Geography and Japan's Strategic Choices: From Seclusion to by Peter J. Woolley

By Peter J. Woolley

Geography, this writer contends, is the without a doubt exact function of any nation. Geography and Japan's Strategic offerings starts off through explaining Japan's distinctive situation and topography compared to different international locations. Peter Woolley then examines the ways that the country's political leaders in quite a few eras understood and acted on these geographical boundaries and merits. continuing chronologically via numerous targeted political eras, the booklet compares the Tokugawa period, the hole to the West, the Meiji recovery, the lengthy period of colonialization, industrialization and liberalization, the militarist response and international warfare II, the career, the chilly conflict, and at last the rudderless fin de siecle. eventually Woolley demonstrates how Japan's strategic state of affairs within the twenty-first century is expert via prior and current geo-strategic calculations in addition to through present household and foreign adjustments. for college kids and students of U.S.-Japan family members and of eastern heritage and politics, this booklet deals any knowledgeable reader a clean point of view on a severe overseas courting.

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S. allies, some are in Asia, and some, like Japan, are not strictly speaking island nations but archipelagos. Still, the Japanese perception that their land is small and dependent can have important consequences on public opinion and on foreign policy. Japan’s Essential Similarities Because there has been a long-standing emphasis on the ways in which Japan differs from the United States and from the West, important similarities— 667-3 Geography & Japan 8/22/05 2:09 PM Page 25 GEOGRAPHY AND THINGS UNIQUELY JAPANESE 25 and therefore causalities—have been frequently overlooked.

13 And as a commercial and sea power, he suggested, Japan’s interests ultimately would coincide more closely with those of the Americans and Europeans than with those of the other countries of Asia. Notwithstanding Mahan’s persuasiveness, Halford Mackinder, the British geographer, contended to the contrary that the advent of railroads had given land powers a new advantage in mobility, range, economic efficiency, and secure interior lines. “A generation ago,” Mackinder wrote, “steam and the Suez canal appeared to have increased the mobility of seapower relatively to land-power.

The Mogul emperors had consolidated the vast subcontinent under their rule, adding the last big piece, Afghanistan, in 1581. By the end of the next century, however, the government had fallen into decline. Its infighting and inefficiency would eventually weaken and divide India to the point where the British could become the real rulers. In Russia, Ivan the Terrible was creating an empire at the same time as Japan had been fighting its civil wars. Russians crossed the Ural Mountains into Asia and by 1584 had defeated the Tatars.

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