Japan's Gulf Policy and Response to the Iraq War

Posted in Iraq , Japan , United States , Other | 24-Jun-08 | Author: Shirzad Azad| Source: MERIA Journal

Japanese soldier in Iraq

This article suggests that Japan's staunch support for the United States over the course of the Iraq War was substantially influenced by its foreign policy toward the Persian Gulf region in general and Saddam's Iraq in particular after the 1990-1991 crisis, as well as by its security alliance with the United States.

In his January 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush branded Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as the "Axis of Evil." Less than three weeks later, Bush made a state visit to Japan. After a speech at the Japanese parliament on February 18, 2002, he met with then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Joined only by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Toshiyuki Takano, Bush informed Koizumi that the United States would attack Iraq.1 Koizumi had roughly 13 months to prepare the ground for Japan's support for this development.

On March 20, 2003, Bush authorized the invasion of Iraq, arguing that the country's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed an imminent threat to the United States and its interests. Japan declared its support for the Iraq War shortly before the outbreak of hostilities. On March 19, 2003, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced that he "understands and supports" the U.S. attack on Iraq. Three days before, Koizumi had publicly announced that he felt an American-British attack on Iraq was valid with or without a new UN Security Council resolution. Despite Koizumi's announcement approving the U.S. action against Iraq, all four Japanese opposition parties called the attack illegal under international law. Polls also found that about 80 percent of the Japanese public opposed the U.S. attack. Despite the government's campaign, people's view on the war mainly remained unchanged. For instance, according to a public opinion poll by Mainichi Shimbun on March 1-2, 2003, 84 percent of those polled opposed an attack on Iraq, and only 11 percent approved.2

Japan justified its support for the invasion in light of Baghdad's repeated violations of 16 UN resolutions passed since 1991 as well as Iraq's lack of cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) weapons inspections officials. Tokyo took a step forward when the Japanese Diet passed legislation in late July 2003 allowing the government to dispatch Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to Iraq. The deployment was the first time Japanese soldiers had been stationed in a combat zone since the end of World War II, and it was its first foreign deployment without a UN mandate. Japan had been extending rear-area logistical support as early as December 2002.3

In December 2003, Japan dispatched 600 heavily armed Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops to the southern Iraqi city of Samawa under the Humanitarian Relief and Iraqi Reconstruction Special Measures Law (Iraqu Jindo Fukko Shien Tokubetsu Sochi Ho) to support the U.S. action and reconstruction activities; it also expanded its maritime and air presence in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf region. Two and half years later, on July 19, 2006, Japan withdrew its GSDF from Samawa but kept an Air Self-Defense Forces unit (ASDF) in the region. The main operations of the Japanese ASDF are conducted from the Ali al-Salim Air Base in Kuwait and involve about 200 personnel and three C-130 transport planes.

Japan's support for the Iraq War in 2003 was a very important move that surprised many around the world, especially since some key Western allies of the United States--including Germany, France, and Canada--refused to approve the U.S. action. Given Japan's three decades of cautious diplomacy in the Persian Gulf region, which factors pushed Tokyo to change its behavior in the region?


Almost all works related to Japan's policy on the Iraq War--including academic publications, official documents, and the press--indicate a close linkage between the country's support for the war and its alliance with the United States. Based on this line of argument, Japan had no better option but to endorse the U.S. action in order to strengthen its security alliance and to maintain the special relationship built with the United States over the decades.

