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No.35 ,Diplomacy  Oct 18, 2016

For the Advancement of Japan’s International Cooperation
―After the Terrorist Attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Impacts of the Dhaka Terrorist Attack: On the night of July 1st, a restaurant in Dhaka was attacked, and twenty hostages lost their lives. Of these twenty, seven were Japanese. They were all working on the front lines of international cooperation. In a time when ordinary people are being victimized by terrorism, how can we all consider our own safety? This is an important issue to think seriously about not only for our own sake, but also to ensure that the lives of the victims in this attack were not lost in vain. The terrorist attack in Dhaka was a huge shock for me, and it is a truly heartbreaking incident. The victims this time were consultants dispatched by JICA to conduct a survey of the urban transit system in Bangladesh, and they were hoping to contribute to the country’s development. I am absolutely indignant at the way these terrorists have eliminated their opportunity to do so. The surveys conducted this time were urgently needed in Bangladesh... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Oct 07, 2016

Has the Cultural Revolution Become “History” in China?
— Underlying political climate over decades in China

Tsuji Kogo, Representative, Center for Contemporary Materials Research of China

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, which began in China in 1966. The Communist Party of China adopted the “Resolution on certain questions in the history of our party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China” at its Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1981, reviewing the results of the Cultural Revolution as a whole. It may well be said, however, that the evaluation made in the resolution was used by the Chinese leadership as a tool to justify their attempt of putting an end to any further debate regarding the Cultural Revolution. Will the tragedy of the Cultural Revolution repeat itself? In search of answers to this question, in the following article I will discuss the history of the Chinese revolutionary struggle in terms of the country’s underlying political climate.... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Oct 07, 2016

The G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that led to President Obama visiting Hiroshima
— Increased focus on “looking to the future” from all concerned

April 11, 2016, G7 foreign ministers and the EU higher representative laid wreaths and stand in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. ©Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Peace Memorial Park while in Japan for the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hiroshima. Following a concerted effort from the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, atomic bomb survivors and various other parties, this ultimately led to a visit by President Obama. We take a look at what actually happened.... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 29, 2016

Abe’s Tour of Europe Sets the Stage

In an article written before the G7 summit in May and the referendum on membership of the EU in the United Kingdom in June, Professor Endo Ken considers the immediate and potential impact of Prime Minister Abe’s recent meetings with foreign leaders in Europe. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo made a round of calls on European leaders from May 1 to 7 this year. A longer agenda for the visit had been planned, but it had to be shortened due to the earthquakes in Kumamoto from April 14 on. Regardless of the disaster contingency planning and the tight schedule, the Prime Minister had two major reasons for insisting on the round of calls. Firstly, to lay the groundwork for the Ise-Shima Summit (the G7 meeting) slated for May 26 to 27. Phrased like this, it sounds like a routine call, but the actual situation is far... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 29, 2016

Competition and Collaboration with China

The rapid increase in China’s national strength is giving rise to a massive change in the balance of power throughout the Western rim of the Pacific, and these changes are now having a very large impact on regional order. As countries situated in this region and having the world’s second and third largest economies, China and Japan are expected by the international community to bear grave responsibilities with respect to the peace and prosperity of the regional and global order. In recent years, however, China and Japan have been unsuccessful in building the kind of relationship that the international community expects of them. Dialogue between the political leaders of the two countries has been lacking, and the law enforcement agencies of both have been confronting each other in the East China Sea. A Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between China and Japan is desperately needed so that any confrontation... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 29, 2016

Reef Reclamation by China and the Security of Japan and the Asian Region

The current conditions in the South China Sea, an area that has been attracting global attention since last year, can be called a product of China’s underhanded strategies for turning the concentrated international interest in antagonism between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands to its own advantage. China, which had had no effective military foothold in the southern part of the South China Sea, has attempted to build man-made islands and military bases on the Spratly Islands (hereinafter referred to as the “man-made island preparation”) by reclaiming reefs there, using the situation in the East China Sea as cover. The United States, which must have known about the man-made island preparation, refrained from demanding that China exercise self-control until the beginning of last year. Interpreting this stance as tacit approval by the United States, China accelerated the man-made island preparation, ignoring the opposition... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 29, 2016

Philippines v. China
— Implications of the Arbitral Award

On 12 July 2016, the Arbitral Tribuna l rendered an Arbitral Award in the Philippines v. China case. The Philippines instituted the arbitral proceedings in accordance with Section 2 of Part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2013. Despite China’s rejection of the arbitral proceedings, the Arbitral Tribunal, in its Award of 29 October 2015, found that it had jurisdiction over seven of the Philippines’ fifteen submissions, reserving consideration of its jurisdiction over seven others to the merits phase and requesting the Philippines to clarify the last. In its Award of 12 July 2016, the Tribunal found that China’s claim to the South China Sea on the basis of the “nine-dash line” was incompatible with the UNCLOS and that there was no evidence supporting the “historic rights” of China. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the UNCLOS, it decided the status of the maritime features concerned on the basis... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 27, 2016

China’s Next Legal Battle at Sea
China has sent warships into Japanese territorial seas. There is no room for complacency, even after an award on the South China Sea.

Sakamoto Shigeki, Professor, Doshisha University

Despite being a member of the permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, China is making no attempt to abide by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. China’s one-sided claims are similarly based on flimsy grounds. If it wants to become a great sea power however, China cannot afford to make enemies. Japan meanwhile needs to focus its full attention on this increasingly fierce legal battle.... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 25, 2016

A Record of Struggle with Modern China

Mikan no Chugoku: Kadai to Shite no Minshuka (Author: Kagami Mitsuyuki; Iwanami Shoten, 2016) is a collection of selected writings published by the author, analyzing decades of China’s modern development from a unique perspective. Frankly, I find the author’s discussions and analyses in this book to be incomplete and he fails to put China’s sociopolitical movements into perspective with regard to the Great Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square protests in light of related empirical studies in later years. Each individual article collected in this anthology largely reflects the critical view of the author at the time of its writing. You can see a clear consistency in the perspectives presented by the author regarding China or Japan. The author’s attitudes towards Modern China seem to be characterized by some particular viewpoints. First, he maintains a critical view regarding materialistic prosperity under a capitalist economy... [Read more]

No.32 ,Diplomacy  May 22, 2016

Japan Is Set for A New Dimension of International Cooperation
― A perspective for future international cooperation

Yamazaki Masakazu: On the domestic front today, things surrounding our society seem to be remaining stable at a level that has never been experienced before. This observation does not take the form of a commonly shared view in the media, however. Japan was engaged in a war when I was at elementary school. Compared with those gloomy days that I had to spend as a child during the war, our current era is so much better. It is true that our economy is struggling to take off in one way or another, with growing concern among us regarding our future amid the progress of an aging population with a declining birthrate. But if you look at the bright side, you will find that the jobless rate for young adults remains low and our public safety standards are by far the highest compared with other nations. In addition, the Abe Administration appears ... [Read more]

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