Japan's Aggressive Legalism: Law and Foreign Trade Politics Beyond the WTO

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The ways in which law has interacted with concrete interests to reshape Japan's foreign trade politics at the start of the twenty-first century can best be characterized as aggressive legalism. Central to this transformation have been the beneficiaries of this ever more aggressive legalism-Japan's trade-dominant industries with visible stakes in the international economic system. Today, thanks to painstaking and concerted efforts, Japan's aggressive legalism has shifted well beyond its origins in the WTO, and is now not confined to any one multilateral, regional, or bilateral forum. Nor is its thrust limited only to the issues covered in this book, namely, antidumping, safeguards, intellectual property, or investment concerns in FTA diplomacy. Its target is not only the United States, but also rapidly rising new Asian competitors like China; not only foreign governments, but also foreign sectors-even down to specific companies. In the shifting landscape of global and regional realities, aggressive legalism has emerged as the single most cohesive and unquestionably legitimate attempt by Japanese actors to structure favorable outcomes in international trade.