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Re-reading The Indo-Pacific as Aidagara: Watsuji Tetsurō’s relevance to Japan’s foreign relations

journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 14:44 authored by Taku TamakiTaku Tamaki

This paper focuses on how space and relationships co-produce one another within the Japanese foreign policy language of the Indo-Pacific. By reframing Agent-Structure dynamic, by which actors and social structures reproduce one another, into Watsuji Tetsurō’s idea of aidagara (“inter-relationships”) consisting of the Agent-Structure relationship being mutually constitutive with space within which the relationship is situated, this paper fills the gap in the literature on international politics by bringing space back into the discussions on international political dynamics. I analyze Japanese government narratives appearing in official pronouncements and media reports to show that Japan’s foreign relations are apprehended as a function of space, and vice versa. These narratives show that the Indo-Pacific takes on a double-meaning: (1) as a geographical space within which the A-S dynamics are playing out; and as (2) denoting what the space means for Japanese diplomacy. By reframing the Agent-Structure relationships into aidagara, we can start to rethink of an interpenetrating dynamic involving the Indo-Pacific as a space reproducing Japan’s evolving political relationships, and the relationships reproducing space.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • International Relations, Politics and History

Published in

Critical Asian Studies

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in [JOURNAL]. [INCLUDE CITATION]. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Acceptance date

2024-06-02

ISSN

1467-2715

eISSN

1472-6033

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Taku Tamaki. Deposit date: 3 June 2024

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