The Courteous Power

Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era
Volume 92
John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, editors
Examining the pivotal relationship between Japan and Southeast Asia, as it has changed and endured into the Indo-Pacific Era


The Courteous Power seeks to provide a nuanced view of the current relationship between Japan and Southeast Asia. Much of the current scholarship on East–Southeast Asian engagement has focused on the multidimensional chess game playing out between China and Japan, as the dominant post-imperialist powers. Alternatively, there has been renewed attention on ASEAN and other Southeast Asian–centered initiatives, explicitly minimizing the influence of East Asia in the region. Given the urgency of understanding the careful balance in the Indo-Pacific region, this volume brings together scholars to examine the history and current engagement from a variety of perspectives, ranging from economic and political, to the cultural and technological, while also focusing more clearly on the specific relationship between the region and Japan.

John D. Ciorciari is Associate Professor and Director of the International Policy Center and Weiser Diplomacy Center, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.

Kiyoteru Tsutsui is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor and Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies at Stanford University, where he is also Director of the Japan Program, a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a Professor of Sociology.

Praise / Awards

  • The Courteous Power offers a new and engaging perspective of Japan’s relation with Southeast Asia in particular, and how a great power exercises leadership in the international system in general. The book is very timely in light of the ongoing geostrategic competition in Southeast Asia between the U.S. on one side and China on the other. Each chapter is well-written and theoretically grounded. The entire volume provides a coherent and theoretically sound work on Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia, and how it exercises power and leadership in the Indo-Pacific region.”
    —Brendan Howe, Ewha Womans University
  • "The editors of The Courteous Power have assembled a superb cast of experts to provide a comprehensive analysis of Japan's deep and multifaceted relations with Southeast Asia. ...The volume is a must-read for experts in the academic and policy-making communities, as well as students, who would like to understand how Japan and Southeast Asia have always been, and will continue to be, consequential actors in regional affairs."
    Contemporary Southeast Asia

  • "The Courteous Power is a worthy addition to the contemporary scholarship on Japan’s role in the Indo-Pacific. It succeeds in characterizing the country’s ‘courteousness’ but also makes it clear that this should not be confused for weakness. In fact, Japan’s strength lies in its ability to maximize strategic relationships that preserve and grow Japanese influence in south-east Asia."
    International Affairs 

News, Reviews, Interviews

Watch: Book Talk Panel Discussion | 12/10/2021 

Product Details

  • 332 pages.
  • 22 illustrations, 2 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2021
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-12929-4

  • EPUB: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

Add to Cart
  • $34.95 U.S.

  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

Add to Cart
  • $34.95 U.S.

  • Kindle

Add to Cart

Choosing any of the above format options will take you to the appropriate e-retailer to complete your purchase. Pricing may vary by individual e-retailer. Please see e-retailer site for purchasing information.

For more information about our Digital Products, including reading systems and accessible formats, visit our Digital Products page.

Related Products

Add to Cart
  • $80.00 U.S.

Add to Cart
  • $34.95 U.S.



  • Japan, Southeast Asia, Courteous power, Indo-Pacific, Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Maritime security, Infrastructure, Trade, Development, Soft power, Cultural diplomacy, ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Multilateral diplomacy, Shinzo Abe, Yoshihide Suga