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In the world of geopolitics, do you think of Japan as part of the West?

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Just like Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are not part of the "west" although they are within the spectrum of democratic capitalist countries.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

No. I've honestly never thought of Japan as a Western country. Native-born, ethnic Japanese people are not white, they don't speak a European language as their native language, and Christianity is a tiny minority faith that Japanese tend to associate with ridiculous white male fake priests. It is for these very reasons that Westerners who are looking for something different (i.e. not "The West") but also comfortable in terms of income, infrastructure, and a pretty hedonistic lifestyle (e.g. tolerance of alcohol consumption, sex outside of marriage) have been drawn to Japan since the 1960s.

Japan is mistakenly grouped with "The West" because it is one of about ten major democratic countries that are vital allies of the United States (the others being Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, and Spain). If you look at a map of countries that recognize Palestine as an independent state, you'll see that the nations which don't recognize Palestine are in a minority and mostly those nations that are most closely aligned with the U.S.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_the_State_of_Palestine#/media/File:Palestine_recognition_only.svg

So again, it's not "Western" countries that tend to refuse recognition of Palestinian independence. It's countries most closely aligned with the United States. These two things are not the same.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

In the world of geopolitics, do you think of Japan as part of the West?

No. Not at all.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Nope. Superficial stuff like familiar Western franchises clogging up the high street do not make Japan part of the West.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Not at all. Japan openly deals with Iran and Russia in a way I think would be difficult for Western countries.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

No.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Well, Japan cannot make any major "geopolitical" decisions without consent of the West especially the US, example the island dispute with Russia, without US approval they cannot make any decision on there own. They are not part of the West but in the geopolitical arena, all but parrot the western policy.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

As Japan is still under US occupation, it must be part of the West. Its foreign policy is dictated by Washington.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I have always considered Japan to be part of the western group of nations with similar values but also their own culture based not on Christianity but on Shinto and Buddhism. Japan is one of the biggest business investors in Europe and America.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Geographically Japan is an Asian country, but after its catastrophic defeat in WW2 it was held on a tight leash by the USA and thus came to enjoy its present unique position as an "honorary" trading member of the Western political alliance with a growing stake in its military alliances. This history has had consequences for the Japanese national psyche characterized in a nutshell by on-going identity crises and complexes vis-a-vis the West.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

When you are a colony of the U.S.A. global empire, you are part of the west.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

The key here is "geopolitics". Obviously Japan is part of the Orient (East) not the Occident (West). And culturally it is different from nations in Europe and those nations that were formerly colonies. But if we define East and West by Cold War standards obviously Japan is part of the west.

u_s__reamerJuly 1 08:03 pm JST

Geographically Japan is an Asian country, but after its catastrophic defeat in WW2 it was held on a tight leash by the USA and thus came to enjoy its present unique position as an "honorary" trading member of the Western political alliance with a growing stake in its military alliances.

No it goes back way earlier than WWII. Both Britain and the US supported Japan in the 1894 Sino-Japanese War. Japan joined the "Western Nations" in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. Britain and Japan signed the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1902. Both Britain and the U.S. supported Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. And Japan was part of the Allied forces in WWI 1917/18. Relations with "the West" soured over Japan's expansion in China and Asia, but have returned to an Alliance with the West after WWII.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

NO.

As some have mentioned, geographically Japan is in Asia, very close to the power play in the heart of Asia today.

(1) By & large they are still a country of pacifist, up until today some of their OEM, parts manufacturers refuse to supply component to other country for defense purpose.

Even though they have relaxed the restriction half a decade ago. https://thediplomat.com/2015/01/japans-first-steps-into-the-world-of-arms-exports/

They are not (currently) a country that is so busybody of the affair of other countries, where the west (the USA, UK, France etc.) have been sticking their nose in the Middle East for more than a century already, for example.

(2) People has also accused Japan for being a lackey of the West (USA specifically, which is partly true in some aspects), but the same is true for other Asian countries as well (e.g. South Korea, Singapore).

But Japan has started to independently decide it own course, for example, in its steadfast commitment to the TPPA even when the USA withdrawn their participation.

Read http://www.theasanforum.org/how-and-why-japan-has-saved-the-tpp-from-trump-tower-to-davos/

(3) And if some of you didn't notice, as oppose to the Western style of direct confrontation to crisis in the developing/third world country, Japan preach for a far more tolerant, peaceful solution (for example in the past Cambodia conflict & the recent Myanmar's Rohingya crisis).

And this is also closely tied to the Asian values that it still practice today i.e. Saving Face culture

I would say that Japan is 70% Asian & 30% (max) Westernized in its global, geopolitical attitude

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Sun rises from the East. Japan is the first one for their Morning Sunrise. It has always been the East.

No need for debate on this topic.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Absolutely not. Even though many of them would like to be, they dont have the cultural background or ability to be a world stage player.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Well, Japanese would love to be considered the foremost western like country in Asia,but under this Abe premiership,it's been steering more toward its hated cousin in its behavior.And that does not sit well with the people,but unlike those in HK,the people here just put up with it. That is not the action of a true western country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No. Japanese thought processes are firmly linked to their past history. Their history is one of isolation and different ways of considering things. Painting with a broad brush here; —- Japanese folk do not directly face changes. One way you can see this is Japanese generally see no real need to speak English.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan really isn't part of the world of geopolitics. Other than domestic issues involving other countries such as trade and kidnapping, it has the same foreign policy as the US, and has had since the 1950's. Most of its foreign aid is aid-in-kind aimed at helping Japanese companies penetrate markets in the developing world. It's a pariah where climate change legislation and other environmental issues are concerned. It disregards world opinion that conflicts with local rule by patriarchy. It has an appalling record of discrimination toward women in employment, politics, education and other spheres. It refuses to implement domestic legislation in support of international treaties it has understood, and omits enforcement measures when it does do so. Yet it demands that other countries show flexibility when it refuses to do so itself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"understood""undertaken"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I used to think Japan was a westernised, forward-looking country with its sights set on the future - now, thanks to frequent holidays in Japan I see it as a rather confused country.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It wants to be, but all you hear when there is any slight amount of criticism is contrast to the West (and not even Japan as part of Asia), so no.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No. Japanese thought processes are firmly linked to their past history. Their history is one of isolation and different ways of considering things.

This is spot on. Everything must be processed and become Japanese, then its acceptable. Very inflexible and binary logic in this culture. You would be welcoming a 10 year old in the room of adults.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On the surface perhaps. But no way will Japan be in any meaningful way. The Japanese psyche is abysmally lacking in any competency to accept or understand other cultures.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When you look at the alternative forming in the East I certainly hope Japan chooses to stay with the West. At least the core values of sovereignty, rule of law and freedom of speech. Dismiss them at your peril.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

" .......ne'er the twain shall meet ". It's a relation of convenience for survival in the post WW2 route and the aftermath resultant challenges. They are a people caught in a crisis of wanting so bad to belong but only do so at the owners' prerogative, Hence the love- hate disposition by the Japanese towards the West.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Being part of the “West” is neither geographical or religio/cultural, it is ascribing to some or all of a set of ideas and philosophies that have proven to be beneficial to countries and people. Including but not limited to democracy, rule of law, freedom of the individual, freedom of expression, rights to property and equality under the law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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