Date of Award

Winter 2-1-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Sarah Lockhart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephanie Szitanyi, Ph.D.


This thesis investigates whether Japanese foreign policy has changed in response to the shifting power dynamic between Japan’s longtime ally, the United States of America, and China. In recent years, U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific has waned while Chinese influence has inversely grown. It was hypothesized that Japanese foreign policy would become more agreeable with Chinese attitudes as a result. With that in mind, this study explores the term “hegemony”, how it affects the formation of foreign policy, and how it is present in the relationship of these specific actors. A historical analysis is performed to demonstrate and understand Japan’s current state of foreign relations. Ultimately, an examination of Japan’s modern foreign policy finds that it does not begin to skew towards China but instead acts as a hedge against U.S. decline.