Hugging and Hedging

Narushige Michishita and Richard J. Samuels

in Worldviews of Aspiring Powers

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199937479
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980727 | DOI:
Hugging and Hedging

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This chapter examines the Japanese foreign and security policy discourse. It identifies four distinct schools of thought, each with a different structural preference for the United States–Japan–China strategic triangle. Those who would hedge against Chinese regional economic dominance are called “bandwagoners.” They prefer Sino–Japanese ties that are closer than either United States–Japan or Sino–United States ties. Those who would hedge against Chinese military power are labeled “balancers.” They prefer a strategic environment in which United States–Japan ties remain more intimate that either Sino–United States or Sino–Japanese ties. The strategic preference of the “self-hedgers”—a group that comprises “autonomists” on the left and right—is for both Sino–Japanese and United States–Japanese ties to be closer than Sino–United States ties, with each more distant than they are at present. Finally, there is a group of “dual hedgers” who wish for a fuller integration of United States–Japanese–Chinese relations. These strategists prefer the sort of “equilateral” strategic triangle first openly described by Ozawa Ichirō in 2006.

Keywords: foreign policy; international relations; United States; China; security policy

Chapter.  12908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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