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Diplomacy, No.22  May. 24, 2014

Toward an Asian-Pacific Community

Dr. Iriye Akira, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

As a recipient of The Japan Foundation Awards (2013)*, Dr. IRIYE Akira delivered a commemorative lecture at the International House of Japan in Tokyo on 28 October 2013. Dr. Iriye argued the possibilities of an Asian-Pacific Community as a body that can help to forge more intimate connections throughout the world. The possibilities of an Asia-Pacific Community Some of you in the audience may be wondering, “why an Asia-Pacific Community now?” The concept of the Asia-Pacific as a region or a community has been discussed for quite some time; “Is there anything new to be said?” you may ask. For people of my generation–I left Japan for the United States exactly 60 years ago, not long after the end of World War II–the term “Asia-Pacific” almost inevitably conjures up images of war and conflict. The tragedy of World War II was immediately followed by ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.21  May. 24, 2014

Tension Is Rising in the East China Sea. Will Japan be Able to Defend Its Territories? Dialogue on China’s Dangerous and Unnerving Dream – Japan Needs Strategies from a Geopolitical Viewpoint

Iokibe Makoto Chancellor, Prefectural University of Kumamoto

    Iokibe MakotoChancellor, Prefectural University of Kumamoto Funabashi YoichiChairman, Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation Senkaku Islands Represent the Beginning of a Long Struggle  Iokibe: China began insisting that the Senkaku Islands were its property after a survey found resources in the seabed around them in 1970. China then established its law on territorial waters and in 1992 declared islands in the South China and East China Seas, including the Senkaku Islands, as its own territories. However, China took an enduring position on real action over this issue, thinking it would be OK to stop short of actually taking action until it became possible. Deng Xiaoping used a famous phrase, tao guang yang hui. It was a teaching that asked people to sufficiently cultivate their abilities, rather than taking the attitude of intimidating others by showing their claws, while their actual ability is insufficient. China’s ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.20  Apr. 12, 2014

“More Proactive Contribution to Peace” Changes Japan’s Diplomacy Abe Administration’s Policy Toward Asia and the United States

YACHI Shotaro, National Security Advisor to the Cabinet (Secretary General of National Security Secretariat)

The Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (also known as the “two-plus-two”) meeting was held in Tokyo in October 2013 where the two countries signed an agreement to implement another update to the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation by the end of 2014. This agreement was concluded with the aim of strengthening the bilateral defense cooperation, probably in view of China’s increasing maritime assertiveness, although China was not named specifically in the agreement. It also coincides with the Obama administration’s “rebalancing” toward Asia. While the strained diplomatic relationships with China and Republic of Korea (ROK) do not seem to be getting any better at the moment, the Abe administration has embarked on a multilateral strategic diplomacy centered on the Japan-U.S. alliance which is expected to serve as a strategic move for the administration’s foreign policy. Abe Administration’s Agenda The Abe Administration was inaugurated in December 2012, ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.20  Mar. 26, 2014

China’s Official Views Adrift

One of the topics at a meeting of Sinologists held towards the end of 2013, at what could be called a year-end party, was the recent strangeness of the People’s Daily. The People’s Daily is normally a very straitlaced newspaper that publishes the Chinese Communist Party’s official views. Sinologists in Japan and overseas read it, take notes, and try to analyze changes in Chinese politics based on changes in expressions and in tone. How has the People’s Daily been odd? It has published views that obviously contradict each other. Editorials have been inconsistent with other articles. Views that cannot be considered official have been published. Some Sinologists have analyzed the factors behind this. Some say that the People’s Daily’s governance has weakened. Others say that the oddness simply reflects a diversification in government. Chinese politics has definitely changed significantly. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.20  Mar. 26, 2014

Challenges to the New ASEAN-Japan Partnership in the Changing Regional Circumstances

OBA Mie, Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Science

In 2013, the administration of Abe Shinzo tried to make an impression with its pro-ASEAN policies. During the course of last year, Abe visited all ten ASEAN countries while Kishida Fumio, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and other senior government officials also made frequent visits to the countries in Southeast Asia. Also, in December 2013, the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting was held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan. In addition to the joint ASEAN-Japan statement entitled “Hand in hand, facing regional and global challenges,” the summit meeting adopted various documents including the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and the Implementation Plan for the Vision Statement to emphasize the importance of relations between Japan and ASEAN. Some would say that the pro-ASEAN policies of the Abe administration have been positioned as the centerpiece of Japanese foreign policy toward Asia due to the ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.19  Mar. 10, 2014

Japan’s Responsibility Sharing for the U.S. Extended Deterrence

SATOH Yukio is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).

