Office—University of Tsukuba, Tennodai, Tsukuba, 305-8577 Ibaraki, Japan.
Writer, international relations expert, and educator. University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan, assistant professor of international relations.
Wo Men De 1950 Nian Dai (title means "Our Times 1950s, 1950-1959"), Zhongguo you yi chu ban gong si (Beijing, China), 2006.
Wo Men De 1960 Nian Dai (title means "Our Times 1960s, 1960-1969"), Zhongguo you yi chu ban gong si (Beijing, China), 2006.
Wo Men De 1980 Nian Dai (title means "Our Times 1980s, 1980-1989"), Zhongguo you yi chu ban gong si (Beijing, China), 2006.
Chinese-born Liang Pan is an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He is involved in the doctoral program in international political economy in the university's Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Pan's academic work focuses on international politics and, more particularly, on Japanese politics and political history.
Pan is the author of The United Nations in Japan's Foreign and Security Policymaking, 1945-1992: National Security, Party Politics, and International Status. "Finding an analytical book on the history of Japan's foreign policy towards the United Nations (UN) is a treat in itself, but especially so when written by a non-Japanese," commented Toshiro Ozawa in Pacific Affairs. In the wake of World War II, Japan was forced to undertake a profound restructuring and to reconsider its role in the international community. By 1952, Japan was prepared to seek admittance as a full member of the newly formed United Nations. It succeeded in this goal in 1956, after a "painful and humiliating process," noted Ozawa. Throughout Pan's book, he explores in depth how Japan recrafted its foreign and domestic policy in tandem with its involvement in the United Nations. Pan bases his study on a wealth of primary material from Japanese sources, including Japanese government officials, bureaucrats, and others involved in Japan's post-World War II revisions. He also delves into archives of contemporary material from the United States and Great Britain, as well as official sources from the United Nations.
Foreign Affairs reviewer Lucien Pye observed that "it is not easy to cite offhand how the UN has been important in shaping Japanese security policies." Pan's examination of Japanese debates and attitudes toward the UN and its mission, however, reveals a great deal about the often subtle and deliberate actions taken by Japanese policy makers. After joining the UN, Japan articulated three key elements of its foreign policy stance, Ozawa noted. First, it would adhere to the UN-centric policies. Second, it would seek cooperation with the democratic nations of the world. Third, it would work to retain its place as a long-standing member of the Asian community.
At first, Japan had hoped that the United Nations would be a source of protection for the country, especially given its vulnerable position in the wake of the war. However, Pan reports that the Japanese quickly realized that the UN would not be the protector they were seeking and would not be a source of national security for the country. After the Korean War left Japan "disillusioned" with the UN, the Japanese instead had to accept the prospect of forging a security treaty with the United States, Pye reported. As this treaty was being developed, the Japanese repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to include UN-based articles that legitimized Japan's individual and collective right to self-defense.
Pan recounts Japan's early attempts to serve as a bridge between the nations of the west and the countries of Asia and Africa. Initially successful, Japan drifted out of this role as the Asian and African countries became less and less interested in Japan as their representative. Pan also considers the many internal and external factors, such as party politics, government bureaucracy, domestic policy, and other elements that helped shape Japanese involvement with the UN. In the last part of the book, Pan explores the psychological aspect of Japan's involvement with the UN and the associated policy making. Pan suggests that Japanese nationalism and a sense of national pride and prestige were influential factors in determining how Japan interacted with the United Nations. Finally, Pan reports on Japan's long-standing desire and continued efforts to claim a permanent spot on the United Nations Security Council, an interest that was first expressed in 1957.
Ozawa concluded, "Overall, the book is based on good research and offers valuable reference material for students of history and international relations."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2006, Lucien W. Pye, review of The United Nations in Japan's Foreign and Security Policymaking, 1945-1992: National Security, Party Politics, and International Status.
Pacific Affairs, spring, 2006, Toshiro Ozawa, review of The United Nations in Japan's Foreign and Security Policymaking, 1945-1992, p. 118.
University of Tsukuba Web site,http://www.kokusai.tsukuba.ac.jp/ (March 27, 2008), faculty profile.