Section 2. Objectives and Priorities of Japan's Foreign Policy


Japan assumes an extremely important responsibility and role in securing world peace and prosperity and in overcoming the problems of this era of transition, as described in Section 1. With its increased stature, Japan's role lies not only in the economic field but also in the political arena. It is also expanding to encompass issues of global nature. Indeed, Japan, for its part, has actively engaged in such issues as arms control and disarmament, settlement of regional conflicts, support efforts for the former Soviet Union, assistance to the movement toward democracy in developing countries, the Middle East peace process and the global environment. Also, with the enactment of the International Peace Cooperation Law in 1992, Japan has actively participated in U.N. Peace-keeping Operations. The need for such contributions is expected to increase in the future. Under such circumstances, it is expected of Japan to further improve and strengthen its infrastructure in order to facilitate expeditious, responsive action on the part of the public and private sectors in an effort to promote international cooperation, in such areas as those of providing medical experts and means of transportation.

In today's international environment where interdependence is deepening and importance of economic, scientific, technological and environmental areas is relatively heightened, Japan's action affects virtually all issues concerning the building of a future international order. It is also indispensable for Japan to seriously address these problems, thus meeting the expectations of the international community, from the viewpoint of securing its own peace and prosperity. It should be recalled that the prosperity and global economic activities that Japan now enjoys are attributable to the fact that world peace and stability as a whole has been maintained, not to mention the intelligence and hard work of Japanese people.

With the increasing global dimensions of its foreign policy, Japan must articulate to the international community its global vision and objectives, and must demonstrate leadership commensurate with its national stature. Through such efforts, it is expected that Japan will be able to occupy an "honored place" in the international community.

On this point, Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, in his policy speeches to the Diet, set forth "peace, freedom and prosperity" as common objectives that Japan should pursue together with people of other nations. To attain these objectives, it is important for Japan to conduct its foreign policy with the following guidelines: ensuring prosperity of the world economy, securing the world's peace and stability, promoting such universal values as freedom and democracy, and positively tackling global issues such as the environment and refugees.


1. Ensuring Prosperity of the World Economy

Amid the delayed recovery of the industrialized economies, Japan plays an increasingly important role in international policy coordination for sustainable growth of the world economy. It is necessary for Japan to adhere to economic management centering upon domestic demand-led growth, in an effort to further ensure harmony between the Japanese economy and the rest of the world. Japan's Package of Economic Measures totaling \10.7 trillion decided in August 1992 was aimed at stimulating the domestic economy, thereby meeting the July Munich Summit agreement of policy coordination to achieve stronger, sustainable growth of the world economy. In addition, in June 1992, Japan formulated its five-year economic plan, "Sharing a Better Quality of Life around the Globe" as a long-term guideline for its future policy management. Included in this plan are shortening of working hours, improved life-related infrastructure, promotion of house building and rectification of price gaps between Japan and countries abroad. Through the implementation of this plan, it is expected that the quality of individual life will be improved to reflect Japan's economic strength, and that management of Japan's economy will be more consumer-oriented, rather than producer-oriented. It will thus contribute to promoting further harmony between the Japanese and the world economy.

Japan bas been one of the countries which have enjoyed utmost benefit from international trade under the multilateral free trading system based on the GATT in the postwar era. As such, it is crucially important for Japan to strengthen and maintain the multilateral free trading system through an early and successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations, whose major objective is to establish new rules for international trade. As the Uruguay Round is in its final phase, Japan, for its part, should continue to make efforts to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

The prosperity of the world as a whole is inseparable from the development of developing countries and the former Eastern bloc countries. In order to secure the development of the world economy, it is important that the countries of the developing region, Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union be integrated into the global economic system, thereby expanding the scope of the world economy. Global issues such as the environment and refugees cannot be solved by the industrialized democracies alone. It also requires the efforts and cooperation of the former Eastern bloc and developing countries. In this sense, the industrialized countries are in interdependent relations with the former Eastern bloc and developing countries.

Japan is seriously addressing the issues of developing countries such as famine and poverty. It actively supports their self-help efforts toward economic and social development and improved welfare of their nationals. In 1991, Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) totaled \1,484 billion, the world's largest amount. Also, Japan fully implemented a capital recycling scheme in a total amount of $65 billion from 1987 to 1992 in an effort to further facilitate capital flow to developing countries. ODA is an important policy instrument for Japan in fulfilling its international responsibility and role. Thus, there is the need to build on its quantity, as well as to improve its quality.


