Der Aufstieg eines liberalen Japan

Die meisten Menschen, die den Aufstieg asiatischer Mächte verfolgen, konzentrieren sich auf China und Indien. Dabei vergessen sie oftmals, dass die japanische Volkswirtschaft mit einem Volumen von 5 Billionen Dollar die zweitgrößte Ökonomie der Welt ist – und daher zahlenmäßig größer als die chinesische und indische zusammen – und dass auch das Pro-Kopf-Einkommen in Japan zehnmal höher liegt als in China. Darüber hinaus gibt Japan jährlich 40 Milliarden Dollar für Landesverteidigung aus und verfügt über Streitkräfte, die zu den fünf stärksten der Welt gehören. Die Wirtschaft wächst zwar in China rascher und wird die japanische größenmäßig wahrscheinlich in zehn oder zwanzig Jahren überholt haben, aber jede seriöse Analyse der Machtverteilung in Ostasien muss Japan als wichtigen Faktor berücksichtigen.

Japan spielte in der Weltgeschichte eine einzigartige Rolle. Als erstes asiatisches Land kam es mit den Kräften der Globalisierung in Berührung, lernte diese zu beherrschen und verstand es, sie zu seinem Vorteil zu nutzen.

Außerdem hat sich Japan zweimal selbst neu erfunden. Während der Meiji-Restauration im 19. Jahrhundert öffnete sich Japan für Ideen und Technologien aus anderen Teilen der Welt. Dies ermöglichte es dem Land, im russisch-japanischen Krieg 1904 eine europäische Großmacht zu bezwingen. Leider wandte sich Japan in den 1930er Jahren dem militaristischen Imperialismus zu, der letztlich in die Niederlage und zur Besetzung im Jahr 1945 führte.

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