Japan was founded in 660 BCE by Emperor Jimmu. The Meiji Constitution, which established the modern Japanese state, was ratified in 1889. Japan was occupied by the Allies from the end of World War II in 1945 until 1952. Sovereignty, which was previously embodied in the Emperor, is now the domain of the people. The Emperor is defined as the symbol of the state. In academic studies, Japan is generally considered a constitutional monarchy, based largely upon the British system with strong influences from European continental civil law countries such as Germany and France. For example, in 1896 the Japanese government established Minpo, the Civil Code, on the French model. With post-World War II modifications, the code remains in effect in present-day Japan.
Politics of Japan takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Diet with the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Sovereignty is vested in Japanese nationals by whom officials are elected in all of the branches. There is universal adult suffrage with a secret ballot. For historical reasons, the system is similar to that in the United Kingdom.
The Imperial Household of Japan is headed by the Emperor of Japan. The Constitution of Japan defines the emperor to be "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He performs ceremonial duties and holds no real power, not even emergency reserve powers. Power is held mainly by the Prime Minister and other elected members of the Diet. Sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people by the constitution. Though his official status is disputed, on diplomatic occasions the emperor tends to behave (with widespread public support, it should be noted) as though he were a head of state. Japan is the only country in the world headed by an emperor.
Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Emperor Akihito 7 January 1989
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Liberal Democratic Party 25 September 2007
The executive branch reports to the Diet. The chief of the executive branch, the Prime Minister, is appointed by the Emperor as directed by the Diet. He must be a member of either house of the Diet and a civilian. The Cabinet, which he organizes, must also be civilian. Since the Liberal Democratic Party (the LDP) has been in power, it has been convention that the President of the LDP serves as prime minister. The Cabinet is composed of a Prime Minister and ministers of state, and is responsible to the Diet. The Prime Minister must be a member of the Diet, and is designated by his colleagues. The Prime Minister has the power to appoint and remove ministers, a majority of whom must be Diet members. The liberal conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been in power since 1955, except for a short-lived coalition government formed from its opposition parties in 1993; the largest opposition party is the liberal-socialist Democratic Party of Japan.
By the Constitution, the Diet is the most powerful of the three branches and consists of two houses, the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. The Diet directs the Emperor in the appointment and removal of the chiefs of the executive and judicial branches.
The judicial branch is independent of the other two. Its judges are appointed by the Emperor as directed by the Diet.
Japan's judicial system, drawn from customary law, civil law, and Anglo-American common law, consists of several levels of courts, with the Supreme Court as the final judicial authority. The Japanese constitution, drawn up on May 3, 1947 includes a bill of rights similar to the United States Bill of Rights, and the Supreme Court has the right of judicial review. Japanese courts do not use a jury system, and there are no administrative courts or claims courts. Because of the judicial system's basis, court decisions are made in accordance with legal statutes. Only Supreme Court decisions have any direct effect on later interpretation of the law.
Despite an increasingly unpredictable domestic and international environment, policy making conforms to well established postwar patterns. The close collaboration of the ruling party, the elite bureaucracy, and important interest groups often make it difficult to tell who exactly is responsible for specific policy decisions. The tendency for insiders to guard information on such matters compounds the difficulty, especially for foreigners wishing to understand how domestic decision making can be influenced to reduce trade problems.
The most important human factor in the policy-making process is the homogeneity of the political and business elites. They tend to be graduates of a relatively small number of top-ranked universities, such as the University of Tokyo and Keio University. Regardless of these individuals' regional or class origins, their similar educational backgrounds encourage their feeling of community, as is reflected in the finely meshed network of marriage alliances between top official and financial circle (zaikai) families. The institution of early retirement also foster homogeneity. In the practice of amakudari, or descent from heaven, as it is popularly known, bureaucrats retiring in their fifties often assume top positions in public corporations and private enterprise. They also become politicians. By the late 1980s, most postwar prime ministers had had civil service backgrounds.
This homogeneity facilitates the free flow of ideas among members of the elite in informal settings. Bureaucrats and business people that are associated with a single industry, such as electronics, often hold regular informal meetings in Tokyo hotels and restaurants. Political scientist T.J. Pempel has pointed out that the concentration of political and economic power in Tokyo—particularly the small geographic area of its central wards—makes it easy for leaders, who are almost without exception denizens of the capital, to have repeated personal contact. Another often overlooked factor is the tendency of elite males not to be family men. Late night work and bar-hopping schedules give them ample opportunity to hash and rehash policy matters and engage in haragei (literally, belly art), or intimate, often nonverbal communication. Comparable to the warriors of ancient Sparta, who lived in barracks apart from their families during much of their adulthood, the business and bureaucratic elites are expected to sacrifice their private lives for the national good
Formal Policy Development
After a largely informal process within elite circles in which ideas were discussed and developed, steps might be taken to institute more formal policy development. This process often took place in deliberation councils (shingikai). There were about 200 shingikai, each attached to a ministry; their members were both officials and prominent private individuals in business, education, and other fields. The shingikai played a large role in facilitating communication among those who ordinarily might not meet. Given the tendency for real negotiations in Japan to be conducted privately (in the nemawasi, or root binding, process of consensus building), the shingikai often represented a fairly advanced stage in policy formulation in which relatively minor differences could be thrashed out and the resulting decisions couched in language acceptable to all. These bodies were legally established but had no authority to oblige governments to adopt their recommendations.
