Japan’s decline and the consequences for East Asian conflict and cooperation

Authored by: Christopher W. Hughes

Security and Conflict in East Asia

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781857437171
eBook ISBN: 9781315850344
Adobe ISBN:


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Japan’s fortunes in its rise and decline as a great power have always been intimately bound up with the fortunes of conflict and cooperation in the East Asia region. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan’s economic and military rise vis-à-vis China and the imperial Western powers became perhaps the major source of inter-state conflict (Welfield 1988: 1–20; Koshiro 2013: 7–10). During the post-war period Japan’s experience of defeat and decline, followed by its rapid rise under the aegis of the USA to become the number two economy in the world and a ‘civilian power’, were largely a source of stability and helped to restart regional economic cooperation (Maull 1990–91). As the 21st century has progressed, Japanese decline and its ramifications for the East Asia region have again become a source of intense debate domestically and throughout the region.

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