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Profound Forces in the Making of Modern Japan
Abstract

The structure, governance, institutions, principles, and norms of the international system have decisively influenced modern Japan's international behavior and its domestic political structure. It is a common characteristic of the conservative elites to vigilantly monitor and to adapt to its workings. This strategic style is a legacy of premodern influences and the formative experience of the Meiji Restoration. Each of the major transformations of the international system since the mid-nineteenth century induced sweeping changes in Japan's foreign policy and domestic institutions. The end of the cold war system is doing likewise. Historiography should reflect this powerful influence.