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Diplomacy in Japan-EU Relations by Oliviero Frattolillo

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2    From quiet politics to quiet achievements (1980–2011)

2.1.  No more a danger, not yet a partner (the 1980s)

At the beginning of the 1980s Japan became the world’s biggest donor. Its direct investment in Asia grew vertiginously, so as to exceed that of the US. In parallel, we witnessed a decline of American economic strength in relative terms, which recorded severe trade and budget deficits. As a result, Washington increasingly intensified the pressure on other advanced nations to alert them to taking more responsibility: Japan, in particular, was sharply criticized for its lack of commitment at an international level. However, as is clear, the country could have not exercised an effective military weight in the management of world affairs, ...

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