Chapter 3. The Basic Objectives of Japan's Diplomacy 


The previous chapters briefly reviewed the international environment surrounding Japan and the major diplomatic efforts made by Japan. The following chapter outlines the basic objectives of Japan's diplomacy in order to indicate its basic course. In this connection, it would be meaningful, at first, to consider Japan's position in the international community.


1. Japan's Position in the International Community


(1) Thirty years after the end of World War II, Japan's international status has risen markedly as a result of it having unswervingly maintained a diplomacy of peace, of having sought to enhance interchange and harmony with other nations, and of having achieved a steady recovery and development of its national strength and resources. Today, Japan stands as a leading industrial and trading nation in the world; it is now in a position to contribute actively to the progress of mankind and to act as an important stabilizing force on the international political scene. While the high caliber and the efforts of the Japanese people them selves constitute the very basis of Japan's international stature, it is important to assess correctly its international position at all times if the nation is to enjoy long-lasting peace and progress. The following may be cited as factors determining Japan's position in the world.

(A) Advanced Democracy

Japan is a principal member of the group of advanced democracies, which are founded on political and economic systems based on democracy and the freedom of the individual and have achieved an advanced state of industrial and economic strength. Japan's participation in the Rambouillet Summit amply attests to this fact. Japan's ties with the other advanced democracies, which share common ideals and systems with Japan and which are called on to play a leading role in bringing about stability and development of the entire world, are of fundamental importance.

(B) Asian Nation

Japan is an Asian nation, and is, thus, characterized by the unique combination of features as an Asian country and an advanced democratic society. Although the present Asian situation is characterized by diversity, Japan's relations with the countries in this region with which it has had various historical and cultural interchanges remain of fundamental importance in its external relations.

(C) Nation Committed to Peace

Japan has pledged itself and to the world to remain a nation committed to peace under its peace Constitution. Japan, which sincerely desires for the permanent peace of the world, takes the basic stance that it will not use force as a means of settling international disputes, will devote itself to peaceful diplomacy and will make positive efforts for the achievement of world peace.

Since its return to the international community after World War II, Japan has consistently and firmly maintained the stand as a nation committed to peace, while assuring its security with a posture which has as its key element the Japan-U.S. security and cooperation arrangement. The continued existence of Japan as a stable nation committed to peace has assumed no small significance in the stabilization of international relations on a global scale, with the rise of Japan's international stature.

(D) Complex Geopolitical Position

Japan is situated in a complex geopolitical environment, and the conditions in various countries around Japan differ in many respects from those in Japan. Its two neighbors on the continent across the sea are the two great socialist powers, China and the Soviet Union. In the Korean Peninsula, which is separated from Japan by a narrow strip of water, the confrontation between the North and the South continues. The Southeast Asian countries lying to the south of Japan are all developing countries with diverse historical and social backgrounds and which are now faced with a new state of fluidity due to the emergence of socialist regimes in Indochina.

This environment requires Japan to give careful and circumspect consideration to its relations with these neighbors.

(E) High Degree of International Economic Interchange

Japan is poor in natural resources and relies heavily upon other countries for such imports. It is a major industrial and economic power as well as a maritime nation. Developments in the Japanese economy now have a large impact on other countries because of the magnitude of its external economic activities and also of the increasing importance of international interdependence.

This position thereby requires Japan, when formulating its economic policies, to take into full consideration the possible effects such policies would have overseas and to always be responsive to developments in various parts of the world.


(2) When all of the foregoing factors are taken together, what stands out as the basically important aspect for Japan is that it now constitutes a major element in the international community and is inextricably related to all its major parts. Japan repudiates international isolation, and, as a major member of the world community, maintains the position of a nation committed to peace and therefore pursues the path seeking coexistence and coprosperity with all other countries. Japan is placed in a very harsh environment which does not allow it to live idly, but rather requiries it to continually make active efforts to promote the stabilization and development of its external relations from a realistic and well-balanced point of view.



2. Basic Objectives of Diplomacy 


The ultimate goal of Japan's diplomacy is to assure the security and growth of Japan and to contribute to the peace and progress of the entire international community. Japan's diplomacy is required to follow the optimum road to achieve that goal, which must be the most suitable one for Japan to pursue in the world community in the light of the trends in today's international relations and Japan's international position as mentioned above. The diplomacy of Japan today is based on these considerations. In the following, the basic policy of Japan's diplomacy, which should be regarded as the guiding principle of Japanese foreign policy, will first be described, and then various objectives with which Japan's diplomacy should deal under this basic policy will be discussed.


