Japan's Future in East Asia and the Pacific: In Honour of by Mari Pangestu, Ligang Song

By Mari Pangestu, Ligang Song

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Given Japan’s situation, where the banking problem clearly involved a one-off monumental loss of asset value rather than a temporary one which could be expected to reverse itself with time, forbearance has offered a particularly poor benefit-cost trade-off. The second plank of policy, complementing the use of government bank deposits guarantees, was the easing of monetary policy. Three years after the Bank of Japan cut official interest rates to 50 basis points in September 1995, the Bank had to start to cut rates even further, culminating in an unprecedented policy of zero interest rates in February 1999.

The change in Japan’s position on the territorial claims to one of neutrality in November 1957, though, did have an impact on the process of consultation. In November, reparation agreements with Indonesia were completed and this offered the Japanese Government a greater degree of flexibility on regional matters. Indonesia, for strategic and economic reasons, was a critical factor in Japanese post-war planning. As well, the importance of resolving the reparation negotiation with Indonesia should not be underestimated.

Tange first raised the issue of strong Australian support for Japan’s candidature at the Security Council of the United Nations. The next topic was WNG. 21 In late July Watt reported on a discussion with Foreign Minister Fujiyama and Miyazaki (Director, International Cooperation Bureau) on WNG. Fujiyama made clear to Watt that Japan had its hands tied by the Bandung communiqué. Watt commented that it was …unlikely Japanese will in the foreseeable future modify their attitude... 22 This did not deter further attempts at lobbying.

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