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No.62, Diplomacy  Nov. 13, 2020

Looking Back at Prime Minister Abe’s Diplomacy: A Political Legacy of the Long-term Abe Administration—Leadership for liberal international order

Kanehara Nobukatsu, Former Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary, Professor of Doshisha University   Interview by Nakamura Kiichiro, Editor-in-Chief of Gaiko (Diplomacy)   ――Professor Kanehara, you were appointed Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary with the formation of the second Abe Cabinet. Prof. Kanehara Nobukatsu: I remember suddenly being told to go to the Prime Minister’s Office on December 28, the day the Abe Cabinet was formed. When forming the Cabinet, a team of three was set up under Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sugita Kazuhiro. It consisted of Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary for Internal Affairs Sasaki Toyonari (from the Ministry of Finance) (later replaced by Furuya Kazuyuki), Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary for Security Takamizawa Nobushige (from the Ministry of Defense), and myself who was in charge of External Affairs. We had excellent teamwork.   ――What was the feeling at the time of ... ... [Read more]

No.62, Discussions, Diplomacy  Nov. 12, 2020

What of the United States? Or Japan? New Visions of Leadership under COVID-19: How Will Leaders Engage the Libertarian Youths Sweeping over the World?

Uno Shigeki vs Watanabe Yasushi The True Nature of Leaders Uncovered in Crisis ―What are your views on the success stories and failures of different countries’ leaders in their COVID-19 responses? Uno Shigeki: When it comes to COVID-19 measures, it’s said that the East Asian countries that have taken a micro approach of tracking individual behavior have been more successful that the European countries that have focused on lockdowns. However, the causal link between differences in policy and the infectious spread is complex. It’s true that the exposure of political leaders has surged due to increasing social media contact by staying at home, but it’s still unclear what difference it’s made in terms of preventing infections. Having said that, it’s also not so that it’s the same the world over. As the first stage of focusing solely on preventing the spread of the virus ... ... [Read more]

No.62, Diplomacy  Nov. 12, 2020

How should Japan approach China, a country that takes a hardline stance against the backdrop of insecurity in the world order?

Kamo Tomoki, Professor, Keio University   Key points China aims to embed its requests into the current world order Both cooperation and coercion, two conflicting concepts, are prominent in its diplomacy with major countries Japan should present a new world order that includes China   China’s external actions are growing tensions in the Asia-Pacific region due to the deepening of the US-China trade friction.   The Communist Party of China (CPC) established developmentalism as one of its slogans and is on a path of reform and open-door policies in which its ruling guarantees internal and external environments that must be established to support the slogan. Through its diplomacy, China aims to facilitate reform and open-door policies; that is, to establish a stable international environment that secures development. It has already accomplished high economic growth and is in the process of becoming a middle-income country. ... ... [Read more]

No.61, Diplomacy  Sept. 25, 2020

The Notes of a Commanding Officer on Site: A Complete 15-Day Record of the Wuhan “Evacuation of Japanese Citizens”: Operating Throughout the Nights, No Time to Be Afraid

Ueno Atsushi, Director-General / Assistant Minister, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (Former Deputy Chief of Mission of Japanese Embassy in China)   Starting in late January, the Japanese government had a total of five chartered airplanes fly to Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China to bring home 828 Japanese citizens living in Hubei Province as well as their families, including Chinese nationals. I was responsible for the “field team” (known as Team A) that assisted in operating flights 1 through 4. This article is a record of those activities. I had been involved in operations to evacuate Japanese citizens from Beijing during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and responding to SARS in 2003. It is not that I attract emergencies, but the reality is that these kinds of emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. This is why it is ... ... [Read more]

No.60, Diplomacy  Sept. 1, 2020

JICA and COVID-19: Tackling Inequalities in Developing Countries

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is implementing a range of infection control support measures against COVID-19 in developing countries. We take a look at some of these measures, with a focus on the policies being implemented to counter the risks and exacerbated disadvantages that women and girls face as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Sawaji Osamu, The Japan Journal   The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is raging across the world. The number of infected rapidly started increasing globally around February 2020, and according to the calculations of the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, there were about 11 million officially confirmed cases and about 530,000 dead in the world as of July 6.     The spread of COVID-19 is dealing serious blows to countries’ societies and economies. Amid this, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is implementing infection control support ... ... [Read more]

No.60, Diplomacy  Aug. 21, 2020

Promoting Japan–South Korean Cooperation and Broadening Empathy: Taking as a Clue the Question of a Japanese Diplomat

There is a gap between Japan and South Korea that is emotionally difficult to bridge. Sunobe Ryozo (1918–2006), who served as Ambassador to South Korea forty years ago, has said that the state of Japan–South Korea relations is a “litmus paper” for Japanese growth. At present, having common values and social issues really is a step toward overcoming the “emotional gap” over historical perceptions.   Kobayashi Somei, Associate Professor, Nihon University   Forty years ago, there was a Japanese diplomat who asked what South Korea is to Japanese diplomacy. It was the then Ambassador to South Korea Sunobe Ryozo, who later also served as Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. In a declassified confidential telegram  titled “Report and Views on Circumstances within the Ministry’s Jurisdiction as well as Policy Proposal” (hereinafter, the “Sunobe Proposal”) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in January 1981, Sunobe wrote ... ... [Read more]

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, 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, 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, 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]