Basic Foreign Policy Issues for Japan: Marking the Fortieth Year since the End of the War




Chapter 1.   Basic Foreign Policy Issues for Japan: Marking the Fortieth Year since the End of the War



It is most important in this year 1985, the fortieth year since the end of the war, that Japan look back upon its foreign policy to date, consider what role it ought to play in the increasingly interdependent international community, and renew its determination to contribute to world peace and prosperity.

While the peace and prosperity which Japan has enjoyed for the last forty years have obviously been primarily generated by the Japanese people's unstinting efforts, it also owes much to the international order and the international society of which Japan is a member.

Having established itself as a stable democracy with the second-largest economy in the Free World, Japan should actively contribute to world peace and prosperity both as a free and democratic nation and as an Asia-Pacific nation.

The Political Declaration of the Bonn Summit held in May 1985 eloquently describes the common tasks before all freedom- and peace-loving nations in this fortieth year since the war's end:

As we look back to the terrible suffering of the Second World War and the common experience of 40 years of peace and freedom, we dedicate ourselves and our countries anew to the creation of a world in which all peoples enjoy the blessings of peace, of justice, and of freedom from oppression, want and fear; a world in which individuals are able to fulfill their responsibilities for themselves, to their families and to their communities; a world in which all nations, large and small, combine to work together for a better future for all mankind.


1.  Japan's Basic Foreign Policy Decision


A.  As a Free and Democratic Nation

In the ruinous aftermath of the war, the Japanese people resolved forty years ago to build a prosperous and peace-loving nation. Since then, Japan has secured its own peace and security with the security arrangements with the United States and the minimum necessary defense capability as allowed under its Constitution and has elected to work in concert with the other free and democratic nations to maintain that world peace and prosperity which is indispensable to Japan's own peace and prosperity.

Strongly supporting the United Nations ideal of renouncing any resort to force and seeking to preserve world peace and security through cooperation among nations, Japan has made cooperation with the United Nations one of the most important tenets of its foreign policy and has worked vigorously to this end ever since being admitted to United Nations membership in 1956.

The United Nations has been highly successful in a broad range of fields, including peace-keeping operations to contain regional conflicts, the development and codification of international law as exemplified by the Law of the Sea Convention, and international cooperation to promote growth in the developing countries. However, despite its valiant efforts, the United Nations is still far from equal to the hopes placed in it for effectively securing world peace.

Accordingly, individual countries have sought to protect their own security through such measures as the exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense as referred to in the United Nations Charter. In reality, it is the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union that has preserved world peace since the East-West cold war began shortly after the Second World War ended.

Given this reality, Japan has preserved its own peace and security for over thirty years with a combination of untiring diplomatic efforts, the security arrangements with the United States, and the maintenance of its own defense capability. While this basic framework has been accepted by most of the people, the military situation surrounding Japan is growing harsher and Japan continues to preserve its own peace and security by redoubling its foreign policy efforts, ensuring the smooth and effective operation of Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, and seeking to steadily improve its solid defense capability within the Constitutional limits


Gross National Product


Over the past forty years, the hard work of the Japanese people and the existence of a favorable international climate have enabled Japan to achieve unprecedented prosperity, and Japan now ranks right behind the United States and the Soviet Union in economic scale, accounting for approximately 10% of the world GNP. At the same time, Japan's peace-loving diplomatic stance and quiet foreign policy efforts as a stable democracy have gradually won it the trust and esteem of other nations. As Japan assumes growing importance in the international community, Japan's behavior has come to have increasing economic and political impact on the world situation, and Japan has come to have a major responsibility for the management of the world politics and economy.

As Japan has become more active internationally, and especially with the increasing interdependence of its economic relations, more and more countries have come to show an interest in Japan, and there is a need today for Japan to seek to work in close cooperation with the rest of the world in its foreign policy and external economic policies.

Close cooperation and solidarity with the other free and democratic nations has been pivotal to Japanese foreign policy throughout the postwar years.

Cooperation with the other countries sharing the values of freedom, democracy, and market economy is essential if Japan is to maintain its democratic form of government based upon respect for human rights and parliamentary democracy, to continue its economic development based upon its free-market economy, and to sustain its peace and prosperity.

The summit meetings of the major industrialized countries and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) are important forums for such consultation and cooperation. At the Bonn Economic Summit held May 2-4, 1985, the participating countries reaffirmed their solidarity and determination to protect their freedom and democracy and agreed to cooperate in meeting the crucial economic challenges that lie ahead.


