Japan and Africa: Big Business and Diplomacy
By the early 1990s, Japan had replaced the United States as the world's largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and has become a major subscriber to World Bank loans. Thus a clear understanding of its policy objectives in the developing world is extremely important, particularly given its recent efforts to quietly enhance the image of its relationship with Africa.
In the opening chapter, the author sets out the historical dimensions of Japan's relationship with Africa, especially its long involvement with South Africa, going back to the end of the 19th century -- thus correcting a widespread impression that it has been a post-World War II phenomenon. In the post-1945 world, certainly, it has taken enormous strides forward, in step with Japan's growing economic power. Morikawa illuminates the breadth and depth of official and "semi-official" contacts with South Africa, even at the height of UN sanctions, and the motivations behind the ways in which official aid has been handed out to particular sub-Saharan countries, the "key countries" in its strategy. This has been the essence of Japan's "dual diplomacy" with regard to Africa.
Jun Morikawa elucidates the constellation of political, economic and bureaucratic actors who participate in the formulation of Japanese foreign policy. He illustrates clearly how Japan develops its policies and the way it uses corporations as an arm of government in its relations with the rest of the world. Japan's endemic racism is examined, as is anti-racism which found expression in anti-apartheid organizations and a program of "overseas cooperation volunteers". The author looks critically into the heart of Japan's government-business nexus.A readable narrative is supplemented by extensive documentation and statistics.
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