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No.60
No.60, Diplomacy  Aug. 21, 2020

Challenges for Strengthening the Japan-US Alliance: Japanese Role Questions through Japan-US “Integration”

Sixty years have passed since the Japan-US Security Treaty entered into force. The Alliance has transformed as the times have changed. With the rise of China, the alliance is again in a new stage.   Onodera Itsunori, Member of the House of Representatives, Chairperson, Research Commission on National Security of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan   ―― Sixty years have passed since the Japan-US Security Treaty entered into force. Onodera Itsunori: As an agreement that would become the foundation for the Japan-US Alliance, the basis for Japan’s national security, there is no mistaking that the Japan-US Security Treaty has greatly contributed to the safety and growth of postwar Japan and peace and prosperity for eastern Asia. However, the fact that China has gained not only economic power, but also political and militaristic power since the dawn of the century greatly impacts Japan’s national ... ... [Read more]

No.60
No.60, Diplomacy  Aug. 21, 2020

Maritime Security: Japan’s Plans in a Changing World

China’s activities in the East China Sea have increased steadily since 2008 and have intensified still further since the outbreak of COVID-19. The Councilors’ Meeting of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy in Japan has submitted a new set of recommendations to the Prime Minister in response to these and other challenges facing Japan as a maritime nation. Mizuno Tetsu, freelance writer   Since the appearance of COVID-19, the territorial incursions of Chinese government vessels into the waters around the Senkaku Islands, effectively controlled by Japan, have been almost continuous. Over the course of four days from July 2 to 5 this year, Chinese government vessels intruded into Japanese territorial waters for a total of 39 hours, repeatedly entering and withdrawing.     On July 7, Suga Yoshihide, Chief Cabinet Secretary stated, “I’m in no position to comment on the intention behind the activities of ... ... [Read more]

No.59
No.59, Diplomacy  Jul. 31, 2020

In Memoriam: OGATA Sadako – a giant of humanity and international cooperation whom the world loved and respected

Mrs. OGATA Sadako has passed away. Although she lived to a ripe old age, her passing is truly regrettable. She was one of the world’s great leaders, without the slightest need to qualify it with words like “as a woman” or “as a Japanese”. KITAOKA Shinichi, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) As a student of Professor OKA Yoshitake Mrs. Ogata completed a doctoral thesis at the University of California, Berkeley, but around that time, she was also mentored by Professor OKA Yoshitake (1902–1990), a specialist in Japanese political and diplomatic history at the Faculty of Law, the University of Tokyo. Professor Oka was also the mentor of my mentor (MITANI Taichiro, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo), so I am one of the students of Professor Oka. Professor Oka’s students, who are active in a variety of fields, had a tradition of ... ... [Read more]

No.59
No.59, Discussions, Diplomacy  Jun. 29, 2020

Three Experts Discuss: Will the China Model Conquer the World? What Will Happen? The Xi Jinping System After COVID-19

Miyamoto Yuji (former Ambassador of Japan to the People’s Republic of China, Chairman of the Miyamoto Institute of Asian Research), Kawashima Shin (Professor, University of Tokyo), and Ako Tomoko (Professor, University of Tokyo) What COVID-19 Has Brought to Light Miyamoto Yuji: COVID-19 has shaken many of the world’s fundamentals, revealing things that hadn’t been visible before. One is US–China relations. For example, the US’s strictest policy against China is decoupling, but COVID-19 has stopped the movement of people, severed supply chains, and had a major negative impact on the US economy, so is it really possible to establish a decoupling relationship with China? Also, until now, the Xi Jinping administration has talked about the “China Dream” to build a country peerless in the world by the mid-century, but isn’t that a dream founded on extremely optimistic predictions? I hope that China can make this experience ... ... [Read more]

No.59
No.59, Diplomacy  Jun. 24, 2020

Rapid infectious disease response is needed: Challenges seen from the frontlines of politics

Various challenges such as political leadership, preparation of medical systems, the relationship between the central and local governments, and the requirements of an emergency law on infectious diseases have become apparent as we respond to the unprecedented infectious disease (COVID-19). An expert on global health administration lays out a comprehensive set of issues for the current and future public health emergencies.   Takemi Keizo, member of the House of Councillors   At the time of writing this article, the world was facing the biggest global-health crisis of the twenty-first century due to COVID-19. From the end of 2019 and into 2020, COVID-19 had spread not just within China from Wuhan City in Hubei Province, but also to Japan and the rest of the world, owing to the fact that its initial spread coincided with the Chinese New Year holiday. As Chairperson of the Special ... ... [Read more]

