Australia and Japan after the second world war: constructing new futures in Asia

Lowe, David 2009, Australia and Japan after the second world war: constructing new futures in Asia, The Otemon journal of Australian studies, vol. 35, pp. 123-133.

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Title Australia and Japan after the second world war: constructing new futures in Asia
Author(s) Lowe, DavidORCID iD for Lowe, David
Journal name The Otemon journal of Australian studies
Volume number 35
Start page 123
End page 133
Total pages 11
Publisher Otemon Gakuin University
Place of publication Osaka, Japan
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0385-3446
Summary The subject of my lecture is Australian-Japanese relations since the end of the Second World War, but I’m keen to explore these relations in the context of ideas, efforts and practical results in relation to collaborative and other efforts towards regionalism in the Asia Pacific. My general argument is that, on the one hand, Australian-Japanese relations have developed with a strength that would have been hard to imagine in 1945, and with an important focus on regional growth and security. The incremental steps taken may have been small and at a steady pace but, given the legacy of deep scars resulting from the Second World War and given the limitations on the defence aspects of Japan’s postwar involvement in regional affairs (ie the self defence requirement of the Constitution and the practice of spending not more than one per cent of Gross National Product on defence), these have been very successfully negotiated steps. On the other hand, there are some opportunities for greater joint leadership in the region which may or may not be realized. The incremental steps took place in difficult and changing circumstances; and what I would like to do now is remind us of how many unknowns attached to what might happen in Australian- Japan relationships after the Second World War, partly because there were so many unknowns about how the post-war international order would settle, and partly because Australian-Japanese relations started from such a desperately low point. I will try to walk through some of the key features of different periods, as I see the periodisation logically falling out after the war, and draw some thoughts together in relation to more recent initiatives on regional and bilateral co-operation. My training is as a historian, and that shapes the way this lecture works, and for most of my career I have been an Australian historian of international relations, looking particularly at Australia’s changing role in world affairs, and that is also likely to show in what follows-possibly at the expense of greater detail from Japanese perspectives. But I hope you will understand that, and also the limitations involved in trying to paint with a broad brush on a huge historical canvas.
Language eng
Field of Research 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category CN Other journal article
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2009, Otemon Gakuin University
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Alfred Deakin Research Institute
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