Strategic Trends

Stealth Superpower: The Fall and Re-Rise of Japan in the Indo-Pacific

24 Aug 2023

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IBAN: 978-9948-786-51-1

AED 15

The paper analyzes the ebbs and flows of Japan’s influence and power in the Indo-Pacific region. After a rapid period of reconstruction following World War II, a veritable ‘economic miracle’, the Northeast Asian nation quickly reassumed its place of pride in the region. Up until the closing decades of the 20th century, Japan was seen as the next superpower, having rapidly closed the economic and technological gap with the reigning superpower, the United States. But just when the Asian nation seemed on the verge of becoming the new global powerhouse, an economic crash triggered the “lost decades” of the 1990s and the 2000s. The rise of China in the 21st century, however, would inspire a new generation of nationalist leadership, most prominently former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who transformed Japan’s foreign and defense policy in the past decade.