16 Pages

Introduction: Japanese diplomacy from prewar to postwar


As an island country sitting off the eastern coast of the Asian continent, Japan has preserved its independence by learning from Chinese and then Western civilizations. In the prewar period, Japan pursued both “cooperation” with the Great Powers and “expansion” as an Imperial Power in its own right. It became difficult to pursue both goals simultaneously as the international environment changed after World War I and Japan ended up choosing “expansion at the expense of cooperation.” Following World War II, Japan was reborn as a country pursuing economic “expansion through cooperation.”