Recently I have read the following book. Its main points in the final chapters of 6 to 9 are as follows:
Book title: Pyle, Kenneth. 1996. The Japanese Question: Power and Purpose in a New Era.
: AEI Press. Washington
Ch. 6. The task of re-orienting Japanese purpose was undertaken by PM Nakasone Yasuhiro in 1982-87. His office represented a marriage of the political nationalism since 1950s and the new internationalism. (85)
- three characters distinguished Nakasone’s style: 1. He adopted a top-down leadership, 2. he used foreign policy responsibilities of his office to maximum Japan’s advantage; 3. he appointed unusual great number of government commissions. He got admirers after his party’s landslide victory in 1986. There were four major tenants of Nakasone’s grand design: 1. Japan would no longer be a follower nation; 2. be prepared for global leadership; 3. to hold on to a new liberal nationalism, and 4. to assume an active role in the globe. (89)
- Nakasone was convinced that self-confidence had to begin with appreciation of traditional institutions and history. At a LDP seminar he said that Yasukuni issue was important because it showed the gratitude of the people for the sacrifice made by their forebearers. (98-99)
- while the tangible achievements of Nakasone in establishing a more active foreign policy were limited and often symbolic, he did succeed in influencing the public debate and in creating greater receptivity to an alignment of Japan with the western allies.(103)
Ch. 7. By the end of the 1980s, the new internationalism envisioned by the Ohira Research group had only limited success. Whether because of foreign pressure or self-interest for the demonstrable strength of its economy, Japan dismantled some mercantilist policies. (106)
-consensus on a new foreign policy was constrained by what we might call in general the burden of history. The forced march to catch-up with the West became a barrier to internationalism consensus. The burden of history was institutional, structural and systemic. (107)
- since the Meiji restoration, Japanese had a keen sensitivity to the forces controlling the international environment. They operated in accord with these forces and used them to their own advantages. After WWII, the Yoshida Doctrine focused on economy growth while the US guaranteed Japanese security. (110)
Ch. 8.in 1991 Miyazawa, acceding to international criticism and pressure, gave his support to the legislation that authorized the dispatch of self-defense forces abroad to participate in the UN peace keeping operation. The Gulf Crisis demonstrated once again that Japan had the capacity to change, and to develop policies that transcended its own narrow self-interest (130-1).
- in 1985, Japan had an impressive array of economic tools to establish economic leadership in the region; development in the mid-1980s provided the opportunity to increase interdependence with the region in Asia. The Plaza Hotel Accord in 1985 and the rise in value of the yen were the examples. Japan was prepared to offer other Asian countries economic inducement for following it leadership: foreign aid, commercial loans, technology transfer, directs investment and access to Japanese markets etc. (131).
- Thailand was the most dramatic example of how leadership role had changed. From 1970 to 1985, US investment in Thailand was higher than Japan. After 1985 Japan’s shared had increased sharply. (137)
Ch. 9. In 1993, for the first time since 1955 when the LDP was founded, it lacked a majority necessary to form a government. A succession of coalition government committed to sweeping changes in Japan’s politics and a stable political system disappeared. (147)
- Japan was entering a wholly new historical phase. The dynamic that shaped Japan’s development over the past 125 years had changed. Japan had become a first-rank country. Japan was driven by intense late-development nationalism, today it had great stake in the persevation of the existing international order. (151)
- the postwar political system that collapsed in 1993 had been a product of the radical legacy of WWII and the circumstance of the Cold War. The LDP warded off the progressive challenges and established controls over the post-war political system for nearly four decades. (156)
- another sign of transformation of the old political landscape was the disappearance of the taboo of discussion about constitution revision. (158)
-one of the most naked, self-interested power play in the recent history was that the Socialist party joined with its ideological foes in the LDP to bring down the Hata administration and establish a JSP-LDP coalition headed by Murayama, a leader of the Socialist left wing.(160)
- in the new economic interest, a coherent Japanese strategy in Asia began to take shape; this strategy was driven wholly by economic consideration. (162) It involved close business-government cooperation and the coordinated use of private investment, official aid, and trade to help Japanese multi-national corporation to integrate production networks throughout Asia.(163)
- Murakami believed that the claims to universal validity of Western liberal and progressive values, which were most fully embodied in American civilization, could no longer be maintained in light of Japanese’s success in achieving an alternative path to modern society (167). Implicit in these views was a determination to break free of Japan’s long dependence on the West.
- a US report in 1995 stressed its determination to maintain exiting forward-based US troop’s presence for the foreseeable future. (172)