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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
3-3-6 Kudan-Minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


Registration Info

The presentation will be given in English. The DIJ Social Science Study Group is a forum for young scholars and Ph.D. candidates in the field of Social Sciences. As always, all are welcome to attend, but please register by February 24th with Harald Conrad

Restoring the "Normal Nation": Japan's Changing International Environment and the Conservative Revolution in Foreign Policy at the Beginning of the 21st Century

February 25, 2004 / 6.30 P.M.

Axel Karpenstein

Considered passive, reactive, or even largely absent for a long time, Japan’s foreign policy has displayed significant changes over the past decade, as illustrated by the country’s growing regional and international commitment. How are we to understand these developments?

My dissertation project, which will be presented here, endeavors to put the recent developments in Japanese foreign policy into a broader perspective by examining the interaction of Japan’s changing international environment with different foreign policy positions within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

In a preliminary assessment of the findings, I advance the proposition that rather than merely adjusting to international pressures, Japan’s foreign policy is, in fact, undergoing a far-reaching “conservative revolution” whose objective is a fundamental revision of Japan’s positions within the international system and a restoration of Japan as a strong, “normal nation.”

Axel Karpenstein is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Columbia University, New York, and a grant student at the German Institute of Japanese Studies, Tokyo, where he is currently working on his dissertation.
The presentation will be given in English, but subsequent questions and comments in Japanese are welcome.