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Title: A critical understanding of Japan's improved late 20th century relations in Eastern Asia
Author: Jayman, Jayantha
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2004
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Japan's imperial history and its narrow self-interested post-WWII policies caused much animosity in Eastern Asia, yet its improved relations in the region from the 1980s onwards, even when assessed from a critical perspective, demand scholarly attention. This dissertation finds improved relations a result of Japan legitimating its regional hegemony. The critical theories of Gramsci (1937) and Habermas (1976) applied within international relations suggest legitimation of hegemonic power at the international level only occurs when providing 'global public goods'-defined metaphorically with the UNDP's modification of Kindleberger's (1986) work-such that post colonial states achieve rapid economic development to close the rich-poor gap as understood by Strange (1950). Analogous to the enabling notion of Sen's (1974) "positive freedoms," such 'public goods' are needed by states to enable nationalist projects of development, and as such their delivery is seen by Murakami (1996) as the responsibility of hegemonic powers of the day. In order to assess 'global public goods' the dissertation deploys Susan Strange's (1988a) framework of 'structural power.' Within the knowledge structure, it is shown that Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda's 1977 doctrine successfully guided policy towards improving regional relations in Eastern Asia. On the economic side, the Fukuda Doctrine provided 'global public goods' in knowledge by deploying Japan's own experience of 'developmentalism' for the Eastern Asian region thus countering neo-liberalism of the "Washington Consensus," while it also assisted in the transfer of appropriate and absorbable technology. The provision of 'global public goods' over the 1980s put Eastern Asia on course to catch-up with industrialised nations as Japanese firms, aided by a rising yen, went on to invest in the region. These firms began to transfer production bases from Japan, such that by the end of the 1990s each of these post colonial states saw their manufactured exports leading to economic growth rates that put them on a path to catch-up to Japan and other industrialised nations in time. In military security terms, Japan continued its pacific and defensive military posture thus calming a volatile region to enable economic development. Tokyo also pushed for collective regional security, while tacitly supporting the upgrading of post colonial Eastern Asia's own defence capabilities. The implications of the dissertation are that Japan's success in improving its regional relations places it in the international system as a responsible self-interested power to be emulated by other powers interested in a peaceful world, thus contributing to scholarship in international relations, development and history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available