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Archives : Diplomacy

No.22 ,Diplomacy  Jul 03, 2014

Promoting Japan-U.S. Cooperation by Making a Proactive Contribution to Peace — Japan’s Foreign and Security Policy after the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting —

KAMIYA Matake, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan

The most important outcome of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent Asia tour is that the United States and Japan overcame the strains which had been noticeable between them recently, and reaffirmed that they would strengthen their alliance. Not only that, they openly endorsed this through various concrete measures and commitments. While it is true that the president showed some consideration, not wanting to damage relations with China, the United States made clear its intention to keep China’s excessive self-assertion in check, alongside Japan and other countries in the region. It represents a highly significant development. Obama declared that the Senkaku Islands are subject to Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, and it is enormously significant that a U.S. president made a statement like this for the first time ... [Read more]

No.22 ,Diplomacy  Jul 03, 2014

Line Between Cooperative Good Neighbor and Uncompromising Foreign Policy: China’s Diplomacy Under the Xi Jinping Administration

Inconsistencies Found in China’s Diplomacy   I think people in Japan share the impression that China’s foreign policies have grown more uncompromising under the Xi Jinping administration when compared with the same policies under the Hu Jintao administration. In all likelihood, people in countries neighboring China share this impression. This situation is closely connected to the fact that China is more aggressively engaging in what it calls peripheral diplomacy. China held a roundtable discussion on peripheral diplomatic maneuvering on 24–25 October 2013, and assembled guidelines aimed at making its relations with neighboring countries, particularly economic and business ties, closer. However, as everyone knows, China simultaneously adopts the policy of making absolutely no concessions with regard to sovereignty and security. ... [Read more]

No.22 ,Diplomacy  May 24, 2014

Toward an Asian-Pacific Community

Dr. Iriye Akira, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

As a recipient of The Japan Foundation Awards (2013)*, Dr. IRIYE Akira delivered a commemorative lecture at the International House of Japan in Tokyo on 28 October 2013. Dr. Iriye argued the possibilities of an Asian-Pacific Community as a body that can help to forge more intimate connections throughout the world. Dr. Iriye Akira, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University. The possibilities of an Asia-Pacific Community. Some of you in the audience may be wondering, "why an Asia-Pacific Community now?" The concept of the Asia-Pacific as a region or a community has been discussed for quite some time; "Is there anything new to be said?" you may ask. For people of my generation--I left Japan for the United States exactly 60 years ago, not long after the end of World War II--the term "Asia-Pacific" almost inevitably conjures up images of war and conflict. The tragedy of World War II was immediately followed by the Cold War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. But now the era of war is behind us, and my point of departure is the assumption that there is value in exploring the possibilities of an Asia-Pacific Community in more peaceful times. ... [Read more]

No.21 ,Diplomacy  May 24, 2014

Tension Is Rising in the East China Sea. Will Japan be Able to Defend Its Territories?
Dialogue on China’s Dangerous and Unnerving Dream – Japan Needs Strategies from a Geopolitical Viewpoint

Iokibe Makoto Chancellor, Prefectural University of Kumamoto

Senkaku Islands Represent the Beginning of a Long Struggle. China began insisting that the Senkaku Islands were its property after a survey found resources in the seabed around them in 1970. China then established its law on territorial waters and in 1992 declared islands in the South China and East China Seas, including the Senkaku Islands, as its own territories. However, China took an enduring position on real action over this issue, thinking it would be OK to stop short of actually taking action until it became possible. Deng Xiaoping used a famous phrase, tao guang yang hui. It was a teaching that asked people to sufficiently cultivate their abilities, rather than taking the attitude of intimidating others by showing their claws, while their actual ability is insufficient. China’s acts complied with this teaching.... [Read more]

No.20 ,Diplomacy  Apr 12, 2014

“More Proactive Contribution to Peace” Changes Japan’s Diplomacy
Abe Administration’s Policy Toward Asia and the United States

YACHI Shotaro, National Security Advisor to the Cabinet (Secretary General of National Security Secretariat)

The Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (also known as the “two-plus-two”) meeting was held in Tokyo in October 2013 where the two countries signed an agreement to implement another update to the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation by the end of 2014. This agreement was concluded with the aim of strengthening the bilateral defense cooperation, probably in view of China’s increasing maritime assertiveness, although China was not named specifically in the agreement. It also coincides with the Obama administration’s “rebalancing” toward Asia. While the strained diplomatic relationships with China and Republic of Korea (ROK) do not seem to be getting any better at the moment, the Abe administration has embarked on a multilateral strategic diplomacy centered on the Japan-U.S. alliance which is expected to serve as a strategic move for the administration’s foreign policy.... [Read more]

