Foundations and trends in Japan’s foreign policy
The author concentrates on economic conditions of Japan’s foreign policy. The lack of own raw materials requires effort for steady sources of supply. Another important problem is marketing outlets. Asymmetry between sources and imports and directions of exports leads to almost permanent frictions with highly developed countries, Japan has surplus with. Japan’s foreign policy is based on its alliance with the US, which is accompanied by developed relations in nearly all domains. Japan maintains the most extensive relations with the countries of East and South-East Asia. Geographical proximity and economic complementarity are favorable factors. Although conflict of interests appear also here, they are settled without major problems. History is sometimes an embittering factor. It concerns Korea, China, Vietnam and even Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Japan’s relations with the Western European countries are maintained at a modest, but steady level. Central and Eastern Europe still occupies a modest place in Japan’s policy, although the latter provides relatively large support for cultural, scientific and technological cooperation. Japan - Russia relations are limited. The main obstacle was and still is a dispute over the Kurile Islands, which were occupied by the Soviet Union in the final stage of the World War Two. While declaring their willingness to settle the problem, both sides maintain their positions, which makes it difficult to actuate of their political and economic cooperation.