Japan’s role conception in multilateral initiatives in the Asia-Pacific
This chapter examines Japan’s role conception in its multilateral commitments in the Asia-Pacific after the global financial crisis in 2008. The Hatoyama Government launched an East Asian Community initiative, which aimed to assume a kingmaker role in creating a new order in East Asia. However, the East Asian Community initiative did not develop due to stress on self-reliance and distance from partnership with the USA. The Abe Government sought to play a follower role in enhancing the position of the East Asia Summit with an eye to consolidating the US-based institutional framework. Abe’s new multilateral initiative of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, which represented Japan’s kingmaker role in maintaining a free and open regional order, has had contradictory impacts on diplomatic strategies of the USA and Japan’s other regional partners.