The first was the continuous outlet for its hi-tech products characterized by increasing quality, and the second was the purchase of US agricultural products. Starting from the s, the Japanese development model was applied to Eastern and Southeast Asian states. In political-economic terms, this means that the development process is characterized by a relocation of labour-intensive sectors to the poorest countries, while the richest ones specialize in new products.
The first was of a strategic nature, aimed to encourage the growth of capitalist economies in a context where satellites of the communist block gravitated. The second was of an economic nature, as it favoured the consolidation of the US dollar as a reference and international exchange currency. However, while this process allowed the US to increase the political hegemony in the Asian region, its negative consequences cannot be overlooked.
This phenomenon arose in the US in and resulted in two main consequences: first, it determined the need to find new geographies where higher profits were guaranteed, which means relocation of production to poor countries, where labour costs are lower. Second, it pushed investors to reduce wages and increase the productivity of workers. Briefly, these were the fundaments of neoliberal ideology that was developing in that very period.
Low labour costs, weakness of trade unions, rules protecting ownership rights, free transport and equipment infrastructures and adequate logistics were the characteristics that enabled the region to base its economy on the export-led model. This was a sign that the development state model, which became a myth just because it was the only alternative to the neo classic model based on the free market, should be dispelled.
Relationships between Cambodia and Japan started in the early s and were fruitful for both, for several reasons. First, after the Second World War, the US gave Japan the role of a pivotal anti-communist strong-hold in East Asia, facing the imminent victory of Communist China and the majority of the left-forces in Japan. Consequently, Japanese domestic and external policy was rigidly imposed by the US, as in the San Francisco Treaty in , establishing inter alia art.
Second, in the same period, also Cambodia was in a situation of great political fragility. Just a few days after the invasion of Indochina by Japan on 9 March and the arrest of the French officials, King Norodom Sihanouk proclaimed Cambodian independence. However, after the Japanese surrender, the French General Leclerc imposed a soft colonial regime restoration. From to , following the capitulation of Japan, Cambodia had to renegotiate its independence with France, in a context characterized by many critical points: strong rivalry between the political forces, in particular between conservative and left parties.
For these reasons, Sihanouk sought support also abroad, denouncing the intransigence of France during his travels in the US, Canada and Japan. In October , France granted independence to Cambodia and in July independence was internationally recognised by the Geneva Conference on Indochina. In March , Sihanouk abdicated leaving the throne to his father and, a few month later December , he went to Japan on an official visit as prime minister.
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Sitting next to Emperor Hirohito, Sihanouk signed a friendship treaty with Japan renouncing to sue for war damages. In exchange, Japan offered Cambodia million Yen. During the conflict between the US and Vietnam, Japan maintained an ambiguous attitude towards both Vietnam and Cambodia. In the s, in fact, Tokyo diplomacy began a new course of foreign policy in Asia and in South East Asia. This was partly due to the fact that the US had lost influence in the Southeast Asian countries during the Vietnam war, and partly because of the normalisation of US-China relations at the beginning of In this context, in Tokyo there was a strengthening of the idea that Japan could and should play a proactive role in Asia, independently of the US, especially with respect to Southeast Asian countries.
In this perspective, also relations with Cambodia followed the same footprint but were interrupted in , after the Khmer Rouge coup. During the Khmer Rouge rule, the relationship was neither active nor proactive. Only after the Vietnamese intervention in Cambodia in , aimed at putting an end to the Pol Pot regime, did Japan align with the US and the Atlantic block. Indeed, it condemned the Vietnamese invasion, freezing aid to Vietnam to put pressure on Hanoi to abandon their Cambodian adventure. Between and , a series of events led to the end of the Cold War in Southeast Asia, such as the withdrawal of Vietnam from Cambodia and the Peace Agreement of Hat Yai in , that marked the end of the Communist insurgency in Malaysia It was in this context that Japan and Cambodia renewed their relations soon after the signing of the Paris peace agreement in October by all four Cambodian factions.
For the first time after the end of the Second World War, Japan led an international mission abroad, headed by the Japanese diplomat Yasushi Akashi, and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces were displayed abroad. Japan, in early , also proposed a special commission of inquiry into the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge, but the US blocked the initiative.
Despite a series of criticalities, UNTAC was able to support the pacification of Cambodia, to start the process of reconciliation and, within a few years, to hold free elections. These positive results allowed Japan to strengthen relationships and consequently to replicate its economic diplomacy, which had been brought forward in Southeast Asia in the previous 20 years, in Cambodia.
After the UNTAC intervention in , reconciliation and reconstruction proceeded quickly thanks to a series of international aid that arrived, partly directly to the NGOS involved in the territory and partly to the Cambodian government. In the latter case, the government used the aid for the realization of projects that had been approved ex ante by the donor community. Any grant or donation was given with strings-attached conditionalities aimed at strengthening the reconciliation and democratisation process.
