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No.48
Diplomacy, No.48  Aug. 6, 2018

Two years have passed since the Permanent Court of Arbitration released its ruling on the South China Sea: The current conditions in China

On July 12 two years ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) released its ruling on a claim brought by the Philippines against China on the South China Sea disputes between those two countries. The court rejected China’s claims on all thirteen issues taken up by the Philippines. But China refused to recognize the ruling, claiming “non-reception,” “non-participation,” “non-approval” and “non-execution” and maintains that position today, claiming that the ruling is not legally binding. The active maritime policy and oppressive maritime advances of China, which ignore international norms, became particularly noticeable in the 2001 Hainan Island incident, in which a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft operating above the waters of the South China Sea collided with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army F-8 fighter. After several skirmishes, in 2009, an unidentified Chinese ship interfered with the USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23), an Impeccable-class ocean surveillance ship, which ... ... [Read more]

No.48
Diplomacy, No.48  Jul. 29, 2018

The Confucius Institute in the One Belt, One Road Region

What Kind of Organization is the Confucius Institute? The Confucius Institute is an organization set up in foreign countries by China with the principal aims of teaching Chinese, propaganda, and fostering friendly relations. It was launched in 2004 during the administration of Hu Jintao and managed by the Hanban (Office of Chinese Language Council International), a section of the Ministry of Education (http://www.hanban.edu.cn). This Hanban is a national-level organization; in other words, it became the “National Hanban” at the outset of the Hu Jintao administration in 2002. That this organization bears the name “Confucius” has no essential connection with any propagation of the teachings of Confucius or Confucianism. Initially, a perception arose that the then rapidly developing China was being misunderstood by the world, so the institute aimed to promote both Chinese language learning and the training of Chinese language teachers overseas, and through ... ... [Read more]

No.47
Diplomacy, No.47  May. 29, 2018

Interview: Foreign Minister KONO Taro Japan’s Diplomatic Landscape in 2018 Pushing North Korea toward Denuclearization by Applying Continued Pressure

―― Since you became Foreign Minister, your highly motivated strategic communications in Japan and abroad, as well as your active visits to foreign countries, have attracted attention. Kono Taro: Since assuming office in August 2017, I have visited numerous locations around the world, taking 13 foreign trips and visiting 25 countries (30 countries if revisits are included), as well as going to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa in Japan. I have held more than 70 Foreign Ministers’ meetings in Japan and abroad, and have held more than 160 meetings in total, including other multilateral meetings, etc. In the process of meeting with the Foreign Ministers of other countries, I have strongly recognized that building personal relationships is very important in diplomacy. I will continue to make efforts to achieve concrete diplomatic results by solidifying personal relationships of trust and networks. ―― What kinds of diplomatic ... ... [Read more]

No.45
No.45, Diplomacy  Mar. 29, 2018

Trends in Selective Globalism

EU-style economic unification with its simultaneous cross-border flows of goods, money and people is on trial. But rather than considering this a reversal of globalism, we should seize this opportunity to rethink what kind of globalism we want.   In 2016, there were a number of political changes that exerted a significant influence on the world economy, including Brexit in the EU and Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. Although the US and UK situations are different, this still feels like the domestic issues of income inequality and unemployment have met disillusionment with the political establishment and criticism towards globalism to create a powerful groundswell. To an extent, this may be a shared phenomenon among advanced democracies, including countries of the EU that have been rocked by the refugee issue. Political change, however, does not determine economic trends. The media often talk ... ... [Read more]

No.44
No.44, Diplomacy  Mar. 22, 2018

The North Korea Crisis Enters a New Stage Can the International Community Align its Strategy?

