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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]

No.35 ,Diplomacy  Oct 18, 2016

For the Advancement of Japan’s International Cooperation
―After the Terrorist Attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Impacts of the Dhaka Terrorist Attack: On the night of July 1st, a restaurant in Dhaka was attacked, and twenty hostages lost their lives. Of these twenty, seven were Japanese. They were all working on the front lines of international cooperation. In a time when ordinary people are being victimized by terrorism, how can we all consider our own safety? This is an important issue to think seriously about not only for our own sake, but also to ensure that the lives of the victims in this attack were not lost in vain. The terrorist attack in Dhaka was a huge shock for me, and it is a truly heartbreaking incident. The victims this time were consultants dispatched by JICA to conduct a survey of the urban transit system in Bangladesh, and they were hoping to contribute to the country’s development. I am absolutely indignant at the way these terrorists have eliminated their opportunity to do so. The surveys conducted this time were urgently needed in Bangladesh... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Oct 07, 2016

Has the Cultural Revolution Become “History” in China?
— Underlying political climate over decades in China

Tsuji Kogo, Representative, Center for Contemporary Materials Research of China

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, which began in China in 1966. The Communist Party of China adopted the “Resolution on certain questions in the history of our party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China” at its Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1981, reviewing the results of the Cultural Revolution as a whole. It may well be said, however, that the evaluation made in the resolution was used by the Chinese leadership as a tool to justify their attempt of putting an end to any further debate regarding the Cultural Revolution. Will the tragedy of the Cultural Revolution repeat itself? In search of answers to this question, in the following article I will discuss the history of the Chinese revolutionary struggle in terms of the country’s underlying political climate.... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Oct 07, 2016

The G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that led to President Obama visiting Hiroshima
— Increased focus on “looking to the future” from all concerned

April 11, 2016, G7 foreign ministers and the EU higher representative laid wreaths and stand in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. ©Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Peace Memorial Park while in Japan for the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hiroshima. Following a concerted effort from the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, atomic bomb survivors and various other parties, this ultimately led to a visit by President Obama. We take a look at what actually happened.... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 29, 2016

Abe’s Tour of Europe Sets the Stage

In an article written before the G7 summit in May and the referendum on membership of the EU in the United Kingdom in June, Professor Endo Ken considers the immediate and potential impact of Prime Minister Abe’s recent meetings with foreign leaders in Europe. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo made a round of calls on European leaders from May 1 to 7 this year. A longer agenda for the visit had been planned, but it had to be shortened due to the earthquakes in Kumamoto from April 14 on. Regardless of the disaster contingency planning and the tight schedule, the Prime Minister had two major reasons for insisting on the round of calls. Firstly, to lay the groundwork for the Ise-Shima Summit (the G7 meeting) slated for May 26 to 27. Phrased like this, it sounds like a routine call, but the actual situation is far... [Read more]

No.34 ,Diplomacy  Sep 29, 2016

Competition and Collaboration with China

The rapid increase in China’s national strength is giving rise to a massive change in the balance of power throughout the Western rim of the Pacific, and these changes are now having a very large impact on regional order. As countries situated in this region and having the world’s second and third largest economies, China and Japan are expected by the international community to bear grave responsibilities with respect to the peace and prosperity of the regional and global order. In recent years, however, China and Japan have been unsuccessful in building the kind of relationship that the international community expects of them. Dialogue between the political leaders of the two countries has been lacking, and the law enforcement agencies of both have been confronting each other in the East China Sea. A Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between China and Japan is desperately needed so that any confrontation... [Read more]

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