The end of the Cold War has put even further pressure on Japan to become a more active player in world politics befitting its position as an economic superpower. This situation has forced Japan to reassess the basic premises on which its foreign policy rests. It has also exposed deep flaws in the nation’s political system, such as the inability to produce strong leaders and the tendency to respond piecemeal to foreign pressure rather than as part of an integrated strategy.
The essays in this book summarize Japan’s past strategies and goals and define its new international role in the post-cold war world. The contributors examine the security, economic, and trade issues facing Japan today, propose solutions, and pinpoint structural changes needed to ease the process of designing and implementing new policies. The book also calls attention to the need to educate the public and create new venues for discussing and formulating foreign policy goals that reflect the views of experts outside of government circles, not just a narrow bureaucratic perspective.
The book grew out of a research project called Japan’s International Agenda and organized by the Japan Center for International Exchange.