Japanese Capital Internationalization and its Regional Leadership in Southeast Asia

After a low profile international role in the 1990s, Japan has reasserted itself since the Asian financial crisis and is projecting capital again over the rest of Asia, at the same time that it tackles the emergence of a new competitor for regional leadership in China. In this paper we study the influence of government foreign policy objectives in shaping Japanese FDI and argue that Japan’s political ambitions of regional leadership have played an important role in the international investment decisions of its enterprises. This has in turn resulted in a particular structure of internationalization characterized by heavy presence of strategic-seeking FDI in developing economies, early adoption of cross-national outsourcing and horizontal production networks and a recurrence return to Southeast Asia as the natural area of internationalization for Japanese capital.
Ignacio José Miñambres García
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