The chrysanthemum and the cool cultural diplomacy and soft power in Japan's foreign policy

Nissim Kadosh Otmazgin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In recent decades, cultural diplomacy and soft power have emerged as a conscious decision by the Japanese government to strategically advance its international position without threatening other countries with the use of force, which is prohibited by the Japanese constitution, and without utilizing its economic might in a way that will make Japan look threatening. This is especially useful in the context of Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors, particularly China and South Korea, where “soft” diplomacy serves as a way to influence mass opinion in these countries without stressing the already troubled relations, and avoids skirmishes over historical or territorial disputes. As part of this move, the government has become increasingly aware of Japan's contemporary cultural appeal and has been attempting to utilize it as part of its charm offensive abroad. This chapter analyzes the changing attitude of the Japanese government toward the role of “culture” in the political life of the state and especially in the context of Japan's postwar foreign policy: How has Japan used cultural diplomacy to further its geopolitical goals? How did it shape Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors? What is the mechanism of utilizing culture to achieve goals in international politics?.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Japanese Foreign Policy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317284925
ISBN (Print)9781138182103
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Mary M. McCarthy; individual chapters, the contributors.


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