foreign policy questions were frequently issued.
Political groups opposed to the government’s foreign policy expressed their views freely through political parties and the mass media, which took vocal and independent positions on a wide range of external issues. Some of the opposition elements involved were the leftists who tried to exert influence through their representatives in the Diet, through mass organizations and sometimes through rallies and street demonstrations.
Conversely, special interest groups supporting the government, including the business community and agricultural interests, put pressure on the prime minister, cabinet members, and members of the Diet, usually through behind-the-scenes negotiations and compromises.
Partisan political activities of all ideological persuasions were carried out freely and openly, but differences in foreign policy approaches increasingly appeared in the 1980s to be derived less from ideology than from more pragmatic considerations. Broadly stated, the partisan disagreement between the various groups competing for power centered on the question of Japan’s defense against external threats or attacks. The dominant view was that although the Japanese should be responsible for the defence of their homeland, they should also continue their security relationship with the United States, at least until they had gained sufficient confidence in their own self-defence power. Which is not defined to be prohibited by Article 9 of the Constitution. Proponents of this approach agreed that this self-defense capability should be based on conventional weapons and any nuclear shield provided by the United States under a 1960 security treaty.
The hardening of China–United States relations in the 1970s and Japan–Soviet relations in the 1980s led to less emphasis by opposition parties on the need to end the security treaty. The Democratic Socialist Party and Komeito indicated their readiness to support the treaty, while the Japan Socialist Party dropped the demand for immediate abrogation. Only the Japanese Communist Party stood firm.
Despite partisan differences, during the 1970s and 1980s, all political parties and groups were almost unanimous that Japan should have greater independence and initiative in foreign affairs and was prepared to follow the United States on matters affecting Japan’s interests. Should not happen. They also agreed that Japan should continue to hold off on introducing nuclear weapons into the country. These shared ideas were reflected in the resurgence of nationalism during the post-World War II era and the Japanese people’s pride in their heritage and the economic achievements of the post-war decades.
This is how they were born. Although there were signs that the “nuclear allergy” triggered by Japan’s traumatic experience with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was beginning to subside, nuclear weapons remain a sensitive political issue.
Except for matters relating to security, most foreign affairs issues involved economic interests and attracted the attention of mainly affected specific groups. The role of interest groups in foreign policy formulation varies with the issue. Because issues of trade and capital investment were involved, for example, in relations with the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, the business community increasingly became an interested party in the conduct of foreign affairs. Similarly, when fishing rights or agricultural imports were being negotiated, representatives of affected industries worked with political leaders and the foreign affairs bureaucracy in shaping policy.
Because of the LDP’s continued control of the government since its formation in 1955, the LDP’s policymaking bodies became central to government policymaking. Because the unifying will of the majority party in the Diet almost always prevails, some observers view the Diet as a mere sounding board for government policy announcements and a rubber-stamp endorser of decisions made by the prime minister and his cabinet.
As was reduced. This position meant that important debates and discussions on matters of the foreign policy usually took place not in the Diet but in closed-door meetings of the governing LDP. For example, discussions took place between representatives of the Foreign Affairs Section of the LDP’s Policy Research Council and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, or leaders of major LDP support groups, such as the Federation of Economic Organizations (Keizai Dantai Rengokai—better known as Keidanren). The loss of the LDP majority in the July 1993 election to the House of Representatives was bound to affect this situation, but it remained to be seen how it would affect it.
The role of public opinion in the formulation of foreign policy during the post-war period has been difficult to determine. Japan remained extremely concerned with public opinion, and opinion polling became a distinctive feature of national life. The large number of polls on public policy issues, including matters of foreign policy, conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other government organizations and the media has led analysts to speculate that the collective opinion of voters exerts significant influence on policymakers.
