Kaneo and Tono’s article addressed the following topics in this article; Japan’s direct overseas investment trend, the interrelation employment and business conditions in automobile and electronic industries in Southeast Asia region and the financial crisis and its impact on employment.
Along with the article by Woradul Tularak, the author explored the capital inflow in automotive section and international trade in Thailand invested by Japanese companies building under the government’s industry protection policy. The author denoted that protagonists in the domestic market with the greatest market share was mainly from Japan; Toyota which has been the major one, followed by Isuzu, Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi ((Tularak,2011:132). Tularak also included production mapping and workers in automotive sector in Thailand which turn out to be impacted by the global crisis in 2008 In terms of political and economic development cooperation, according to Simon Tay’s article, he represented the concept of Abenomics or “three arrows” which are: first, quantitative easing to release money and credit into the market to stimulate growth and end deflation; secondly, fiscal policies to stimulate demand; and thirdly, structural reform to generate sustainable growth(Simon,2013:13). Despite his article was released a few years after the first two articles mentioned as above, it illustrated that the economic and political policies from Japan toward Thailand have remained the nearly the same; seeking for allies as both equal and unequal partners to invest in resources overseas. Also, the author asserted that the Asian has responded to this economic regime positively and welcomely because the foreign investment in this region has been supported respectively by Japan’s government to build up trustworthy and secure outbound resources. Also, he reiterated that due to the currency and competition in business, Thailand which has major manufacturing and strong export-orientation dealings with Japan has been impacted by the lower yen because there are intermediate goods and other imports from Japan appear to be in a lower price(2013:14).
Also, he focused on the recent investment of Japanese companies in Thailand including Toyota and Japanese financial group MUFG which brought Thailand’s Bank of Ayudha(2013:15). Last but not least the author summed that, the Abenomics changes the role of Japan in Southeast Asia region from the dominated actor investing for cheap land and labor to equal partnership in which both gain and are more deeply integrated(2013:16). For De Miguel’s article, written after a year of an announcement of Abenomics, the Fukuda doctrine and its potential impacts have been expressed as follows: Firstly Bridging the gap between the ASEAN countries and the three Communist States in Indochina; secondly serving as economic model and helping the ASEAN economies through ODA and FDI; finally promoting Japanese soft power. Under this policy, the author denoted the medium-term goal of Japan which aimed to secure natural resource projects in Southeast Asia and to benefit the Japan firms in this region(De Miguel,2013:102). However Japan also responded to the Asian Financial Crisis by offering financial assistance to the bail-out packages provided to Thailand, and the author agreed that this action allowed Japan to show a certain independence vis-à-vis the US and the IMF and to remained a position as a reluctant leader in AMF(2013:108). In conclusion, the author asserted that path has risen the relevance of ASEAN for Japan when ASEAN economic integration is seen by Japan as a must. After the visit of the prime minister of Japan in Southeast Asian countries, he declared the “Five Principles” which could tighten the diplomacy between Japan and ASEAN(2013:115).
Somehow the author’s expressed that along with these principles, Japan made efforts to remain a relevant and independent actor in Southeast Asia along with the rise of China(2013:115).