Observations on Japan's Role
This special Futuribles issue on Japan no doubt raises more questions than it offers clear answers about Japan's future. The complementary points of view presented here reveal a situation which is at the same time paradoxical if not ambiguous.
Thus J.M. Bouissou underlines the Japanese feeling that they are under siege and at the same time their insistence on being seen as a "peace loving people". But, he adds, we cannot exclude that these beliefs may shatter and allow the paranoid side of Japan's relationship with the rest of the world to come to the surface.
Japanese-American relations are as rich as they are complex: governed by Japanese interests according to N. Sadria, they would in fact be, according to Z. Laidi, much more complex and marked simultaneously by conflict and cooperation. This conflict is illustrated by F. Joyaux who shows the different concepts of Japan's role, seen by Japan as at the heart of Asia Pacific and seen by the US as simply a border state. The cooperative aspect is illustrated by Guy Faure who shows how much Japan remains dependent on the US for high technology.
And as if to summarize the discussion, K. Yatabe emphasizes the extraordinary flexibility of the Japanese model and at the same time the great unforeseeability of this country's long term evolution.