Japan over the same period when the Soviet Union was in decline has become a stronger world power. Indeed, Japan has demonstrated since the end of the war a drive for increased economic development, which has taken place against a background of a relative decline in U.S. economic and military power. Japan has become the world's second largest exporter and since 1986 the world's largest creditor nation. The Japanese industrial expansion since World War II has been considerable and has been noted by other industrialized nations around the world. Japan began from a position far behind the West, with a devastated infrastructure, and since has achieved a position of economic preeminence. Japan is now challenging the United States and other industrialized nations for world leadership in innovation and industrial production, especially in high-tech industries of great import on the international scene today and into the future.
The Japanese policies since World War II show certain characteristics that help define Japanese foreign policy. First, in an international environment which was largely bipolar in security terms, Japan remained politically, economically, and militarily closely linked with the United States, but because of Japan's large technological and economic base, it was necessary for Japan to maintain substantial relations with the rest of the world: "Moreover, growing multipolarity, interdependence and the weakening of the U.S. position of hegemony are forcing Japan to reassess Japanese-U.S. relations" (Drifte 2).
Second, the geographic contiguity of Japan to a militarily assertive Soviet Union and the alliance with the United States put pressure on Japan to become once more a major military power. Other forces pressing in this same direction included Japan's own economic and technological strengths. Military links between Japan and the United States increased and were directed largely at supplementing some U.S. se...
Countries Affiliated to Japan. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 17:25, October 31, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303608482.html