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Japan and Asian Values: A Challenge for Japan's East Asian Policy in theNew Century

  • Furuoka, Fumitaka (School of Business and Economics at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah) ;
  • Yee, Beatrice Lim Fui (School of Business and Economics at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah) ;
  • Mahmud, Roslinah (School of Business and Economics at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah)
  • Published : 20060931

Abstract

Since its defeat in the Second World War, Japan has been fostering good ties with Western countries, especially the United States. However, some East Asian leaders emboldened by their countries' economic success have proclaimed that the future belongs to Asia and have put forward the "Asian values" argument. It is interesting to note that some elements of the "Asian values" argument resemble ultranationalist discourse that was dominant in Japan before the war. The Japanese Government had a great opportunity to reappraise its role in international politics and take stock of its economic and diplomatic relations with East Asian countries after the end of the Cold War. To meet future challenges, Japan should fully overcome anti-Western sentiment and participate in establishing a truly democratic East Asian regionalism based on the "universal values" of human rights, democracy and freedom. This may prove to be one of the biggest challenges for Japan's East Asia policy in the new century.

Keywords

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