The majority of arguments regarding Japan's support for the war presented by both Japanese and foreign scholars stress the importance of the U.S.-Japanese alliance as "the only consideration."4 According to these academics, several factors influenced Japan's decision. Some believed that Prime Minister Koizumi did so due to general security relations.5 Other Japanese argued that "Japan needed to back the United States in Iraq to secure its support against the threat we face from North Korea."6

Within this line of argument, some have pointed out that Japan's policy resulted from the lack of "a clear foreign policy vision."7 For others, it represented a desire "[t]o remain a close and demonstrably reliable partner of the United States"8 to be determined on the basis of protecting "its own economic interests."9 According to such observers, the paramount importance of the security alliance left Japanese leaders no alternative.10

Some Japanese observers overseas also contended that after the September 11 attacks the United States adopted a unilateral foreign policy and Tokyo was not in a position to stand up against its demands. Some have also argued that Japan was subject to U.S. pressure and "was hostage to the Bush administration's capacity and will to hold its imperial line."11 The point was also made that in exchange for supporting U.S. policy Japan not only strengthened its alliance but more importantly was able to throw off its ban on military exercises and take part in collective security measures abroad.


Nevertheless, contrary to arguments stressing Tokyo's stand in 2003 as a shift in policy, Japan's Iraq War strategy was not a sudden change but a continuation of its Persian Gulf policy in general and toward the Saddam regime in particular after the 1990-1991 Kuwait War. Tokyo did have a strategic concept toward the post-Cold War, resource-rich Persian Gulf region--which was implemented through its stand on the Iraq War. Japan's support for the Iraq War is related both to its perception of Saddam's Iraq and to the impact of his regime's agenda on Japan's vital interests in the region. The Japanese viewed Saddam Hussein as a threat to stability that would result in the high oil prices contrary to Japan's interests. This overrode such important considerations as Japan's strong respect for the UN's international role as well as the high stakes involved as Iraq's number-one trade partner, reliant on both Iraqi oil and Iraqi markets.12

The determining factor was Japan's considerable stake in the new U.S.-designed strategy in the regional conflict.13 Contrary to official rhetoric, Japan shared U.S. and British concerns regarding Saddam's Iraq as a threat to its vital interests. Throughout the 1990s there was a gradual deterioration of relations between Tokyo and Baghdad. When the United States and Britain launched air strikes on Iraq in December 1998, the Japanese government immediately supported the action.14

Japan viewed Saddam's Iraq as a "violator of the international order," while Iraq had its own reservations toward Japan. For example, in January 2001, Iraqi Foreign Minister Said al-Sahhaf claimed Japan was "hostile to Iraq" and stated that the country would remain blacklisted from Iraq's trade deals.15 Japan, on the other hand, considered Iraq's opposition to the U.S. presence in the region, its demand for an increase in oil prices, and its territorial claims over the neighboring oil-rich countries as potential threats to Japan's energy security.


Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing crisis had a profound impact on Japan, influencing Japanese foreign policy more than the end of the Cold War did.16 Despite being the largest extra-regional donor, with a $13 billion contribution during the course of the war, by the end of the war the Japanese had found themselves in an embarrassing situation. Japan's significant contribution was criticized as "too little, too late." Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama was not invited to the coalition party in Washington celebrating the victory in the war. Nor did the Kuwaiti government mention Japan in the advertisement it published in the New York Times thanking the countries that had helped to restore its independence. Many Japanese viewed the way in which the conflict was managed as a great failure of their country's foreign policy.

From the beginning of the crisis, there was an enormous gap between Japan's ability to assist and expectations from the American-led coalition. For some Japanese, the conflict was viewed as a dispute between the United States and Saddam Hussein, and they felt Japanese taxpayers could not afford to pay for an American adventure in the Persian Gulf region. Masamichi Hanabusa, a top Japanese envoy to Washington, blamed the United States for creating the crisis in the first place, snapping at reporters in New York: "You caused the problem."17 Other Japanese were confident that Saddam's action of invading Kuwait would not cause them any significant economic trouble, as past experience had taught them that whoever controlled the oil wanted to sell it. They could buy petroleum from either Iraq or Kuwait.18

However, when Saddam conquered and annexed Kuwait, the Japanese government took early steps to freeze Kuwaiti financial assets in Japan so they could not be used by Baghdad, and it imposed economic sanctions against Iraq, including an embargo on oil imports from both Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.19 In addition to these initial measures, Japan quickly agreed to contribute $1 billion in aid to the U.S.-led coalition forces. Then, in response to enormous pressure and expectations, it gradually increased financial aid to roughly $13 billion. Constrained by its constitution and the opposition parties' disapproval over proposals to play a more visible role in the crisis, the Japanese government could not provide a direct military contingent.

