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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]

No.33 ,Diplomacy  May 17, 2016

Mao Zedong, Founding Father of the People’s Republic of China, Conspired with the Japanese Army

ENDO Homare, Director, Center of International Relations, Tokyo University of Social Welfare, Professor Emeritus, University of Tsukuba

On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The achievement of Mao Zedong as founding father of the PRC is, indeed, great. If we focus attention on this achievement alone, Mao Zedong can be described as “a man of great stature” who deserves to be respected. It should be noted, however, that the PRC is a state that was ultimately created through victory in the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) forces led by Chiang Kai-shek and forces loyal to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and is not by any means a state created by defeating the Japanese Army in the Sino-Japanese War. The proof of this is that Japan announced defeat on 15 August 1945, but it was 1 October 1949 that the PRC was founded. During this four-year period, the KMT and the CPC... [Read more]

No.30 ,Diplomacy  Feb 15, 2016

Sowing the Seeds for Making the World Nuclear-Free
For Passing on and Sharing the Memories of the Atomic Bombing Seventy Years Ago

Peace Statue at Nagasaki Peace Park

The NPT Conference and Visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Kumagai Shinichiro: The coming summer will be the seventieth since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held the latest Review Conference from April to May this year according to its interval of five years, but it produced no agreement on the final document. First of all, please tell us about your impression of the Review Conference.
TAUE Tomihisa: The fact that the Review Conference produced no agreement on the final document disappointed me deeply. About 100 citizens from Nagasaki took part in the conference ... [Read more]

No.27 ,Diplomacy  Jun 29, 2015

Debates on National Security Should Rule Out One-nation Pacifism

Nishihara Masashi, President, Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS)

The government of Abe Shinzo decided to revise the Japan-U.S. Guidelines on April 27, and approved the bills for “improving the security-related laws” (a bill for the collective revision of ten laws) and “supporting international peace” (a new law) in a cabinet meeting held on May 14. These were submitted to the Diet the following day, May 15. They are expected to significantly change Japan’s defense posture as well as the role of the Japan-U.S. alliance.... [Read more]

No.27 ,Diplomacy  Jun 25, 2015

Sound Argument: New Japan-U.S. Guidelines Strengthened the Bonds of the Alliance

SAKAMOTO Kazuya, Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University

U.S. President Barack Obama described the essence of the Japan-U.S. alliance this way in Japanese at a joint press conference held after his summit conference with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. I believe this single phrase symbolizes the evolution of Japan-U.S. security cooperation based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in collaboration with reciprocity suitable for an alliance and cooperation between sovereign nations through the new Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation.... [Read more]

No.27 ,Diplomacy  Jun 24, 2015

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Address at a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress Revived the Initiative in Public Diplomacy

KANEKO Masafumi, Senior Research Fellow, PHP Institute, Inc.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo delivered an address from the stage at a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on April 29, 2015 as the Prime Minister of Japan, the first such address in 54 years. He was the fourth Prime Minister to deliver such an address following Prime Minister Ikeda Hayato 54 years ago, Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke, the grandfather of Prime Minister Abe, 58 years ago and other predecessors on this occasion. It was, in fact, the first time for a Japanese Prime Minister to deliver an address in front of all the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives at a joint meeting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Partly due to the fact that this year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, before Prime Minister Abe’s address, most attention was only focused... [Read more]