ABSTRACT

The Introduction provided the relational concept of power with a raison d’être in this study, and Chapter 1 presented and discussed it in greater detail; it added a few pieces to it, and reorganized other parts to increase analytical coherence. The relational concept remains a fundamental point of reference in this chapter (cf. Weber 1949:77). The question now is how it should inform empirical analysis. First, what kind of analysis of Japan’s foreign policy should result from it? It is argued that the answer is a ‘crucial case’ study approach. Second, what should such a study of Japan’s foreign policy be focused on? It is maintained that the country’s policy vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) contributes a sufficiently crucial setting. Third, how are significant and relevant instances of this policy to be selected? Concrete issues and observations are chosen based on the two questions that operationalize the purpose, i.e. if and how Japan has exercised power over China. The ‘if-question’, first, is translated into three criteria-each justified by conceptual and empirical circumstances. This question thus vouches for sameness across issues on those very criteria. After a brief presentation of the issues, concrete observations are selected, justified and compared. The ‘how question’, second, is brought to bear on the selection of observations so that difference on other important variables is welcomed. Yet, since both observations are instances central to the issues, in the end there are ‘central cases’ of ‘significant cases’ of ‘a crucial case’ of Japan’s foreign policy. The resultant observations have not been much publicized previously, and they better represent day-to-day foreign relations than the kind of crisis behavior often made the objective of foreign policy analysis.