Reflections on Japan’s Post–Cold War Foreign Policy

The end of the Cold War 20 years ago, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, brought enormous changes in international affairs. How has Japanese diplomacy responded to these new challenges? This series of articles, authored by experts in a range of different fields, will address this question.

Eurasian Diplomacy in Japan, 1997–2001Tōgō Kazuhiko

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of China in the 1990s, Japan’s leaders recognized the need for a more independent foreign policy adapted to the realities of the post–Cold War era. “Eurasian diplomacy” played a crucial role in this transition, as related by a former top Foreign Ministry official closely involved in the policy’s development and implementation under three successive LDP prime ministers.
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Redefining the Japan-US AllianceYamaguchi Noboru

In the early 1990s, many in Japan were questioning the very raison d’être of the Japan-US alliance in the post–Cold War era. Yet by the end of the decade, the bilateral security relationship was on as firm a footing as ever. Defense expert Yamaguchi Noboru reviews and assesses the process by which Japan and the United States adapted their partnership to the challenges of a new era.
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The Gulf War and Japanese DiplomacyNakanishi Hiroshi

More than 20 years have passed since the Gulf War, set off by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. The first international crisis since the end of the Cold War rocked the Japanese government and brought the shortcomings of Japanese diplomacy painfully into the open. We look back on the “Gulf shock” and its lasting consequences for Japan’s foreign policy.
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An Examination of Japan’s Asia-Pacific PolicyWatanabe Akio

When the Asian economy took off in the 1970s, Japanese diplomats turned their eyes toward the Asia-Pacific region, and when the Cold War ended, the whole world focused on it. With the tripolar relationship among China, Japan, and the United States gaining in importance, how has Japan’s Asia-Pacific policy evolved?
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Japan in Search of a New International IdentityHosoya Yuichi

Two decades have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Amid the enormous changes that have occurred since then, Japan has been seeking to forge a new identity for its foreign policy. This article is the first in a series that will examine the course of Japanese diplomacy during the post–Cold War era.
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