One Hundred Fifty Years of Japanese Foreign Relations

One Hundred Fifty Years of Japanese Foreign Relations

From 1868 to 2018

Hatano Sumio
A project by The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy
Translated by Carl Freire, Terry Gallagher, and Tom Kain
Editorial Supervision by Hamaoka Takayuki

Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture

Political Science

¥6,500 + tax

ISBN 9784866581736
260 mm x 210 mm / 544 pp. / August 2022

This book traces the past 150 years of Japan's diplomatic history, focusing on the thoughts and actions of the leaders of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the ministry's establishment in 1869. It includes a discussion of the last fifteen years of the Edo period, beginning with the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1854. Since the Meiji era, Japan's foreign policy has been informed by its response to that “confrontation from the West."

This foreign policy has been largely based on “accommodation diplomacy" (also called responsive diplomacy). Japan has designed its diplomatic response with an eye to its own foreign policy goals, applying the metric of what might be feasible more than what might be desirable. In “accommodation diplomacy," the international issues, international order, and the rules of the game are not defined. In that sense, there has been no all-encompassing strategy behind Japan's foreign policy. Instead, Japan has regarded the international situation simply, as a set of facts. It has sought to maximize the benefits to itself while minimizing risk. Its foreign policy has been an attempt to solve this conundrum through accommodation. Reflective of the times, this has required an abundance of creativity. Japan has needed to be both pragmatic and forward-thinking in its response to changes in the international environment.

In the postwar period, as Japan aimed to elevate its standing in the competition-driven international environment, its foreign policy can be understood as an extension of the way it had comported itself since the Meiji era: emphasizing cooperation and coordination with other nations while responding to changes in the international environment.

Professor Hatano Sumio (b. 1947) is director-general of the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR) at the National Archives of Japan. He is head of the editorial committee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Nihon gaiko bunsho (Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy) and is also a professor emeritus at the University of Tsukuba with a specialization in Japanese political and diplomatic history.

After obtaining his doctorate degree from Keio University Graduate School of Law, he became a research fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS). At the University of Tsukuba, he held the posts of professor, vice president, and head of the library. He has also held other academic posts, including as a researcher at Harvard University.

His other works include Bakuryō-tachi no Shinjuwan (The staff officers' Pearl Harbor; Asahi Shimbunsha); Kokka to rekishi (The Japanese nation and history; Chuokoron-Shinsha); Rekishi toshite no Nichi-Bei anpojōyaku (The history of the US-Japan Security Treaty; Iwanami Shoten); and Saishō Suzuki Kantarō no ketsudan (The decision by Prime Minister Suzuki Kantarō; Iwanami Shoten). In addition, he was co-editor of the six-volume series Nihon no gaikō (Japanese diplomacy; Iwanami Shoten) as well as Nit-Chū sensō wa naze okitano ka (Why did the Second Sino-Japanese War happen?; Chūōkōron-Shinsha), among others. His book Taiheiyō sensō to Ajia gaikō (University of Tokyo Press) is available in English as The Pacific War and Japan's Diplomacy in Asia (JPIC).

*information as of time of publication


Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture

¥6,500 + tax
ISBN 9784866581736
260 mm x 210 mm / 544 pp. / August 2022

ISBN 9784866581859 (ePub)
ISBN 9784866581965 (PDF)
August 2022

Preface to the English Edition / 1. Bakufu Diplomacy and the Opening of Japan / 2. The Age of “Elder Statesmen Diplomacy” / 3. The Mutsu and Komura Periods: The First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War / 4. Political Movements in China and Japanese Diplomacy / 5. The “New Diplomacy” and Japan / 6. The Ups and Downs of International Cooperation: The Era of “Shidehara Diplomacy” / 7. The Impact of the Manchurian Incident / 8. The Disruption of International Cooperation and Japan-China Cooperation / 9. War with United States Begins / 10. The Pacific War and Wartime Diplomacy / 11. The Era of Yoshida Diplomacy: The San Francisco Peace Treaty / 12. “Autonomous Diplomacy” and Coordinating with the United States / 13. Diplomacy during the Period of Rapid Economic Growth: Ikeda and Satō / 14. The Liabilities of Being a “Great Economic Power” / 15. The Post–Cold War Era / Bibliography / List of Illustrations / Index by Subject / Index of Names

"A comprehensive must-read for a deep and accurate understanding of Japanese foreign relations, written by distinguished historian Sumio Hatano."

Robert Eldridge
Japan Forward




Original Japanese Edition


波多野澄雄 編著



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