This publication is the English translation of the Gaiko Seisho 2000 (2000 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 2000 Diplomatic Bluebook is, in principle, from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 1999.

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 2000 Diplomatic Bluebook

Japan's foreign policy today is required to respond appropriately to the various issues that it faces, and to fulfill a role befitting Japan's position in the international community. Toward the 21st century, Japan must develop its foreign policy "together with the people," exchanging in a wide range of views with them on the international situation of the present and future and the shape of Japan's foreign policy, and gaining their understanding and support.

In order to do this, it is vital that the Government inform the public about its diplomatic activities in as comprehensible a manner as possible. The 2000 Diplomatic Bluebook outlines the development of Japanese foreign policy, examining the trends in the international community in 1999 from three perspectives: the pursuit of a new international order in the post-Cold War environment; the progress of globalization and revolutionary change in the information technology sector; and the heightened importance of individual-focused measures. The Bluebook also focuses on regional situations that require international attention, including Indonesia and East Timor, Kosovo and the Korean Peninsula, and introduces Japan's relations with the United States and neighboring countries and the endeavors of Japan and the international community for world peace and prosperity. It is my sincere hope that this Bluebook will enable you to better understand the concepts behind Japan's approach to the various challenges in the international community here at the dawn of the 21st century.

The publication of the Diplomatic Bluebook forms a part of our efforts to develop what I have termed "foreign policy that opens up a path to a better future 'together with the people.'" I am fully resolved to develop Japan's foreign policy through such efforts, taking into due consideration the views of people across all sectors and with the understanding and support of the Japanese people.

Yohei Kono
Minister for Foreign Affairs

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