Japan's Regime-building in East Asia

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Regional Studies, Faculty of Law & Political Science, University of Tehran

2 PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law & Political Science, University of Tehran


Japan, as the most influential country in East Asia, has played an active role in shaping the region's structure over the past three decades. In pursuit of its goals and safeguarding its interests, Japan has encountered a number of obstacles such as the rise of China. Because of its strategic significance and economic weight, it has consistently been striving to consolidate its role as a regional leader. Since the establishment of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 1966, Japan has tried to  play a leading role in the Asian region within the framework of the Bank. In the late 1990s, and particularly in the aftermath of the 1997 financial crisis in East Asia, regime-building in this region intensified. The authors’ main question is: Why has Japan created or supported regimes in the East Asian region and beyond? In the research hypothesis, regime-building is the independent variable, the consolidation of regional economic status is dependent variable and balancing is the control variable. It is argued that since the 1997 crisis, Japan has pursued the goal of promoting its economic status and controlling the growing power of China. As a result, it has initiated or supported the proposals to establish an Asian Monetary Fund, to form ASEAN+6 or the East Asia Summit, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia,  Trans-Pacific Partnership, and has indicated its commitment to provide $110 billion in 2015 and to increase it to $200 billion in 2017.


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