Japan's hesitations led to "Japan-bashing" in the West. Daily newspapers and television shows were filled with warnings to Japan that it would pay for its lack of support, perhaps through future trade disputes with the U.S. Congress and European Community.20 In the United States, criticism of Japan's response to the crisis was particularly blatant. For example, a 1991 poll revealed that one in three Americans said they had lost respect for Japan as a result of its actions during the conflict. From January to April 1991 alone, 14 Japan-related bills and resolutions were submitted to the U.S. Congress, three of them explicitly regarding Japan's response to the Gulf War.21 In another American poll, 70 percent of respondents said Japan had not provided satisfactory support for the U.S.-led efforts against Saddam. In September 1990, the House of Representatives voted 370 to 53 to start withdrawing troops from Japan unless Tokyo increased its "burden-sharing" contribution to the alliance.22

Many Americans believed that Japanese dependence on Gulf oil obligated it to assume more of a political and human risk in countering Saddam's aggression.23 Americans wanted to see Japanese soldiers fighting alongside American soldiers.24 Failing to meet such expectations, then Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu was called a leader who lacked a clear vision of the post-Cold War world. Japan was also branded a polity devoid of political maturity due to "its intellectual inadequacy in tackling the realities of a changing world."25 The shock of the 1990-1991 conflict and its outcome opened a new chapter in Japan's policy-making toward the Persian Gulf region, culminating in Tokyo's proactive policy response to the Iraq War in 2003.


The 1990-1991 crisis not only challenged Japan's Persian Gulf policy but also posed serious questions about the country's global position and responsibilities. The end of the East-West schism from the configuration of global politics was not very welcome news for Japan, and the government had "kept refusing to acknowledge the advent of d?tente until as late as spring 1990 by saying that there is no such word as d?tente in its dictionary."26

During the Cold War era, Japan was mainly able to concentrate on its rapid development; it need not be engaged in the world's political and security affairs in order to reach significant economic achievements. Japan could send corporate warriors around the world but never had to do anything to protect them.27 For many Japanese, the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf crisis was the time to change its all-economics, no strategic role policy.

Consequently, both during and following the crisis, certain top Japanese politicians and prestigious academics warned the nation that it may no longer enjoy all those benefits without shouldering global responsibilities as a great power. They pointed out that allies were complaining about Japan's behavior and might not excuse the country if it repeated such passivity in future crises.28

Japan realizes that it was a major beneficiary of the Cold War era and that its interests--then and after--closely tied it to the United States and Western Europe, who together with Japan formed a powerful triangle of allies. Their corporations, markets, and governments were highly interdependent. These interlocking relationships were only strengthened by the end of the Cold War conflict. The partners agreed on the main issues and on the need, in principle, to act collectively.

The coalition's 1991 victory over Iraq was thus a victory for all its members and reinforced the role of the U.S. leadership. The Japanese were more willing than the Europeans to call for an enhancement and institutionalization of this system. Arguing that "too many cooks spoil the broth," some Japanese believed that a system dominated by unilateral U.S. leadership would be more effective and would give other sponsors, including Japan, a good framework for shaping the international order.29 The long, close, bilateral alliance reinforced this attitude.30


Until the early 1990s, Japan's policy toward the Persian Gulf region was largely reactive. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing conflict in 1990-1991 was a turning point for Japan's new thinking and policymaking. Japan realized that it was no longer obliged to the demands of its local partners in the Gulf. Friction among Arab nations--culminating in the invasion--convinced Japan that it no longer needed to follow its so-called "pro-Arab" policy.

