Japan's comprehensive National Security and the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy: convergence towards global cooperation?
Olsen, Edward A.
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Since the end of the Cold War, the world poses a new, multipolar, political environment. Japan, a major economic power, embarked on multilateralism in the 1970s, when the unquestioned and unlimited U.S. support for Japan's one-sided economic foreign policy diminished. This process revealed cultural and traditional shortcomings in Japan's foreign policy conduct. The concept of Comprehensive National Security, created in 1980 was utilized to overcome these shortcomings, but did not succeed substantially. The European Community created European Political Cooperation (EPC) to match economic and politic influence. An immobile bureaucracy and the tendency of EU member states to retain certain sovereignty rights rendered EPC relatively unsuccessful. The EU sought to overcome these problems with the new Common Foreign and Security policy (CFSP). However, changes in decision making were marginal and consequentially did not improve CFSP in comparison to EPC. EU-Japan economics as well as political cooperation suffered from incompatibilities between the EU and Japan in the conduct of policy making. Only major reform attempts by both, leading to a higher degree of compatibility and the limitation on moderate goals offer the chance of successful cooperation. Global cooperation seems only achievable in the long term.
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