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Policy after the Cold War

The post-Cold War world promises an important position for Japan. Japanese leaders and popular opinion remains tentative and uncertain as to how Japan would use its remarkable economic power in order to preserve and enhance Japanese national interests. There seems to be little alternative to a continued close strategic relationship with the United States and a general international outlook designed to promote global peace, development, and access to world markets and resources. Japanese leaders and public opinion are often eager to see Japan assert a more pronounced position in world affairs, but the tradition of caution in Japanese foreign policy is reinforced by the still unclear outlines of the post-Cold War environment that will affect Japanese foreign policy in the years ahead.

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The amount of literature in English on Japan's postwar foreign policy is voluminous. James W. Morley's Japan's Foreign Policy, 1868-1941, Frank C. Langdon's Japan's Foreign Policy, Reinhard Drifte's Japan's Foreign Policy, Robert A. Scalapino's The Foreign Policy of Modern Japan, and William R. Nester's Japan's Growing Predominance Over East Asia and the World Economy are worthwhile monographs. The most useful current assessments appear in publications such as the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asian Survey, Current History, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. Feature articles also appear in such important news sources as the Asian Wall Street Journal. Among United States government publications, the most useful are the Foreign Broadcast Information Service's Daily Report: East Asia and various publications of the United States Congress. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of January 1994