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No.37, Diplomacy  Mar. 31, 2017

Japan and the United States Confront the Past

We must never repeat the horrors of war again,” said Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at Pearl Harbor, echoing U.S. President Barack Obama several months earlier at his historic visit to Hiroshima. These visits were celebrated on both sides, and mark a noticeable change in Japan-US relations. Indeed, for decades after World War II, the United States and Japan forged a remarkable reconciliation but avoided discussing the war. But in these recent bilateral visits, the two governments have begun to address the past. The visits provide a model of historical reconciliation for former enemies that are committed to cooperation. The needs of the present above the needs of the past Remembering war is a fraught enterprise because former enemies often have a vast gap in their perceptions. Countries do not see themselves as an aggressor in the war, but rather view their own actions ... ... [Read more]

No.37, Diplomacy  Mar. 29, 2017

North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Launch Test:Kim Jong-un Deploys Nuclear Missile ― Development is proceeding in an extremely rationalized way, and the target is the US mainland

  Nine” is an auspicious number favored by North Korean leaders. It is also the highest number in Oicho-Kabu, a game played with hanafuda floral playing cards that is also popular on the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong-Il’s birthday fell on February 16, and the constituent numbers, 2 + 1 + 6, also add up to nine. February 7, when a long-range ballistic missile was launched, April 23rd when a submarine-based ballistic missile was launched and May 31 when the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched were all dates that add up to nine. Then, at 9:00 a.m. on September 9 (9:30 a.m. Japan time), North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province. Generating a magnitude 5.0 seismic shock, the size of the explosion was the equivalent of 12-13 kilotons of TNT. This was ... ... [Read more]

No.37, Diplomacy  Mar. 28, 2017

Who are the “Maritime Militia”?Unmasking the Chinese Fisherman Appearing in Waters around the Senkaku Islands

The Chinese “Maritime Militia” has become the topic of discussion following reports of their appearance in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, but this image doesn’t mesh with reality. Of greater concern for Japan should be the alarming actions of the real navy in the area.   This is harassment, directed at Japan. That’s because the Communist Party is angry at Japan for acting as America’s puppet to hinder China on the South China Sea issue. If anything, this action comes too late,” said a Chinese diplomatic official. “Now with issues related to the Senkaku Islands, China is only worried about what action the United States may take.” Why China Expressed Gratitude to Japan Amid an Anti-Japanese Mood Around 1:30 p.m. on August 5, a single Chinese finishing vessel entered the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. This was followed by the entry of ... ... [Read more]

No.36, Diplomacy  Mar. 23, 2017

National Borders in an Uproar (I): Three-Four-Two Formula Engineered by Chinese Government VesselsIssues in the South China Sea Explain the Disturbance around the Senkaku Islands

Leadership in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is trying to direct domestic criticism toward Japan ahead of the Party Congress scheduled for this year. Japan must prepare legal grounds in addition to defense equipment to protect its territories.   Fishing boats and one public vessel from China entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on August 5, 2016. The number of Chinese public vessels that subsequently navigated the contiguous zone reached 15 at one point. A total of 26 public ships from China entered Japanese territorial waters on this occasion. The incident raised concerns in Japan. It was within the scope of reason for about 200 fishing boats from China to flood Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands because the ban on fishing in the East China Sea had lifted on August 1, 2016. However, it was the first time for as ... ... [Read more]

No.36, Diplomacy  Mar. 23, 2017

Chinese Ships Swarm the Senkaku Islands

Chinese fishing boats and one public vessel (a vessel belonging to the government of the People’s Republic of China) entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on August 5, 2016. In the subsequent period through August 18, a total of 32 Chinese public vessels entered Japan’s territorial waters, with a maximum of 15 such ships simultaneously spotted in a zone contiguous to the territorial waters. As many as 15 Chinese public vessels gathered in the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands where approximately 200 to 300 fishing boats from China continued their operations. Those public vessels from China repeatedly intruded in Japanese territorial waters while following the fishing boats. It was the first case of such an event. It is obvious from this incident that China increased the pressure on the Senkaku Islands. However, we must consider the causes of this event from ... ... [Read more]

No.36, Diplomacy  Jan. 27, 2017

Three-Man Discussion: New Frontier of Japanese Diplomacy― Diplomacy forward Africa and Expectations for the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI

TICAD VI marks the first time the event has been held in Africa. The event seeks to explore the possibilities of Japan’s proprietary international cooperation and business with consideration for both the political and economic conditions, which are undergoing rapid changes at dizzying speeds, and the international conditions which can have an impact on these trends. Discussion among Shirato Keiichi (Chief Analyst of the Middle East and Africa Office, International Information Department, Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute), Endo Mitsugi (Professor, Tokyo University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) and Fujita Junzo (Ambassador for TICAD, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Nakamura Kiichiro, Editor in Chief, Gaiko (Diplomacy): What is your opinion on the current political conditions in Africa? Endo Mitsugi: Considering the post-Cold War context, the time immediately after the Cold War ended in the 1990s was a major turning point for African politics. Many countries ... ... [Read more]

No.35, Diplomacy  Nov. 14, 2016

Shouldn’t Cool Japan Be Changed?

Cool (smart and stylish) Nippon (Japan) should be pitched throughout the world. Under the slogan of Cool Japan, the movement for the transmission of Japan’s hidden gems to the world has been brisk. From animation, video games, and other pop culture to Japanese cuisine, many foreigners are drawn to Japanese style. Under such circumstances, shouldn’t the method for the transmission of information be changed? Director Watanabe Hirotaka, Institute for International Relations, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, the foremost authority on research in culture and diplomacy, points out what is missing in the current Cool Japan campaign. What Abe Mario symbolizes The main character that enlivened the final scene at the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the Nintendo video game character, Super Mario, played by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The unexpected performance surprised the media around the world, which applauded it. ... ... [Read more]

No.35, Diplomacy  Oct. 28, 2016

Will the Contradictions between the Xi Jinping Administration and Pax Americana Be Resolved? ―The Decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea and China’s Response

The Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a decision for a case that had been brought by the Republic of Philippines against the People’s Republic of China concerning issues regarding the islands in the South China Sea on July 12, 2016. In the decision, the tribunal basically denied the nine-dash line, on which the People’s Republic of China has based its claim that almost all the islands in the South China Sea are its territories. In addition, in the decision the tribunal judged Taiping Island, whose ground area remains above sea level at high tide and where the Coast Guard Administration of the Republic of China (equivalent to the Japan Coast Guard) has full-time stationed staff and a hospital, to be a rock. The Permanent Court of Arbitration did not attempt to draw a conclusion regarding the territorial issues. The tribunal only made a judgment ... ... [Read more]

No.35, Diplomacy  Oct. 22, 2016

The Spheres in International Politics and Summit Diplomacy

Pursuing a number of independent initiatives, Japanese diplomacy has entered a rare period of productivity in recent years. Despite apparently intensifying turmoil, international politics is actually divided into three spheres. How Japan should react to the situation is the next challenge. ... [Read more]

No.35, Diplomacy  Oct. 18, 2016

The Japan Coast Guard protects the Senkaku Islands to the last

The first “career Commandant” of the Japan Coast Guard speaks about the field operation for the guard of territorial waters. Sato Yuji, who is 62 years of age, held office as the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard for three years until June this year. He attracted public attention for his appointment as the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard, a post reserved for career officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as the first career commandant. We interviewed the commandant, who knows a great deal about field operations and the reality surrounding Japan’s territorial waters.... [Read more]