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No.68, Discussions, Diplomacy  Nov. 25, 2021

Witnessing a Turning Point for Japanese Diplomacy: The War Against Terror and Japan-US Relations as Seen from the Heart of Political Power

Fukuda Yasuo, former Prime Minister of Japan Interviewed by Tanaka Akihiko, President of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)   Tanaka Akihiko: On September 11, 2001, a series of terror attacks occurred in the United States. Subsequently, the world entered the age of “fight against terrors.” It was six months after the Koizumi Administration had been launched. As the then Chief Cabinet Secretary, you were at the heart of that administration, so how did you interpret these events at the time?   Fukuda Yasuo: It was around ten at night when the first report of the terror attacks reached me, amidst a meeting with media representatives. The report was that a plane had hit one of the New York World Trade Center buildings. At first, I thought it was an accident, but just as I left for home, I received news that ... ... [Read more]

No.68, Diplomacy  Nov. 24, 2021

The Southeast Asian Countries’ Strategy for China and New Expectations for Japan

Takagi Yusuke, Associate Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies   The basic goal of the Southeast Asian countries’ strategy for China is to maintain strategic autonomy and aim for economic prosperity amid the US-China conflict. They cannot ignore the US-China conflict in terms of either supply chains or the security environment. Cooperation with countries outside of Southeast Asia is also essential for both budget and technology reasons if they wish to strengthen their defensive capabilities. In this article, I first give an overview of China’s presence based on a survey [The State of Southeast Asia: 2021 Survey Report] conducted by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore. Next, I examine how the South China Sea situation, which is one of the reasons for concern about China, was discussed by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) ... ... [Read more]

No.67, Diplomacy  Nov. 16, 2021

The Biden Administration’s Policy on China: From “Engagement” to “Competition” — US Policy Change

Sahashi Ryo, Associate professor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo   Not much longer than a half year since its inception, it has already become evident that China is at the core of the Biden administration’s global strategy. Moreover, it is talking about rebuilding US-Europe relations and the international cooperation system, take on the climate crisis, and stop the retreat of global democracy. The Democratic Party’s left wing has called for an exploration of internationalism that does not overemphasize military affairs, while the Biden administration criticizes the diplomacy of the Trump era and stresses the revival of US leadership.  On March 3 in 2021, the Biden administration released “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance” as a provisional version of the “National Security Strategy” (NSS). In the guidance, China is described as the “only competitor,” paying more attention to China than to Russia. ... ... [Read more]

No.67, Discussions, Diplomacy  Nov. 15, 2021

100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party: The Xi Jinping administration in history

General Secretary Xi Jinping has been concentrating power on his own person. However, the policy is deeply engraved with decades of efforts for reform and opening up as well as “intra-party democracy.” Using Xi’s speech at the commemorative ceremony of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, we decipher its historical continuity and transformation.   Miyamoto Yuji (former Ambassador of Japan to the People’s Republic of China, Chairman of the Miyamoto Institute of Asian Research) Okazaki Kumiko (Research Director, the Canon Institute for Global Studies) Kawashima Shin (Professor, University of Tokyo)     —On July 1, 2021, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held a grand ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. From a historical point of view, how do you see the current government of the Xi Jinping administration? ... ... [Read more]

No.67, Diplomacy  Nov. 7, 2021

Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, 2015 Japan’s Legislation for Peace and Security and the North Korea issue―Ten years of national security and crisis management under three prime ministers

Kitamura Shigeru, former Secretary General of the National Security Secretariat   Kitamura Shigeru served as Secretary General of the National Security Secretariat before stepping down for health reasons in July 2021. Committed to developing Japan’s national security system and information organizations, Kitamura handled various situations while serving under three prime ministers after assuming the Director of Cabinet Intelligence post to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Administration in 2011. On the publication of his book Joho to Kokka (Intelligence and the state) by Chuo Koron Shinsha in September, Chuo Koron magazine asked Mr. Kitamura about Japan’s national security and what makes an excellent bureaucrat. The Abe Cabinet Improved the System ——Japan’s security and intelligence systems were improved considerably during the seven years and eight months of the Abe Shinzo Cabinet. That’s right. The Abe Cabinet, inaugurated in December 2012, introduced groundbreaking reforms across the whole national security organization. ... ... [Read more]

