By many criteria, Japan is weak internationally. As a consequence one would expect its foreign economic policy to have been marked by limited choice, weakness, and constant vacillation in the face of external pressures. The domestic political structures of the country, however, have for most of the period since World War II permitted wide choice, strength, and consistency. A corporatist coalition of finance, major industry, trading companies, and the upper levels of the national bureaucracy, coupled with the consistent rule of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, the systematic exclusion of organized labor from formal policy-making channels, and the lack of social overhead spending, has permitted the Japanese state to function as official doorman determining what, and under what conditions, capital, technology, and manufactured products enter and leave Japan. The strengths acquired from such past policies make it likely that the Japanese state will remain capable of dealing with the increasing domestic and international threats to its capacity to make relatively autonomous choices about Japan's international economic behavior.