Japan and the Middle East after the Arab Spring ポスト・アラブの春と日本の中東政策
Introduction: Outline, Framework & Argument
This paper examines Japanese policy in the Middle East conflicts and explores possible alternatives that might better serve Japan’s interests in the Middle East. It will first discuss Japan’s general foreign policy orientation, especially towards the Middle East. It will illustrate Japan’s approach to regional conflicts by focusing on the Iranian nuclear issue and the Syrian civil war. Finally, it will assess the consequences of Japan’s policy for its national interest: while current policy has served Japan’s national interests to a significant degree in the periods of both the Cold War and the post-Cold War US hegemonic periods, Japan’s foreign policy has increasingly adhered to the Western consensus almost without exception over conflicts in the Middle East, thereby limiting its range of options. It may therefore need to be adapted to the coming period, due to changes in both the Middle East such as democratization, and in international conditions, notably a less US-dominated, more pluralistic world order.