Snow on the Pine: Japan's Quest for a Leadership Role in Asia


Posted: 27 Apr 2010

See all articles by Craig Freedman

Craig Freedman

Macquarie University - Department of Economics

Kyoko Hatakeyama

Macquarie University

Date Written: March 22, 2010


Snow on the Pine presents a compelling view of the Japanese foreign policy that runs counter to the common wisdom reducing Japan's post-war efforts to the pursuit of purely commercial interests. This book takes a new approach - the eventual Japanese defeat in the Second World War did not transform Japan into an “exceptional state” seeking only economic interests. Like any other nations, economic issues have always played a crucial role in policy decisions. However, this is but only one amongst the many interweaving threads determining foreign policy decisions.

In the authors' eyes, Japan's foreign policy is characterized by the drive to dominate and influence the East Asia region, which has been a consistent motivation since the days of the Meiji restoration. Thus, the post-war period in this analysis provides a continuation rather than a break with the country's previous history. Tactics, and even strategies, may have changed over time to meet the challenges of the ever evolving economic and political environments but the overall objective has essentially remained constant. The snow melts, but the pine endures .

Keywords: Japanese Foreign Policy, Japan's International Relations, Japan's Political Economy, Japanese Influence, Japanese Leadership, Development Models, East Asian Region, Japanese Aid Programs

Suggested Citation

Freedman, Craig and HATAKEYAMA, KYOKO, Snow on the Pine: Japan's Quest for a Leadership Role in Asia (March 22, 2010). SNOW ON THE PINE , Available at SSRN:

Craig Freedman

Macquarie University - Department of Economics ( email )

Sydney NSW 2109


Macquarie University ( email )


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