The most important deliberation council during the 1980s was the Provisional Commission for Administrative Reform, established in March 1981 by Prime Minister Suzuki Zenko. The commission had nine members, assisted in their deliberations by six advisers, twenty-one "expert members," and around fifty "councilors" representing a wide range of groups. Its head, Keidanren president Doko Toshio, insisted that government agree to take its recommendations seriously and commit itself to reforming the administrative structure and the tax system. In 1982 the commission had arrived at several recommendations that by the end of the decade had been actualized. These implementations included tax reform; a policy to limit government growth; the establishment, in 1984, of the Management and Coordination Agency to replace the Administrative Management Agency in the Office of the Prime Minister; and privatization of the state-owned railroad and telephone systems. In April 1990, another deliberation council, the Election Systems Research Council, submitted proposals that included the establishment of single-seat constituencies in place of the multiple-seat system.
Another significant policy-making institution in the early 1990s was the LDP's Policy Research Council. It consisted of a number of committees, composed of LDP Diet members, with the committees corresponding to the different executive agencies. Committee members worked closely with their official counterparts, advancing the requests of their constituents, in one of the most effective means through which interest groups could state their case to the bureaucracy through the channel of the ruling party.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Statement of problem
Imperial Japanese armed forces' conduct up to Japan's defeat in World War II had a profound and lasting impact on the nation's attitudes toward wars, armed forces, and military involvement in politics. These attitudes were immediately apparent in the public's acceptance of not only the total disarmament, demobilization and the purge of all the military leaders from positions of public influence after the war but also the constitutional ban on any rearmament. Under General Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army, serving as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, the Allied occupation authorities were committed to the demilitarization and democratization of Japan. All clubs, schools, and societies associated with the military and martial skills were eliminated. Martial arts were banned. The general staff was abolished, along with army and navy ministries and the Imperial Army and Imperial Navy. Industries serving the military were also dismantled.
The trauma of the lost war had produced strong pacifist sentiments among the nation, that found expression in the United States-written 1947 constitution, which, under Article 9, forever renounces war as an instrument for settling international disputes and declares that Japan will never again maintain "land, sea, or air forces or other war potential". Later cabinets interpreted these provisions as not denying the nation the inherent right to self-defense and, with the encouragement of the United States, developed the SDF step by step. Antimilitarist public opinion, however, remained a force to be reckoned with on any defense-related issue. The constitutional legitimacy of the SDF was challenged well into the 1970s, and even in the 1980s, the government acted warily on defense matters lest residual antimilitarism be aggravated and a backlash result
1. Question number One, how does politics of Japan takes place?
2. Question number two, who is the head of government?
3. Question number Three, What were the effects of Japan’s defeat in World War 2?
4. Question number four, What are the recent political developments?
5. Question number five, How are the Japan’s foreign relations?
• Answer of Question number one, Politics of Japan takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Diet with the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Sovereignty is vested in Japanese nationals by whom officials are elected in all of the branches. There is universal adult suffrage with a secret ballot. For historical reasons, the system is similar to that in the United Kingdom.
• Answer of Question number two, The Imperial Household of Japan is headed by the Emperor of Japan. The Constitution of Japan defines the emperor to be "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He performs ceremonial duties and holds no real power, not even emergency reserve powers. Power is held mainly by the Prime Minister and other elected members of the Diet. Sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people by the constitution.
• Answer of Question number three, Imperial Japanese armed forces' conduct up to Japan's defeat in World War II had a profound and lasting impact on the nation's attitudes toward wars, armed forces, and military involvement in politics. These attitudes were immediately apparent in the public's acceptance of not only the total disarmament, demobilization and the purge of all the military leaders from positions of public influence after the war but also the constitutional ban on any rearmament. Under General Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army, serving as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, the Allied occupation authorities were committed to the demilitarization and democratization of Japan. All clubs, schools, and societies associated with the military and martial skills were eliminated. Martial arts were banned. The general staff was abolished, along with army and navy ministries and the Imperial Army and Imperial Navy. Industries serving the military were also dismantled.
• Answer of Question number four, After a turbulent year in office in which he saw his approval ratings plummet to the single digits, Prime Minister Mori agreed to hold early elections for the LDP presidency in order to improve his party's chances in crucial July 2001 Upper House elections. On April 24, 2001, riding a wave of grassroots desire for change, maverick politician Junichiro Koizumi defeated former Prime Minister Hashimoto and other party stalwarts on a platform of economic and political reform. Koizumi was elected as Japan's 87th Prime Minister on April 26, 2001.
