This text starts with the assumption that Japan seeks to gain the great power status. The subject is what it needs to attain such position in the international system. The author briefly examines the elements needed for the status of great power. Strong military, the presence of US bases on its soil without having its own elsewhere and lack of international engagement are major obstacles in pursuing the higher international status Japan is member of the G-8 since its founding and of a Trilateral Commission. Still it lacks the permanent seat in the UN SC. Entrapped between policy of American outpost versus China and a necessity to save the position in the US market, Tokyo has to choose whether to challenge the Washington policy in international arena, creating strategic new partnerships or remain in the current position. Strong regional competitors and presence of the most of the major international players leaves small room for independent action.
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