No.20 ,Diplomacy  Mar 26, 2014

China’s Official Views Adrift

KAWASHIMA Shin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Tokyo

One of the topics at a meeting of Sinologists held towards the end of 2013, at what could be called a year-end party, was the recent strangeness of the People’s Daily. The People’s Daily is normally a very straitlaced newspaper that publishes the Chinese Communist Party’s official views. Sinologists in Japan and overseas read it, take notes, and try to analyze changes in Chinese politics based on changes in expressions and in tone. How has the People’s Daily been odd? It has published views that obviously contradict each other. Editorials have been inconsistent with other articles. Views that cannot be considered official have been published. Some Sinologists have analyzed the factors behind this. Some say that the People’s Daily’s governance has weakened. Others say that the oddness simply reflects a diversification in government. Chinese politics has definitely changed significantly. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao ... ... [Read more]

No.20 ,Diplomacy  Mar 26, 2014

Challenges to the New ASEAN-Japan Partnership in the Changing Regional Circumstances

OBA Mie, Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Science

In 2013, the administration of Abe Shinzo tried to make an impression with its pro-ASEAN policies. During the course of last year, Abe visited all ten ASEAN countries while Kishida Fumio, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and other senior government officials also made frequent visits to the countries in Southeast Asia. Also, in December 2013, the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting was held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan. In addition to the joint ASEAN-Japan statement entitled “Hand in hand, facing regional and global challenges,” the summit meeting adopted various documents including the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and the Implementation Plan for the Vision Statement to emphasize the importance of relations between Japan and ASEAN. Some would say that the pro-ASEAN policies of the Abe administration have been positioned as the centerpiece of Japanese foreign policy toward Asia due to the ... ... [Read more]

No.19 ,Diplomacy  Mar 10, 2014

Japan’s Responsibility Sharing for the U.S. Extended Deterrence

SATOH Yukio is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).

Japan is now poised to increase its own efforts to enhance the credibility of U.S. extended deterrence, casting aside a long-held ambivalent stance of distancing itself from U.S. nuclear strategy, while relying on it to deter the threat of nuclear weapons. The National Security Strategyadopted on December 17 last year by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-led coalition government of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo recognized that “the extended deterrence of the United States with nuclear deterrence at its core is indispensable” for Japan’s security against the threat of nuclear weapons. It also stressed the country’s preparedness to “work closely” with the United States in order to enhance the credibility of its extended deterrence, including Japan’s own efforts for ballistic missile defense (BMD).... [Read more]

No.18 ,Diplomacy  Jan 20, 2014

A Nation of Proactive Pacifism — National Strategy for Twenty-first-Century Japan

KAMIYA Matake, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan

Japan’s first National Security Strategy, along with the new National Defense Program Guidelines, which were approved by the Cabinet on December 17, 2013, established the idea of “proactively contributing to peace based on the principle of international cooperation” as part of the basic principles of Japan’s future diplomacy and national security policies. This shift is based on the "proactive pacifism" approach that has been advocated by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo since September 2013. For more than a few foreign observers, it came like a bolt from the blue when Abe began to assert that Japan should become a more proactive contributor to peace, and they therefore found it somewhat difficult to discern his real intentions. However, in fact, Abe was not the first to conceive of a “proactive contribution to peace.” Since the end of the Cold War, certain circles within Japan’s diplomatic and national security community have continued to call for Japan to transform its postwar pacifism from being passive to being proactive. I am actually one of them. This isn’t about doing away with postwar pacifism, but an attempt to maintain its virtues while correcting its shortcomings so as to conform to Japan's increased national power and the drastic changes that have taken place in international society since the end of the Cold War. ... [Read more]

No.17 ,Diplomacy  Nov 25, 2013

Special Feature — Win with Diplomacy! The Art of War for a Country that Cannot Fight
Strategic Ambiguity and a Two-Pronged Approach to China

MIYAMOTO Yuji Former Ambassador to China, Chairman of the Miyamoto Institute of Asian Research

How would one deal with an irritable neighbor? A former ambassador to China, who was closely in touch with people of China for four years, unlocks the mystery of their thought processes and mentality.China’s economic development has been remarkable. Its nominal GDP was merely a quarter that of Japan in 2000, and yet it overtook Japan in 2010. It achieved a five-fold increase in ten years. The size of China’s economy reached 8.2270 trillion dollars in 2012, leaving Japan’s 5.9640-trillion-yen economy nearly 40 percent behind. Xi Jiping’s Chinese Communist Party has publicly committed to double the 2010 GDP in 2020 in real terms. If the Japanese economy does not grow, the economy will be half that of China’s in 2020. Growth in China’s military expenditures has been exceptional as well. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates... [Read more]