B.  As an Asia-Pacific Nation

Japan is geographically located in the Asia-Pacific region, and it shares much of the historical and cultural heritage of the other countries of this region.

Despite this, Japan has left scars of war in many of the countries of the region, and the first task for Japan's postwar foreign policy was that of negotiating, in a spirit of contrite acknowledgment of its responsibility for past events, indemnification and other means of healing recent wounds and normalizing diplomatic relations with its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region. Itself in the difficult position of having to struggle to rebuild from the ashes of war, Japan made a sincere effort and did its best in this task. It is these efforts that form the basis for the second pillar of Japanese foreign policy -- enhancing friendly relations with the Asia-Pacific countries and cooperating to promote economic growth for the developing countries of the region.

Today, the Asia-Pacific region is the most dynamically developing region in the world. Japan, ever mindful of the mixed emotions which the people of the region have toward Japan as a result of the last war, has continued to work for the stability and prosperity of this region. Strengthening its relations of cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region is both a prerequisite for the pursuit of a vigorous Japanese foreign policy and an important element in its own right. It is imperative that Japan continue to make every effort to strengthen its relations of friendship and cooperation with these countries.

Japan and China now enjoy unprecedentedly stable and friendly relations. Crucial to Asian peace and stability, these stable relations of friendship and cooperation should be sustained and developed over the long term.

Following Prime Minister Nakasone's visit to the Republic of Korea, President Chun Doo Hwan visited Japan to mark a new era in the increasingly close relationship between Japan and the Republic of Korea since the normalization of diplomatic relations. It is important that Japan and the Republic of Korea continue to maintain eternal relations of good-neighborly friendship and cooperation as mature friends for all time.

Japan's cooperative relations with the ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) countries have been further enhanced through the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners and other forums in addition to bilateral cooperation.

Prime Minister Nakasone's 1984 visit to India and Pakistan confirmed that Japan's Asian foreign policy has breadth as well as depth.

Likewise, the visit by Prime Minister Nakasone to Australia and three other Oceanic countries in early 1985 served to further promote Japan's close relations with the countries of Oceania.

There has been widespread study of the concept of "Pacific cooperation" comprising the Asia-Pacific region since the 1960s. The momentum is gaining, and consultations are taking place in various bodies on how best to promote such cooperation. Such cooperation in the long-term perspective looking ahead to the twenty-first century (i) should focus on economic, cultural, and technological aspects, (ii) should be open and non-exclusive, (iii) should respect the initiatives of the ASEAN and other countries concerned, and (iv) should be promoted in support of private-sector activity.

The fact that Pacific cooperation has been considered and cooperation in "human resources development" is being promoted in the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners marks an important contribution to nation-building within the region, and it is highly significant that private-sector activities have been achieving solid successes in this region.


2.   Postwar Foreign Policy and the Tasks Ahead: The Quest for Peace and Prosperity

In line with this basic position, Japan has made consistent foreign policy efforts since the end of the war to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.

In the early years, the urgent needs were to regain acceptance within the international community, to ensure national security, and to lay the economic foundations needed to meet the people's minimum requirements of living. It was to these ends that Japan signed the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Japan-United States Treaty of Mutual Security and Cooperation and also sought to maintain and gradually expand its own defense capability for ensuring the nation's security.

In rejoining the international community, Japan joined the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) in 1952, the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) in 1955, and the United Nations in 1956. Following this, Japan was elected to the United Nations Security Council for the first time in 1957, shifted to a country under GATT Article XI in 1963, became an IMF Article VIII member and formally joined the OECD in 1964, and established itself as a leading industrial democracy.

Japanese Participation in Major International Organizations and Events
Organization or Event Year Participation Began
IMF, IBRD ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥   1952
GATT ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥   1955
United Nations ¥¥¥¥   1956
OECD ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥   1964
Summit meetings of industrialized countries¥¥¥¥   1975

The goal of Japanese foreign policy during these years may well be characterized as one of catching up with the more advanced countries. The striking economic development achieved to date has made Japan one of the foremost economic and manufacturing powers, and Japan is now past being able to take complacent satisfaction in having become one of the world's leading countries.

Japan was able to maintain its free and democratic institutions and achieve its economic development largely because it was blessed with a relatively favorable international environment and international order, including the cooperation with those countries sharing the same basic political ideals, and it is now imperative that Japan contribute positively to the maintenance and strengthening of these international environment and order. Japan's position in the international community makes this a task that Japan must undertake even if it entails sacrifice on Japan's part.

