Magazine Article - American Interest

Rising Sun in the New West

| May-June 2012

"In many ways the policy of Japan is the weathervane of international politics. Even before military aggression became the modern world's favorite modus operandi, Japan put it to use in 1894–95 against China and again in 1904–05 against Russia, and even its military tactics foreshadowed those that combatants later employed in the First World War. Once again in the 1930s, by the time Hitler's steamroller got moving, and even before Italy invaded Ethiopia, Japan had already seized and occupied Manchuria. Then, after its defeat in World War II, Japan led a trend in the opposite direction. In the 1970s and 1980s, long before the Johnny-come-lately Great Powers, the Soviet Union and United States, had understood the revolutionary new trends in world politics, Tokyo had already put into practice the strategy of the trading state. It traded its way to economic success while Moscow and Washington spent the time locked in an arms race, a positional struggle that left both sides poorer. After its triumph as a trading state, Japan's 1990s economic stagnation neatly prefigured the American and European recession today, and the collapse of Japan’s linked stock and housing market after 1987 should have forewarned the world about possibilities that might occur elsewhere. 

Today Japan has reached a similar choice point in which it may well chart yet another new course for the world...."

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For Academic Citation: Fukushima, Mayumi, Richard Rosecrance, Yuzuru Tsuyama. “Rising Sun in the New West.” American Interest, vol. 7. no. 5. May-June 2012.