1996 Diplomatic Bluebook


This publication is the English translation of the Gaiko Seisho 1996 (1996 Diplomatic Bluebook), originally published in Japanese.
The Diplomatic Bluebook is an annual report on Japan's foreign policy and activities published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The period covered by the 1996 Diplomatic Bluebook is, in principle, from 1 January 1995 to 31 December 1995.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes that this publication will help readers both in Japan and abroad who are interested in Japan's foreign policy and diplomatic activities.

On Publishing the 1996 Diplomatic Bluebook

The international situation is still in flux, and its future bears many uncertainties. It is noteworthy, though, that in the years since the end of the Cold War, the endeavors of the international community have slowly but surely been bearing fruit. Illustrative of the encouraging developments of 1995 was the progress made toward settlement of the regional conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, and the move toward the resolution of North Korea's nuclear development issue. The task of the international community is to ensure that these positive trends become irreversible, and to establish a new international order for the post-Cold War era.
At a time when countries are becoming more and more interdependent, Japan's security and prosperity have great influence on the peace and prosperity of the world. Thus, Japan must actively address various issues affecting the international community, and must play a creative role in fashioning a new international order.
As part of its process of internationalization, Japan has become increasingly active in international exchanges, and its domestic and foreign policies are becoming inseparable. It is therefore essential for the Government of Japan, in carrying out its foreign policy, to listen attentively to public opinion, and to obtain public understanding of the international situation and the role played therein by Japan's diplomacy. It would be most rewarding if this Diplomatic Bluebook helps to deepen your understanding of the international situation and Japan's diplomatic activities.

Yukihiko Ikeda
Minister for Foreign Affairs

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