Japan is now poised to increase its own efforts to enhance the credibility of U.S. extended deterrence, casting aside a long-held ambivalent stance of distancing itself from U.S. nuclear strategy, while relying on it to deter the threat of nuclear weapons. The National Security Strategyadopted on December 17 last year by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-led coalition government of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo recognized that “the extended deterrence of the United States with nuclear deterrence at its core is indispensable” for Japan’s security against the threat of nuclear weapons. It also stressed the country’s preparedness to “work closely” with the United States in order to enhance the credibility of its extended deterrence, including Japan’s own efforts for ballistic missile defense (BMD)[i].  The National Security Strategy was the first policy statement of its kind for Japan, which replaced the Basic Policy for National Defense to ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.18  Jan. 20, 2014

A Nation of Proactive Pacifism — National Strategy for Twenty-first-Century Japan

Japan’s first National Security Strategy, along with the new National Defense Program Guidelines, which were approved by the Cabinet on December 17, 2013, established the idea of “proactively contributing to peace based on the principle of international cooperation” as part of the basic principles of Japan’s future diplomacy and national security policies.  This shift is based on the “proactive pacifism” approach that has been advocated by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo since September 2013. For more than a few foreign observers, it came like a bolt from the blue when Abe began to assert that Japan should become a more proactive contributor to peace, and they therefore found it somewhat difficult to discern his real intentions. However, in fact, Abe was not the first to conceive of a “proactive contribution to peace.” Since the end of the Cold War, certain circles within Japan’s diplomatic and ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.17  Nov. 25, 2013

Special Feature — Win with Diplomacy! The Art of War for a Country that Cannot FightStrategic Ambiguity and a Two-Pronged Approach to China

MIYAMOTO Yuji Former Ambassador to China, Chairman of the Miyamoto Institute of Asian Research

How would one deal with an irritable neighbor? A former ambassador to China, who was closely in touch with people of China for four years, unlocks the mystery of their thought processes and mentality. “Know the enemy and know yourself” China’s economic development has been remarkable. Its nominal GDP was merely a quarter that of Japan in 2000, and yet it overtook Japan in 2010. It achieved a five-fold increase in ten years. The size of China’s economy reached 8.2270 trillion dollars in 2012, leaving Japan’s 5.9640-trillion-yen economy nearly 40 percent behind. Xi Jiping’s Chinese Communist Party has publicly committed to double the 2010 GDP in 2020 in real terms. If the Japanese economy does not grow, the economy will be half that of China’s in 2020. Growth in China’s military expenditures has been exceptional as well. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) ... ... [Read more]

Discussions, Diplomacy, No.16  Oct. 8, 2013

Accidental Explosion or Maturity? The Future of China’s Expanding Military Power — Capability and Intentions Analyzed by Former Senior Leaders of the Japan Self-Defense Forces

Koda Yoji Former Commander in Chief, Self-Defense Fleet (Vice Admiral) of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Numerical analysis reveals the formidable raw power of the Chinese military  Koda Yoji: Fear and anxiety about China’s People’s Liberation Army has been spreading in Japan as China has rapidly expanded its military spending in recent years, but its real capability is relatively unknown. I am afraid this story is taking on a life of its own. Today I would like to discuss matters related to China’s military power by calmly analyzing it, because if we overestimate or underestimate its power we won’t be able to deal with it properly as a nation.  Yamaguchi Noboru: First, let’s begin by confirming China’s defense budget. According to the Chinese government, China’s defense spending reached $90.2 billion in 2011, an eighteen-fold increase over the past twenty years. China has been regularly doubling its defense budget every five years. This reflects the growth of China’s GDP. Incidentally, the ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 6, 2013

(JAPAN POLITICS CHANGED?) Will Japan Heed the Doctors’ Warning?

The book Megachange: The World in 2050 by journalists of The Economist magazine in Britain offers a pessimistic forecast for Japan in the middle of the current century. Professor Matake Kamiya examines the book’s prescriptions. The world’s most aged society will emerge in Japan in 2050, when the median age will climb to 52.3 years and the number of dependents will be neck and neck with the working age population. The annual GDP growth rate during the period between 2011 and 2050 will average 3.7 percent worldwide, 5.2 percent in developing countries in Asia, and among developed countries, 2.3 percent... [Read more]