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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

10 May 2018
Anna Melkina's recent publication was featured in the journal ‘Russia and the Pacific’ (Issue No. 1, 2018), a quarterly journal of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East (an institute of the Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences)

The title of the article is: ‘Transformation of Japan’s Approaches to Participation in Integration Processes in the Asia-Pacific Region'. The aim of this article is to trace the dynamic of Japan's participation in integration initiatives of the Asia­-Pacific in the past several decades. Special attention is paid to the background of economic integration in Asia, as well as to the changes of aims and goals Japan set for itself at each of the three stages covered by this work.

The main hypothesis of this article is that by participating in regional integration groups Japan ensures its presence in the Asia-Pacific and maintains its status of an important regional actor. In the 1980s it tried to get rid of the disgraceful image of a 'political dwarf' while being an economic giant; in 1990s and in the first half of the 2000s — aspired to give a new impulse to its own economy, strengthening ties with the countries of the region, and to maintain its positions; finally, starting from the second half of the 2000s Japan has been making every effort to prevent further expansion of China's influence in the region as well as to revitalize its own economy.

The U.S. withdrawal from the Trans­Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a shock for Japan. However, having realized the impossibility of America's return to the project in the near future as well as the difficulties of reaching an agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Japan became the coordinating power of the TPP­11, seeing it as a way to maintain the existing balance of power in the Asia­-Pacific.