(1) The Basic Policy of Japan's Diplomacy

The basic policy of Japan's diplomacy can be summarized as follows:

In the first place, it is to promote a diplomacy of peace based on dialogue as a nation earnestly seeking world peace and to contribute to international stability. For this purpose, it is necessary for Japan to strengthen cooperation with countries that share common political ideals and economic and social systems and also to carry out wide-ranging diplomatic activities transcending differences in political systems and positions.

Secondly, it is to actively promote international cooperation and to play a role befitting Japan's international standing in order to contribute to the solution of the common problems facing the countries of the world and to the harmonious development of the international community as a whole.

This basic policy will serve to assure Japan's sustained development and its contribution to the peace and progress of the world in the international community of today, where nationalistic trends are becoming stronger and diverse and interdependence has become intensified.


(2) Various Objectives of Japan's Diplomacy

(A) Relations with Various Countries and Areas

(a) Promotion of Friendly and Cooperative Relations with the United States and Other Advanced Democracies

Friendly ties with the countries of the West, in North America, Western Europe and Oceania, which share political ideals and economic and social systems with Japan, form the basis of Japan's worldwide diplomatic activies. In particular, friendly and cooperative relations with the United States constitute a pillar of Japan's foreign policy, and it is basic ally important to maintain and develop this relationship for the mutual benefit of Japan and the United States as well as for contributing to the Asian-Pacific region and the whole international community. Furthermore, the Japan-U.S. security and cooperation arrangement must be firmly maintained as this contributes not only to Japan's security but also to the stability of the East Asian region. Japan, whose ties with the EC countries and other West European countries, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, have become increasingly close in recent years, needs to redouble its efforts to further promote wide-ranging, friendly and cooperative relationships with these countries.

(b) Contributions to the Stability and Development of the Asian-Pacific Region

It is of basic importance for Japan, as an important member of the Asia-Pacific region, to keep a constant watch on the developments in the region and contribute to its stability and development.

(i) Efforts to Build a Structure for the Stability and Development of the East Asian Region

East Asia, which is in close geographic proximity to Japan, is of paramount importance to Japan's security, and changes in the situation in this region will have a fundamental impact on the future of Japan.

The situation in this region is complex and the countries involved are diverse. Further, there exist within this region quite a few factors that can give rise to instability in international relations. The prerequisites needed for bringing stability to this region are various frameworks to prevent disputes and a commitment to adjust and develop mutual relations in the region in a peaceful manner. With these as the foundation, the countries of the region can proceed to promote their own development in a way suitable to their respective needs and in this way bring about peace and progress for the region as a whole. Japan should make unremitting efforts to help establish such an international structure in this region.

In this connection, Japan's principal objectives in the Asia-Pacific region can be stated as follows: First, it is to contribute to the fostering of an international environment which will be conducive to maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula and will enable the Republic of Korea and North Korea to improve their relations so as to move forward to stable development and peaceful reunification. Secondly, it is to develop stable relations with China and the Soviet Union, mainly by endeavoring to strengthen further its relations of good neighborly amity and friendship with China under the Japan-China Joint Communique, and continuing tenacious efforts to settle the territorial issue and conclude a peace treaty with the Soviet Union as well as promote interchange in a wide-range of fields. Thirdly, it is to promote further its traditional relations of friendship and cooperation with the ASEAN countries and Burma and to develop steadily its relations with the countries of Indochina, while hoping for the establishment of stable relations between the countries of Indochina and the ASEAN countries and Burma.

Needless to say, close cooperation with the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which are the advanced democracies of the Pacific region, is imperative in pursuing these objectives.

(ii) Maintenance and Promotion of Friendship and Cooperation with Countries in the Indian Sub-continent

The countries in the Indian subcontinent are, as Asian countries, friends of Japan. It is important for Japan to maintain and promote its traditionally friendly relations with these countries, which occupy an important position in the Southern World, and promote various forms of cooperation with them in order to contribute to the stability and development of that region.

(c) Cooperation for Peace and Development in the Middle East

The Middle East today has very close ties with Japan, and the creation of a just and lasting peace in this region is of great importance not only to Japan but also to the entire world. Japan, for its part, should lend positive support to the international endeavors being made to bring about peace. At the same time, Japan must make efforts to promote mutual understanding, interchange and cooperation in many fields with the countries of the Middle East.


(d) Promotion of Cooperation and Interchange on a Global Scale

In order for Japan to sustain its well-balanced development on stable foundations and to contribute to the harmonious development of the international community as a whole, it is necessary to maintain and expand various forms of cooperation and interchange with all parts of the world in a spirit of mutual benefit and mutual respect.