2. Ensuring World Peace and Stability

As a crucial agenda of securing international peace and stability in a transitional world, it is no less important to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons and missiles, and to increase the transparency of, and to give due restraint to, the transfer of conventional weapons. As a country that has steadfastly adhered to the principles of peace in the postwar era and pursued its own policies of the Non-Nuclear Principles and the Three Principles on Arms Export, Japan assumes an internationally important responsibility in playing the leading role in this field.

On conventional weapons, Japan, together with other countries, proposed the creation of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, which was established in January 1992, in an effort to enhance transparency of arms transfers. Japan contributed to the smooth implementation of this system by way of, among others, hosting the Tokyo Workshop on the Transparency in Armaments in June 1992.

Further, Japan is serving as a contact point for administering the Export Control Framework for Nuclear-related Dual Use Equipment, Materials and Related Technology, established at the Meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group in April 1992. Japan has also encouraged the countries of the former Soviet Union except Russia to expeditiously participate in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear weapon states. It also announced a financial contribution of $20 million to the International Science and Technology Center to be set up to prevent an outflow of scientists and engineers affiliated with weapons of mass destruction from the countries of the former Soviet Union. In June 1992, Japan again hosted the United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues, following the one held in 1991. This is another example of Japan's determination to play a leading role in the field of arms control and disarmament.

On another important international agenda, Japan is engaged in international endeavors to prevent or settle regional conflicts in such fora as the United Nations. Japan is actively cooperating with the U.N. Peace-keeping Operations. In addition to financial cooperation, Japan has dispatched International Peace Cooperation Corps to Cambodia and Angola as the role of U.N. Peace-keeping Operations has increasingly become significant as described earlier, Japan needs to cooperate sufficiently in terms of both financial and human resource contributions. As a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council since 1992, Japan has engaged in an effort to address regional conflicts around the world. Japan extended humanitarian assistance of more than $20 million to the victims of ethnic disputes in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia, respectively. In addition, Japan donated $100 million to the U.N. Somalia Trust Fund established in accordance with the U.N. Security Council Resolution 794 aimed at securing a safe environment for humanitarian relief operations. Moreover, Japan is constructively engaging in the Multi-lateral Middle East Peace Talks, by way of, among others, assuming a chair for its Working Group on environmental problems. On the Cambodian problem, Japan hosted in June 1992 the Ministerial Conference on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia in Tokyo, and announced its support of between $150 million and $200 million. It has also been making joint diplomatic efforts with the countries concerned such as Thailand, to ensure full implementation of the peace agreements.

In order to strengthen the function of the United Nations in the field of ensuring international peace and security, the United Nations needs to reform itself by adapting to a changing world. It is particularly important to enhance credibility and effectiveness of the Security Council which assumes a central role in U.N. peace-keeping functions. Japan raised this matter at the United Nations Security Council Meeting at the Level of Heads of State and Government in January 1992, and further proposed, in September 1992, that the United Nations commence addressing the problem at the General Assembly.

As one of the pillars of its foreign policy, it is crucial for Japan to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. As the presence of the United States is of imperative importance to Asian and Pacific regional security, Japan is offering maximum host-nation support to the U.S. military forces stationed in Japan. Further, it is no less important to make efforts toward resolving each sub-regional conflict and confrontations such as the Northern Territories, the Korean Peninsula and the Cambodian issues. At the same time, region-wide political dialogue should also be promoted in order to enhance a sense of reassurance, by way of making use of the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference (ASEAN-PMC). Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa emphasized the need for such a "two-track" approach when he visited the United States in July 1992. Based on this line of thought, Japan is tackling the sub-regional issues like Cambodia and, at the same time, is positively engaging in the region-wide discussion on political and security issues on such occasions as the ASEAN-PMC in July 1992. Japan is also pursuing dialogue with countries in the region in respect of a form of future regional security cooperation. In this region which consists of many developing countries, it is also important to promote economic development to reinforce the political and social resilience of the nations, thereby enhancing regional stability. Japan, for its part, is directing more than half of its ODA to this region.


3. Promoting Universal Values

Peace, in a true sense, should not simply mean an absence of conflicts. It must guarantee such values as freedom, democracy and human rights. From this viewpoint, Japan attaches importance to supporting reforms toward democracy and market-oriented economies in the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and provides constructive assistance to them.

Since the failed coup d'etat by the conservatives in August 1991 the reforms aimed at market-oriented economies and democratization in the former Soviet Union have been in full gear. As regards relations with Japan, the then Soviet Union sent a clear message that it intended to pursue a foreign policy based on the principle of "law and justice" and that the two countries must overcome the past relationship of "a victor and a vanquished." Japan then decided on a support package totaling $2.5 billion in October 1991. Beginning with this package, Japan has been implementing the following support measures amounting to some $3 billion.