During the 1990-1991 conflict, the U.S. view that it should not have to continue to police the Persian Gulf for the Japanese and the Europeans--who were more dependent on the region's oil--sent a strong message to Tokyo that its "free-riding" policy would no longer be tolerated and that Japan must assume responsibility conforming to its economic prowess in managing instability.

Japan faced the reality that a solely economic relationship with the Persian Gulf countries could no longer ensure its long-term interests. Rather, Japan had to engage in other aspects of regional affairs as well. This meant a broader view of self-interest in which Japan would have to go beyond focusing on its own energy supply to ensure that the international economy was also protected.

Economic sanctions against Iraq and Iran to contain both radical powers were a key pillar of U.S. strategy. Given the fact that both Iran and Iraq were trying to rebuild their economies after an eight-year long war in the 1980s, they desperately needed financial assistance and technological help. The objective of such economic pressures was to deny both countries the resources to increase their power and implement their own goals, or at least to reduce the scope of their immediate ambitions.31 In sacrificing some of its economic interests in favor of long-term political ends, Japan clearly supported this strategy.

Tokyo's pattern of providing aid to Middle East countries also became more strategic. While during the 1990-1991 conflict Japan's aid to the Middle East shot up to 20.4 percent of its total, this number fell to 7.8 percent by 1994. Japanese bilateral aid to the region gradually decreased during the 1990s, and by 2002 the region's share was approximately $210 million, only 3.1 percent of the total.32

Japan's disbursements to Iran decreased more than 50 percent in the period between 1997 and 2001 and reached $34.39 million in 2001, down from $70.25 million in 1997. Compared with Iran, Iraq's share decreased dramatically. From 1994 to 1998, Iraq's share of Japanese aid and other donated funds for humanitarian purposes did not exceed $970,000. In March 1999, Japan extended its emergency aid of $950,000 to UNICEF and gave $600,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross to be spent on the Iraqi people. These figures, however, were much smaller than the total aid disbursements to Iraq in the period between 1995 and 1997 by Germany ($59 million), Sweden ($35.8 million), and Britain ($8.2 million).33 Japan's grants and loan aid to Iraq in 2002, ranking 14 among 17 countries as recipients in the Middle East, reached $70,000.34

In the period between the 1990-1991 war and the Iraq War of 2003, the political relationship between Tokyo and Baghdad deteriorated remarkably with almost no exchange of top officials. Only in the fall of 2000 did Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to reopen its embassy in Baghdad, which had been closed since the 1990-1991 conflict.

Japan publicly backed the policy of containing Saddam's Iraq in an unambiguous manner and decided to get involved in some controversial measures that it had studiously avoided in the past. For instance, in September 1996 the Japanese government expressed support for a U.S. military attack and condemned Iraqi military operations in the Kurdish area. The United States welcomed this quick response "[a]s a sign that Japan is becoming more confident about showing its views on international issues."35 In 1997, when Iraq decided not to allocate any oil to Japan and to use the Oil for Food Program as a political tool to give preference to countries and companies that had assisted it, neither Japan's government nor trade establishment tried to influence policy on Iraqi crude purchases, instead working to discourage comments from business circles on Japan's diplomatic stance toward Iraq.36

In March 1998, Japan cosponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1154 with the United States and Britain to warn Iraq of the "severest consequences" if Baghdad did not allow UN weapons of mass destruction inspectors access to presidential sites. This resolution was controversial because many countries, including France and Russia, did not give their support to coercing Iraq.37 When in December 1998 the United States and Britain carried out the air strikes on Iraq known as Operation Desert Fox, Japan was the first country to give its approval and full support for the operation.38

Iraqi officials had long voiced their anger with Japan for being among the hardliners and for its "uncooperative attitude toward lifting sanctions." For example, in January 2001, then Foreign Minister of Iraq Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf charged Japan with being "hostile to Iraq" and insisted that "Japan would remain blacklisted from Iraq's trade deals."39

In fact, major Japanese trade houses had avoided any communication with Iraq and adopted a "wait and see" stance until a significant change happened within Saddam's regime. Then Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi believed that his regime was "a threat to the international community,"40 causing Japan to voice clearly its staunch support in favor of the U.S. action on March 20, 2003.

