This essay challenges the dominant negative critiques of the foreign policy of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The DPJ possesses a coherent grand strategy vision, capable of securing Japan's national interests in an age of multipolarity and centered on a less dependent and more proactive role in the U.S.-Japan alliance, strengthened Sino-Japanese ties, and enhanced East Asian regionalism. However, the DPJ has failed to implement its policy due to domestic and international structural pressures. Consequently, the DPJ is defaulting back into a strategy in the style of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Japanese and U.S. policymakers should recognize the risks of a strategy characterized not by "reluctant realism" but by more destabilizing "resentful realism."