In 1639, the rule of Tokugawa Iemitsu officially stated the edict of separation of Japan, establishing a long period of isolationism for the Nippon archipelago. During this period, every contact between Japan and the outside world was forbidden, and every Japanese who would leave the country would be sentenced to death. Two centuries later, it is all Japan that is actually forced to leave Asia to join the West, as the expression says. This great shift in the Japanese attitude happened in 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry came with his fleet into the bay of Edo (Tokyo) and ordered Japan's rulers to drop their barriers and open the country to trade. This incident marked for sure the beginning of a long process where Japan left Asia to join the West, creating a very original model of development with Asian spirit, Western technology. Indeed, when Commodore Perry showed up, the Japanese told the Americans to go to Nagasaki because it was the only island where exchanges with the West were allowed. But Commodore Perry refused, and Japan concluded that the only way to expel the barbarians in the forthcoming times would be to embrace their technology and grow stronger and take the decision to join the West. Afterwards, in the next twenty years, the Japanese eager to access western things grew with unlimited bounds: just after the opening to trade were settled and built unusual and never-seen-before Western things in Japan such as the country's first bakery (1860), the first photo shop (1862), the establishment of telephone (1869), the brewery of beer (1869), the development of contemporary cinema (1870), the printing of daily newspapers (1870), and the creation of public lavatories (1871). Following this same strategy over the next century and a half, Japan emerged as one of history's great economic success stories. This development strategy seems to have been a very successful one, allowing Japan to face an economic miracle that enabled the archipelago to position itself as one of the strongest economic power of the worlds.
[...] This strong will to keep Japan in the Western political camp during the beginning of the Cold War shows how Japan became the stronghold and the bastion of the West interests in Asia, forced to politically Asia to join the West. Indeed, in the aftermath of World War two, the Americans had not only ended a terrible war and avenged the attack on Pearl Harbour—they also liked to think they had won an argument with Japan that was by then nearly a century old The economic point of view: Japan leaves its Asian condition to become a “West country” in its economic development The fact that Japan has more or less joined the West camp politically had undeniable effects on its economy. [...]
[...] and Europe, using foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia to achieve national goals.” Indeed Japan has deployed many efforts to build up, after the market driven regionalism, a real political power with a strong voice on the international scene, especially concerning major political problems in Eastern Asia and South Asia. This real ambition shows us that Japan began thinking from the 1970s about relying back again on its Asian spirit, and then putting a hiatus to its process to join the West. [...]
[...] In the aftermath of this crisis, Japan is now taking part in the effort to launch an East Asian Community, bringing together South-East Asia with themselves and China and South Korea. They share an interest in preventing the dollar from declining rapidly and in keeping the exchange rate between the Yuan and the yen fairly stable. They also take part in broader regional co-operation between central banks and finance ministries under the so-called Chiang Mai agreement China creates a new context that defines again the role of Japan in both Asia and the West Japan and China have become richer, more powerful and more important as trading partners, so they have become natural rivals for primacy within their region. [...]
[...] After 1945, the American Occupation accelerates the idea of Japan “leaving Asia to join the West» 1. The political point of view: Japan left Asia to join the Liberal Democratic West in a Cold War context At the end of the Second World War, Japan was occupied by the Allies, and especially by the American powers. The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September marked the end of the Allied occupation, and Japan was once again politically independent, but the United States still had to demilitarize Japan. [...]
[...] Japan has then exported its toyotism model, and taught the Asians their own culture, their distinct ways of acting in the society, socializing in the workplace, and showing each other respect in order to maintain harmony in everyday life From the end of the 1980s, both the West and Asia contest Japan's threat, which urges Japan to define a new way between the Asia and the West, in the new globalisation context 1. The Plaza agreement: the West becomes aware of the Japanese threat The West countries frustration, and especially America's one, showed up in the 1980s when Japan-bashing became a common trend in the West countries. [...]
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