What happened during this coup has still not been clarified in detail. The Korean Journal of International Relations, 47 5 , Chung, C. Asian Survey, 53 5 , Dent, C. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Third World Quarterly, 29 4 , What region to lead? Developments in East Asian regionalism and questions of regional leadership. Haacke, J. Asian Perspective, vol. Jones, D. Kawai, M. Bob Ed. Keohane, R. The Demand for International Regimes.
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In recent years, Japan has been actively engaged in tackling new types of environmental problems such as wastes and global warming resulting from mass production and consumption, reflecting urbanization and changes in life style. I hope to see Japan share with ASEAN countries now enjoying spectacular growth her own experiences and technologies for anti-pollution and efficient energy use, not just her success stories but also mistakes and difficulties in the past, so that they will not repeat the same mistakes.
In implementing ODA for current and potential ASEAN members, Japan would like to positively promote various environmental cooperation, such as the prevention of industrial pollution and protection of forests and biodiversity. Improving people's health and welfare is a task that every country has to tackle, regardless of the stage of its economic development. Using the lessons gained at that meeting, I would like to consider, in cooperation with ASEAN, how the initiative could further be developed in the future.
In these areas of the environment, health and welfare, I would like to see Japan not just share her know-how and experiences, but also absorb ASEAN's wisdom as well.
The ASEAN countries with remarkable development nowadays support development of other countries still in difficulties, by sharing their successful experiences with them in many fields. It would be quite meaningful that each ASEAN country continues to further support the less developed countries, taking full advantage of their similar religions, cultures, and environments.
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Japan for her part would like to make efforts through tripartite cooperations so that fruits gained from the Japan-ASEAN cooperation in various fields can widely be enjoyed in other parts of the world. As Japan and ASEAN strengthen their joint forward looking cooperation to prepare for the coming century, the most important precondition would be that peace and stability in the Asia Pacific are firmly ensured.
And the most important factor for this precondition is, I firmly believe, the presence of the United States in Asia. Even after the end of the cold war, several unstable factors persist in the region. So that these factors will not become international conflicts, the presence of the United States, a country of unrivalled power and founded upon principles such as democracy, market mechanism, and respect for creativity, is essential.
So I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear that Japan will continue to do its best to maintain confidence in the arrangements. I sincerely hope that the meaning of the arrangements are correctly understood. They serve as a sort of infrastructure for stability and economic prosperity in the Asia Pacific, and are in no sense targetted against any specific country. Another extremely important factor is relations with China. Every ASEAN country has deep-rooted and inseparable relations with China in historical, cultural, political and economic terms.
The same is true of Japan.
Now that China has been following a path of modernization through its policy of reform and openness, she takes more part in every arena. It is important for the rest of the world to support the policy direction and to enhance wide ranging dialogues and exchanges with China so that she can secure her position as a constructive partner in the international community.
Japan's ODA projects to China are implemented from that viewpoint. Yen loan projects play a role in promoting public infrastructure development required for China's economic growth. Grant in aid projects, including medical-related ones, can help enhance the Chinese people's lives and welfare. These cooperations, in my opinion, contribute to fostering their good will toward Japan. I am convinced that the presence of a politically stable, economically prosperous China, bound by ties of trust with the rest of the world, would be in everybody's interest in the Asia Pacific and the world over.
My view is that the relations among Japan, the United States, and China will have an important impact on the entire Asia Pacific. There is no "zero sum" in these relations. I have thus pointed out the importance of improved US-China relations, and heartily welcome the trend currently moving in that direction. To maintain and promote friendship and cooperation with the Republic of Korea, another Japanese neighbour which is becoming an increasingly active partner in the international community, continues to be one of Japan's most important foreign policy objectives.
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To ensure peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula is an important task, inseparable with the peace and stability of the entire Asia Pacific. The issue of nuclear weapons development in North Korea is not just an issue of regional security but also a concern of grave importance for the international community from the viewpoint of ensuring non-proliferation.
I look forward to having a closer and broader dialogue with President Kim Young Sam, who will visit Japan at the end of this month, on various issues including measures for realizing peace and stability on the Peninsula.
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In the 21st century, prosperous and open societies should be created in the Asia Pacific. To that end, as I have emphasized today, Japan and ASEAN should address squarely their respective challenges, based upon the preconditions of the US presence in Asia and China's further constructive participation in the international community. In that process, Japan and ASEAN should reform their cooperative relations, which have so far placed great weight on the economic field, into broader and deeper ones suitable for the new era. What I have proposed as a concrete step are the following three: firstly, closer dialogues at top level, secondly, multilateral cultural cooperation for preservation and harmony of unique traditions and cultures, and thirdly, joint endeavours to tackle universal concerns such as terrorism and the environment.
The path to the next century and beyond will not be an easy one. It will bring us to many challenges, one after another.