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East Asia in the Twenty First Century

Economic Cooperation and Political Rivalry
  • Shinichi Ichimura

Abstract

It is a bold attempt to talk about what will happen to East Asia in the 21st Century. One could have predicted what would happen in the 20th century at the end of the 19th century. But one can not say that there is no example in the history of political prognosis or scientific fiction that has predicted surprisingly well the future problems facing some country’s politics many decades ahead and proposed even policy suggestions for the country. One of such examples may be found in the well-known Toni Kanjo Ikensho (Opinions of Kanjo Tani) presented to the Meiji government in the 22nd year of Meiji era as early as 1887. It is better known abroad as was translated and quoted by E. Herbert Norman in his Japan’s Emergence As A Modern State Political and Economic Problems of the Meiji Period, New York, 1940. Tani wrote:

“What kinds of strategic policies should Japan adopt then? I maintain: abolish all the traditional routine policies and ideologies, abandon the mind of dependence on others, reinforce the armaments, deepen the ditches and build up the fortress, keep international faith with foreign nations, try to maintain the dignity and honor of the State, never do anything to bring disgrace to the country, uplift the spirits in crisis to defend the country with the people, and simply wait for the rebellions in Europe. Europe will sooner or later face the situations which cause the wars and force many countries to compete for supremacy in the world. Our nation certainly should not intervene in such struggles. Nevertheless, the impact of the wars in Europe will be so deep and wide that Eastern countries will be also affected and will inevitably be involved in the wars. Then, our nation should not have any interest in our relative importance to European nations but may be destined to assume the leadership among the Eastern countries. If we have 20 strong battleships and an elite troop of 200 thousand, then we can measure our strength in the balance of the Eastern countries and demonstrate our weight to European powers.”

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment Income Inequality East Asian Country Asian Development Coastal Province 
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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References

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    Even after 1945 have there been major wars in East Asia as well as the rest of the world: e.g. the Korean War and the Vietnam War. There were also a number of civil wars or domestic power-struggles of which the sacrifices were not less serious than any other major wars in history. The Great Leap Forward Movement and the Cultural Revolution in China, it is believed, caused the sacrifice of about 20 million human lives respectively. The civil war in Cambodia sacrificed a few million lives; the civil rioting and fights in Malaysia more than tens of thousands; the one in Indonesia in 1965 more than half a million; and those in Burma also more than tens of thousands. Thus, to regard the latter half of the 20th Century just as 50 years of economic development, particular as a miraculous growth can hardly be justified.Google Scholar
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    The reader familiar with geopolitics may find my argument somewhat similar to the classic arguments of Halford Mackinder’s distinction between sea powers and land powers and domination of heartland (Geographic Axis of History, 1904 and Ideals and Realities of Democracy, 1919) and Nicholas J. Spykman’s idea of Rimland around the heartland (America’s Strategies in World Order, 1942).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinichi Ichimura
    • 1
  1. 1.International Center for the Study of East Asian DevelopmentKokurakita, Kitakyushu, FukuokaJapan

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