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  • Economics


Two competing visions of Japan prevail in academic research and policy analysis. On the global level, Japan is often seen as a power that knows how to achieve economic success but does not know what to do in foreign policy. By contrast, on the regional level the country is viewed, with both awe and suspicion, as dominating the East Asian regional economic order with a strong sense of purpose, resourcefulness, and determination. Japan itself has adopted a two-track foreign policyâone track for the West and one track for East Asia. Japan's prolonged economic stagnation in the 1990s has drastically changed the world's view of the country. Japan is now seen as stuck in a system that has outlived its usefulness. But this recent development highlights rather than negates the importance of critically examining the cleavage between Asia and the West in Japan's foreign policy to shed light on Tokyo's motivation and strategic behavior. In fact, while retreating to some extent in the world, Japan has become more active, relative to its past behavior, in East Asia in recent years

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