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Discussions, Diplomacy, No.42  Jan. 18, 2018

Dialogue: Abe Commences Double Postwar Settlement at Russo-Japanese Summit Talks Putin Says That National Borders Can Move

Key Points of the Joint Press Conference held on December 16, 2016 The two leaders agreed to commence negotiations for a special system for carrying out joint economic activities on the four Russian-held Northern Islands. The two leaders expressed their shared willingness to conclude a peace treaty and recognized joint economic activities as a step toward its conclusion. Abe expressed the view that the road to the conclusion of a peace treaty covering the Northern Territories issue remains long and difficult. Why the Islands Were Not Discussed Yamauchi: I think many media reported that as usual, no progress was observed on the Northern Territories issue immediately after Russian President Vladimir Putin had talks with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Sato: To state my conclusion first, I think that the latest Russo-Japanese summit produced significant results for both countries. Yamauchi: I agree with you completely. ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.42  Jan. 11, 2018

A New Step Forward to “Regions for Japan-Russia Cooperation” — results and challenges from the Japan-Russia summit.

Perhaps because hopes for negotiations between Japan and Russia were so high, there was great disappointment at the results. But when we study the talks in detail, there is evidence for a new stage in the Japan-Russia relationship. So, what is the outlook for these negotiations? It was 15 December 2016. As snow fell on the Yamaguchi Prefecture town of Nagato, a summit was taking place between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin. The event had an unusual start when Putin arrived later than planned, but it was effectively the first official visit to Japan in a year for the Russian president. So, did this “Nagato Summit” succeed, or did it fail? Most of the media reporting on the summit were critical, concluding that a lack of new progress on the territorial negotiations showed failure. To evaluate the summit fairly however, we must understand ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.41  Sept. 11, 2017

Japan and the European migrant crisis: Not “someone else’s problem”

  The difference between the tone of Japan’s internal debate and the global debate The controversy surrounding President Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies has died down. However, with Trump’s plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico and his ban on travel from seven Muslim countries currently on hold, this does not mean that these policies have gone away. The migrant and refugee crisis is being hotly debated at the international level. Why is Japan’s reaction to the crisis so lacking in momentum? Whether refugees or economic migrants, both want to live somewhere with a better environment outside their own country because the social and economic conditions in their own country are difficult. People’s “freedom of movement” is a principle of democracy. If you call this idealism, then that is the end of it, but any country which professes to be an ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.40  Aug. 2, 2017

Japanese “Armitage-Nye Report” Launched

With the arrival of the Trump administration came a sense of bewilderment, in the face of a new style of diplomacy unlike anything that had gone before. Nonetheless, we need to avoid doing anything that could damage the Japan-US alliance, an important public good for stability and prosperity in East Asia. A group of experts in Japanese diplomacy has come together to set out a proposal for both the Japanese and US administrations. On April 5 this year, a joint research program on intellectual exchange between Japan and the United States (Mt. Fuji Dialogue), co-organized by the Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER) and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), launched a policy proposal report entitled “Toward a Greater Alliance,” setting out a vision for Japan-US relations in the future. The report was the result of intense deliberations by selected Japanese members of ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.37  Mar. 31, 2017

Post-TPP Trade Vision ―Ordeal of multilateral trade without the U.S.

“The TPP will take jobs away.” The issues of trade policy held lead to the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Will the U.S. become protectionist? If so, how should we handle disputes? We will look at the future of world trade after the collapse of the TPP.   The inauguration of the new Trump administration in the U.S. is increasing fears that the international economic order will become destabilized. By the time this paper has been published, President Trump will have ended his inauguration speech and I hope that the specific policies of the internal order will be made clear. However, his arguments at his first press conference as the president-elect held in January did not vary significantly from his arguments during the election campaign and did not reveal his specific policies for the U.S. on international trade. As a result, a sense of ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.37  Mar. 31, 2017

