Diplomatic Bluebook 2001

A. The World and the Asia-Pacific Region in the 21st Century

The curtain has been raised on the 21st century. The 20th century that now lies behind us was a century which brought an unprecedented degree of prosperity to humankind. Yet, at the same time, it was an age of calamitous wars fought on a scale never before witnessed in history. The Asia-Pacific region was one of the principal stages of that history. The 21st century must be made an age in which each and every inhabitant of the globe receives the full benefit of peace and prosperity and experiences happiness and fulfillment. As a principal member of the advanced industrialized democracies and as a constituent member of the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is being called on to meet its global responsibilities and to play a leadership role in promoting international cooperation for the building of such a global society.

How will the global society of the 21st century take shape? And, what will characterize the Asia-Pacific region to which Japan belongs? What are the diplomatic challenges and issues that Japan may encounter in this context? The tidal current of the new age had already begun to emerge in the closing moments of the 20th century. In this year's Diplomatic Bluebook, we shall review the final year of the 20th century and present an overview of the events and developments which characterize the global society and the Asia-Pacific region as they enter into a new age. In line with this, we shall outline the diplomatic issues and challenges which Japan is likely to encounter in the 21st century.

1. Global Society Enters the 21st Century

Having entered the 21st century, global society is now undergoing a series of transformations. The following three perspectives are needed for the proper observation and assessment of the ongoing transformations.

The first perspective pertains to universal values and the continued expansion of various systems and institutions based on these values. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Japan and the other advanced industrialized democracies adhered to a certain set of values and institutions, such as freedom, democracy, respect for basic human rights, market economy and a multilateral free trade framework. In today's global society, these values and institutions are gaining increased universality. Although such phenomena as frequent ethnic conflicts, surges of religious extremism, and back-stepping in the process of democratization are seen in certain quarters, on the whole, these values and institutions came to be widely shared by the former nations of the Eastern Bloc, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa throughout the 1980s and 1990s as the world emerged from the period of ideological rivalry which marked the Cold War era.

In the area of democratic development in Asia, the Republic of Korea (ROK) joined the ranks of the advanced industrialized democracies during the 1990s. In Taiwan, for the first time leadership passed to a party other than the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), through a democratic election. In Indonesia, President Abdurrahman Wahid was elected through democratic procedures. In Europe, the dictatorial government of Mr. Milosevic-born out of the disunion of the former Yugoslavia, which followed the Eastern European revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union-fell in 2000. This regime was replaced by the Kostunica administration with clear democratic intentions.

In the area of economic systems, since the dissolution of the communist bloc advocating centrally planned economies, the market economy and free trade have come to function as a general system encompassing the entire globe. Today, many former communist nations, including those of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, are making the transition to a market economy. As for China, which continues to speed forward on its policies of reform and openness, the process of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has reached the final stage. China now needs to address the various economic changes and challenges which can be expected to emerge following its entry into the WTO.

It is particularly notable that the global propagation of these values and institutions has been greatly accelerated by the development of Information and Communications Technology (IT). While images of regional conflicts transmitted by the international media are capable of immediately drawing international attention to the human tragedy created by conflicts in far corners of the world, it is the explosive growth of the Internet and other IT that has greatly heightened the sensitivity of world opinion to the domestic human rights and humanitarian problems in individual countries.

The second key perspective pertains to the acute need to respond to global problems engendered by the advances of science and technology and by the explosive growth in human activity based on these advances. Science and technology revolutionized the life of humankind in the 20th century. While this contributed importantly to the promotion of human happiness, it also created a series of environmental problems, such as global warming and ozone depletion, which transcend the framework of nation-states and call out for action on a global scale. Yet another new global threat comes from the accelerating proliferation of increasingly sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missiles which deliver them. Both of these apparatuses were created through advances in military technology.

The progress achieved in IT during the closing years of the 20th century certainly merits special attention. This is an ongoing process which shows no sign of slowing down. Likewise, there has been a tremendous acceleration in the transnational movement of people, goods, services, capital, and information. This process is certainly endowed with the potential to raise the prosperity of humankind to new and higher levels. Yet, on the other hand, this is a process which has exacerbated the clash between new and traditional values, widened the gap between wealth and poverty, and encouraged the expansion of organized crime.

The third perspective concerns the growing importance of global harmonization and unity of action. The propagation of universal values throughout the whole of global society and the emergence of international problems requiring global responses have heightened the need for closer international coordination and harmonization in the 21st century. While the United States will continue to stand as a country of unequaled overall strength, the resolution of the highly diverse problems that global society will encounter in the 21st century requires cooperation and unity of action on an international scale. The countries that hold the values and institutions of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, market economy, and multilateral free trade in common must cooperate and share in the burden and responsibilities of implementing necessary solutions. Japan in its part must be prepared to actively participate in such undertakings.

