Hirasawa, Kazushige
October 1975
Foreign Affairs;Oct75, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p155
Academic Journal
The article looks at political trends underlying Japan's emerging foreign policy in 1975. Japan's diplomacy is in fact inhibited by two constraints. One is an international environment in which the Japanese people perceive themselves to be extremely vulnerable and limited in their options. The other constraint is internal, a legacy of defeat and occupation which reinforces this sense of vulnerability, and contributes to the fragmentation and polarization of contemporary Japan's domestic politics. Although Japan is locked into the tripolar structure of the U.S.-China-Soviet power balance in the Northwestern Pacific, Japan's own relations with the three are by no means equidistant. However, the fact remains that only the ruling Liberal Democratic Party supports with reservation the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the framework governing relations between the two nations. Japan's most ancient and complex relations have been with China, the source of its written language and important aspects its religious and aesthetic heritage. The Sino-Soviet ideological rivalry and territorial dispute undoubtedly facilitated the partial rapprochement between the U.S. and China in 1972. Most significant, however, is the fact that Japan's own security is intimately related to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.


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