(i) Promotion of Friendly and Cooperative Relations with Central and South American Countries

The Central and South American countries have achieved marked development in recent years, and Japan should endeavor to promote wide-ranging cooperation on the basis of its traditionally friendly relations with these countries.

(ii) Promotion of Friendly Relations with the African Countries and Cooperation in Nation-Building

Africa has great potential for development and is becoming a focal point in international politics, centering around the southern African situation. Japan should deepen its understanding of, and sympathy toward, the legitimate desires of the African countries, promote friendship with them, and continue to cooperate in their nation-building efforts.

(iii) Expansion of Interchange with the East European Countries

 Although the political, economic and social systems of the East European countries are different from those of Japan, interchange between these countries and Japan, centering around trade and economic relations, has increased in recent years. Further expansion of such interchange would contribute to the establishment of stable East-West relations.

(B) Objectives in Various Fields

(a) Maintenance and Strengthening of International Peace

The maintenance and strengthening of international peace is not only a prerequisite for the security and development of Japan but also an obligation that Japan must make positive efforts to fulfill as a nation committed to peace.

In this context, the aims that Japan should strive for are the stabilization of East-West relations and the promotion of the peaceful settlement of disputes in various parts of the world, as well as arms control, including disarmament and the prevention of nuclear proliferation.

(i) Efforts for Stabilization of East-West Relations

Securing stability in East-West relations is a fundamental prerequisite for maintaining international peace. Although the conflict and mutual distrust that exists between the East and the West, stemming as it does from the difference in basic political ideals and political and social systems, is very deep-rooted, both sides recognize the need to avoid nuclear war and to seek coexistence. Japan should, on the one hand, further strengthen its ties with the countries of the West and pay due attention to the maintenance of an equilibrium of power between the East and the West by relying on such frameworks for deterring conflicts as regional collective security arrangements, while, on the other hand, continue patient efforts to secure more stable relations between the two sides through a reduction of those factors causing conflict and friction and an expansion of various forms of interchange.

(ii) Contributions to Multilateral Cooperation for International Peace, such as the Settlement of Disputes and Disarmament

In order to maintain international peace in the face of various conflicts and factors of instability in various parts of the world, constant efforts must be made to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes. Efforts for achieving arms control, such as disarmament and the prevention of nuclear proliferation, form the basis of ensuring international peace, and they are assuming greater importance. Various international efforts for these purposes have been made,

including U.N. activities. Japan, for its part, has consistently and urgently advocated the peaceful settlement of disputes in various areas and carried out positive diplomatic activities seeking nuclear disarmament, such as the comprehensive ban on nuclear tests and the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons, in addition to other measures for disarmament. It is necessary for Japan to give continued support to international cooperation in this field and make its own proper contributions, in a manner most suitable to its stand as a nation committed to peace.

(b) Contributions to the Sound Development of North-South Relations

North-South relations carry considerable weight in the international economy and the international politics of today. Japan should, with a deep understanding of the wishes of the developing countries for independence and self-reliance, promote friendship with them and extend various forms of cooperation in order to contribute to the improvement of their living standards and to their economic development. It must also endeavor to strengthen cooperation among all nations for the development of sound North-South relations through realistic dialogue, while avoiding a confrontation between the North and the South.

(c) Contributions to the Harmonious Development of the World Economy

Japan's economic activities and the trends seen in the world economy are closely interrelated, and Japan should make positive contributions to the sound development of the world economy as a whole with its advanced economic power. For this purpose, Japan should make efforts, in cooperation with other countries, to adjust respective domestic policies and promote international cooperation in order to achieve growth without inflation, while at the same time play a constructive role from a global point of view in multilateral cooperation through the United Nations, GATT, IMF, the World Bank, OECD and other forums, in dealing with such problems as trade, currency, finance, energy, primary commodities and development. It should also make similar efforts to promote various forms of bilateral cooperation. For Japan to move in such a direction is the very course that will enable it to assure its own sustained growth.

(d) Promotion of Cultural and Educational Interchange

Mutual understanding among nations constitutes the basis of international peace and cooperation. It is important for Japan to expand cultural and educational interchange projects together with overseas information service activities.

(e) Efforts toward the Solution to the Various Problems concerning the Common Welfare of Mankind

There are, in the world of today, various problems having a bearing on the welfare of mankind as a whole, common to all countries, and transcending the differences not only in their political and economic systems taut also in the degree of their respective development. These are such problems as the sea issue, peaceful uses of nuclear power and other questions related to science and technology, nuclear control, environmental protection, and the development of space. Japan must actively take part in international efforts to solve these problems, while bearing in mind its own particular position and characteristics.


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