As the only universal organization with 189 member countries, the United Nations (UN) and its agencies are expected to play a central role in promoting global cooperation in the 21st century. Henceforth, the UN and its agencies must be able to respond appropriately and effectively to the highly diverse and complex challenges and issues facing global society. This will require efforts to strengthen the Security Council and other aspects of the UN system. It is particularly notable that in the course of the United Nations Millennium Summit and Millennium General Assembly held in 2000, the leaders and foreign ministers of as many as 155 countries made reference to the need to reform the Security Council, lending much political momentum to the movement towards Security Council reform. In light of these developments, Japan must continue to engage even more actively in the process of UN reform. (See Chapter I, F)

2. Global Issues and the Role of Japan

Can the ideals embodied in the universal values and institutions of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, market economy and multilateral free trade be realized in the global society? The answer to this question lies in a second question: can the global society overcome the new challenges facing these values and institutions? To succeed, these values and institutions must go beyond the realm of mere professions to be translated into action for the realization of the happiness of individual human beings. This will require the advanced industrial democracies to join with many other like-minded nations of the world to appropriately address the problems currently facing humankind through effective cooperation and harmony.

After its defeat in the Second World War, Japan renounced the path to military power. Instead, it was able to regain and extend its strength during the second half of the 20th century under the international system embodied in such global institutions as the United Nations Charter banning the general use of force, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the WTO which established and strengthened the multilateral free trade framework. In the process, Japan secured for itself a solid position among the advanced industrialized democracies of the world. Likewise, it succeeded in achieving a level of prosperity never before marked in its history. While this success is the direct result of the diligent efforts of the Japanese people, it undoubtedly owes much to the existence of the international system. Conversely, the international system on which Japan has depended was supported and strengthened through the cooperation of many countries, including Japan.

As a mature and advanced industrialized democracy, Japan must play an even more active role in the international system and in the creation and strengthening of its rules in the 21st century. While Japan is currently engaged in efforts to revitalize its economy, this does not detract from the fact that it ranks as the world's second largest economy. Thus standing among the leaders of the global society, Japan must seek to play an appropriate role in the resolution of the numerous global issues which beset the world. Needless to say, in pursuit of this role, Japan must undertake diplomatic initiatives with the understanding and support of its people.

Among the various issues and challenges facing humankind in the 21st century, we will spotlight the following five areas.

The first issue concerns weapons of mass destruction and missiles which threaten the peace and stability of the global society.

One of the most vital challenges of the global society is to cope with the threat of nuclear proliferation and to put forth efforts to reduce nuclear arms. Japan actively engaged in the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) held during 2000, presenting concrete proposals concerning consensus-building toward future nuclear arms reduction. The resolution concerning "A Path to the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons" submitted by Japan to the UN was adopted in the General Assembly with overwhelming support. To realize a nuclear-free world through the specific processes delineated in this resolution, Japan must play an even more important leadership role in promoting unified international action so that steady progress can be achieved towards nuclear arms reduction and non-proliferation. Likewise, Japan must actively engage in promoting the universal coverage and effective application of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention.

The proliferation of missiles as a delivery system for weapons of mass destruction poses a problem of increasing gravity. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction create serious threats to regional and global security environments when they can be loaded onto missiles. The progress of globalization and the IT revolution might give rise to conditions facilitating the acquisition of classified technologies and the transfer of materials pertaining to such systems and weapons. Therefore, it is essential that earnest efforts be made to cope with these problems. Countermeasures to the threat of the proliferation of missiles represent an important issue in the diplomatic and defense policies of leading countries. Against this background, the National Missile Defense (NMD) program of the United States and various global initiatives for countering the proliferation of missiles generated intensive international discussion in 2000. At the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Helsinki Plenary held in October, an agreement was reached on creating an International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and on the draft of the document.

The second issue concerns conflict prevention and resolution and peacekeeping activities. Today, ethnic and regional conflicts are erupting in many quarters of the globe. Unlike the traditional inter-state conflicts, these new conflicts tend to be staged within national borders and on ethnic and religious grounds. Conflict prevention, as well as good governance and sustainable growth, are gaining international recognition as pivotal political issues in terms of ensuring the peace and stability of the international community.

