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Soft Power

Soft Power

- a legacy of the past

- Japan relied too much on Soft Power instruments due to historical constraints

HistoricalHistoricalHistoricalHistorical Overview:Overview:Overview:Overview:

I. 1950’s

a. Events that led to Soft Power

i. Article 9, Post War Consitution

ii. Economic Recovery (Cold War)

iii. Fall of China as a market (SEA as alternate markets)

iv. “Normalization” of Japan

v. Export Promotion

vi. Supply of raw materials

b. Issues

i. Neutrality vs. Collective Security

ii. Military power not an option

iii. Security arrangement of US

iv. Japan as free loader

v. Identify problem: side with US or with SEA?

vi. Pay war repatriations?

c. Main strategy: YOSHIDA DOCTRINE

i. Rely on US collective security

ii. Keizai Kyouryoku and ODA: War repatriations

iii. Addressed all problems during the 1950’s

II. 1960’s-1970’s: Mercantilist Policy

a. Commercial interests through FP

b. Post war foreign policy supported Japan’s goal of recovery and economic development

c. Reliance on economic power

d. Economic cooperation and foreign aid as main instruments

i. Repatriations payment initially set the normalization process in motion

ii. Loans in the form of Export Credits (Yen Loans) export now, pay later; tying Japanese contracts to exports

iii. ODA for political diplomacy

1. Gift to Middle East


iv. Recycling Plan: using surplus for ODA

v. The New AID plan

1. New Asian Industrial Development Plan

2. Asian industries = Japanese industries

3. Assembly line/components in different countries production networks

vi. Doubling Plan: Aid expansion (Japan as largest ODA source)

III. 1980’s

a. From Mercantilism Reluctant Realism

i. Vibrant and robust economy in 1980’s

ii. Appreciation of yen in 1985 (Plaza Accord)

iii. Height of Economic miracle and developmental state

iv. 1980’s: start of transfer of Japanese capital to other countries

b. The confident Japan should seek for a more proactive role in regional and global affairs

i. Flying Geese Model: assumes Japan will take the lead; 3 Economic Development stages:



S. Korea









ii. Japan was also expected to:

1. Provide capital

2. Transfer technology

3. Absorb more products from East Asia

IV. 1987-1989: Post Cold War & Burst of Bubble

a. Changes in Domestic and International Setting:


Burst of Bubble (late 80’s)


Government Reforms


Change in domestic politics (LDP Coalition DPJ)


End of Cold War


Economic Recession


Gulf War—Checkbook diplomacy (Allies say that Japan should dispatch SDF)


Changing security environment (presence of nuclear power in Korea)


Rise of China


War of Terrorism

b. Effect of Change: Crisis in Japan’s source of Power making it less confident

i. Fiscal stimulus to revive the economy (government spending)

ii. Introduction of PKO legislation

iii. Search for new foreign policy directions (but no chosen solution)

1. Normal Japan (Ozawa Ichiro)

a. Japan must accept risks in foreign policy

b. China: It’s a resurgence of Japanese militarism and nationalism

c. Japan might have to revise the constitution to make it into a normal state (erase Article 9)

2. Low International Profile (Takemura Masayoshi)

a. for Japan to enjoy prosperity and wealth

b. similar to Switzerland

c. indifferent to international affairs)

d. minimal ODA