• Answer of Question number five, As an economic power, Japan is a member of the G8 and APEC, and has developed relations with ASEAN as a member of "ASEAN plus three" and the East Asia Summit. It is a major donor in international aid and development efforts, donating 0.19% of its Gross National Income in 2004. 
Japan currently has territorial disputes with Russia over the Kuril Islands, with South Korea over Takeshima, with China and Taiwan over the Pinnacle Islands and with China over the status of Okinotori. These disputes are in part about the control of marine and natural resources, such as possible reserves of crude oil and natural gas.
In recent years, Japan has an ongoing dispute with North Korea over its abduction of Japanese citizens and nuclear weapons program.
The Constitution of Japan has been the founding legal document of Japan since 1947. The constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms the Emperor of Japan is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people" and exercises a purely ceremonial role without the possession of sovereignty. Thus, unlike other monarchs, he is not formally the head of state although he is portrayed and treated as though he were. The constitution, also called "the Pacifist Constitution," is most characteristic and famous for the renunciation of the right to wage war contained in Article 9 and to a lesser extent, the provision for de jure popular sovereignty in conjunction with the monarchy.
The constitution was drawn up under the Allied occupation that followed World War II and was intended to replace Japan's previous militaristic absolute monarchy system with a form of liberal democracy. Currently, it is a rigid document and no subsequent amendment has been made to it since its adoption. The Constitution of the Empire of Japan of 1889, more commonly known as the "Meiji Constitution" or "Imperial Constitution", was the first modern constitution of Japan. Enacted as part of the Meiji Renewal, it provided for a form of constitutional monarchy based on the Prussian model, in which the Emperor of Japan could look an active ruler wielding considerable political power, but in fact should be wholly supported and controlled by the Cabinet which Prime Minister should be elected by the Privy Council. Under its terms the Prime Minister and his Cabinet had not necessarily been elected among the Diet. Going through the regular procedure of the "Meiji Constitution", it was entirely revised into the Pacifist Constitution on November 3, 1946. And the Pacifist Constitution has been enacted since May 3, 1947. The new constitution would not have been written the way it was had MacArthur and his staff allowed Japanese politicians and constitutional experts to resolve the issue as they wished. The document's foreign origins have, understandably, been a focus of controversy since Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1952. Yet in late 1945 and 1946, there was much public discussion on constitutional reform, and the MacArthur draft was apparently greatly influenced by the ideas of certain Japanese liberals. The MacArthur draft did not attempt to impose a United States-style presidential or federal system. Instead, the proposed constitution conformed to the British model of parliamentary government, which was seen by the liberals as the most viable alternative to the European absolutism of the Meiji Constitution.
After 1952 conservatives and nationalists attempted to revise the constitution to make it more "Japanese", but these attempts were frustrated for a number of reasons. One was the extreme difficulty of amending it. Amendments require approval by two-thirds of the members of both houses of the National Diet before they can be presented to the people in a referendum (Article 96). Also, opposition parties, occupying more than one-third of the Diet seats, were firm supporters of the constitutional status quo. Even for members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the constitution was advantageous. They had been able to fashion a policy-making process congenial to their interests within its framework. Yasuhiro Nakasone, a strong advocate of constitutional revision during much of his political career, for example, downplayed the issue while serving as prime minister between 1982 and 1987.
Post-war political development
Political parties had begun to revive almost immediately after the occupation began. Left-wing organizations, such as the Japan Socialist Party and the Japanese Communist Party, quickly reestablished themselves, as did various conservative parties. The old Seiyokai and Rikken Minseito came back as, respectively, the Liberal Party (Nihon Jiyuto) and the Japan Progressive Party (Nihon Shimpoto). The first postwar elections were held in 1948 (women were given the franchise for the first time in 1947), and the Liberal Party's vice president, Yoshida Shigeru (1878-1967), became prime minister. For the 1947 elections, anti-Yoshida forces left the Liberal Party and joined forces with the Progressive Party to establish the new Democratic Party (Minshuto). This divisiveness in conservative ranks gave a plurality to the Japan Socialist Party, which was allowed to form a cabinet, which lasted less than a year. Thereafter, the socialist party steadily declined in its electoral successes. After a short period of Democratic Party administration, Yoshida returned in late 1948 and continued to serve as prime minister until 1954.
Even before Japan regained full sovereignty, the government had rehabilitated nearly 80,000 people who had been purged, many of whom returned to their former political and government positions. A debate over limitations on military spending and the sovereignty of the emperor ensued, contributing to the great reduction in the Liberal Party's majority in the first post occupation elections (October 1952). After several reorganizations of the armed forces, in 1954 the Japan Self-Defense Forces were established under a civilian director. Cold War realities and the hot war in nearby Korea also contributed significantly to the United States-influenced economic redevelopment, the suppression of communism, and the discouragement of organized labor in Japan during this period.