Over the last year of the 20th century, efforts were made in various forms to address regional issues and conflicts around the world, such as the Middle East peace process; the situations in East Timor, Kosovo, and Iraq; the civil war in Sierra Leone; and the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. In the Middle East peace process, intensive negotiations toward the conclusion of a permanent peace settlement were conducted through active U.S.-led mediation, but a clash between Israel and Palestine later erupted and a peace agreement was never reached. G8 members engaged in further policy coordination in regard to East Timor and Kosovo. The UN also played a key role in its dispatch of peacekeeping operations (PKO), such as the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the broad mandates of which included a provisional administration. Japan worked with the other G8 members to produce the G8 Miyazaki Initiatives for Conflict Prevention at the July G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Miyazaki, marking the first concrete step in efforts toward conflict prevention (refer to Chapter II, Section 1-B-2).

A substantial role will continue to be required of UN PKO in forestalling conflict and, where conflict does occur, helping to maintain peace once this has been restored. In 2000, the Panel on UN Peace Operations*1 submitted a report to the UN Secretary-General, reiterating the need to strengthen UN PKO functions (refer to Chapter II, Section 1-B-4).

The third issue for the 21st century is a response to the IT revolution and globalization. Rapidly accelerating flows of people, goods, services, capital, and information enhanced world prosperity in the late 20th century. At the same time, increasingly fierce global-scale competition has created losers and marginalized others from the competition, a phenomenon common to both developing and industrialized countries which threatens to give rise to new poverty and destabilize the social order. The growing pace of globalization is also conflicting with the traditional values of states and regions, and resistance to globalization is becoming evident.

The year 2000 saw wide international recognition of the importance of a proactive approach to IT and closing the "digital divide." At the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori in his capacity as Chair played a coordinating role in issuing the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society of the G8, initiating the first step toward international cooperation and collaboration in, for example, dealing with the international digital divide. These efforts set a precedent for the international community in tackling IT issues and also served to promote moves in Japan to form an advanced information and communications network society (refer to Chapter II, Section 2-D).

To ensure that the benefits of globalization bring greater prosperity to the world, international systems must first be set in place to secure the free and multilateral flows of goods and capital; reinforcement of the current system remains a vital task. Bilateral and regional free trade agreements are going from strength to strength worldwide, economic integration in Europe offering a pertinent example. However, the international community could reap the maximum harvest from globalization by bolstering the open multilateral trading system under the WTO. In 2000, agreement on the launch of a new WTO round remained out of reach despite the efforts of Japan and other related countries. Greater responsiveness to the views of both industrialized and developing countries and accommodation of the broad range of members' interests will be vital if we are to set in motion a new round in 2001, ensuring the further development of the WTO and maintaining and strengthening the open multilateral trading system. Japan and Singapore agreed to begin formal negotiations on an economic agreement which would build a partnership for a new era, and these are to be concluded in 2001. Such bilateral agreements will certainly play an important role in supplementing the WTO and actively promoting free trade and systemic harmonization (refer to Chapter II, Sections 2-B and C).

Fourthly, with globalization steadily lowering the barriers posed by national borders, development issues must be tackled head on to prevent any countries from being marginalized from global competition. This is not simply a humanitarian issue. Further marginalization of countries excluded from prosperity could shake confidence in the entire system on which today's globalized international community is based. Those countries reaping the greatest benefit from the current global economic system based on the market economy have a responsibility to deal with this systemic risk. Over the medium to long term, sustained economic growth will have not only the economic effect of expanding markets, but also the political effect of preventing conflict through the elimination of poverty and social contradictions. Development issues in the African countries in particular, which are still struggling to lift themselves onto a sustained growth trajectory, should be tackled as a common concern to the entire human race in the 21st century.

Addressing development issues will require cooperation among industrialized democracies such as Japan, the world's largest official development assistance (ODA) donor country, as well as dialogue between these countries and their developing counterparts. Another valuable approach will be to develop constructive ties with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other elements of civil society. In this regard, at the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Japan and the other G8 countries took a major step forward toward creating a new partnership with non-G8 members, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society including NGOs.

Finally, technological innovation and the swift advance of globalization have made it imperative that the international community collaborates in addressing global issues, such as international organized crime, infectious diseases, and environmental issues. To ensure not only peace and prosperity but also happiness-these are the ultimate goals of the human race-for all the citizens of our planet, the international community must coordinate and cooperate on cross-border issues which threaten human existence, peace of mind, and dignity, focusing on each and every individual. Such efforts to combat global issues will also maintain and strengthen confidence in the current international system.

