Japan's emerging role as a 'global ordinary power'

Takashi Inoguchi*, Paul Bacon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we argue that since 1945 Japanese foreign policy has evolved through five phases, which will culminate in Japan's re-emergence as a global ordinary power. We then discuss three potential models of ordinary power that are ideal-typical in nature, but which share some qualities with the respective political circumstances of France, Germany, and Britain. We also consider the legitimacy and capacity deficits that Japan possesses, and the way in which recent electoral developments may contribute to the addressing of these deficits. We argue that Japan is using the British model as a foundation for the acquisition of ordinary power status. In doing so it is increasingly binding itself to the United States. But such a move can also provide a platform from which to develop the possibilities that lie beyond bilateralism (plus), in the realm of the German model, and wider regional cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Relations of the Asia-Pacific
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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