Japan and the United States Confront the Past

We must never repeat the horrors of war again,” said Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at Pearl Harbor, echoing U.S. President Barack Obama several months earlier at his historic visit to Hiroshima. These visits were celebrated on both sides, and mark a noticeable change in Japan-US relations. Indeed, for decades after World War II, the United States and Japan forged a remarkable reconciliation but avoided discussing the war. But in these recent bilateral visits, the two governments have begun to address the past. The visits provide a model of historical reconciliation for former enemies that are committed to cooperation. The needs of the present above the needs of the past Remembering war is a fraught enterprise because former enemies often have a vast gap in their perceptions. Countries do not see themselves as an aggressor in the war, but rather view their own actions ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.37  Mar. 29, 2017

North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Launch Test:Kim Jong-un Deploys Nuclear Missile ― Development is proceeding in an extremely rationalized way, and the target is the US mainland

  Nine” is an auspicious number favored by North Korean leaders. It is also the highest number in Oicho-Kabu, a game played with hanafuda floral playing cards that is also popular on the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong-Il’s birthday fell on February 16, and the constituent numbers, 2 + 1 + 6, also add up to nine. February 7, when a long-range ballistic missile was launched, April 23rd when a submarine-based ballistic missile was launched and May 31 when the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched were all dates that add up to nine. Then, at 9:00 a.m. on September 9 (9:30 a.m. Japan time), North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province. Generating a magnitude 5.0 seismic shock, the size of the explosion was the equivalent of 12-13 kilotons of TNT. This was ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.37  Mar. 28, 2017

Who are the “Maritime Militia”?Unmasking the Chinese Fisherman Appearing in Waters around the Senkaku Islands

  The Chinese “Maritime Militia” has become the topic of discussion following reports of their appearance in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, but this image doesn’t mesh with reality. Of greater concern for Japan should be the alarming actions of the real navy in the area.   This is harassment, directed at Japan. That’s because the Communist Party is angry at Japan for acting as America’s puppet to hinder China on the South China Sea issue. If anything, this action comes too late,” said a Chinese diplomatic official. “Now with issues related to the Senkaku Islands, China is only worried about what action the United States may take.” Why China Expressed Gratitude to Japan Amid an Anti-Japanese Mood Around 1:30 p.m. on August 5, a single Chinese finishing vessel entered the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. This was followed by the entry ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.36  Mar. 23, 2017

National Borders in an Uproar (I): Three-Four-Two Formula Engineered by Chinese Government VesselsIssues in the South China Sea Explain the Disturbance around the Senkaku Islands

Leadership in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is trying to direct domestic criticism toward Japan ahead of the Party Congress scheduled for this year. Japan must prepare legal grounds in addition to defense equipment to protect its territories.   Fishing boats and one public vessel from China entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on August 5, 2016. The number of Chinese public vessels that subsequently navigated the contiguous zone reached 15 at one point. A total of 26 public ships from China entered Japanese territorial waters on this occasion. The incident raised concerns in Japan. It was within the scope of reason for about 200 fishing boats from China to flood Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands because the ban on fishing in the East China Sea had lifted on August 1, 2016. However, it was the first time for as ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.36  Mar. 23, 2017

Chinese Ships Swarm the Senkaku Islands

Chinese fishing boats and one public vessel (a vessel belonging to the government of the People’s Republic of China) entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on August 5, 2016. In the subsequent period through August 18, a total of 32 Chinese public vessels entered Japan’s territorial waters, with a maximum of 15 such ships simultaneously spotted in a zone contiguous to the territorial waters. As many as 15 Chinese public vessels gathered in the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands where approximately 200 to 300 fishing boats from China continued their operations. Those public vessels from China repeatedly intruded in Japanese territorial waters while following the fishing boats. It was the first case of such an event. It is obvious from this incident that China increased the pressure on the Senkaku Islands. However, we must consider the causes of this event from ... ... [Read more]