Japan must realize the need to contribute commensurate with its international standing and understand that this is ultimately in its own interests as well. While the need of such a turn of thinking has long been argued, the international situation facing Japan today allows no waffling, and it is essential that Japan move boldly and vigorously on the diplomatic front to cope with these challenges.


Per-capita GNP


A.     Efforts for "a More Open Japan"

Preoccupied with attaining its own security and prosperity, Japan tended to respond reactively to the international situation during the postwar years of reconstruction and economic development. Today, however, Japan can no longer look away as local conflicts and tensions persist in many parts of the world, as many countries face economic hardship, and as tens of thousands of people suffer from famine and impoverishment in the developing countries.

The same spirit of harmony and a helping hand which was so important in enabling the Japanese people to band together in overcoming their postwar hardships must now be applied with equal willingness to international relations. It is impossible, given the heightened interdependence of the international community today, to seek prosperity for Japan alone. Japan must work to make itself an international state that is socially, economically, and psychologically open to the rest of the world.

Japan was able to arise from the ashes of war and achieve its rapid economic development owing largely to the existence of a free and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system under the IMF and GATT arrangements. The world is today more dependent upon trade than ever, and Japan is vitally dependent upon trade for its imports of foodstuffs, energy resources, and other primary commodities as well as its exports of manufactured goods.

Japan will be one of the countries most severely affected if the protectionism rooted in structural factors as well as in the slower growth of the world economy in recent years spreads worldwide and the free trading system collapses and world trade is thrown into chaos. It is essential that Japan promote internationalization and play a responsible role commensurate with its international position to maintain the free and multilateral trading system and secure sound development for the world economy.

Economically, promoting internationalization means striving to dismantle institutional and    non-institutional barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and capital, in particular, to actively promoting imports of products in which other countries have comparative advantage.

Summary of External Economic Measures Announced April 9, 1985
1. Response to the report of the Advisory Committee for External Economic Issues (preparation for implementation of the Action Program for Improved Market Access)
2. Measures to be Implemented and Policy Program
(1) Reduction of tariff rates and improvement of standards and certification systems 
(2) Encouragement of manufactured imports
(3) Improvement of market access in telecommunications and electronics fields
(4) Liberalization of financial and capital markets and internationalization of the yen
(5) Ensuring of exports moderation
(6) Enhancement of economic cooperation
(7) Promotion of investment cooperation
(8) Expansion of leeway for foreign-licensed lawyers to practice in Japan 


It is also expected that this process will include a review of systems and practices which have been considered permissible as they arise out of Japanese tradition and Japan's distinctive social clime with a view to making them more universal and more rational and actively promoting harmonization with the rest of the international community.

Japan has formulated and implemented a series of external economic measures since December 1981 in its drive to defuse mounting economic friction. Despite the results achieved thus far, these measures tended to be passive and were seen by some overseas observers as stopgap measures in response to international calls for market-opening. Realizing this, an Advisory Committee for External Economic Issues of private-sector experts was impaneled in December 1984 and, the recommendations of this Advisory Committee in hand, the government announced a new set of External Economic Measures on April 9, 1985, demonstrating Japan's firm determination to deal with external economic issues vigorously and on its own initiative.

One of the features of this April 1985 announcement was the decision to formulate and promptly implement a comprehensive three-year Action Program for improved market access. It is critically important that the concept of "freedom in principle and restrictions only as exceptions" be the guiding light in drawing up this Action Program for lowering tariffs, reviewing import restrictions, improving the standards and certification systems as well as import procedures, broadening government procurement, liberalizing the capital and financial markets, and further liberalizing the service sector.

With over 100 million people, Japan is a very unusual country in that all the people share the same broad ethnic, linguistic, and cultural background, religious and lifestyle differences rarely flare up into political problems, and there is widespread identification with middle-class values. This characteristic of Japan, often referred to as one-nation state, was generally very much to Japan's advantage in the postwar years of reconstruction and development as the social network spread fine and far throughout this homogeneous and hard-working population to enable Japan to become a world-class competitor despite its lack of natural resources. Yet this same social homogeneity can also give the impression that Japanese society is exclusive.

Active overseas in a wide range of fields, including not only economic but also cultural and social spheres, Japan cannot be allowed to remain closed to foreign countries. If Japan is to gain its rightful place in the international community, it is essential that it overcome this exclusiveness, and this must entail a tolerance and receptiveness to that which is foreign.

