Japan has successfully developed a regional segmentation of labor and increasing economic integration in parts of North East Asia. In fact, while the Japanese firm and its product have influenced their supremacy in these neighboring countries, the reverse has been comparatively negligible. In the mean time, economic frictions between Japan and its neighboring trade partners have somehow complicated the process of formal cooperation. The Japanese Government, therefore, is facing a real problem in the regional economic development.
While, on one hand, it has to increase and expand its economic and trade supremacy around the North East Asia it has to, on the other hand, look after the US interests, because the later is also committed to partly dominate these open markets. Secondly, it needs to find out a way to deal with China which may be regarded as a potential threat to Japanese economic and regional supremacy, as well as its security. Finally, Japan must take the most important decision of balancing the respective willingness to create large regional wealth by being a regional leader along with protecting the under developed sectors of its economy.
In order to overcome this challenges Japan may, probably, continue the eclecticism, as it intends to increase the regional economic integration through limited efforts, to improve bilateral negotiations with its major trade partners, and to preserve the global economy in the North East Asian sectors through his activities in the WTO and IMF. However, whether such policy, if implemented, will be effective in increasing its economic integration along with minimizing the political and security threats, is yet to be observed.
While analyzing the Korean history, one of the most important points that needs proper attention is the strong sense of respective national unity ever since its division in 1945. The Korean War, led to the development of two nations – the communistically inclined North Korea or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and South Korea or the Republic of Korea (ROK) which was now inclined to and a believer of democracy and was no longer an authoritarian state. After the Korean war of 1950, North Korea (DPRK) and South Korea (ROK) embarked upon different policies.
The South Korea was comparatively prosperous in terms of economic activities. By the 1990s, North Korea fell well behind South Korea and, in fact, was suffering an economic decline. The collapse of communism during the late 1980s and 1990s, added much to this ongoing crisis of North Korea. In such a situation, in order to uplift its national prestige and power, North Korea embarked upon a policy of researching nuclear weapons. This activity led to the crisis of 1993-94. The Agreed Framework of 1994 made concessions to the DPRK which, in turn, abandoned its policy of acquiring nuclear bombs.
But, unfortunately, in the year 2001, Washington also abandoned their policy of the agreed Framework which earlier provided some sort of security guarantee to DPRK. The chaos soon rose which again took the shape of the 1993-94 crisis – North Korea now again disclosed its intention to become a nuclear power. In the geographical side, South Korea strengthened its position by a bilateral alliance with the United States. But, it also looked for trilateral coordination with Japan and the US and, even, multinational agreements. Thus, it planed for the creation of a North-East Asia Free Trade with Japan and China.
However, these bilateral approaches to the external relations might not be enough for the accomplishment of South Korea’s long term objectives on foreign policy. There must be a creative multilateral security policy to ensure long-term peaceful environment in this region. However, ROK is still not able to abandon or modify its juche identity and, hence, the state is trapped in a zero-sum security dilemma of its self-making. North Korea’s accomplishment cost a lot – the consequences were wide-spread famine and constant threat of war on the Korean peninsula.
The nation is still branded as a ‘third world’ nation supporting terrorism and is likely to enroll its name in Washington’s hit-list. North Korea is now also finding it much tougher to increase its trade relations with the western powers and even with its neighboring states. The ASEAN’s post cold war politics has not solved its problems. Its reversal of fortunes was due to an economic crisis and it emphasized the need of solidarity and collective influence. Its hope of achieving cooperate strength in Asia’s international relations has not been fulfilled.
But it has realized that a cordial relationship with the wider world is urgently necessary. However, in the recent years, ASEAN has recovered some gains in the diplomatic affairs. It is due to a gradual process towards more open and institutionalized approaches to regional order. The process of institution building in Asia started much later compared to the western world. It is because much of the Asian territory was under the colonial rules. As a result international relations in this continent came into being very late.
In fact it was only after the World War II that the first international institutions were created by the United Nation’s economic and social councils. Of course the concept of institution building did not arrive to long ago it was only around the late 1980sthattheAsianPacificEconomiccooperating (APEC) was formed. There are three basic objectives with which the APEC was established. Firstly, it concentrates on trade and investment liberation, Secondly, it deals with better flexibility and enhanced facilities in business by removing any obstacles in trade and commerce.
Finally, it fosters a sense of economic and technical cooperation. Of course, although these are the primary objectives showed by the member states, but, in fact, not all the member states accepted this US crafted free trade models. Thus, when America intended to increase faster integration of this institution, some member of APEC totally repudiated this US intention. The subgroups of the APEC consists of the North American Group like the US, Canada, Peru, Mexico, the Australia and New Zeeland group and 10 ASEAN member expect Burma and Grater China economic committee like PRC, Macao, Hong Kong.
Taiwan and finally the singletons like Japan, Russia, and Korea. The APEC is based on creation principals which includes consensus and camaraderie began more important than break through and formality respectively, thereby involving slow decision making. Till the early days of the 21st century, the APEC has achieved a lot- mutual trade between the member states of APEC has increased by more than 300 percent between the period 1989 and 2003. The average applied tariff rates goes down as much as 5. 5 percent by the year 2004.
The APEC economics have acquired a high growth of around 61 percent in the regional sector. Even the low income members showed an impressive growth rate of nearly 77 per cent GDP and the overall growth rat of the total APEC group members was as high as 46 per cent of the real GDP when compared to the non-APEC members who only achieved an overall growth of 36 per cent of the real GDP. More interestingly, the per capita GDP growth for the APEC member states was 26 per cent of the GDP while the non-APEC members were confined to only 8 per cent of the same.