Japan as a 'Normal Country'?: A Nation in Search of Its Place in the World

Edited by Yoshihide Soeya, Masayuki Tadokoro, and David A. Welch

© 2011

For decades, Japan's foreign policy has been seen by both internal and external observers as abnormal in relation to its size and level of sophistication. Japan as a 'Normal Country'? is a thematic and geographically comparative discussion of the unique limitations of Japanese foreign and defence policy. The contributors reappraise the definition of normality and ask whether Japan is indeed abnormal, what it would mean to become normal, and whether the country can—or should—become so.

Identifying constraints such as an inflexible constitution, inherent antimilitarism, and its position as a U.S. security client, Japan as a 'Normal Country'? goes on to analyse factors that could make Japan a more effective regional and global player. These essays ultimately consider how Japan could leverage its considerable human, cultural, technological, and financial capital to benefit both its citizens and the world.

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Product Details

  • Series: Japan and Global Society
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

Japan as a 'Normal Country'? is a thematic and geographically comparative discussion of the unique limitations of Japanese foreign and defence policy.

Japan as a 'Normal Country'?: A Nation in Search of Its Place in the World

Edited by Yoshihide Soeya, Masayuki Tadokoro, and David A. Welch

© 2011

For decades, Japan's foreign policy has been seen by both internal and external observers as abnormal in relation to its size and level of sophistication. Japan as a 'Normal Country'? is a thematic and geographically comparative discussion of the unique limitations of Japanese foreign and defence policy. The contributors reappraise the definition of normality and ask whether Japan is indeed abnormal, what it would mean to become normal, and whether the country can—or should—become so.

Identifying constraints such as an inflexible constitution, inherent antimilitarism, and its position as a U.S. security client, Japan as a 'Normal Country'? goes on to analyse factors that could make Japan a more effective regional and global player. These essays ultimately consider how Japan could leverage its considerable human, cultural, technological, and financial capital to benefit both its citizens and the world.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Japan and Global Society
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘This is a superb volume that anyone interested in today’s key debate about Japanese foreign policy must read.’
    Paul Midford
    Pacific Affairs, vol 86:01:2013
  • Author Information

    Yoshihide Soeya is a professor in the Faculty of Law at Keio University.



    David A. Welch is CIGI Chair of Global Security in the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo.



    Masayuki Tadokoro is a professor in the Faculty of Law at Keio University.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction: What is a ‘Normal Country’? by Yoshihide Soeya, Masayuki Tadokoro, and David A Welch

    1. Embracing Normalcy: Toward a Japanese ‘National Strategy’ by David A Welch (University of Waterloo)
    2. Change and Continuity in Japan’s ‘Abnormalcy’: An Emerging External Attitude of the Japanese Public by Masayuki Tadokoro (Keio University)
    3. A‘Normal’ Middle Power: Interpreting Changes in Japanese Security Policy in the 1990s and After by Yoshihide Soeya (Keio University)
    4. Conservative Conceptions of Japan as a ‘Normal Country’: Comparing Ozawa, Nakasone, and Ishihara by Cheol Hee Park (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    5. Chinese Discourse on Japan as a ‘Normal Country’ by Jianwei Wang (University of Wisconsin)
    6. The Limits to ‘Normalcy’: Japanese-Korean Post-Cold War Interactions by by John Swenson-Wright (University of Cambridge)
    7. Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia in the Post-Cold War Era: ‘Abnormal’ No More? by Peng Er Lam (National University of Singapore)