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Engagement: A foreign policy analysis of Japan's official development assistance to China, 1979-2002

Takamine, Tsukasa (2002) Engagement: A foreign policy analysis of Japan's official development assistance to China, 1979-2002. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis examines Japan’s policy of official development assistance (ODA) to the People’s Republic of China between 1979 and 2002. Since the start of its ODA program in 1979, Japan has been easily China’s biggest supplier of foreign aid. The question arises as to why Japan provides so much aid to China, even though the Japanese government regards China as its most important strategic competitor in the East Asian region. In a detailed examination of Japan’s ODA policy to China, this thesis suggests that Japan’s objectives in providing foreign aid to China are much more complex and dynamic than is commonly recognised. Japanese ODA policy to China is primarily designed to advance Japan’s perceived national economic, political and strategic interests in relation to China. These interests, however, have evolved according to certain critical changes in the domestic and international environments. Furthermore, my investigation of the process of China ODA policymaking reveals that the balance of China ODA policymaking power within the Japanese government has shifted during the past decade from officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to politicians in the Liberal Democratic Party. This shift has changed Japan’s perceived national interests in relation to China and, thus, has affected how Japanese governments implement China ODA. These conclusions go beyond the dominant hypothesis concerning Japanese foreign aid policy and policymaking that has emphasised both private commercial interests and bureaucrat-centred decision-making, but has overlooked a range of other interests and the increasing influence of ruling party politicians within the policymaking process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Wilson, Sandra
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