Japan's political and economic relationship with Iran was different than its policy toward Iraq in the 1990s, but the "dual containment" approach put much pressure on Japan's Iran policy. The United States wanted Iran to be isolated from the international community and expressed strong opposition to easing Iran's economic problems and external debt burden. Supporting a constructive engagement approach, Japan argued that attempts to isolate Iran diplomatically or economically would only worsen the country's behavior.

When Japan extended a 38.6 billion yen loan to Iran in May 1993 to help finance dam construction, Tokyo faced enormous pressure from the Clinton administration and put the second installment, originally planned for 1994, on hold.41 In response to U.S. disappointment from Japan, a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said: "It is wrong to think that Japan is too soft toward Iran and is giving top priority to economic or business rather than politics in dealing with Iran.... We are pressing Iran, often using harsh language, to do more to improve its relations with the international community."42

For an eight-year period there was no high-level official visit from Japan to Iran. Masahiko Komura was the first Japanese foreign minister to visit Iran, in August 1999, since Taro Nakayama did so in 1991. For a while, starting in April 1997, Japan even froze its ties with Iran when a German high court ruled that top Iranian officials had been involved in the murder of Iranian Kurdish dissidents in Berlin.43 During his tie-mending visit to Iran, Komura also unveiled Japan's plan to lift a six-year freeze on Iran and resume loans to that country.

This new course in Tokyo-Tehran relations led to the Iranian president's visit to Japan in 2000, in which he gave Japan priority in the development of the Azadegan oil field. Their negotiations later resulted in a $2 billion contract. Yet the Japanese government found out that signing this contract was not in line with the Iran policy of its Western allies, and it came under pressure to pull out of the deal. For some time Japan delayed the project and finally cancelled the contract in September 2006.


Japan could not ignore the reality that with the end of the 1990-1991 conflict the United States became the pivotal power in the region. Japanese officials appreciated that the United States, with its military power and political clout, could play a crucial role in the peace and security of the region and assure a stable supply of energy to the global economy. Having no disagreement with this fact, however, Japan had its own reservations on how to engage with that region and at the same time meet the expectations of its Western allies about major policy issues.

Basically, American and Japanese interests in the region have substantially overlapped but have not necessarily coincided completely.44 Not only power asymmetry between the two countries but more importantly the way of looking at their interests in the region plays a decisive role in disagreements. Especially in the case of Iran and Saddam's Iraq in which the United States has long pursued higher strategic objectives at the cost of trade and investment with these countries. While having no objection to these U.S. strategic goals, access to the region's markets has, however, been a leading concern for both Europe and Japan.45

In light of this factor, the United States has been willing to resort to unilateral measures or military interventions, whereas the European countries and Japan have preferred diplomacy and engagement. Even when the United States needed the Europeans and Japanese to shoulder parts of its burden and spread the costs, it insisted on maintaining control of policy formulation regarding the major policy issues of the region.46 In this regard, Japan's Iraq policy was close to that of the United States, while its policy toward Iran has had more in common with European countries.

The Saddam regime was weakened by its military defeat in 1991. Iraq lost about two-thirds of its army equipment and warplanes as well as most of its warships and about 30 percent of its troops in all branches of the armed forces. Yet Iraq still continued to be a sizeable military power. From the vantage point of Japan, Saddam's Iraq had remained a destabilizing influence to the peace and stability of the region, forcing it to support the U.S. policy of containing Saddam's regime in an unambiguous manner.47

Contrary to the case of Iraq, Japan was reluctant to support American containment of Iran. With the advent of the Clinton administration in early 1993, Japan was heavily pressured by the U.S. government to help contain Iran due to Tehran's alleged support of international terrorism and secret plans to build nuclear weapons. Throughout the 1990s the United States reiterated its call for Iran's isolation and voiced strong opposition to easing Iran's external debt burden. Washington put especially heavy pressure on Japan not to invest in Iran or to give it loans or economic assistance. The United States was concerned that Japanese aid money might eventually enable Iran to divert the same amount of state funds to its military buildup.

