Foreign Policy

  • William R. Nester


Japan’s foreign policy goals have been remarkably consistent since Commodore Perry dragged Japan into the world political economy in 1854 — only the means have changed. For almost 140 years the government has single-mindedly attempted to achieve for Japan four interrelated goals: (1) military and economic security; (2) rapid modernization; (3) East Asian and global power; and (4) international recognition of all Japan’s accomplishments. The means to achieve these goals, however, were dramatically different before and after 1945: mercantilist and imperialist before; neo-mercantilist since. Military and technological defeat — by Perry’s gunboats in 1854 and the atomic bomb in 1945 — were the stimulus for both foreign policy eras as Japanese leaders became obsessed with reversing both the cause and the humiliation of these defeats.


Foreign Policy Trade Surplus Peace Treaty Self Defense Force Security Treaty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 8.
    Muthiah Alagappa, ‘Japan’s Political and Security Role in the Asia-Pacific Region’, Contemporary Southeast Asia, vol. 10, no. 1, June 1988, p. 48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 10.
    Kenneth Pyle, ‘The Future of Japanese Nationality’, Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, 1982, p. 225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© William R. Nester 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Nester
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Oriental and African StudiesUniversity of LondonUK

Personalised recommendations