The persistence of reified Asia as reality in Japanese foreign policy narratives

2015-04-17T10:08:50Z (GMT) by Taku Tamaki
Asia is narrated in Japanese foreign policy pronouncements as an opportunity as well as a threat. Despite the purported transformation from militarism to pacifism since August 1945, the reified images of Asia as an ‘entity out there’ remain resilient. The image of a dangerous Asia prompted Japan to engage in its programme of colonialism before the War and compels policy makers to address territorial disputes with Asian neighbours today. Simultaneously, Asia persistently symbolises an opportunity for Tokyo to exploit. Hence, despite the psychological rupture of August 1945, reified Asia remains a reality in Japanese foreign policy.