No.59
No.59, Diplomacy  Jun. 23, 2020

A Preeminent Japanese Former International Civil Servant Reveals: Why the Pro-China Bias? – The WHO’s True Identity

Akasaka Kiyotaka, President, Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ)   From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Akasaka worked in the secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) supporting Mr. Nakajima Hiroshi, the Director-General at that time, and the first Japanese head of an international organization under the United Nations. Before and after that Mr. Akasaka has worked a total of seventeen years as an international civil servant at GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), the predecessor of the WTO (World Trade Organization), the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, among others. Currently, Mr. Akasaka conveys information about Japan’s position to overseas media as the President for the Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ) and verifies their news coverage of Japan. China’s Presence   ― China has been investing in African nations through its Belt and Road ... ... [Read more]

No.58
No.58, Discussions, Diplomacy  Jun. 12, 2020

Special Roundtable: Japanese Foreign Policy in 2020—Let us be a bond for a multilateral international order

How can we make the United States and China, countries with immense national power that at times opt for unilateralism, commit to the international order? Foreign Minister Motegi answers questions on how he intends to guide Japan’s foreign policy in 2020.   Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs vs Tanaka Akihiko, President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)   Tanaka Akihiko: You have served in many important ministerial roles before now, but could you share your thoughts on your time so far as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu: It has already been almost four months since September 11, 2019 when I took up my role as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Immediately after becoming Foreign Minister I visited New York to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations, where I attended multi-party meetings on topics such as reforming the UN ... ... [Read more]

No.58
No.58, Diplomacy  Jun. 8, 2020

Between the “China Dream” and the “Pacific Alliance”: Japanese Strategy in an Age of US–China Rivalry

Shiraishi Takashi, Chancellor, Prefectural University of Kumamoto   US–China rivalry, the “new” Cold War, strategic competition… people have given it many names. Yet it is evident that the intensification of US–China rivalry is bringing considerable changes to the international relations of Asia and the world. How did it turn out like this? What is happening? How is it different from the Cold War? What does it mean for Japan? The Larger Context of World History Let us start by checking a few aspects of the larger context of world history. The first is the rise of emerging countries. Entering the twenty-first century, emerging countries’ share of the world economy has grown while that of developed countries has contracted. Globalization has facilitated significant growth of emerging countries and these emerging countries see the twenty-first century as their time. However, their income per capita is no ... ... [Read more]

No.58
No.58, Diplomacy  Jun. 5, 2020

Infectious Disease Response — to see the forest, not just the trees: What differentiated Japan from the Western countries?

Oshitani Hitoshi, Professor, Department of Virology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine   ―― COVID-19 (virus is SARS-CoV2) has spread globally and countries around the world are still working to suppress transmissions and treat patients.   Dr. Oshitani Hitoshi: The first report of COVID-19 by the Chinese government was at the end of last year, but it is likely that by late November, there were transmissions spreading in Wuhan City and surround areas of Hubei Province. Spread of COVID-19 in Japan had two major waves so far. The first wave was originated by people with travel history to Wuhan and other places in China. From January to early February, the number of cases from China found in Japan was 11. Of course, there were considered to be more imported cases from China in reality, but it was likely somewhere around several tens to about a ... ... [Read more]

Blog
Diplomacy  Jun. 1, 2020

Building International Cooperation in Infection Control Measures: The Role of Japanese Diplomacy as We Enter the Post-Coronavirus World

Sakabe-Mori Aki, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba   People have pointed out the lack of international cooperation in the response to COVID-19, said to be the greatest ordeal of the postwar period. At the General Meeting of the WHO on May 18, 2020, China announced that it would donate the large sum of 2 billion dollars in response to COVID-19, while the United States criticized the WHO for being “pro-Chinese,” thus making the meeting a stage for US–China conflict. At the time of writing this article (June 1, 2020), there is still no clear prospect for international cooperation in infection control measures. In this paper, I consider how Japanese diplomacy can contribute to the building of such international cooperation. The shortage of masks, protective gear, artificial respirators, and other medical supplies is emblematic of how international cooperation is ... ... [Read more]