Continual fragmentation of parties and a succession of minority governments led conservative forces to merge the Liberal Party (Jiyuto) with the Japan Democratic Party (Nihon Minshuto), an offshoot of the earlier Democratic Party, to form the Liberal Democratic Party (Jiyu-Minshuto; LDP) in November 1955. This party continuously held power from 1955 through 1993, when it was replaced by a new minority government. LDP leadership was drawn from the elite who had seen Japan through the defeat and occupation; it attracted former bureaucrats, local politicians, businessmen, journalists, other professionals, farmers, and university graduates. In October 1955, socialist groups reunited under the Japan Socialist Party, which emerged as the second most powerful political force. It was followed closely in popularity by the Komeito (Clean Government Party), founded in 1964 as the political arm of the Soka Gakkai (Value Creation Society), until 1991 a lay organization affiliated with the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect. The Komeito emphasized traditional Japanese beliefs and attracted urban laborers, former rural residents, and many women. Like the Japan Socialist Party, it favored the gradual modification and dissolution of the Japan-United States Mutual Security Assistance Pact.
Recent political developments
LDP domination lasted until the Diet Lower House elections on July 18, 1993, in which the LDP failed to win a majority.
A coalition of new parties and existing opposition parties formed a governing majority and elected a new prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, in August 1993. His government's major legislative objective was political reform, consisting of a package of new political financing restrictions and major changes in the electoral system. The coalition succeeded in passing landmark political reform legislation in January 1994.
In April 1994, Prime Minister Hosokawa resigned. Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata formed the successor coalition government, Japan's first minority government in almost 40 years. Prime Minister Hata resigned less than 2 months later.
Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama formed the next government in June 1994, a coalition of his Japan Socialist Party (JSP), the LDP, and the small New Party Sakigake. The advent of a coalition containing the JSP and LDP shocked many observers because of their previously fierce rivalry.
Prime Minister Murayama served from June 1994 to January 1996. He was succeeded by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, who served from January 1996 to July 1998. Prime Minister Hashimoto headed a loose coalition of three parties until the July 1998 Upper House election, when the two smaller parties cut ties with the LDP.
Hashimoto resigned due to a poor electoral showing by the LDP in those Upper House elections. He was succeeded as party president of the LDP and prime minister by Keizo Obuchi, who took office on July 30, 1998.
The LDP formed a governing coalition with the Liberal Party in January 1999, and Keizo Obuchi remained prime minister. The LDP-Liberal coalition expanded to include the New Komeito Party in October 1999.
Prime Minister Obuchi suffered a stroke in April 2000 and was replaced by Yoshiro Mori. After the Liberal Party left the coalition in April 2000, Prime Minister Mori welcomed a Liberal Party splinter group, the New Conservative Party, into the ruling coalition. The three-party coalition made up of the LDP, New Komeito, and the New Conservative Party maintained its majority in the Diet following the June 2000 Lower House elections.
After a turbulent year in office in which he saw his approval ratings plummet to the single digits, Prime Minister Mori agreed to hold early elections for the LDP presidency in order to improve his party's chances in crucial July 2001 Upper House elections. On April 24, 2001, riding a wave of grassroots desire for change, maverick politician Junichiro Koizumi defeated former Prime Minister Hashimoto and other party stalwarts on a platform of economic and political reform. Koizumi was elected as Japan's 87th Prime Minister on April 26, 2001.
On October 11, 2003, the Prime Minister Koizumi dissolved the lower house after he was re-elected as the president of the LDP. (See Japan general election, 2003) Likewise, that year, the LDP won the election, even though it suffered setbacks from the new opposition party, the liberal and social-democratic Democrat Party. A similar event occurred during the 2004 Upper House Elections.
On August 8, 2005, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called a snap election to the lower house, as threatened, after LDP stalwarts and opposition DPJ parliamentarians defeated his proposal for a large-scale reform and privatisation of Japan Post, which besides being Japan's state-owned postal monopoly is arguably the world's largest financial institution, with nearly 331 trillion yen of assets. The election was scheduled for September 11, 2005, and was won in a landslide by Junichiro Koizumi's LDP.
On February 16, 2006, DPJ member Hisayasu Nagata made false allegations that the son of LDP Secretary-General Tsutomu Takebe illicitly received money from the former president of Livedoor, Takafumi Horie. The only evidence for this allegation was an e-mail allegedly sent from Takafumi Horie to Tsutomu Takebe. The allegations were immediately contested, and on March 2, 2006, Nagata admitted that the e-mail was forged, but stated that he truly believed at the time of the allegation that the e-mail was real. This naturally led to the disgrace of the DPJ, and many party members resigned as a result, including Nagata and party president Seiji Maehira. As of April 5, 2006, Naoto Kan and Ichiro Ozawa were running for the party presidency.
On September 26, 2006 new LDP President Shinzo Abe was elected by a special session of the Diet to succeed Junichiro Koizumi as Prime Minister. He is Japan's youngest post-World War II prime minister and the first born after the war.
Japan is a member state of the United Nations and a non-permanent member of the Security Council; it is currently one of the "G4 nations" seeking permanent membership.
