While the international environment surrounding Japan has been outlined in Chapter One, this chapter reviews the basic objectives of Japanese foreign policy in these international circumstances.



1. Of the problems now confronting the international community as a whole, the first is that of how to put the world economy on the path to stable development. Over the past several years, the world economy has been beset with a host of interrelated problems, such as resource and energy problems, unemployment, inflation, and currency and financing problems, which have affected all nations indiscriminately, large or small, rich or poor. Under these circumstances, the nations of the world have come to realize ever more strongly the fact of their economic interdependence. Based on this realization and from the global perspective, it is essential for all nations to promote international cooperation for resolving various problems.

In thus striving for the stable development of the world economy, one of the most important tasks for all nations, especially for the developed nations, is to explore ways to adjust their economies in full cognizance of the nature of the constraints entailed by the finiteness of resources. It is not easy to switch from a resource-intensive to a resource-conserving economy; yet as it is clearly becoming more difficult to continue previous modes of economic development, all nations must use their resources more efficiently and appropriately and must strengthen their cooperation to this end. Furthermore, it should be possible to delay the depletion of various resources by developing new technologies and utilizing alternative resources, and in these aspects as well, international cooperation must be further strengthened.

In the present international environment, the major question being asked is what kind of international framework should govern economic problems that arise among the advanced democracies themselves as well as between the developed and developing nations. In considering this problem it is important that the effort to maintain the vitality of the international economy and to seek its stable development should be based on the principles of free economy which have sustained the rapid progress enjoyed by the world economy since World War II. At the same time, it is necessary to add considerations enabling both developed and developing nations to cope more effectively with the difficulties they face, with all due recognition to the objective conditions of each and the interdependence between North and South.

Strengthening cooperation among the advanced democracies is vital to this international endeavor and to the realization of a more stable international community. Although economic discrepancies have developed among advanced democracies and some conflicts of interest have been detected since the oil crisis, these nations also realize more keenly than ever that they have a major responsibility in solving the problems of the international community. Accordingly it is important for the future that consultative frameworks be further strengthened in order to make cooperation among these nations closer and more effective.

The building of harmonious economic relations between North and South has become another international task ranking in importance with cooperation among the advanced democracies. In recent years, the developing nations have been advocating and working for the establishment of a "new international economic order," and the important thing here is that both North and South gradually develop a rational and well-balanced relationship through steady and patient efforts based upon a full understanding of each other's situations. At the same time, these efforts by both North and South will help to alleviate the causes of political and economic instability plaguing the developing nations and will contribute to eliminating the causes of regional conflicts.

Such efforts in pursuit of such an international framework would also require the cooperation of the oil-producing nations and socialist nations as well.

In order to create relations conforming to the demands of the new era through international cooperation, it is vitally important that the nations of the world forestall, as far as possible, the chance of military power being exercised and instead create an environment in which human energies can be used constructively. In this sense, it has become more important than ever to promote international efforts for advancing the cause of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and peacefully resolving disputes in various parts of the world.

Finally, it has become increasingly important for the creation of such a constructive environment to foster stable relations between nations with different political and social systems. Antagonism between East and West centering around Europe will probably continue to have a strong influence on international relations despite their deepening economic interdependence. As for the East, the international environment is slowly but surely evolving, making it difficult for the East to persist in adopting the role of onlooker in the future North-South dialogues. In this light, attention is being focused on what posture the Soviet Union and other Eastern European nations will assume toward the North-South problems in the future.



2. Japan has persistently followed the course of a nation committed to peace since the end of World War II. Japan renounced the use of force as a means of settling international disputes and is resolved to contribute to world stability and prosperity through diplomatic and economic activities consistent with this stand for peace. It is only through the peace and development of the international community that Japan's own security and prosperity can be attained.

Consequently, even though their solution will by no means be easy, Japan must accept the problems facing the international community mentioned in the above subsection as providing an excellent opportunity to give concrete shape to Japan's diplomatic ideals and must contribute constructively to their solution in full understanding of the expectations of the international community and in a manner commensurate with Japan's national strength.

Moreover, it is only by fulfilling its international role to the fullest that Japan can hope for the establishment of international relations that are more responsive to Japan's national interests.

The most important diplomatic task for Japan is thus to contribute to international efforts to overcome the world's present economic difficulties and to set the world economy on the path to stable development. In making such efforts, Japan must be aware of the importance of strengthened cooperative relations among the advanced democracies and must extend further assistance to the economic development of the developing countries.

To ensure international peace and development it is essential for Japan to supplement these contributions in the field of international economy with due contributions in the broad range of politics and other fields as well. In this sense also, stable East-West relations and continuing peace in the Asia-Pacific region are to be desired. As a member of the free world, Japan must promote friendly and cooperative relations with the United States and other friendly countries and, at the same time, must advance dialogues and exchanges with nations having different political and social systems, such as China and the Soviet Union.

By the same token, it goes without saying that there is a need for constant and effective efforts for disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the prevention of such problems as maritime and environmental problems so as to ensure the peace and sound development not only of Japan's immediate vicinity but of the international community as a whole. In June 1976, Japan became a contracting party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and efforts to contribute constructively toward disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation in the United Nations and elsewhere continue to be an important pillar of Japanese foreign policy.


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