Prof. Akiko Yamanaka
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
January 12, 2006
Political dynamics in the international arena have changed radically since the end of the cold war. Both developed and developing countries need to establish a new economic and political framework in order to fulfill their roles as leading members of a peaceful world community.
After the cold war, the international landscape has been extensively marked by an increase in ethnic and religious conflicts, drugs, terrorism, and a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in addition to natural disasters like tsunami.
I. THE TIDE OF HISTORY
I would like to point out three elements which indicate where we are and which direction we should take:
1) The first element is transition. We are in a transition period from traditional approaches to new ones across a range of issues. This means at any time unexpected circumstances can jeopardize peace and stability in many regions of the world. Therefore, solid regional and global institutions and ties are necessary in order to develop systems of cooperation amongst states and peoples.
2) The second element is the changing nature of security. The nature of security has been evolving since the end of the cold war from "against" to "with".
During the cold war, security meant being "against" certain countries. However, the concept of security now should be "with" every nation /state that is a part of each region. This means that we must make efforts to establish trustworthy relations among countries so that peace and stability can be established in the each region on the globe. We must also recognize that security is increasingly complex and multifaceted.
In addition, most of us would agree that the concept of security is being broadened considerably and continuously, to incorporate military, political, economic, societal and environmental dimensions, and the inter-linkages between them. For many people in the world, much greater threats to security come from internal conflicts, disease, hunger, environmental contamination, street crime, or even domestic violence. And for others, a greater threat may come from their own country itself, like Uzbekistan at this moment, rather than from an 'external' adversary.
We are moving towards a non-traditional concept of human security which revolves around individual and community welfare.
3) The third element is coalition. After the terrorist acts on September 11th, the need for international cooperation that transcends national borders has become more important than before. Even the United States, the sole superpower, cannot function without a coalition of States. In international relations, this is recognized as the post, post-cold war phenomenon.
Japan and Europe undoubtedly occupy favorable environments in the global community, politically as well as economically. We must not forget, however, that both Japan and Europe once experienced the ravages of war, and that the extraordinary wisdom, courage and endeavours of our forerunners in the post-war years have enabled us to enjoy the prosperity of the current day. I want to point out, as one aspect of such wisdom, that the firm belief in freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and other fundamental values, has been instrumental in economic revivals in both Japan and Europe.
The bonds linking Japan and Europe lie in these shared values. It is because we share these beliefs that Japan and Europe have recognized the need for partnership, and continue to promote cooperation in that direction. The "partnership" between Japan and Europe was first mentioned in writing in the 1991 Japan-EC Joint Declaration (Joint Declaration on Relations between The European Community and its Member States and Japan). This statement at the outset reconfirms the consciousness of both Europe and Japan of their common values. Since 1992, Japan has been a partner of the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). Japan also has been enjoying its status as the only Asian nation observer in the Council of Europe since 1996.
Europe, in particular has actively continued its effort to introduce common fundamental values to be shared in the region, and this promotion of values has been instrumental in successfully bringing about political and economic stability in Europe. Japan highly commends this success, and is supportive of such efforts made by Europe.
As a symbol of the cooperation between Japan and Europe, I point out the consolidation of peace and the support for democracy in the Western Balkan region. For the elections held in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan contributed on the human front, in the awareness that Japan's participation as a non-European state is significant in maintaining fairness and neutrality in both the supervising and monitoring of the voting process. Japanese personnel continues to be active in the current OSCE Macedonia mission. On the financial front, Japan has furnished a total of some 1.3 billion dollars in assistance to the Western Balkans since the fall of the Yugoslav Republic, as the biggest contributor to economic reconstruction. Moreover, a Western Balkans Tourism Development Regional Conference took place last October in Sarajevo, as a follow-up to the "2004 Ministerial Conference on Peace Consolidation and Economic Development in the Western Balkans" held in Tokyo through joint sponsorship with the EU.
The OSCE approaches the issue of security not solely from the political and military perspective, but rather under a concept of comprehensive security which embraces human, economic and environmental dimensions. This concept is similar to the idea of "human security" - a theory on which we Japanese set a very high value, because the "human security" concept encompasses a wider range of areas including traditional and non-traditional security such as water security, energy security, and environmental perspectives. Thus, value-driven organization like the OSCE, which introduced the "human security" vision to its operations, would provide a vital key for enlisting greater participation and cooperation from countries in other regions and international organizations.
Differences Between East Asia and Europe
I would like to promote successful Japan-Europe cooperation to be carried out in other parts of the world, especially in Asia.
In comparison to Europe, East Asia is richly diversified in terms of political systems, stages of economic development, ethnic groups, religion, and on other fronts. The perceptions of security and the awareness of threats also differ from country to country, while not all nations in the region share the same fundamental values that Japan and Europe possess in common. On this point, the origins of the attempt to evolve an "East Asian community," a vision currently being advanced by Japan and its Asian partners, differ from those of the European Union - a community founded by countries that share fundamental values, culture, and their stages of economic development.
East Asia Summit
Yet, last year, the countries of East Asia have taken the first step toward community building in the future, while paying close consideration to the region's diversity.
The "East Asia Summit," held for the first time in December 2005, brought together the heads of 16 countries - the ASEAN nations, Japan, China, Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand - for frank debate on the right road to a future of regional cooperation. At the Summit, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi clearly stated "I aspire to further develop the East Asia Summit as a forum for strategic discussions from broader perspectives on the basic principles of regional cooperation, and the approaches to common issues, with a view to building an East Asian community in the future."
The Summit concluded with the adoption of the "Kuala Lumpur Declaration," that the East Asia Summit "could play an significant role" in community building in this region, providing an open, inclusive and transparent framework in which the participating countries strive to strengthen global norms and universally recognized values as well as regional peace and stability.