The fact that Japan has accepted Indochinese refugees for resettlement in Japan is an important step toward a more open Japan, and this issue may be termed a touchstone for Japanese society.

Japanese society may be difficult for other peoples to understand for historic, geographic, and other reasons. However, Japan cannot exist in isolation in today's highly interdependent international community, and it is important that Japan internationalize those systems and customs which it can and fully explain itself to the rest of the world so that it no longer appears untransparent in foreign eyes.

Making Japan more open internationally will also bring new vitality to Japanese society and work to Japan's own advantage. Although this will be a long and arduous road, such efforts are indispensable for Japan to fulfill its responsibilities to the international community, and never before has the need been so great.


B.  Efforts for Peace and Disarmament: Promotion of Dialogue

Untiring efforts are needed in the cause of peace. In addition to firmly maintaining its security arrangements with the United States, Japan must first work politically to create a climate conducive to the promotion of East-West  dialogue, conflict resolution, and the relaxation of  tensions. Cooperating with the United Nations peace-keeping operations, tackling the issues of arms control and disarmament, and otherwise exercising foreign policy efforts in multilateral forums are also important. Secondly, Japan must recognize the importance of international economic efforts for nurturing a peaceful international climate, including preserving and strengthening the free trading system, contributing to the sound development of the world economy, and cooperating with the developing countries' efforts for stability and progress.

Major Arms control and Disarmament Negotiations
Conference on Disarmament U.S.-U.S.S.R. Arms Control and Disarmament Negotiations
Conference on Disarmament in Europe
Mutual and Balanced Forces Reduction

East-West relations, and especially relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, with their very direct impact upon world peace and stability, continue basically harsh against such background factors as the unrelenting Soviet military buildup, the situation in Afghanistan, and the stepped-up Soviet deployment of SS-20 missiles, yet there are also glimmerings of hope as seen in the start of new arms control and disarmament negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union in March 1985 and the possibility of a U.S.-Soviet summit meeting.

Realizing that it is indispensable to world peace that efforts be made to build stable East-West relations, Japan, while recognizing the role which deterrence based upon the balance of power has played in maintaining the peace, continues to work to promote dialogue and negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union on arms control and other matters.

Efforts in multilateral forums for disarmament are an important complement to arms control and disarmament negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the June 1984 Geneva Conference on Disarmament, Japan proposed a practical step-by-step approach to achieving a comprehensive nuclear test ban, and it is important that Japan continue its efforts in such multilateral forums to contribute concretely to a comprehensive nuclear test ban, nuclear non-proliferation, early realization of a ban on the use of chemical weapons, and other measures to improve the international climate for peace.

It is equally important that Japan maintain dialogue with the Eastern bloc countries. Japanese-Soviet relations continue strained in recent years with the tension in East-West relations overall and the Soviet military buildup in the Far East. There can be no change in Japan's basic policy of seeking to resolve the Northern Territories problem, the biggest bilateral problem outstanding, and conclude a peace treaty so as to establish stable relations based upon true mutual understanding between Japan and the Soviet Union. Japan intends to continue its doggedly tenacious efforts to further promote the recent gradual progress for dialogue between Japan and the Soviet Union. It is hoped that the Soviet Union will understand this Japanese position correctly and will respond with concrete deeds for better relations.

In its relations with the countries of Eastern Europe, occupying as they do an important place in East-West relations, Japan has been working to promote relations of friendship and mutual understanding, as seen in Foreign Minister Abe's visits to Poland and the German Democratic Republic this June, and it is essential that these efforts be continued.

The world is today beset with regional tension, disputes, and conflicts. Although these situations, including the conflict between Iran and Iraq, the civil war in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East imbroglio, the problem of Cambodia, the tension on the Korean Peninsula, and the antagonism in Central America, in southern Africa, and the Horn of Africa, are still localized, all are fraught with the danger of superpower involvement. With regard to the Iran-Iraq conflict, Japan is in no position to attempt to mediate between Iran and Iraq, but it hopes for peace and stability in this region and has been making steady efforts for the creation of a climate conducive to the early and peaceful settlement of this conflict.

Continuing to support ASEAN efforts for a comprehensive political solution to the situation in Cambodia and maintaining dialogue with Vietnam, Japan is persisting in its efforts to create a climate conducive to peace in Indochina. On the Korean Peninsula, Japan is, while paying close attention to the moves for dialogue between north and south and the moves of other countries concerned, making every possible effort for the relaxation of tensions there. Taking this Japanese position into consideration, the Political Declaration of the Bonn Summit included a passage on the need to overcome the division on the Korean Peninsula.


