Adjusting to the New International Order

  • Gerald Segal


Japan, like all great powers in the post-Cold War world, is seeking a new role. But for Japan the challenges posed by the new disorder are particularly acute and the internal process of decision-making is especially unsuited to a swift adjustment. Well before the end of the Cold War, Japan knew that it had to become more ‘international’: that is to say Japan had to become not just an economic superpower, but also take on political and even military roles commensurate with its economic influence. Japan’s search for a more normal role, unlike that of Germany which was tied into European alliances, was more lonely, and more dependent on the single bilateral relationship with the United States. In the Japanese context, a more ‘normal’ role was abnormally hard to define. In the analysis that follows, we identify some of the longer-term geopolitical realities of Japan’s international position before turning to a brief analysis of the impact of the major features of change in the new international relations.


International Relation Security Council International Order Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Peace Settlement 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For a general discussion see Takashi Inoguchi, Japan’s International Relations (London: Pinter, 1991).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    These issues are discussed in the contrasting Karel van Wolferen, The Enigma of Japanese Power (London: Macmillan, 1989), and Bill Emmot, The Sun Also Sets (London: Simon & Schuster, 1989).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gerald Segal, Rethinking the Pacific (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alan Rix, Japan’s Economic Aid (London: Croom Helm, 1980).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    For a pre-August 1991 analysis of these issues, see Gerald Segal, Normalizing Soviet-Japanese Relations, RIIA Special Papers, London, April 1991.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kent Calder, ‘US-Japan Relations: Towards 2000’, The Pacific Review, no. 2, 1992.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Robert Scalapino, ‘Japan’s Asian Policy’, The Pacific Review, no. 2, 1992.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Allen Whiting, China Eyes Japan (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1988), and Laura Newby, Sino-Japanese Relations (London: Routledge for the RIIA, 1988).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gerald Segal, ‘Northeast Asia: New Order or à la Carte Security’, International Affairs, Autumn 1991.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Segal

There are no affiliations available

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