Public attitudes towards foreign policy, which had been consistent for most of the post-war period, shifted in the 1980s. Opinion polls showed a significant increase in national pride and self-esteem. In addition, public discussion of security matters by government officials, political party leaders, press commentators, and academics had become markedly less volatile and doctrinaire and more open and pragmatic, indirectly suggesting that public opinion on the subject had changed. Attitudes also evolved.
As advocates of the public interest and critics of the government, the mass media, and especially the press, are strongly shaping public attitudes. The media is the main source of demands that the government use more independent and less “weak” diplomacy in view of the changing world situation and Japan’s growing stature in the world. An example of this attitude has been the continued support for whaling through the International Whaling Commission, which has led to growing opposition from many important trading partners countries such as the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Counterterrorism as a part of Japanese foreign policy
Since the end of World War II, Japan has operated through a policy of pacifism and passivity. This came to be understood through a change in national identity in the late eighties and early nineties, as well as a change in the perception of its international role as a great economic power. Major catalysts included a change in Japan’s national security objectives and widespread criticism of its “checkbook diplomacy” policy during the First Gulf War. This change eventually moved Japan from a realm of pacifism to a more active assertive power. It was characterized by increased participation in international and regional organizations (monetarily) and more broadly in conflict resolution, in global peacekeeping operations under the umbrella of the United Nations. Japan’s counterterrorism policy can be viewed as one part of this broader foreign policy platform, as it stems from these larger objectives. Its counterterrorism policy is an integral part of its larger foreign policy objectives, which are 1) the maintenance of the US/Japanese security alliance 2) continued international peace and security 3) a moderate defense build-up. This last objective is new, and ultimately very much tied to its anti-terrorist policies. This represents some concern for the US as it signals the beginning of a more independent Japan in the future, but for some time there has been no significant increase in Japanese independence from the US in terms of foreign policy making, especially As it pertains to anti-terrorism.
Japan’s foreign relations
WWII Subsequent economic development shaped its foreign relations. Its foreign relations depend on the problems of integration of the national economy with the world market. After the war, the Japanese leadership felt that political power could be created only on an economic basis.
Therefore, Japan’s economy and foreign policy have come to be considered synonymous with economic relations and foreign relations with other countries.
Japan emerged as a significant factor in the international scene as a distinct economic power, without expansionist ambitions and military power. The pace of its development from 1950 to the time of the oil crisis of 1973 was unprecedented. Even after 1973, the pace of development has been better than other developed industrial countries. It is an essential condition for the continuity of existence with the scarcity of resources and the rapid pace of industrialization.
Japan and industrial countries
Korea and Taiwan were both colonies of Japan and Japan’s relations with them bear colonial imprints. These ties are determined by strategic and geopolitical situations rather than economic ones. Japan does not favour the reunification of Korea, nor the tension between North Korea and South Korea, which could pose a threat to Japan’s security.
Relations with South Korea have improved in recent years. In 1983, after the visit of the then Prime Minister Nakaso Yashuhi to Korea, Japan agreed to provide $ 4 billion in aid to Korea. Japan and Taiwan do not have diplomatic relations due to China’s policy, but economic cooperation between them is considered important.
Japan, the former Soviet Union and China
Japan’s relations with the former Soviet Union were strained during the Cold War, and it began to pay special attention to regional security out of concern for self-defense against the threat of Soviet aggression. During Gorbachev’s reign, significant diplomatic beginnings were made toward improving relations.
But Japan remained suspicious of Soviet peace efforts. Due to the demand for the return of the disputed areas, the Soviet efforts to establish peace did not get much success. The dissolution of the Soviet Union further complicated the issue of returning disputed territories to Japan.
The current stability in Japan-China relations are the result of Japan’s far-reaching understanding of economic factors and geopolitical aspects. Japan takes a cautious approach to cooperation with China.
Japan does not want the US to help with the development of the Navy because it considers it dangerous to its security. China expresses concern over Japan’s growing military power. Japan wants to make a profit by helping China’s Modernization but does not want to see it as a developed industrial country.
