Yoshida Doctrine

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The Yoshida Doctrine, named after Japan's post-World War II Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, involved placing highest national priority on economic development, while simultaneously keeping a low diplomatic profile.[1]

Yoshida's aim was to focus all available means on an economic recovery after World War II while leaving Japan's military defense to the United States. Repeated attempts by the United States to get Japan to increase its military expenditure were rejected by Yoshida on the basis of Japan's pacifist postwar constitution, in particular Article 9 under which Japan renounces "war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes." Thanks to this policy of focusing on trade and technological advances, Yoshida envisioned a speedy economic recovery through which Japan would be able to once again become a major world power (at which point Japan would be in a position to rearm).[citation needed] His policy was thus not rooted in pacifism but was in line with the realist foreign policy that's been a dominating force in Japan's approach to international relations since the Meiji Restoration.[citation needed] Its traditional goal has been to capitalize on the trends of international politics in order to increase Japanese influence and standing throughout the world.

The Yoshida Doctrine was the basic tenet of Japan's foreign policy throughout the Cold War.

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  1. ^ Beeson, Mark. (2001). "Japan and Southeast Asia: The Lineaments of Quasi-Hegemony," p. 4 of linked e-reprint, citing Pyle, Kenneth B. (1998) "Restructuring Foreign Policy and Defence Policy: Japan," in McGrew, A. et al. (1998). Asia-Pacific in the New World Order, pp. 121-36.