No.67, Diplomacy  Oct. 27, 2021

Toward New Solidarity in Global Health: Universal Health Coverage and Reform at the WHO

As COVID-19 infections spread across the world, the question of how vulnerable health and medical systems in developing countries will weather the crisis is an urgent issue. We track new approaches and the progress of a health diplomacy based on Universal Health Coverage. (The interview was held on January 6, 2021 and the transcript was finalized on January 19.)   Dr. Ezoe Satoshi, Director, Global Health Policy Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Interview by Nakamura Kiichiro, editor-in-chief, Gaiko (Diplomacy)   ——Dr. Ezoe, until August 2020 you were mainly overseeing global health at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York. Dr. Ezoe Satoshi: In January 2020, we had reports from Wuhan in China of an outbreak of infection. By February, the spread of infection on the Diamond Princess was widely reported in Japan, but in New York ... ... [Read more]

No.67, Discussions, Diplomacy  Oct. 13, 2021

The Urgent Need to Establish “Strategic Autonomy” and “Strategic Indispensability”—economic security strategy for a digital transformation society

Amari Akira, Member of the House of Representatives Interviewed by Tanaka Akihiko, President of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)     Tanaka Akihiko: As Chairperson of the Strategic Headquarters on the Creation of a New International Order, Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party you put together two proposals: “Towards ‘Formulating Economic Security Strategy’” (December 2020) and “Interim report: Basic Policy for Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform 2021” (May 2021).   Amari Akira: Economic statecraft, to put it bluntly, is forcing the other party to accept one’s demands using economic means… and such a thing has been used repeatedly throughout history all over the world. For example, following a 2010 incident in the sea off the Senkaku Islands, China effectively halted exports of rare earth materials to Japan. There are also people who criticize the United States for ... ... [Read more]

No.66, Diplomacy  Sept. 27, 2021

Modern Economic Security: Definition and Arguments

“Economic security” has emerged as a key aspect of national strategy to ensure the safety of citizens and preserve the value of the nation. But the complete domestication of strategically important industries is not realistic. Being accepted as an essential part of global supply chains on the technical side is important.   Suzuki Kazuto, Professor, University of Tokyo   Economic security is a concept that continues to be a pivotal part of modern economic and industrial policies. It is even reflected in the government’s “Growth Strategy” and “Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform 2021 (the 2021 Basic Policy),” in response to the proposal “Towards ‘Formulating Economic Security Strategy” prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s Strategic Headquarters on the Creation of a New International Order and unveiled in December 2020. In each of these documents, economic security is defined in ... ... [Read more]

No.66, Discussions, Diplomacy  Sept. 14, 2021

Roundtable talk: How to Face the “Invisible Threat”: Thinking about the International Order of Norms, Technology, and Institutions

Parallel with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing a variety of challenges. Will the Biden administration be able to regain the “normative power” of the United States? What is the problem with the emergence of Chinese companies in telecommunications space? Of importance here should be that we calmly interpret the actuality of these “threats” as well as the revival and restoration of liberal society itself.   Oba Mie (Professor at Kanagawa University), Kohno Kenji (Chief Commentator at NHK), Suzuki Kazuto (Professor at University of Tokyo), moderated by Hosoya Yuichi (Professor at Keio University)     Hosoya Yuichi: This is a roundtable talk to get an outlook on 2021, but we have to start with a dark topic. Right at the beginning of the year on January 6, Trump supporters invaded the United States Capitol and occupied it temporarily, leading to five deaths.   ... ... [Read more]

No.66, Discussions, Diplomacy  Sept. 11, 2021

The Quad: Effectiveness of “Cooperation in Peacetime Situations”

The Quad—officially the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a forum joining Japan, Australia, India and the United States—has recently attracted attention, but how much does it actually affect order building in reality. The four countries will need to rid themselves of overestimation, advance functional cooperation, and gradually accumulate steady outcomes.   Ito Toru (Professor of National Defense Academy), Satake Tomohiko (Senior research fellow of Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies) and Mori Satoru (Professor of Hosei University FOIP for Japanese diplomacy ――The “Free and Open Indo‐Pacific” (FOIP) has become a foreign relations concept shared by Japan and many other countries. In particular, the cooperative relationship of Japan, Australia, India and the United States, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), is drawing attention.   Satake Tomohiko: The concept of a “free and open international order” that FOIP touts is not necessarily new. Since the Cold War era, ... ... [Read more]