A string of missile test launches and a sixth nuclear test suggest North Korea is on the verge of becoming a true nuclear power. With differing views on how to deal with a nation insistent on maintaining its domestic regime, the international community is at an impasse. How should we look for a breakthrough?   On September 3, 2017, North Korea went ahead with its sixth nuclear test. The test was immediately followed up by state-run media reporting that the country had “conducted a fully-successful test of a hydrogen bomb designed to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).” It is fair to say that North Korea went ahead with the nuclear test after determining that the United States would be unable to launch any military action against it. The test also succeeded in reminding the international community that North Korea was making ... ... [Read more]

No.44
No.44, Diplomacy  Mar. 18, 2018

The Current Situation of International Health Diplomacy and the Role of Japan

Globalization is the rapid and massive cross-border transfer of people, things, money, information and technologies. It connects societies, economies and communities beyond national borders and is the engine of global development. As a result, the world has become rich and health standards have also improved. On the other hand, in the 21st century, many infectious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Ebola virus and Zika virus, have spread globally at a never-before-seen pace and scale, which has sent shockwaves around the world. In addition, the revitalization of social, economic and cultural exchange beyond national borders has led to the recognition of gaps that obviously exist and the resistance against such absurdity causes political instability, including terrorism. ... [Read more]

No.44
No.44, Diplomacy  Mar. 8, 2018

The range of a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy

The Indo-Pacific strategy is a regional concept that emerged from the history of the long-term development of the global economy, and has never been a simple geopolitical concept for countering China. Japan is expected to conduct strong multilateral diplomacy in the wide region composed of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.   Japanese diplomacy in 2018 is facing the major challenges of the imminent issue of North Korea and the long-term systemic issue of maintaining a liberal world order. The difficult issue of how to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles development and make it move toward denuclearization while maintaining Northeast Asian peace is the most pressing issue for Japan’s diplomacy now. In addition, Japanese diplomacy is facing another major challenge of striving to steer the future world order in a more sound and liberal direction at a time when the US Trump ... ... [Read more]

No.43
No.43, Diplomacy, Discussions  Feb. 13, 2018

Dialogue: Will the Day Come When China and India Coexist as Major Powers?

Horimoto Takenori, Visiting Professor, Gifu Women’s University of Japan Kawashima Shin, Professor, University of Tokyo Kawashima Shin: China is making a range of moves, both large and small, with the National Congress of the Communist Party of China imminent this fall. But we need to keep our eyes on India, in addition to observing how China will change in units of 10 years and 20 years when we think about the future of the world and the future of Asia. Horimoto Takenori: China and India combined are said to have accounted for half of the global GDP in the middle of the 18th century. The same situation is likely to emerge in the second half of the 21st century. To begin with, only two countries in the world, China and India, have populations exceeding 1 billion at the present time. The framework of the ... ... [Read more]

No.42
No.42, Diplomacy, Discussions  Jan. 18, 2018

Dialogue: Abe Commences Double Postwar Settlement at Russo-Japanese Summit Talks Putin Says That National Borders Can Move

Key Points of the Joint Press Conference held on December 16, 2016 The two leaders agreed to commence negotiations for a special system for carrying out joint economic activities on the four Russian-held Northern Islands. The two leaders expressed their shared willingness to conclude a peace treaty and recognized joint economic activities as a step toward its conclusion. Abe expressed the view that the road to the conclusion of a peace treaty covering the Northern Territories issue remains long and difficult. Why the Islands Were Not Discussed Yamauchi: I think many media reported that as usual, no progress was observed on the Northern Territories issue immediately after Russian President Vladimir Putin had talks with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Sato: To state my conclusion first, I think that the latest Russo-Japanese summit produced significant results for both countries. Yamauchi: I agree with you completely. ... ... [Read more]

No.42
No.42, Diplomacy  Jan. 11, 2018

A New Step Forward to “Regions for Japan-Russia Cooperation” — results and challenges from the Japan-Russia summit.

Perhaps because hopes for negotiations between Japan and Russia were so high, there was great disappointment at the results. But when we study the talks in detail, there is evidence for a new stage in the Japan-Russia relationship. So, what is the outlook for these negotiations? It was 15 December 2016. As snow fell on the Yamaguchi Prefecture town of Nagato, a summit was taking place between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin. The event had an unusual start when Putin arrived later than planned, but it was effectively the first official visit to Japan in a year for the Russian president. So, did this “Nagato Summit” succeed, or did it fail? Most of the media reporting on the summit were critical, concluding that a lack of new progress on the territorial negotiations showed failure. To evaluate the summit fairly however, we must understand ... ... [Read more]