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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Articles and Briefings

FPC Briefing: Separating historical fact from political fiction-reconsidering Japan's militaristic past

By Dr Matthew Funaiole.

In this new FPC Briefing Dr Matthew Funaiole takes the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Pacific War (World War II) as an opportunity to assess the controversy in Japan about its international posture. Prime Minister Abe has in recent months repeatedly struck the nationalist war drum, leaving leaders in Beijing and Seoul increasingly worried about a resurgent Japan. While Abe's vision for Japan does circumvent the pacifist aspects of the Japanese constitution, greater understanding into Japan's imperial past is needed before evaluating Abe's policies. This briefing explores Japan's complicated relationship with the West to better understand the origins of Japanese imperialism and the lasting impact of Japan's pacifist constitution.

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