No.48 | Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum

Archives : No.48

Jun-Aug 2018

No.48
Economy, No.48  Aug. 16, 2018

Prospects for the RCEP Negotiations: Protecting the Liberal Economic Order

Key Points: Diverse frameworks are competing to lead the regional order RCEP increasingly important due to US withdrawal from the TPP Concerns that Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is inconsistent with the liberal order The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is an initiative targeting aspects of regional economic integration between the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the six countries that already have free trade agreements (FTA) with the ASEAN (Japan, China, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand). Formally declared open in 2012, the ongoing negotiations aim to establish the rules for eighteen areas including goods, services, investment, rules of origin, intellectual property, competition, and dispute settlement. One of the points in favor of the RCEP is that the members include China and India as well as all ten ASEAN countries. Only four of the ASEAN countries participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ... ... [Read more]

Economy, No.48
Aug. 16, 2018

Prospects for the RCEP Negotiations: Japan and ASEAN Are Key to a Conclusion Within the Year

Key Points: Implementing the RCEP would greatly benefit the global economy. Deter protectionism together with the TPP and the Japan-EU EPA Transitional measures and capacity-building support the negotiation conclusion   On July 1, Tokyo hosted a ministerial meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This was the first ministerial meeting to be held outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). RCEP is a supra-regional economic area (a mega free trade agreement) in East Asia, the center of global economic growth. The sixteen nations participating in the negotiations account for about half of the world’s population (3.4 billion) while the GDP (about USD 20 trillion) and total trade (about USD 10 trillion) account for one third globally. If the agreement is implemented, it will have a substantial and positive impact on both the East Asian and the global economy. Regional cooperation in East ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.48
Aug. 6, 2018

Multilayered Security Cooperation Through the New Type of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance

Half a century has passed since the United Kingdom withdrew from the area east of Suez. The UK, which stands at the major turning point of leaving the European Union, is returning to the east. Japan is developing partnerships with the UK. The new Anglo-Japanese Alliance will make a significant contribution to the stability of the Pacific region. Many British historians say that the modern world is strikingly similar to the time of World War I. In a situation where the great powers have begun to decline, other countries are rising and chaos and uncertainty are spreading all over the world. In Europe, the United Kingdom, which had led the unification of Europe, has decided to leave the European Union (EU). Russia has virtually annexed Crimea, which was part of Ukraine, launched a military intervention into the Middle East for the first time since ... ... [Read more]

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]

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]

Culture, No.48
Jul. 10, 2018

Shinkokinshu: An Anthology for Our Times

  Most Japanese newspapers carry a weekly column of waka (poems in 31 syllables) and haiku (poems in 17 syllables) submitted by readers. This journalistic feature indicates to what extent poetry permeates the everyday lives of the Japanese. Similarly, at the beginning of each year the Emperor holds a competition for waka composed on a topic of his choice, and the people of Japan submit their poems. These modern poetic practices have their roots in the long tradition of court waka. Superior poems produced at the Japanese court over the centuries were collected in a series of anthologies compiled by imperial command. One of these, the Shin Kokin Waka Shu (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry, usually abbreviated to Shinkokinshu), is considered by many to represent the summit of the art, and has the unusual distinction of having been edited personally by the ... ... [Read more]

Culture, No.48
Jun. 29, 2018

The World of the Japanese Newspaper Poetry Column

  Newspaper poetry columns called shimbun kadan have given numerous popular poets their start. They publish verse that is erotic and that is cute, that is about love, and that is about everyday life. Just don’t say that only the people who submit poems read them. The poetry in question is tanka, a short form of poetry having 31 (5-7-5-7-7) syllabets which dates from the Meiji period (1868–1912) and differs from the traditional form of poetry called waka as showcased in the eighth-century Man’yoshu and other such poetry anthologies commissioned by the Emperor. Newspaper tanka are the avant-garde   “That’s a funny place for a mole,” so you said. And so it started.” Yagimoto Motomoto, Tokyo   Is the above really a tanka too? Many people these days might say, “Yes. So what?” It uses colloquial speech and quotation marks; and it ignores the ... ... [Read more]

Politics, Discussions, No.48
Jun. 27, 2018

Surviving Tumultuous Times with the Power of History The Onin War × World War I: Confronting the Chaos in Times without a Hero

Goza Yuichi vs. Hosoya Yuichi Why is the Onin War Important Today? Hosoya Yuichi: I heard that Onin no ran: Sengoku jidai wo unda tairan (The Onin War: The Civil War that Produced the Warring States Period) sold more than 200,000 copies in four months after it was published. Now that books are not selling well, this is a remarkable achievement. Why are so many people paying attention to a book about a war that began 550 years ago that is notorious, but whose cause and results are unclear? What do you think about the readers’ reaction? Goza Yuichi: I might be the most surprised. There are many history buffs in Japan, but I think they basically love tales of heroes, such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Sakamoto Ryoma. When you go to a bookstore, you will see books or magazines ... ... [Read more]