This volume provides a timely and expert analysis of Japan's Asia policy as the country continues to address the future through trying to cope with the burden of a chequered past. Dr Mendl locates his expostion of Japan's policy towards both North-East and South-East Asia in a full historical and cultural context and importantly takes due account of the underlying and potent factor of national identity in shaping international outlook. He begins his study with a discussion of the enigma of Japanese policy expressed in debate over whether or not that policy expresses a calculated grand design. A corresponding enigma emerges in Dr Mendl's exposition of Japan's policy towards a part of the world with which it shares a geographical location and a measure of identity but one which, he maintains, cannot be separated from its engagement at the global level. In exploring the theme of how Japan is confronted by the problem of reconcling its relations with Asia with pursuing a global role in unchartered post-Cold War waters, Dr.Mendl makes a lucid and scholarly contribution to the debate about Japan's place in a world which it has helped to shape through its economic performance and example.