C.  Contributions to the Sound Development of the World Economy

The world economy today is in a recovery phase overall with the momentum provided by the strong recovery in the United States in 1984 and other factors, and inflation has been subdued in most countries. However, there are still considerable grounds for concern, including massive fiscal deficits in the United States and other industrial countries, high interest rates, high appreciation of dollar, high unemployment rates in Europe and elsewhere, current account imbalances, mounting protectionist pressures as a result of these factors, and the developing countries' accumulated external debt burdens; anal apprehension about sustained world economic growth has been on the rise with the slowing of the United States' growth rate in 1985.

Given this situation, it is essential that Japan work to preserve and strengthen the free trading system for world economic development. In turn, this urgently demands efforts to rectify the imbalance in Japan's international balance of payments current account and to achieve the early start of a New Round of multilateral trade negotiations under the GATT. In part responding to Japanese efforts, the 1985 OECD Ministerial Council agreed that a preparatory meeting of senior officials should take place before the end of the summer of 1985 to prepare for the initiation of this New Round, and most of the participants at the Bonn Summit agreed that this New Round of negotiations should start in 1986. Looking ahead, it is now necessary to work in this preparatory meeting of senior officials and other forums to define the subject matter and modalities for the negotiations and to start negotiations early with the participation of as many developing countries as possible.

With the concern being expressed over the slowing of United States growth rates, it is important to sustaining stable progress in the world economy that Japan seek to expand domestic demand centering on the private sector. This means that it is necessary for Japan to further stimulate domestic consumption and to encourage a greater private-sector role in social infrastructure building and maintenance, public welfare, and other fields which have traditionally been dominated by public investment by relaxing governmental restrictions and otherwise enlarging the investment opportunities.

In line with the results of deliberations by the Group of Ten meeting in Tokyo in June 1985, it is also important to continue working to improve the functioning of the international monetary system. Cooperating with such international efforts, it is imperative that Japan make an active effort to create a wider international role for the yen in light of Japan's growing importance in the international economic community and the developing trends in international finance.


Unemployment Rates


Trade Balances


Accumulated external debts are not a problem for the debtor countries' economies alone. Also triggering political and social unrest and constituting a major destabilizing force in the international financial system, they are a problem which must be dealt with by the entire international community. While it goes without saying that the self-help efforts of the debtor countries are indispensable to any solution of this problem, the industrialized countries also have a responsibility to support the debtor countries' efforts with sustained economic recovery, an open trading system, reasonable interest rates, and other means. Japan is making vigorous efforts in this area in cooperation with multilateral institutions and other interested parties.


D.  Cooperation for Stability and Growth in the Developing Countries

While the benefits of the economic recovery in the industrialized countries are also spilling over to the developing countries, most of these countries continue to be troubled by depressed primary commodity prices, accumulated external debts, high inflation, and other problems, and there is an especially urgent need to alleviate the refugees' plight and the starvation and drought in Africa.

It is clear that growth and stability in the developing countries are tightly linked to world peace and prosperity, since political or social unrest in these countries can easily involve neighboring countries and trigger off regional conflicts. Particularly for a country as dependent upon its external economic relations as Japan is, assisting the developing countries' efforts for growth and stability is not only an obligation to the international community, but also very much in Japan's own interests in the sense that Japanese prosperity and stability are possible only in a peaceful international climate.

There is a broad range of possibilities for Japanese cooperation with the developing countries, from contributing directly to these countries' development through technical cooperation or capital aid to facilitating expansion of their exports to Japan through providing improved access for their products in Japanese markets, and it is imperative that Japan utilize this entire range in its cooperative efforts

ODA (Official Development Assistance) is the core of Japan's economic cooperation. Japan has long been working for the planned enhancement of its ODA, as seen in the two successive Medium-Term Targets. While such efforts are highly appreciated by other countries, Japan must continue to make even greater efforts to meet the responsibilities which go with its international position. Accordingly, Japan intends to set a new Medium-Term Target for ODA in 1986 and beyond and thus to continue its efforts to steadily increase its ODA, to improve the quality of its ODA as much as possible, and to work for even more effectiveness.