Japan's current constitution prohibits the use of military forces to wage war against other countries. However, the government maintains "Self-Defense Forces" which include air, land and sea components. Japan's deployment of non-combat troops to Iraq marked the first overseas use of its military since World War II.
As an economic power, Japan is a member of the G8 and APEC, and has developed relations with ASEAN as a member of "ASEAN plus three" and the East Asia Summit. It is a major donor in international aid and development efforts, donating 0.19% of its Gross National Income in 2004. 
Japan currently has territorial disputes with Russia over the Kuril Islands, with South Korea over Takeshima, with China and Taiwan over the Pinnacle Islands and with China over the status of Okinotori. These disputes are in part about the control of marine and natural resources, such as possible reserves of crude oil and natural gas.
In recent years, Japan has an ongoing dispute with North Korea over its abduction of Japanese citizens and nuclear weapons program.
Japan and the world
Current State of the World for Japan
Major changes are underway in the international community of today. First of these challenges is the globalization of economy and society. Second is the remarkable advancement and increasing power of military forces. Third is the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy. In all of these developments there are opportunities and potential threats to Japan and to other countries of Asia. Japan must fully investigate and seek responses to these challenges.
For Japan's foreign policy in its development from now, Japan must formulate clear strategies as a state , which have been lacking so far. The basis of all strategy is "national interest". Without a debate on the national interest it is impossible to set a course for the nation.
First among the basic national interests of Japan is to maintain peace and security. Japan must change its thinking about international peace activities so that its own actions would conform with international norms. Second is to support the free trade system. Japan should establish a network of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), to supplement the WTO system. Third, Japan must protect freedom, democracy and human rights. It is Japan's duty as well to demonstrate a consistent commitment to the protection of these values. Fourth, Japan must actively promote people to people exchange and development of human resources, through exchanges in academia, culture and education.
Japan has not seen the external world enough so far. Japan has to face the reality of the world and to actively engage itself in world affairs.
Regional Issues for Japan
1. The United States of America
The United States is the most important country for Japan. How the relationship should be, however, has up until now avoided redefinition, including the Japan-U.S. security system which is central to the relationship. Japan must undertake a comprehensive reexamination of its relationship with the United States focusing on security. The reexamination exercise would lead to further enhancement of the Japan-U.S. relationship. If this work is not undertaken, the rifts between the allies will grow from barely tangible to substantial, and confidence in the alliance among the two nations could be shaken.
It is not unusual that the policy priorities of Japan and the U.S. should be different at times. It is impossible that the Japan-U.S. relationship will become like the one between the UK and the U.S. Japan, while upholding objectives common with the U.S, must have its own axis of coordinates and engage in diplomacy that is complementary to that of the U.S.
Now that the economic tensions are relaxed between the two countries, policy coordination should be pursued.
The relationship with China is the most important theme in Japan's foreign policy at the outset of the 21st century. For both countries, the relationship is one that interweaves "cooperation and coexistence" with "competition and friction." It is important that politics is not brought in too much to the economic aspects of the Japan-China relationship. Japan should assimilate China's "vitality". The only solution to the hollowing out of Japanese industry due to Japanese direct investment in China is Japan itself becoming an attractive, high-value added manufacturing economy.
China's military buildup can pose a serious threat to Japan and other countries of the region. Japan should make strenuous demands for transparency from the Chinese side as regards China's burgeoning military budget.
As regards Official Development Assistance (ODA) to China, Japan must define aid recipients narrowly so that the assistance can gain the understanding of the Japanese people more easily.
The history problem and the Japan's relationship with Taiwan are recurring sources of discord in the Japan-China relationship. As regards the history problem, both Japan and China while drawing lessons from history, it is time they liberated themselves from an "enchantment with history" and aimed for a future oriented relationship. Since the normalization of the relationship between the People's Republic of China and Japan, tremendous changes have taken place on Taiwan. It is natural that the Japan-Taiwan relationship should undergo certain change as well.
3. Korean peninsula
(1) South Korea (Republic of Korea)
ROK is Japan's most important strategic partner in the region, sharing with it the three basic systems of democracy, market economy and an alliance with the United States. The sharing of these basic systems is bringing the values and national interests of the two countries closer together. We should also underscore the awareness of each other as partners that was fostered among the younger generation by the World Cup soccer tournament.
The next goal for Japan-ROK relations is the signing of an FTA. This should serve as the core for the achievement of a comprehensive economic partnership, and a new sense of community that it fosters will be important. Japan and ROK can serve as the hub for an expanding network of democratic, market-economy countries in East Asia and the Pacific.
(2) North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
There will be no normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea until North Korea itself resolves the many problems that it has caused: abductions, development of nuclear weapons and missiles, spy boats, narcotics smuggling etc. The resolution of these problems would bring peace, which would lead to greater prosperity for East Asia as a whole.
North Korea itself needs to make substantial efforts if it is to become a member of the international community. Japan's objective is not to overturn the regime in North Korea but to gradually change the nature of its political and economic systems.
