Strategizing Asia: Japan’s Values-Based Diplomacy amid Great Powers’ Competing Visions for Broader Asia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Japan is approaching broader Asia with a values-based diplomacy, notably since the 2006 announcement of an “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity,” and the 2012 reemergence of the LDP. Yet, Japan’s new pillar to its foreign policy comes at a time when other great powers have also proclaimed their own visions for the future of the continent. In this article I analyze the backdrop to great power visions for Asia in the twenty-first century, and how Japan's vision must contend and interact with visions by the other great powers. This paper juxtaposes four frameworks: Tokyo's values-based Arc; Beijing's Belt and Road initiative; Moscow's neo-Eurasianist ideology; and Washington's Pivot to Asia. While the four frameworks differ in nature, all serve as windows to analyze competing conceptualizations of Asia, ideational geopolitics, and how each approach materializes into distinctive strategic choices. Some visions are inclusive of the other powers; others are not. Some are complementary to others; some directly compete. All visions have unique interpretations of self-identity and role on the continent. By juxtaposing these frameworks, Tokyo's maneuverability within this milieu for strategy is clarified.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)3-34
Number of pages32
JournalJapan Studies Review
Volume24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 10 2020

Keywords

  • geopolitics
  • Asia
  • Japan
  • Eurasia
  • Great Powers

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