STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Japan’s Proactive Pacifism: Investing in Multilateralization and Omnidirectional Hedging

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  • May 2017
    Volume: 
    41
    Issue: 
    3
    Articles

    Since 2012, Japan’s foreign policy under Prime Minister (PM) Abe has been characterized as assertive, welcome or provocative. By employing the fear of abandonment/entrapment theory as the analytical framework, this article finds that Japan’s regional foreign policy under Abe is characterized by consolidation and investment in broad-based multilateralism, proactive engagement with partners in the region, including China, and strategic hedging. Findings suggest that the current foreign policy under the rubric of ‘proactive pacifism’ will continue to expand as Japan endeavours to consolidate and invest in multilateralism and rule-based norms through regional trade agreements, and by playing a proactive role in international organizations and regional security operations that abide by Japan’s constitutional limitations.

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