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Japan: Warm Ties to Washington, ‘Cold Politics’ with Beijing

  • Enrico Fels
Chapter
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Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)

Abstract

As noted earlier, it was somewhat surprising to find Japan among the countries identified by cluster analysis as middle powers. But as discussed in Sect.  5.5, Japan was the only country in Asia-Pacific that experienced a significant and consistent decline in its relative position (between 14.3 % and 20 % depending on the scenario) compared to its 1992 positions in all of the four CIAPs, but was also identified as a middle power by cluster analysis as Sect.  6.2 shows. This outcome therefore serves as a reminder that the words of Morgenthau and Organski are still valid today, namely that the reputation of a nation might outlast its actual possession of power particularly in peaceful times. In the same vein Rose argued that “[t]he link between objective material power capabilities and policymakers’ subjective assessment of them remains murky” which is demonstrative of the subjectivity of public and sometimes scholarly assessments of the capabilities of nations. Andrew Hurrell explained that greatpowermanship “is a social category that depends on recognition by others”. Recently Gadi Heimann has shown that weaker states such as Prussia in 1815, Italy and Japan in 1919 and China as well as France in 1945 were perceived and treated as great powers by other international actors even though they lacked the necessary means. The fact that Japan’s relative position deteriorated between 1992 and 2012, as many other actors in Asia-Pacific improved their positions, supports the argument that public perception of Japan as a great power is still based on the country’s strong position of earlier decades.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Middle Power International Crisis Group Yasukuni Shrine Island Dispute 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Fels
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Global StudiesUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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