The origin of the idea of the Pacific Free Trade Area
The study is based on interpretative reading of original texts. More specific analysis has proceeded through the rhetorical approach, inspired by Aristotle, Kari Palonen, Stephen Toulmin and Chaim Perelman and a model for the analysis of social discussion Processes has been developed. In the second part five general themes of Japanese postwar social discussion have been constructed from the point of view of Japanese economists. They are 1) Japan as a small country, 2) economism, 3) economic growth, 4) industrial development, especially Akamatsu Kaname's theory of the Flying Geese Pattern of Development, and 5) Japan's relationship with Asia. In 1945 Japan started her reconstruction as a defeated, poor, small, and low ranking country, who tried to limit her international activities on the economic sphere. As a consequence of rapid economic growth and development during the 1950's and 1960's Japan became stronger, and her international rank rose. This was one factor in distancing Japan from her Asian neighbours, other factors being lingering enmity against Japan, and the political Cold War situation. At the same time Japan approached the Euro-American countries in terms of culture, social structure, political orientation, trading relations, and international rank. This shift opened up a new foreign political horizon, which here has been called the Pacific horizon. The third part analyzes the process of the formation of this horizon, after attempts at integration in an Asian setting during the 1950's and early 1960's, provoked especially by the setting up of the European Economic Community in 1958 had not been able to proceed. A turning point came in 1965 when Kojima Kiyoshi proposed the establishment of a Pacific Free Trade Area composed of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. A further stage was reached in 1967 when Foreign Minister Miki Takeo adopted Kojima's proposal, resulting in 1968 into the first Pacific Trade and Development conference in Tokyo. Although a free trade area was not born out of this Process, a Pacific horizon for Japan and other countries was. ...
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