It is also important to encourage direct investment. Direct investment serves to strengthen the developing countries' industrial infrastructure and export capabilities by promoting the transfer of management know-how and technology without adding to their debt burdens. It is thus hoped that the developing countries will endeavor to improve their investment climates for direct private-sector investment.


ODA for 1984


The maintenance of a favorable international economic climate is a must if the developing countries' self-help efforts are to bear fruit. It was confirmed at this year's OECD Ministerial Council and the Bonn Summit that the industrialized countries should strive to maintain such a favorable international climate through efforts to sustain the recovery, to ensure market openness for the developing countries' products, and to attain appropriate interest rates.

Along with bilateral cooperation, it is also important to the developing countries' growth that the industrialized countries adopt policies of cooperation and solidarity in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations.

The need for positive action on the North-South problem has long been stressed, yet that need is no less today than it ever was, and it is crucial that Japan continue building upon past efforts to contribute to stability and growth  in the developing countries.


Ratios of ODA to GNP (1984)


Quality of ODA: Grant Elements (1983)


Japan's actions in support of African countries plagued by drought and starvation was one recent event demonstrating this ambitious Japanese stance. Foreign Minister Abe's 1984 visit to Africa, "Africa Month" held that same year, and other efforts to publicize this continent's plight contributed to the increased Japanese concern about the crisis in Africa, and this concern has in turn translated into fund-raising, volunteer support, a major campaign to send one million blankets to the people of Africa, and other initiatives. This active Japanese effort was widely acclaimed at the United Nations, and Japan was asked to assume the role of coordinator in the General Assembly's debate on Africa.

It is important to maintain this momentum in promoting support for Africa at both the public and private levels, and governmental efforts must be supplemented by private-sector cooperation to deal with the broad issue of stability and growth in the developing countries.


Japanese Support for Africa

1. Private

(1) Fund raising: Approximately $7.1 billion collected since the beginning of 1984.

(2) Campaign to send blankets to Africa: Approximately 1.7 million blankets collected between December 1984 and February 1985. Total value of \5.1 billion (\3,000/blanket).

2. Government Assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa


(1) Trends in Bilateral ODA


(2) 1984 Bilateral ODA


E.  Japanese National Security

The need to ensure its own peace and prosperity means that Japan must make continuing efforts to ensure that the international environment as it affects Japan is as peaceful and stable as possible and must take pains to forestall any potential danger which would have a major impact upon Japan. A variety of efforts are being made to this end as explained above.

In addition to these efforts, it is essential that Japan develop the readiness to meet any threat which may develop, for such preparedness can deter a threat from developing. This much is clear from the fact that today's international peace and stability are ultimately based upon the balance of power. These efforts to maintain a peaceful and stable international environment and preparedness against potential threats are a central focus of Japan's foreign policy.

Japan's postwar history has shown that its most realistic option as a free and democratic nation is to firmly maintain its security arrangements with the United States, with which it shares the basic values of freedom and democracy, and improve its minimum necessary defense capability so as to be able to withstand and thus deter aggression. This option has gained the support of the bulk of the Japanese people over the quarter-century since the present security arrangements were concluded with the United States.

Since the security arrangements with the United States are the foundation of Japan's security, it is important that Japan seek to ensure these arrangements' smooth and effective workings and to enhance the credibility of the deterrence. Realizing this, Japan has maintained close consultations with the United States on defense issues and promoted other forms of defense cooperation with the United States as illustrated by the studies under the Guidelines for Japan-United States Defense Cooperation, joint exercises, the Exchange of Notes on the transfer of military technologies to the United States, the deployment of F-16 fighter jets at Misawa, and efforts to facilitate the stable use by U.S. forces of facilities and areas in Japan. Good relations between Japan and the United States are essential to maintaining and enhancing the credibility of the bilateral security arrangements, and it is important to preserve and strengthen the close and cooperative relationship between Japan and the United States in all of its very considerable breadth and depth, including the political, economic, cultural, and scientific fields.

As well as firmly maintaining these security arrangements with the United States, Japan has also been striving to improve its necessary minimum defense capability in line with the basic defense policies within the Constitutionally allowed right of self-defense and the three non-nuclear principles. As part of this approach, Japan is now working to achieve the levels called for under the National Defense Program Outline as soon as possible in the present harsh international situation.


With Japan's economic development, there has been a corresponding increase in the role Japan should play in the international community. Fully aware of its position as a free and democratic nation and as an Asia-Pacific nation, Japan must be steadfast in its efforts for peace and stability.


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