This paper presents a study of Japan's international role with a special focus on its historical evolution. To that end, the following three pillars lay the necessary theoretical foundations: one, the notions of historical and political identity and a discussion of the ambivalent shapes they have taken in Japan; two, the regional context, an examination of Japan's situation with respect to Asian history as a whole, and finally, the "civilian power" concept as defined by Hanns W. Maull.

chapter Chapter 1|17 pages

Theoretical Introduction

chapter Chapter 2|20 pages

Japan’s Identity Dilemma

chapter Chapter 5|27 pages