In this volume, a group of younger Japanese scholars led by Yoichi Funabashi, the prolific bureau chief of Asashi Shimbun in Washington, discuss ways in which Japan can play a more constructive role in world politics. Their suggestions are sensible enough, but Funabashi himself diagnoses the critical problem: "Japan cannot develop an effective international role until there is a significant measure of domestic political change." Writing before the fall of the Liberal Democratic Party, he points out that the opposition "has not yet developed the psychology and the policy positions required of a governing party." Their behavior during the gulf crisis was a telling example of political immaturity. Funabashi concludes by noting that there will be a generational change in the political leadership of all of the major political parties in the next decade and more internationally minded, confident leaders will appear.
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