Dr. Imad Rzeik Omar – College of Law and Political Science, Anbar University

The assassination of Shinzo Abe came as a tragic event that Japan experienced ahead of the legislative elections, and with it lost one of the most important prime ministers in the post-World War II era, as his administrations for the period (2012-2020) are a structural break in Japanese foreign policy after the war, Which was characterized by weakness, dispersion and heavy dependence on the United States of America, but (Shinzo Abe) through his strategic vigilance realized that the balance of power system is destined for change, and Japan must plan its strategy, Otherwise, it will find itself hostage to the regional threat because of the rapid economic rise of China, which is currently three times the Japanese economy, and the repercussions of this rise on the development of the Chinese army, which feeds it one of the most developed economies, The regional and global imbalance that could be dragged around this concern about the nature of the strategic environment in Japan, which prompted Abe to prepare for a long competition with its neighbor, and must consolidate conviction, whether at home or abroad, and that Japan plays global roles, However, this ambition collided with the difficulty of achieving this competition, especially at the military level, due to the restrictions imposed by the Constitution that was developed by the United States of America in 1947 through Article (9), which prohibits the use of war as a means of settling international disputes, and the subsequent prohibition on the possession of military forces and effective armament, and Japan currently has the Self-Defense Forces, which de facto play the role of the army, But it falls short of playing a major role outside the borders, which makes Japan’s credibility to be a center of polarization questionable, and this polarization is necessary to play a major role in international politics, and here (Shinzo Abe) found himself defenseless about this ambition, and he believes that China wants to tighten the cordon on Japan, so he had to seek to develop a competitive strategy through which he can hold the rules of the game, rearrange the cards at the internal and external levels, and modify the security and strategic paths in many directions.

First: «Tow seas Complex» Building a grand strategy for Japan

Major strategies are usually associated with leaders with a solid will, and a high awareness of the changes that may occur in the balance of power, and (Shinzo Abe) enjoyed all of this, as he was watching cautiously the conflict lines that began to form in Asia, as China began to launch its global projects, the most important of which is the ambitious plan to develop the Silk Road presented by (Xi Jinping) in 2013, and this road passes through the Indian Ocean, Eurasia, and then China’s influence expands globally, China is also exercising hegemonic approaches in Asia, constantly pressuring Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has already begun to militarize its islands in the recently established South China Sea, and also seeks to undermine the rapprochement between the United States, Japan, and South Korea, In this environment, Japan does not enjoy ideal relations with North Korea and Russia, and the interest of the United States in East Asia has declined considerably, which suggests caution for Japan because the region is at a strategic juncture, in which the rules of the game may change.

In light of these variables, Shinzo realized that Japan should contribute to shaping the external environment instead of waiting for others to determine its paths, and to present a grand strategy that parallels latitude and longitude in its foreign relations, and he is fully aware of the difficulties facing such a project, especially with regard to the feasibility and seriousness of such a strategy.

In terms of feasibility, it must present a logical perception that convinces other countries of the feasibility of cooperation with Japan and that the project can achieve the desired goals, but in terms of seriousness, it is related to the need to move Japan from the margin to the center; to gain the confidence of the parties in it, as it is known that Japan – since the end of World War II – has not adopted a clear strategy, but has been in the orbit of the United States of America, which recently felt that this approach is on its way to erosion and that Asia is on its way to becoming a Chinese lake.