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Diplomacy, No.20  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]

Diplomacy, No.19  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)[i].  The National Security Strategy was the first policy statement of its kind for Japan, which replaced the Basic Policy for National Defense to ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.18  Jan. 20, 2014

A Nation of Proactive Pacifism — National Strategy for Twenty-first-Century 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 ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.17  Nov. 25, 2013

Special Feature — Win with Diplomacy! The Art of War for a Country that Cannot FightStrategic 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. “Know the enemy and know yourself” 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) ... ... [Read more]

Discussions, Diplomacy, No.16  Oct. 8, 2013

Accidental Explosion or Maturity? The Future of China’s Expanding Military Power — Capability and Intentions Analyzed by Former Senior Leaders of the Japan Self-Defense Forces

Koda Yoji Former Commander in Chief, Self-Defense Fleet (Vice Admiral) of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Numerical analysis reveals the formidable raw power of the Chinese military  Koda Yoji: Fear and anxiety about China’s People’s Liberation Army has been spreading in Japan as China has rapidly expanded its military spending in recent years, but its real capability is relatively unknown. I am afraid this story is taking on a life of its own. Today I would like to discuss matters related to China’s military power by calmly analyzing it, because if we overestimate or underestimate its power we won’t be able to deal with it properly as a nation.  Yamaguchi Noboru: First, let’s begin by confirming China’s defense budget. According to the Chinese government, China’s defense spending reached $90.2 billion in 2011, an eighteen-fold increase over the past twenty years. China has been regularly doubling its defense budget every five years. This reflects the growth of China’s GDP. Incidentally, the ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 6, 2013

(JAPAN POLITICS CHANGED?) Will Japan Heed the Doctors’ Warning?

The book Megachange: The World in 2050 by journalists of The Economist magazine in Britain offers a pessimistic forecast for Japan in the middle of the current century. Professor Matake Kamiya examines the book’s prescriptions. The world’s most aged society will emerge in Japan in 2050, when the median age will climb to 52.3 years and the number of dependents will be neck and neck with the working age population. The annual GDP growth rate during the period between 2011 and 2050 will average 3.7 percent worldwide, 5.2 percent in developing countries in Asia, and among developed countries, 2.3 percent... [Read more]

Diplomacy, KUDO_Yasushi, Nos.13-15  Mar. 4, 2013

(ASIA PIVOT) New U.S. and Chinese Administrations, Japan’s Diplomatic Vector

New administrations were established in the United States, China and other parts of the world in 2012. Three experts who have been closely involved in Japan-U.S. and Japan-China relations discussed the diplomatic roles Japan should play amid the rise of China and the shift in U.S. policy focus toward the Asia-Pacific region. Coordinator: Yasushi Kudo, representative of The Genron NPO (editor-in-chief, chairman of the editorial board of Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum). Panelists: Yuji Miyamoto, representative of the Miyamoto Institute of Asian Research and former ambassador of Japan to China.... [Read more]

Diplomacy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 4, 2013

(ASIA PIVOT) Early Establishment of U.S.-Style NSC

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to a landslide victory in the House of Representatives election on Dec. 16 under the slogan “Restore strength to Japan.” He was interviewed on Jan. 24, 2013 about his foreign policy, plan to revive the Japanese economy through so-called “Abenomics” and other policy matters.... [Read more]

Diplomacy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 4, 2013

FOR REFERENCE: Prime Minister Abe's policy speeches, press remarks

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s latest policy speeches Press Conference on TPP (Read…) Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the 183rd Session of the Diet (Feb. 28, 2013)(read…) “Japan is Back” Policy Speech at CSIS (read…) Press Conference during visit to the United States (read…) Policy Speech to the 183rd Session of the Diet (Jan. 28, 2013) (read…) The Bounty of the Open Seas: Five New Principles for Japanese Diplomacy (read…)... [Read more]

Diplomacy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 3, 2013

(ASIA PIVOT) International Order in the "Pacific Century"

“Atlantic Century” to “Pacific Century” The world order is undergoing a massive, earth-shaking transformation: the center of global politics is shifting from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. With a new international environment in the making, we must significantly adjust the paradigm of how we view the world. Otherwise, we will run the danger of misreading future developments in international politics. Until the “Age of Exploration” began, the Mediterranean Sea used to be the center of world politics. Upon the discovery of the... [Read more]