ABSTRACT

For Japan, the end of the Cold War was sort of a “double defeat.” First, its bubble economy burst and it found itself in a long recession. Second, it badly mishandled its response to the Gulf Crisis and War. However, it successfully managed the Cambodian peace process and peacekeeping operations there. Moreover, it was able to redefine the Japan–U.S. alliance having overcome the Okinawa incident of 1995 and the crisis in the Taiwan Strait in 1996. The 1997 Asia financial crisis also struck, but Japan contributed a great deal of funds to help the region overcome it. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Japan greatly expanded its international security role by dispatching the SDF to the Indian Ocean and Iraq. At the same time, Japan has had to deal with a dangerous neighbor, North Korea, seeking to develop nuclear weapons and advanced missile technology and is facing the challenge of a rising China.