Unlike the American policy of containment, Japan adopted a policy of "constructive engagement" with Iran. The Japanese policy was somehow close to the European policy of "critical engagement" or "critical dialogue" with Tehran. Critical engagement of European countries toward Iran was a German approach initiated to inducing changes in Iranian government behavior to move Tehran toward more responsible and constructive cooperation.48

Based on its constructive engagement policy, Japan found it undesirable to cut relations completely with Iran economically and isolate it diplomatically. Japan insisted that isolating Iran from the international community would be counterproductive. Contrary to the American policy of confrontation, Tokyo has advocated dialogue to encourage positive changes in Iran in adopting pragmatic policies in its international strategy and in domestic politics.

Japan's impression was that Iran's behavior in areas of international concern had not worsened, even though it may not have improved in the eyes of foreign observers. Regarding financial assistance, Japan has argued that economic aid for Iran would help bring about favorable changes by strengthening the political standing of moderate politicians in Tehran in their "push for economic reforms and pragmatic foreign policy while overcoming opposition from conservatives."49

Economic interests certainly contributed to Japan's inclination to adopt a "soft approach" toward Iran, as they did in EU countries. In 1992, one year before the Clinton administration took power in the United States, the European Union and Japan enjoyed over $10 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively, in exports to Iran.50 Japanese commercial interests in Iran were not paramount, but they played a role despite the fact that the trade relationship between both countries has reached a low point since 1992. In 2006, China replaced Japan as Iran's major trade partner.51

Japan has been eager to keep its close ties with Iran on track not only because of China's growing business contracts there, but also because Tokyo is concerned that if there were a sudden turn in U.S. policy toward Iran and sanctions were to end, Japanese companies might be left in a position behind American, European, and even Chinese companies. This could be similar to the U.S. policy shift toward China in the 1970s, which took Japan by surprise. For a long time the United States had asked Japan not to make deals with China, but suddenly the Japanese saw American leaders shaking hands with the Chinese. Japan felt slighted by the United States and does not want to repeat that experience with Iran.52

Nevertheless, in the Japanese perception, Iran is not only regarded as an oil supplier or a market for exports. Almost 90 percent of Japan's oil supply comes from the Persian Gulf region, only 11.5 percent of which is from Iran. Japan's reluctance to cooperate with American Iran policy originally stemmed from the country's strategic location in the region.53 Aside from Iran's location in the Persian Gulf, it is also the principle gateway to Central Asia's energy resources, and that is why Japan has traditionally attached importance to its relations with that country.


Soon after the 1990-1991 crisis, Japan adopted a new policy toward Saddam's regime, stemming mainly from Japan's reassessment of regional and global responsibilities. Japan's 2003 Iraq War policy grew out of this situation. The level of political and economic relations between Tokyo and Baghdad from the end of the 1990-1991 war to the Iraq War in 2003, Japan's cooperation with UN and U.S.-sponsored sanctions on Iraq, Iraq's low share of Japanese development aid during the 1990s and early 2000s, and Tokyo's stance toward Saddam's Iraq within international institutions after the 1990-1991 conflict all support this assertion. At the same time, however, Japan's policy toward both Iraq and Iran during the 1990s aimed to distinguish its approach from the U.S. "dual containment" policy.

*Shirzad Azad is an East-West Asian relations researcher at Aoyama Gakuin University, Graduate School of International Politics, Economics, and Communication in Tokyo.


