In recent years, the Free and Open Indo-Pacific concept has gained popularity and created a new geographical reality, the Indo-Pacific. Despite its relatively successful performativity in this regard, this strategy, mostly aimed at containing China, originates in Japan’s continuous sense of anxiety caused by the progressive end of Cold War strategic and ideological arrangements since the late 1970s. Clarifying the causes and modalities of recurring narrative changes since, based on previous studies on ontological security, this article seeks to contribute to the understanding of anxiety as a major driver of changes in Japan’s self-representations. To this end, several previously announced grand strategies, such as Hashimoto Ryūtarō’s “Eurasian” or “Silk Road” diplomacy and Ōhira Masayoshi’s 1980 plan to establish a system of comprehensive security and create a Pacific Community, will be discussed. Based on official documents and biographical materials it will be showed that these ideas and policy proposals were in fact instances of Japanese leaders and policymakers’ anxiety reduction strategies and attempts at building a national image against the backdrop of a transformed or rapidly transforming international environment at the end of the Cold War.

Tracing the Roots of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy: Anxiety and Opportunism in Foreign Policy Narrative Construction in Japan from the late 1970s to the mid-2000s

Zappa, Marco
2022

Abstract

In recent years, the Free and Open Indo-Pacific concept has gained popularity and created a new geographical reality, the Indo-Pacific. Despite its relatively successful performativity in this regard, this strategy, mostly aimed at containing China, originates in Japan’s continuous sense of anxiety caused by the progressive end of Cold War strategic and ideological arrangements since the late 1970s. Clarifying the causes and modalities of recurring narrative changes since, based on previous studies on ontological security, this article seeks to contribute to the understanding of anxiety as a major driver of changes in Japan’s self-representations. To this end, several previously announced grand strategies, such as Hashimoto Ryūtarō’s “Eurasian” or “Silk Road” diplomacy and Ōhira Masayoshi’s 1980 plan to establish a system of comprehensive security and create a Pacific Community, will be discussed. Based on official documents and biographical materials it will be showed that these ideas and policy proposals were in fact instances of Japanese leaders and policymakers’ anxiety reduction strategies and attempts at building a national image against the backdrop of a transformed or rapidly transforming international environment at the end of the Cold War.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5008205
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