East Asia Security Environment
The security environment in the East Asia Region differs from that in Europe. In particular, East Asia has not seen the major changes in its security environment that Europe experienced with the end of the Cold War era. It can be said that in East Asia the Cold War structure continues to exist today in some respects. The degree of existing military transparency also widely differs from country to country.
For example, there are countries in East Asia that face the issues of nuclear missiles, tense cross-strait relations, and real security problems. And there are others that face internal secession and independence movements, as well as who possess territorial disputes.
Since 2002, the international community has once again heightened its concern regarding the nuclear issue in North Korea. From the Japanese point of view, Japan can be surrounded by nuclear nations if the Korean Peninsula is unified.
In addition, the human rights issue in North Korea has also emerged as a concern for the international community. Last month, through diplomatic efforts by the EU, Japan and other co-sponsor countries, a resolution on the "Situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" was adopted by a plenary session of the UN General Assembly for the first time. The victims of abductions apparently are not limited to Japanese citizens.
Modernization of China's Military
The recent Chinese market expansion following the country's economic growth is bringing major economic opportunities to Japan, Europe and other world regions. It is understandable that recent European interest in China is due to this development. Japan also welcomes China's dynamic economic development, and regards this as its "opportunity."
Examining Chinese defence spending in 2005, the National People's Congress last year announced the figure at 244.7 billion yuan (approximately 29.5 billion dollars), a 12.6 percent increase over 2004. The Chinese national defence expenditures announced for 2005 are roughly double those declared in 2000, and triple those from 1997. These figures truly suggest a swift-paced expansion of military expenditure. It is said that in China announced defence expenditures does not include areas such as arms purchases, research, or development.
According to the 2005-2006 edition of "The Military Balance," the total number of submarines is increasing from 52 in 1995 to 69 in 2005 which include 4 Kilo-class tactical submarines and 3 Song-class. In the same way, China possesses 251 modern type 4th generation fighters in 2005 (62 J-10s, 73 Su-30s, 116 Su-27s) compared to 26 in 1995 (22 Su-27s, 4 Su-27Bs). It is hoped that China increases its transparency on its national defence policies, and military capabilities as the EU countries have done.
China also possesses high level rocket technology, which has much in common with ballistic missile technology. There is a need to pay serious attention, together with objective evaluations, on whether China's military modernization and sharp military budget growth are contained within the limits truly necessary for its own national defence.
May I introduce the facts of China regarding stability? According to a Chinese Journal, the Chinese Minister of Public Security mentioned in his speech that protests against the administration occurred approximately 74,000 times in 2004, or approximately 200 times par day. This number is a 26.5 percent increase over 2003.
Lifting of EU Arms Embargo Against China
Therefore, I would like to point out that the lifting of the arms embargo against China depends on whether or not it meets EU humanitarian standards as reliable democratic practice. The EU introduced an arms embargo against China following the Tiananmen Square Incident of 1989.
At the regular Japan-EU Summit Meeting held last May, an agreement was reached to enhance dialogue on the East Asia security environment. Based on that consensus, dialogues on this issue have already taken place at the government level. For its part, the Japanese government is determined to further strengthen such exchanges.
Strengthened Euro-Japan Dialogue
I believe that a strengthened dialogue between Asia and Europe is important in order to deepen understanding, and to share recognition of the respective regions. We are confident that we can expand the range of Japan-Europe cooperation to establish a mutual relationship which contributes to the peace and stability of the world community.
About ten years ago, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, then Prime Minister of Norway, stated that Asia would become an important actor in the international community in the 21st century and that Europe should not "miss the train" and strengthen its ties with Asia. I think this was indeed an insight based on a clear vision for the future.
This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, which has provided a forum for direct dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. We will continue our cooperation toward the success of the ASEM Summit Meeting scheduled for this coming September in Finland.
Recent European expansion of its role in the security field to support peace operations in the international community is most welcome. NATO also intends to play a more active role in peace building, peace support, and natural and man-made disaster relief outside the European region and the EU is also reinforcing its security capability in such places as Aceh.
Japan, on its part, wishes to make as great a contribution as possible in the area of consolidation of peace. I believe this ultimately boils down to human resources. Asia needs more specialists in the area of peacekeeping, peace building, reconstruction, and recurrence prevention. Japan intends to develop personnel who have the knowledge and capability necessary for these activities.
I hope to see closer cooperation between Japan and Europe not only at the government level, but also between experts in the fields of PBO, PS and DRO. Exchanges of views by acknowledged experts not only have considerable influence on the formation of public opinion in the particular region, but also contribute to the nurturing of capable human resources.
Age of Balance
The 21st century is the age of balance. This struggle for balance is being waged on an international, State, and individual level, between dichotomies of competing values. These are:
1. Development vs. Environmental Protection
2. Globalization vs. Regionalization
3. High Tech Information vs. Individual Privacy
4. Group Orientation vs. Individualism
5. Work vs. Leisure
6. Materialism vs. Spiritualism
7. Male vs. Female
8. Military Solutions vs. Non-Military Alternatives
And I would like to add one more element to the list:
National interest vs. international interests
In 1997, when I was an MP, I met with Professor Galbraith of Harvard University at his home in Boston. He said to me:
"Akiko, there will be three problems in the 21st century:
1. The rich and the poor
2. Nuclear issues
3. Traditional discrimination such as race, religion, gender
When I met him in 1994 as a professor of intercultural studies, he said,
"Akiko, the U.S and Japan have succeeded in producing high quality material goods, but it is doubtful that we have succeeded in producing truly happy people."
When I met him in 2001, he said to me in a wheel chair three times,
"Akiko, Japan should stop following the US, and establish its own identity!"
92 years old at that time. These words sound to me like his will.
We still have a lot left to do together.
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