Japan And Turkey Relations Essay

2418 words - 10 pages

Japan is the World’s largest aid donor, and Japan provides much of this aid to Turkey. It invests in Turkey because in the Middle East, Turkey is the only democratic country. Turkey is a developing country with a stable government so it is a good investment. Further, Japan does not have a strong army; therefore, Japan wants Turkey’s partnership because Turkey has strong military power. However, to specifically understand the reasons for Japanese aid to Turkey, one must first analyze Japan’s aid policy and then specifically her aid policy towards the Middle East and Turkey.Long (1999) argued that conventional wisdom views Japanese economic assistance as either a response to ...view middle of the document...

Beyond these, the legacy of World War Two and the consequent and antimilitary constitution has further encouraged a foreign policy that is reactive rather than assertive.Another factor explaining Japanese policy towards the Middle East or elsewhere involves her relationship with the United States. Dowty (2000) emphasizes that the ties with the United States appeared to be the most important key to understanding both past Japanese passivity in the Middle East and recent changes in this stance.Additionally, to expand the United States alliance imposes serious constraints on independent action in the Middle East but at the same time it provides Japan with a luxury of such action. Both Japan and the United States are interested in achieving political stability maintaining oil supplies to the Western countries and promoting economic developmental in the region.Both Long (1999) and Dowty (2000) identify three layers to Japanese Middle Eastern policy. The first layer concerns the promotion of peace and neutrality. The second concerns Japan’s identification with the United States’ leading effort to maintain Middle East stability. The third concerns Japanese efforts to stake out an independent Japanese role. In a historical review tracing Japanese involvement in the Middle East, one can see that the major change in Japanese political and economical involvement in the Middle East began in 1973 in response to OPEC’s oil embargo. Whereas before, the overwriting purpose of Japan’s aid policy was the promotion of Japanese exports in Asian markets, Japan now offered aid assistance to the Arab states in a successful attempt to have the embargo lifted from Japan.Yet, while doing so Japan also was singled it out for special pressure to take a morepro-Arab position. Namely, opposition to the acquisition of territory by force, a consequent demand for withdrawal of Israeli forces from all territories occupied in 1967, and support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. This move was heralded as the first serious crack in the United States – Japanese alliance. Moreover, in the end the gesture brought little or no benefit to Japan as the impact of the oil crisis was not lessened. This episode made Japan realize that independent short term Japanese policies might gain nothing while still exacting a cost in relations with the United States.On the other hand, the fall of the Shah of Iran in early 1970 was a clear reminder that total reliance on United States policy might not be the ticket either. Japan was therefore much better prepared for the challenge of 1990-1991 Gulf War than it had been for the earlier oil crisis. Consequently the “Check Book Diplomacy” of the Golf crises was not trivial: Japan gave 2, 5 billion dollars to the frontline nations of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Syria and 11 billion dollars to the coalition (Dowty 2000). The military action against Iraq brought about a rapid fall in oil prices that had been...

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