First, in an effort to promote smooth transition to a market economy, Japan is providing technical assistance by way of, among others, accepting trainees from, and sending experts to, the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Second, in the area of emergency humanitarian assistance, Japan decided to provide food and medicine in December 1990 and January 1992 in the amount of \1 billion and \6.5 billion, respectively. Further, humanitarian assistance of $100 million was decided in October 1992. All of these measures were grant aid. As for non-grant aid, notes were exchanged in September 1992 concerning credits from the Export-Import Bank of Japan (Exim Bank) for food and medicine amounting to $100 million which had been announced in December 1990. In the abovementioned $2.5 billion support package, Exim credits of $500 million for food, medicine, their transport means and others were included.

Third, in an effort to facilitate trade and economic activities, Japan announced its readiness to provide $200 million as Exim credits and $1.8 billion for underwriting trade insurance policies in the context of the $2.5 billion support package.

In addition to such bilateral assistance, Japan has also been participating in multilateral assistance efforts to the former Soviet Union. It hosted the Tokyo Conference on Assistance to the New Independent States in October 1992, provided $20 million to the International Science and Technology Center, contributed to the $24 billion support package, and cooperated in rescheduling of debts.

Also, Japan has actively provided technical assistance, food aid and financial support to the reform efforts of Central and Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Japan's assistance to the area amounts to approximately $4.5 billion in total. As regards Asia, in order to support Mongolia's reforms, Japan hosted the second Mongolia Assistance Group Meeting, jointly chaired by the World Bank, in May 1992, following the first meeting held in September 1991.

In implementing its ODA, Japan attaches great importance to the promotion of universal values such as freedom and democracy. In the Charter of Official Development Assistance decided in June 1992, Japan announced that, as the basic principles in implementing its aid, it would pay full attention to efforts toward promoting democratization and market-oriented economies, and to situations of basic human rights and freedom in recipient countries, in addition to their trends in military expenditure, development and production of mass destruction weapons, and arms exports and imports. While these principles are the agenda which Japan's foreign policy as a whole should pursue, there is also a need to realize these values through economic assistance, an important means of conducting foreign policy. Unless the recipient governments attain "good governance" (open and democratic governance) consisting of these principles, it would be difficult for them to achieve sustainable growth, no matter how long they continue to receive economic assistance.

At the same time, in assisting the former Eastern bloc countries and developing countries, it is important to promote steady, continued progress through dialogue in the attainment of human rights, democracy and market economies, rather than to hastily call for results. It may be recalled that the industrialized countries such as Western Europe and the United States also spent many years in attaining these values they enjoy today.


4. Tackling Global Issues

In addition to the issues described above, in peace, freedom and prosperity of the world for long, it is also imperative to address global issues, such as the environment and refugees. As an important policy objective, Japan gives priority to resolving these global issues such as the environment, as demonstrated in the Charter of ODA. In addressing these issues, it is vital not only to resort to symptomatic cures, but also to get to the roots of the problems.

As regards the global environment, Japan contributed to the success of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992. For instance, it played a constructive role in coordinating positions of the industrialized and developing countries, in the draft process of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and in tackling issues relating to forests and to the environment and development, at the UNCED and its preparatory phases. Japan attaches importance to helping developing countries grapple with issues of the environment and environmental preservation through granting its ODA. At the UNCED meeting, Japan announced that it would endeavor to build on and strengthen its environment-related ODA with a view toward expanding its amount to between \900 billion and \1 trillion in the five years from FY 1992. From now on, it is important to faithfully implement the agreements reached at the UNCED. Moreover, in order to address global environmental issues fully, it is essential to tackle such issues as population expansion, one of the factors causing environmental problems. Also, in order to attain both growth and environmental preservation in a sustainable manner, it is important to promote technological innovations.

On the refugee problem, Japan has been extending relief aid such as financial cooperation and food aid to refugees from Indo-china, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Muslims from Myanmar, as well as refugees from Palestine, Africa and the former Yugoslavia, through international organizations including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or through bilateral assistance. Japan's total contribution to the UNHCR in 1992 amounted to $119 million, ranking second in the member countries after the United States. Yet, in order to fully address the refugee problem, it is essential that the United Nations and the countries concerned make further efforts to prevent conflicts, which are the cause of the refugee problem, and to strengthen diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflicts in a peaceful manner.


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