4. East Asia and the Pacific
Stability in ASEAN is extremely significant for Japanese security. There are, however, large disparities within the ASEAN region, and the course for Japan to take is to engage in dialogue with the ASEAN 5 first, and then seek the application of those results to the expanded ASEAN group. Economic partnership with ASEAN should be pursued in such a way that it will encourage increased integration of the region.
Japan should pursue the "East Asian community" initiative referred to in Prime Minister Koizumi's Singapore speech. Japan can and should make important contributions to ASEAN in education, human resources development and the promotion of democracy.
(2) Canada and Australia
Located along the Pacific Ocean, Japan, Canada and Australia have much in common strategically. Japan should consider developing common policies with Canada and Australia in some areas. Japan should view its relationship with these two countries strategically and in a different light from the G8, and should incorporate them into its diplomatic assets.
5. South Asia
This region is important from a security standpoint as the one region in the world most likely to see nuclear conflict. There is potential for economic complementation between India and Japan in areas like IT. Japan needs to be aware of India's strengths and utilize them to boost Japan's own economic vitality.
If Pakistan collapses, it could lead to proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies, and also increased terrorism. The conflict over Kashmir has global repercussions. Japan should make an effective contribution to the resolution of this conflict.
6. Middle East and Central Asia
Japan should engage in "Middle East silk road diplomacy" to promote the following agenda: 1) elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, 2) elimination of the threat of international terrorism, 3) energy security from Gulf countries, 4) "soft power" support for an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and 5) expanding relations with Iran.
The most desirable solution to the Iraq problem is for Saddam Hussein to completely eliminate his weapons of mass destruction, followed by the natural dismantlement of the Hussein regime. Japan should do whatever it can to further those aims.
In the Middle Eastern peace process, Japan should make a strong demarche to both Israel and Palestine in an attempt to bring them back on the road to peace.
Japan-Russia relations are at an important turning point, with Russia itself undergoing vast political changes. Japan should engage in a fundamental review of its Cold War policy towards Russia, and indeed it cannot leave relations with Russia unchanged. Russia provides an area where there are still large possibilities for Japanese foreign policy. Russia itself seeks closer ties with Japan. Russia is now an open society in which public opinion has a strong role to play. Japan should make bold moves to strengthen the communication pipeline, initiate Track II dialogue, and discuss territorial issues with Russia from a wide range of perspectives.
The EU is moving steadily towards becoming one of the world's largest quasi-states. The development of the EU should be regarded highly in the context of world history for the implications it has for the balance in the international community. In the new world order, Japanese foreign policy will require strong partners case by case. It is the EU that can reasonably be expected to be a partner in several of these cases. Japan should study how best to cooperate with the EU and its strategy for the EU over the long term.
9. Latin America
Japan has no negative legacies in Latin America; this is a region where it can make use of its abilities and capacities without constraint. However, Japan's presence in Latin America has been steadily declining since the nineties. Japan should expand economic cooperation for Latin America, with a view to possibly signing FTAs with MERCOSUR and other Latin American countries.
If left unattended, Africa's failed states could export terrorism and other destructive factors to the rest of the world. Bringing about democracy and good governance in Africa is essential for world stability and prosperity. Aid to Africa should not look for short-term returns, but should be seen as a part of international activities to maintain order in the world. It will be important to develop TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development).
11. United Nations
The United Nations is a place where the interests of its members clash. Japan would not sit at the Security Council for six years.. There has been no progress in its strategy to obtain a permanent seat on the Security Council or in its efforts to have the "former enemy clauses" deleted. However, the United Nations' functions to maintain world peace and stability are extremely important. It would be difficult for sovereign states on their own to perform the United Nations' peace-keeping and peace-building functions in its stead. Japan should provide the United Nations with all the cooperation it can in order to ensure a better future for the organization.
Nonetheless, there is nothing that explains or justifies Japan's inflated level of assessed contribution. Japan needs a strong resolve to reduce its assessed contribution to rational levels of 15% or thereabouts, which is in line with its GDP.
III. Japan's Agenda by Sector
Factors for instability in the East Asian region include North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the rapid modernization of the People's Liberation Army in China. The Japanese alliance with United States, which Japan opted for in the interest of its sovereignty and independence, may need to be strengthened in the future, and certainly cannot be expected to weaken. It will be important for Japan to reinforce its counter-terrorism systems. Intelligence gathering, in particular, will be fundamental for national security.
The question of U.S. military bases, which have been located in such a way as to place excessive burdens on Okinawa, can only be resolved if the entire issue is rethought from a nationwide perspective that includes both Okinawa and the mainland.
The debate on the right to collective defence should be advanced to a more realistic discussion that would enable Japan to effectively participate in collective security arrangements. Japan should be a country that contributes to behind-the-lines support which does not require the use of military force. The dispatch of noncombatant troops to the ISAF (International Security Force) in Afghanistan is one example.
2. The Japanese economy in the context of global trends
Japan will be more directly influenced by Chinese economic development than any other country and has a responsibility to articulate a national economic vision under this new paradigm. The essential first steps will be to quickly dispose non performing loans and at the same time reform the economic structure itself.
