Examination of ‘Potential Regional Leader Theory’
This chapter has two principal aims: to examine the hypothesis and to consider possible modifications of the hypothesis. Using empirical data presented in Chapters 2, 3 and 4, this chapter will first assess the explanatory power of the Potential Regional Leader Theory, which can be summarized as: a potential leader establishes a regional framework in which it can hold the leading position by excluding more powerful states (for further details, see Chapter 1). The explanatory power of the hypothesis is assessed by comparing Japan’s expected behaviours drawn from the hypothesis with the behavioural patterns generalized from the actual policies conducted by Japan. Accordingly, the following aims are covered in the first half of this chapter: to clarify the behavioural patterns of Japan regarding regional diplomatic, financial and trade projects, respectively; to compare such behaviour patterns with the expected behaviours drawn from the hypothesis; to explain cases that deviate from the hypothesis; and to investigate the different behavioural pattern across domestic agencies (when agencies behave differently).