EUSTT

Japanese Foreign and Security Policy: Japan’s reemergence as a normal power?

Manouk Driessens, January 6, 2022.

Social Sciences – International Relations

Abstract: For a long time since the end of the Second World War, Japan was considered a pariah in international relations. In recent years, however, the question has been raised of whether Japan has returned to the international scene as a ‘normal power’. This essay takes a closer look at this question, firstly tackling the roots of the problem to then move on to Japan’s foreign policy and its evolution up until today. The central argument of the essay is that the criticism of Japan being a political dwarf has become outdated; and while the role of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been crucial in Japan’s foreign and security policy transformation, the evolution that was set in motion is likely to continue on a path towards normalization.

Keywords. — Japan, foreign policy, security policy, normalization, normal power.

Disclaimer: The views, information and opinions in the written publications are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect those shared by the Eutopia Student Think Tank (EUSTT) nor the EUTOPIA Alliance.

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Manouk Driessens

Manouk is currently finishing a Master program in EU and international governance at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). In the meantime, she is pursuing a Specialized Master in International and EU law at the same university.