The promotion of science and technology will be an absolute prerequisite to achieving this. Nor can regulatory reform be avoided. Japan must rectify high-cost structures, enhance educational facilities, and accept more foreign students, with the ultimate aim of attracting direct investment from overseas in high value-added areas such as high technology industries and research and development.
Structural reforms in the agricultural sector are also essential. Japan must study mechanisms to mitigate the impact on domestic agriculture and to ensure food security.
3. Economic integration in East Asia
The highest priority for the Japanese economy is East Asia, which is the growth center for the world economy. Japan should accelerate the integration of East Asia and should take the lead in this area, seeking to become the core country in a community that advances together. Japan should make strategic use of economic partnership agreements in order to achieve this. The goal should be the creation of a borderless East Asian economic sphere.
When complete, the integrated East Asian economy will be a partnership that includes Japan, China, South Korea, ASEAN, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and furthermore Australia and New Zealand. Japan should pursue economic partnerships, which should serve also to balance China's expanding sphere of influence. At the heart of this will be FTAs, first with ASEAN, where Japan has strong trade and investment ties, and also with South Korea and Taiwan.
4. Sustainable development and humanitarian assistance
ODA must be administered with greater efficiency under current tight fiscal conditions, and Japan should therefore prioritize the regions to which it provides aid and the types of aid it provides. Priority regions would include ASEAN, East Asian countries, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caspian Sea countries. Priority aid areas would include the development of basic infrastructure to promote economic integration and growth in East Asia, environment and energy, poverty eradication, peace-building, and promotion of understanding of Japan.
The biggest issue in Japanese ODA is ODA for China. Japanese ODA should be directly linked to Japanese national interests.
It will also be important to support the involvement of the Japanese people at the individual level in international development and humanitarian assistance activities.
The Asian region's energy security issues are coming to the fore, and it is urgent that Japan reduce its dependency on the Middle East. In addition to diversifying its sources of energy supply, Japan should also look at Russian oil, Caspian Sea oil and African oil.
The government should support the activities of core energy companies. Japan should also not overlook the importance of nuclear power in light of energy conditions in Asia.
Japan should promote international coordination on environmental issues from the perspective of sustainable growth as well as domestic political and economic issues.
Assuming that United States will not be ratifying the Kyoto Protocol anytime soon, Japan should consider its strategic framework. Over the medium and long terms, it will be important to create an international framework on global warming that includes both United States and the developing countries. Japan should lead international opinion on this. It should also seek the establishment of international environmental rules in Asia, particularly for Chinese companies, which are the largest potential polluters.
7. Academic and cultural exchange
Cultural power stands alongside economic power as an important pillar of Japanese foreign policy. Japan should culturally deepen philosophies considered vital by the world at large, for example anti-terrorism and the promotion of science and technology. Institutions for studies on foreign countries are still weak in Japan. It will be important to create research centers for modern Japan, America, Asia and other areas. Foreign students should be effectively accepted using close coordination among industry, government and academia.
It has become increasingly the case that Japanese foreign policy seeks to "treat the symptoms," to resort to rearguard efforts to deal with clearly visible changes or trends for which the outcomes are certain. The political side has lacked a long-term strategy and vision for foreign policy. The bureaucracy has not implemented bold policies.
The Prime Minister needs to be given perspectives and options other than just those presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and there needs to be a process by which the Office of the Prime Minister provides general coordination.
To provide for this vision and to present these opinions, Japan should create, in an authoritative form, a "Foreign Policy and Security Strategy Council" (name tentative) that would advise the Prime Minister on medium and long-term foreign policy guidelines.
The world is undergoing vast changes as the United States emerges as a hyper power, China takes on new dynamism and the EU continues to work towards an integrated state. The changes in international situations coming in the next 20 years will be greater than those experienced in any other 20 year period in modern history. It should be obvious that Japanese foreign policy needs to rethink its priorities in this new world.
As Japan’s economic power has grown so has the desire to play a greater institutional role at the international level. This means for example expanded Japanese contributions to the international monetary fund and the World Bank. Japan is the second to the United States in contribution to the United Nations. Its new financial status also means greater influence in determining international policy for Japan. Despite its expanding international involvement Japan’s foreign policy remains unfocused. “What still seems to be missing in Japanese foreign policy is some definition of what that policy stands for” The United States has consistently encouraged Japan to expand its involvement in international relations. By so doing the United States has created a serious problem for itself. Not only is American influence in international relations generally and in international organizations specifically diminishing but the Japanese are beginning to assert greater influence in the global context. They are showing signs of a part of view independent of that of the United States. After years of pressuring Japan to expand its international involvement the United States now confirms a Japan not only willing to do so but on terms not necessarily favorable to the united states. In many ways the relationship between Japan and other countries has developed at a pace exceeding the capacity of any of them to adapt. People have difficulty adjusting their self-images to changing realities. Americans for example have difficulty shaking off the compliance associated with being the world’s most powerful nations. Many in the west see Japan not as a vigorous competitor but as a threat. The relationship between Japan complicated as the number and variety of interest involved grows to official government-to-government relations must be added industrial and commercial contacts and even official representations from America state governments. One of the most striking things about Japanese postwar foreign policy has been its low visibility. Although Japan is becoming more active on the stage of international relations its role remains largely economic. It has little interest in the many controversies that occupy the attention of many governments. This low-key approach is sustained by public opinion although there is a growing nationalist spirit calling for a more assertive foreign policy. The international environment is also beginning to change. The Japanese have been denied the luxury of treating th rest of the world us one big market place. Japan’s response however has been slow. The changes that have accrued have been incremental. Japan’s responses to the two gulf wars to international terrorism and to international peace keeping operations have been minimalist and came about only after intense political delete.
