Japan's reaction to the White Australia policy: international society, race relations and the quest for recognition
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 03:17 by Tomoko Horikawa
This thesis examines Japan’s reaction to the White Australia Policy. It adopts a cross-disciplinary approach, drawing on both history and International Relations. In other words, it introduces to empirical historical evidence a systematic analytical framework based on three key concepts of state socialisation, state identity and prestige. In so doing, it analyses the motivations behind Japan’s strong objection to Australia’s racial exclusion policies. On the basis of historical evidence, this thesis argues that Japan’s objection to the White Australia Policy was based not on material interests, but rather on Japan’s determination to preserve its identity as a civilised state and its desire to uphold its international prestige. Japan’s concern for its civilised state identity and international prestige is explained against the backdrop of its socialisation into late 19th century European international society. The thesis interprets empirical evidence within an analytical framework, and concludes that Japan’s civilised state identity and its quest for international prestige, both of which were products of Japan’s socialisation into European international society, shaped Japan’s foreign policy as it related to the White Australia Policy. In short, the thesis highlights the profound impact which the process of Japan’s socialisation into the European international order had on Japan’s reaction to the White Australia Policy.