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국제관계연구소
Vol 34-3 (December 2019): Nationalism vs. Interests: A Neoclassical Realist Perspective on Japan's Policy towards China under the Second Abe Administration (Karol Zakowski)
Abstract
The aim of this article is to analyze the influence of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's nationalist stance on Japan's policy towards China from a neoclassical realist perspective. It is argued that the extent to which Abe's ideological leaning exerted impact on foreign policy making depended on external stimuli, as well as Abe's domestic political interests. Prime Minister Abe generally perceived China as a threat to Japan, and remained assertive towards it, but he also pragmatically displayed flexibility in such areas as history issues, security policy, and territorial dispute. This article analyzes these complex developments in light of the changes in international environment and domestic politics, examining three periods: Abe's first administration (2006–2007); the escalation of diplomatic disputes with China (2012–2014); and gradual rapprochement with China (since 2014). It is concluded that the nationalist beliefs of decision makers affect foreign policy to the greatest extent whenever they are in line with other kinds of variables, such as external pressures and domestic interests.

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