Japan was also perceived as a sophisticated feudal society with a high culture and a strong pre-industrial technology. She was densely populated and urbanized. She had Buddhist “universities” larger than any learning institution in the West, such as Salamanca or Coimbra. Prominent European observers of the time seemed to agree that the Japanese "excel not only all the other Oriental peoples, they surpass the Europeans as well" (Alessandro Valignano, 1584, "Historia del Principo y Progresso de la Compania de Jesus en las Indias Orientales).
Early European visitors were amazed by the quality of Japanese craftsmanship and metalsmithing. This stems from the fact that Japan itself is rather poor in natural resources found commonly in Europe, especially iron. Thus, the Japanese were famously frugal with their consumable resources; what little they had they used with expert skill. Her copper and steel were the best in the world, her weapons the sharpest, her paper industries were unequaled.Since the mid-nineteenth century, when the Tokugawa government first opened the country to Western commerce and influence, Japan has gone through two periods of economic development. The first began in earnest in 1868 and extended through World War II; the second began in 1945 and continued into mid-1980s.In the Meiji period (1868-1912), leaders inaugurated a new Western-based education system for all young people, sent thousands of students to the United States and Europe, and hired more than 3,000 Westerners to teach modern science, mathematics, technology, and foreign languages in Japan (O-yatoi gaikokujin). The government also built railroads, improved roads, and inaugurated a land reform program to prepare the country for further development.To promote industrialization, the government decided that, while it should help private business to allocate resources and to plan, the private sector was best equipped to stimulate economic growth. The greatest role of government was to help provide the economic conditions in which business could flourish. In short, government was to be the guide and business the producer. In the early Meiji period, the government built factories and shipyards that were sold to entrepreneurs at a fraction of their value. Many of these businesses grew rapidly into the larger conglomerates. Government emerged as chief promoter of private enterprise, enacting a series of probusiness policies. Japan's labor force contributed significantly to economic growth, not only because of its availability and literacy but also because of its reasonable wage demands. Before and immediately after World War II, the transfer of numerous agricultural workers to modern industry resulted in rising productivity and only moderate wage increases. As population growth slowed and the nation became increasingly industrialized in the mid-1960s, wages rose significantly. However, labor union cooperation generally kept salary increases within the range of gains in productivity.High productivity growth played a key role in postwar economic growth. The highly skilled and educated labor force, extraordinary savings rates and accompanying levels of investment, and the low growth of Japan's labor force were major factors in the high rate of productivity growth.
The nation has also benefited from economies of scale. Although medium-sized and small enterprises generated much of the nation's employment, large facilities were the most productive. Many industrial enterprises consolidated to form larger, more efficient units. Before World War II, large holding companies formed wealth groups, or zaibatsu, which dominated most industry. The zaibatsu were dissolved after the war, but keiretsu—large, modern industrial enterprise groupings—emerged. The coordination of activities within these groupings and the integration of smaller subcontractors into the groups enhanced industrial efficiency. Japanese corporations developed strategies that contributed to their immense growth. Growth-oriented corporations that took chances competed successfully. Product diversification became an essential ingredient of the growth patterns of many keiretsu. Japanese companies added plant and human capacity ahead of demand. Seeking market share rather than quick profit was another powerful strategy. Finally, circumstances beyond Japan's direct control contributed to its success. International conflicts tended to stimulate the Japanese economy until the devastation at the end of World War II. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-5), World War I (1914- 18), the Korean War (1950-53), and the Second Indochina War (1954-75) brought economic booms to Japan. In addition, benign treatment from the United States after World War II facilitated the nation's reconstruction and growth.
I am trying to research a very well known and an important topic of these days Japan and the world. In most of my research I gave the Point of view of Japan and its policies. I learned many new things which were not in my knowledge by working on this topic.
I came to know the importance and influence of Japan and its relations with the rest of the world. I got to know Japan had some conflicts with America. In my research I read different foreign magazines and newspapers from libraries which was a new experience. The things which I have learned during the process will also help me in the future. I got the information of different military technology which Japan has and other sectors on which Japan is focusing in the future to come.
In my research, I made more use of the Internet, read some articles.
Articles from News paper, Daily Times.
I conducted my entire search on google.com
Japanese political history-Discovery Channel