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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Normalization of Japan-China relations : external and internal influences on Japan’s foreign policy-making progress Hook, Glen Dawson


There have been few studies that have explicitly attempted to delineate the influence of external and internal factors on Japan's foreign policy-making process. The purpose of this thesis is to examine such factors in respect to one particular foreign policy issue: the normalization of relations between Japan and China. So as not to be considered as purely idiographic research, the findings are contrasted and compared with previous research that has similarly been concerned with a 1) foreign policy issue, 2) controversial in characteristic, and 3) short-term on the temporal dimension. After the limitations of the tripartite elite model of Japanese policy-making are outlined, an examination is then made of the influence of the United States and China in compelling Japan's decision to normalize relations with China. Internally, the role of the Liberal Democratic Party, bureaucracy, business, opposition parties, press and public opinion are assessed in respect to this and previous policy studies. Our findings here are consistent with the conclusion that the tripartite elite (the Liberal Democratic Party, bureaucracy, and business) does not necessarily hold predominant power in the policymaking process. Instead, we find that two senior leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party — Prime Minister Tanaka and Foreign Minister Ohira — form a policy-making group which dominates this particular policy process. These politicians are supported in this role by senior members of the bureaucracy, a pro-Peking Liberal Democratic Party Dietman, and influential members of the opposition parties. In this study, the role of business, the press and public opinion are found to be indirect and peripheral compared to the role played by the above mentioned policy-making actors.

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