1 "Bei Daitoryo Iraku Kogeki wo Meigen Nigatsu no Nichibei Shuno Kaidan de," [U.S. President Obviously Mentioned the Attack on Iraq at the U.S.-Japan Summit Meeting in February] Mainichi Shimbun, June 9, 2002.

2 Mainichi Shimbun, March 3, 2003.

3 Nicholas Szechenyi, "A Turning Point for Japan's Self-Defense Forces," The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Autumn 2006), p. 140.

4 Hirotaka Watanabe, "A Broader Context for Tokyo's Foreign Policy," Japan Echo, Vol. 31, No. 1 (February 2004), p. 10.

5 Tomohito Shinoda, "Japan's Top-Down Policy Process to Dispatch the SDF to Iraq," Japanese Journal of Political Science, Vol. 7, No. 1 (April 2006), p. 71.

6 Watanabe, "A Broader Context."

7 Chiyuki Aoi and Yozo Yokota, "Avoiding a Strategic Failure in the Aftermath of the Iraq War: Partnership in Peace-building," in Ramesh Thakur and Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu (eds.), The Iraq Crisis and World Order: Structural, Institutional and Normative Challenges (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2006), p. 295.

8 Takashi Inoguchi and Paul Bacon, "Japan's Emerging Role as a ‘Global Ordinary Power,'" International Relations of Asia-Pacific, Vol. 6 (2006), p. 13.

9 Kiichi Fujiwara, Keiko Sakai, and Jitsuro Terashima, "What Will Result from an Attack on Iraq?" Japan Echo, Vol. 30, No. 2 (April 2003), p. 15.

10 Similar arguments can also be found in other works including: Yasuaki Chijiwa, "Insights into Japan-U.S. Relations on the Eve of the Iraq War: Dilemmas over ‘Showing the Flag,'" Asian Survey, Vol. 45. No.6 (November/December 2005); Yukio Okamoto, "Toward Reconstruction Aid for Iraq: A Path via the Indian Ocean and the Nile," Gaiko Forum (Summer 2003); Matake Kamiya, "The Evolution of an Actively Pacifist Nation," Gaiko Forum (Spring 2004).

11 Richard Tanter, "With Eyes Wide Shut: Japan, Heisei Militarization and the Bush Doctrine," in Melvin Gurtov and Peter Van Ness (eds.), Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Views from the Asia-Pacific (New York: RoutledgeCuryon, 2005), p. 160.

12 Motohiro Ono, "Towards Continuous Aid: the Situation in Iraq and Japan's Role," Gaiko Forum (Spring 2006), p. 7.

13 Mahmood Monshipouri and Thaddeus C. Zolty, "Shaping the New World Order: America's Post-Gulf War Agenda in the Middle East," Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Summer 1993), p. 558.

14 Chijiwa, Ibid, p. b844.

15 Keiko Sakai, "Japan-Iraq Relations: the Perception Gap and its Influence on Diplomatic Policies," Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Fall 2001), pp. 132-133.

16 Makoto Ikibe, "ODA as a Foreign Policy Tool," Japan Review of International Affairs, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Summer 2003), p. 124.

17 Jim Impoco, "Japan's Lessons of the Gulf War," U.S. News & World Report, Vol. 110, No. 13 (April 8, 1991).

18 This was the view of the then Japanese consular general in New York, which led to criticism against Japan.

19 See Diplomatic Blue Book-1991, (Tokyo: The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

20 David E. Sanger, "After the War: Japan; Japan Says it Sheltered U.S. Group in Kuwait," The New York Times, March 7, 1991, p. A10.

21 Impoco, Ibid.

22 Paul Midford, "Japan's Response to Terror," Asian Survey, Vol. 43, No. 2 (March/April 2003), p. 334.

23 Mike M. Mochizuki, "Toward a New Japan-U.S. Alliance," Japan Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 3 (July-September 1996), p. 4.

24 Kenichi Ito, "The Japanese State of Mind: Deliberations on the Gulf Crisis," Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 17 (Summer 1991), p. 289.

