Government, International Affairs and Organizations
UNCTAD, humanitarian efforts, Cultural Organization, UNESCO, World Health Organization
After World War II Japan pursued a set of international affairs policies associated with Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru. The so-called Yoshida Doctrine emphasized economic growth, dependence on the United States for security and leadership in international affairs, and avoidance of independent international political commitments. In recent years Japan has displayed greater independence, but Japanese foreign policy is still relatively passive and emphasizes caution and consensus.
While Japan rarely asserts itself independently, it does participate actively in international organizations and humanitarian efforts. Japan has been a member of the UN since 1956, and it plays a prominent role in a number of UN agencies, including the Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Japan is currently seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, the most powerful UN body. Since the 1970s Japan has become a major source of foreign aid to developing countries, particularly in Asia.
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