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William Reynolds is currently a PhD candidate in the War Studies Department at Kings College London as part of the Leverhulme Scholarship program with the Centre for Grand Strategy. Graduating with a Bachelors in War Studies, and Masters in National Security Studies from the same department, William’s interests have evolved from military history to maritime security and grand strategy. His research focuses on British and Japanese interactions at the grand strategic level. Additionally, William has worked for the King’s Japan Program regarding maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, with a particular focus on the maritime space as a domain for interstate interactions.

Research Interests:

  • British Grand Strategy
  • British Foreign Policy
  • Maritime Security
  • The Indo-Pacific
  • The Cod Wars


How did Britain's Japan Policy Factor into British Grand Strategy from 1945 to 1993?

This thesis will attempt to investigate to what extent British Grand Strategy, directly and indirectly, influenced Britain's Japan Policy from 1945 to 1993. Spurred on by recent diplomatic activity between the two countries in the 2010s, this thesis attempts to answer the question as whether this flurry of recent activity is a new phenomenon or in fact comes from an existing historical lineage. Moreover, in tandem to tracing the activity to the past, this thesis will sketch out the history of British interactions and policy vis-à-vis Japan since the end of the Second World.

Indeed, the literature regarding Britain and Japan post-1945 is rather weak, with significant works focusing either on the relationship up to 1945, or the immediate decade following the conflict, in the lead up to the 1960s. Moreover, most works outside of those concerning British policy, which indeed make up the bulk of Anglo-Japanese literature, take the form of memoirs, biographies and subjects much removed from Britain, Japan and geopolitics. The consequent gap in the literature is clear.

This thesis will hopefully make a worthy contribution to filling said gap. Through tracing British grand strategy and Japan since 1945, this thesis hopes to draw some lessons forward for both Britain and Japan today. What were each other’s interests? What were their goals when interacting with each other and how did each view the other as a way in facilitating said goals? Via understanding the answers to these questions in the past, it is hoped the historical basis will provide some clarity for the future.



  • Dr Alessio Patalano
  • Dr Maeve Ryan