Japan's Policy for East Asia
Japanese foreign policy six decades after the end of World War II stands at a crossroads. The forces of globalization and the rise of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) seem to herald the end of the unipolar post-Cold War international system and the emergence of a new era defined by multi-polarity and multilateralism. Such global trends are manifest most clearly in Japan's own backyard, where phenomenal region-wide economic growth, a gradual redistribution of power (in particular the rise of China and India), and the increasingly important role of multilateral cooperation and regional institutions are dramatically transforming East Asia. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, much less reversing itself; nor would it be in Japan's interest to pursue any policy that seeks to do so. Nevertheless, the transformation itself remains almost on auto-pilot, lacking a clear long-term guiding vision. After presenting a brief overview of Japan's past policy toward the region, the goal of this paper will be to articulate such a vision through a series of policy proposals through which to ensure future peace, stability, and prosperity in East Asia.