25 Sanger, Ibid.

26 Takashi Inoguchi, "Japan's Response to the Gulf Crisis: An Analytic Overview," Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2 (1991), p. 260.

27 Ito, Ibid, p. 287.

28 Ijiri Kayuo, "Japan's Defeat in the Gulf," Japan Echo, Vol. 18, No. 3 (June 1991), p. 58.

29 Yoshiji Nagami, "Japan's Middle East Policy in Transition," Japan Review of International Affairs, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring 1993), pp. 111-112.

30 Takashi Inoguchi, Japan's Foreign Policy in an Era of Global Change (London: Pinter Publishers, 1993), pp. 122-123.

31 Barry Rubin, "The Persian Gulf amid Global and Regional Crises," in Barry Rubin (ed.), Crises in the Contemporary Persian Gulf (New York: Frank Cass Publishers, 2002), p. 13.

32 Japan's Official Development Assistance Annual Report 1994 and 2002 at the MOFA homepage: http://www.mofa.go.jp.

33 Sakai, Ibid, p. 123.

34 Japan's ODA Annual Report 2002, MOFA.

35 "Words of the American Ambassador to Japan, Walter Mondale," Jiji Press (Tokyo), September 5, 1996.

36 Reuters (London), September 11, 1997.

37 Jonathan Rynhold, "Japan's Cautious New Activism in the Middle East: A Qualitative Change or More of the same?" International Relations of the Asia Pacific, Vol. 2, No. 2 (August 2002), pp. 254-255.

38 Sakai, Ibid, p. 126.

39 Ibid, p. 132.

40 Yoriko Kawaguchi, "A Foreign Policy to Consolidate Peace," Japan Echo, Vol. 30, No. 2 (April 2003), p.25.

41 "U.S. Opposes Japan's Plan to Resume Yen Loans to Iran," Jiji Press (Tokyo), June 10, 1999, p.1.

42 Hisane Masaki, "Japan Pressed to End Loans to Iran," The Japan Times (Weekly International Edition), Vol. 34, No. 16 (April 18-24, 1994), p. 3.

43 "Japan to Send Komura to Iran to Mend Ties," Jiji Press (Tokyo), March 27, 1998, p. 1.

44 John Calabrese (ed.), The United States, Japan, and the Middle East (Washington, DC: The Middle East Institute, 1997), p. 2.

45 Graham E. Fuller and Ian O. Lesser, "Persian Gulf Myths," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 3 (May/June 1997), p. 45.

46 Ibid, p. 50.

47 David Walsh, "Dual Containment: Successes, Failures, and Prospects for Changes in Policy," Hinckley Journal of Politics (University of Utah), Vol. 1, No. 1 (Autumn 1998), p. 85.

48 Peter Rudolf, "Critical Engagement: The European Union and Iran," in Richard N. Haass (ed.), Transatlantic Tensions: The United States, Europe, and Problem Countries (Washington, DC: Brooking Institution Press, 1999), p. 75.

49 Hisane Masaki, "Japan Debates How to Deal with Iran," The Japan Times (Weekly International Edition), February 3-9, 1997, p. 3.

50 Gause F. Gregory III, "The Illogic of Dual Containment," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 73, No. 2 (March/April 1994), p. 56.

51 "China Becomes Iran's Biggest Trade Partner," Kyodo News Agency, September 9, 2007.

52 "Japan Sets its Sights on Opportunities in Iran," Financial Times, August 24, 2000, p. 5.

53 Touraj Noroozi, "Patterns of Orientation in the Foreign Policies of Japan and China Toward the Middle East in the Post-Cold War Diplomacy: A Reflection on Regional Determinants," in Manochehr Dorraj (ed.), Middle East at the Crossroads: The Changing Political Dynamics and the Foreign Policy Challenges (Maryland: University Press of America, 1999), p. 280.