Japan and developing countries
Japan feels troubled by the structural anomalies of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations-Council of North East Asian Nations). And ASEAN member states are concerned about the growing dominance of Japanese capital over their national economies due to Japan’s exploitation of the region’s raw materials and investment by Japanese companies. Recently, Japan has started relocating its polluting industrial sectors to other countries.
Japan is completely dependent on the Gulf countries for oil. Japan has been adopting a pro-Arab policy since the time of the first oil crisis in view of oil supply constraints. Japan has friendly relations with both Iran and Iraq. Therefore, it is in a position to play an important role in resolving the Iran-Iraq conflict. Japan imports two-thirds of its oil consumption from the Middle East, and Asia via the Persian Gulf.
Japan gives priority to providing economic and technical assistance to countries in Africa that have exportable resources. Japan has not taken a clear stand on the issue of apartheid in resource-rich South Africa.
Despite the instability of Latin American politics, Japanese relations with countries there are cordial and cooperative.
Japan and the United Nations
Japan was admitted to the United Nations in 1956. Since then, Japan actively participates in its activities in every field. As the sphere of influence of these activities expanded and specialist organizations expanded, Japan’s contribution also increased. Japan’s contribution to the regular budget of the United Nations and the expenditure on peacekeeping efforts increased substantially.
Japan has also increased its activity and economic contribution to the following organizations of the United Nations: United Nations Conference on Development and Trade (UNCTAD), United Nations Development Plan (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNICEF), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Monetary Organization (IMF). Being an economic power, there is also discussion about the possibility of making Japan a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the near future.
International Exchange and Cooperation
With economic development, Japan’s contribution to the international arena has also increased. There has been a continuous increase in the quantum of Government Development Assistance (ODA). Japan’s contribution to the total national income of all the countries of the world is 10 per cent, due to which Japan has become the main personality of the World Council. America’s economic power Japan has become a centre of hope for capital, technology and foreign aid for developing countries due to the relative scarcity, the minimum defence budget gave the total national income, and the unprecedented increase in the value of the yen since 1985. Japanese diplomacy is expanding its activities by strengthening its roots. Japan’s contribution to the following international activities is notable:
- Cooperation for peace
- Expansion of Government Development Assistance
- Development of cultural exchange
Under the concept of cooperation for peace, Japan actively intervenes to resolve international disputes.
In this effort, it organizes diplomatic negotiations with the countries concerned with the dispute and with those countries which are in a position to play a meaningful role in resolving the dispute. Collaborates through participation in international conferences. Sends its officials and representatives in international peacekeeping activities, helps refugees and helps in the reconstruction.
Japan has the following objectives behind the spirit of international cooperation:
- improving the standard of living of the residents of the receiving country,
- To establish friendly relations with those countries,
- Contribution to the development of the world economy through cooperation in the economic progress of developing countries, and
- Contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the international community.
In 1987, Japan gave $7.5 billion as foreign aid. In 1988 this amount was $9.13 billion and in 1989 it was $8.9 billion. Japan aims for $50 billion in foreign aid over the next five years from 1992. O.D.A. (Official development aid) seems to be very little in the context of Japan’s total budget. Although Japan is among the largest donors. However, the system for the implementation of the decision is not as developed as in Western European countries.
- The policy of arbitration in disputes broke the order of neutrality and passivity in post-war international affairs. Even now Japan’s foreign policy is not particularly active.
- Outsiders find it difficult to understand Japan because of the speed of its economic development. But under the policy of cultural exchange, perhaps Japan can articulate its mantra of development abroad.
The imprint of the United States’ influence is clearly visible in Japan’s foreign policy after World War II. Despite these limitations, Japan’s foreign policy has been successful in achieving a respectable position in a world divided between poor and rich countries of the North-South.
Japan attaches great importance to Geo-economic factors in the determination of foreign policy. Japan has become the most important economic power in the world today. As Japan expanded its international sources of markets, it made them dependent on Japanese goods, services, technology and capital.