After World War II, as one of the vanquished, Japan was occupied and governed by the U.S. armed forces. However, with the evolution of Cold War situations, the U.S. had little choice but modified its strategic deployment across the world, which in turn changed Japan’s position and role in the international arena. With an aim to building Japan as an Asian anti-communist stronghold practicing liberal democracy, the U.S. amended its occupation policies from original demilitarization and democratization to prospering Japan’s economy and assisting Japan to sign peace treaty, allowing Japan to restore sovereignty and stay with liberal democratic practices. Japan’s domestic political environment further developed and became more and more mature after the War while the formation of 1955 System helped stabilize party politics in Japan. The long-term ruling by Liberal Democratic Party ensured Japan’s consistency in the theme of its national policies.
On the other hand, Japan has been in a turning point in terms of its diplomatic policies. After the surrender in World War II and occupied by the U.S. armed forces, Japan was given no choice but participated in the Western security and economic system led by the U.S. The dramatic change in international security landscape since the end of World War II has allowed Japan of opportunities to seek an appropriate role in international political sphere equal to its economic status by actively adjusting its foreign policies and recovering its influences.
Owing to the great impact of decision making processes on foreign policies as well as significance of changes in such processes after WW II, systematic analysis of decision making processes for Japan foreign policies after WW II becomes crucial. This paper explores the decision making processes for Japan foreign policies since the end of WW II and relevant influencing factors. Here are the findings: The influence on Japan’s diplomatic decision making are varied and shall not be observed and considered from a single aspect, while the entire civil
service, parliamentary checks and balances, influence of political parties and interest groups on government system, international participation, Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan, and international factors of Official Development Assistance are all what it takes to analyze so that changes, trends and causes in Japan’s diplomatic decision making processes can be clarified.