Breaking the Mould: Japan’s Subtle Shift from Exclusive Bilateralism to Modest Minilateralism

Breaking the Mould: Japan’s Subtle Shift from Exclusive Bilateralism to Modest Minilateralism Abstract: Neorealists argue that Japan’s response to the rise of China has been to draw closer to the United States in order to balance Chinese power. In practice, the Koizumi and Abe administrations differed in their responses to the growth of Chinese power in East Asia. While Prime Minister Koizumi sought to consolidate the US-Japan alliance, Prime Minister Abe adopted a dual-track approach, combining enhanced bilateralism with enhanced regionalism. Although buttressing the US-Japan alliance, this strategy aimed to balance China by building a containment coalition with other Asia-Pacific states. Japan’s signing of a security declaration with Australia in March 2007 was an important element of Abe’s strategy, and marked a subtle shift in Japanese security policy from exclusive bilateralism to modest minilateralism. Although congruent with US strategic interests, this move supported Prime Minister Abe’s ambition to exercise more autonomous influence over the regional security order. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Breaking the Mould: Japan’s Subtle Shift from Exclusive Bilateralism to Modest Minilateralism

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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 ISEAS
ISSN
1793-284X
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Neorealists argue that Japan’s response to the rise of China has been to draw closer to the United States in order to balance Chinese power. In practice, the Koizumi and Abe administrations differed in their responses to the growth of Chinese power in East Asia. While Prime Minister Koizumi sought to consolidate the US-Japan alliance, Prime Minister Abe adopted a dual-track approach, combining enhanced bilateralism with enhanced regionalism. Although buttressing the US-Japan alliance, this strategy aimed to balance China by building a containment coalition with other Asia-Pacific states. Japan’s signing of a security declaration with Australia in March 2007 was an important element of Abe’s strategy, and marked a subtle shift in Japanese security policy from exclusive bilateralism to modest minilateralism. Although congruent with US strategic interests, this move supported Prime Minister Abe’s ambition to exercise more autonomous influence over the regional security order.

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: May 10, 2008

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