In 2000, negotiations on the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and two related protocols were concluded after extensive discussion spearheaded by Japan and the other G8 countries. The Convention is the first multilateral agreement to provide comprehensive stipulations on a legal framework for combating international organized crime. Infectious diseases were a major focus at the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, which Japan followed in December with the Okinawa International Conference on Infectious Diseases, creating a concrete international action plan. In terms of global warming, no agreement was reached at the Sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 6), held in the Netherlands, and further efforts on the part of the international community will be essential. Having put forward the concept of "human security" as a guiding concept in 21st century international cooperation, it is incumbent upon Japan to actively address global issues on a number of fronts and lead international cooperative efforts.

3. The Asia-Pacific Region at the Dawn of the 21st Century

For Japan to continue to enjoy peace and prosperity in the 21st century, the global international systems which underpin such peace and prosperity need to be maintained and strengthened, while the Asia-Pacific region in which Japan is located must be a stable and energetic area conducive to the same.

In Europe, where the European Union (EU) embraces a population of 370 million and accounts for around 29 percent of the world GNP, steady progress .is being made toward the expansion and further integration of the EU on the basis of common values, such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and market economy. The Asia-Pacific, however, is not yet in such a situation. In Northeast Asia, advanced industrialized democracies such as Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), and the two major Eurasian powers-the People's Republic of China and Russia, both currently pursuing reform-are major powers. The Korean Peninsula boasted such positive signs as the inter-Korean Summit, but military tension remains high. The relationship over the Taiwan Strait has made much progress at the actual economic level of trade and investment;*2 however, political tension continues, and prospects remain dim for the resumption of cross-Strait dialogue. While working toward democracy and economic reform, Indonesia is still politically unstable, and hosts numerous separatist and independence movements within its borders. How to secure peace and prosperity for Japan in this environment is a critical issue for Japanese foreign policy.

Japan's basic strategy for regional stability is to position the alliance with the United States, a proponent of democracy and market economy, as the cornerstone of its foreign policy; to develop close and amicable relations with the ROK; and to build a cooperative relationship with China and Russia while encouraging both to make further progress toward reform. To maintain this stable construct and ensure that it remains intact, Japan will also need to work on the normalization of diplomatic relations with North Korea, an issue carried over from the previous century.

Further, for Japan to fulfill a level of responsibility commensurate with its international status and demonstrate leadership in the new century, it will be vital to squarely face its history in the 20th century and go on to build a common future with the countries of the Asia-Pacific.

What shape should the Japan-U.S. alliance take in the 21st century? While the Asia-Pacific region displays positive signs, a number of uncertain and opaque factors remain. A limited defense capacity restricts Japan's ability to respond to every situation which could threaten Japan's safety. To ensure national safety, as well as the safety of the region on which this is premised, Japan will continue to position the alliance with the U.S. as the axis of its foreign policy. The new U.S. administration retains an emphasis on peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, placing the Japan-U.S. relationship at the center of its Asia policy. Japan and the U.S. between them account for around 42 percent of world GNP, a figure approximately 4.9 times greater than the GNP of Asia as a whole (excluding Japan but including China). The alliance between Japan and the U.S. as the major advanced industrialized democracies of the Asia-Pacific will remain the linchpin of regional stability in the 21st century, and both countries must endeavor to meet this responsibility. While the U.S. economic slowdown and the prospects for economic recovery and structural reform in Japan are causes for concern, both countries still have a central role to play in the development of the Asia-Pacific region in numerous areas, including economy, society, and the environment.

For Japan-U.S. alliance relations in the 21st century to function as the core of the region's peace and prosperity, Japan will need to engage in sufficient dialogue with the U.S. from a strategic standpoint, and also pursue further policy coordination. Ties between the two countries are based on common basic values and the fundamental alignment of national interests, and it is essential that Japan manage the alliance in a mature way with a keen awareness of common interests and respective responsibilities. Concrete steps also need to continue to be taken to boost confidence in the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. In 2000, Japan and the U.S. held a number of summits and talks between foreign ministers, engaging in broad-ranging and close policy coordination. Efforts were also maintained to reduce the heavy burden shouldered for the sake of Japan's peace and prosperity by the people of Okinawa, where U.S. facilities and areas are highly concentrated, and to steadily implement the final report of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO). A new special agreement concerning the apportionment of the cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan was concluded with the approval of the Diet, while the Law concerning Ship Inspection Operations in Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan (the Ship Inspection Operations Law) was also passed by the Diet to ensure the effectiveness of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. It will be vital that these efforts are kept firmly on course in partnership with the new Bush administration which has emerged at the dawn of the 21st century.

The construction and development of cooperative relations with our neighbor, the ROK, is also a key issue in envisaging the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. Cooperative relations between Japan and the ROK are important to the peace and prosperity of East Asia. The bilateral relationship has been reinforced and more future-oriented since President of the Republic of Korea Kim Dae Jung visited Japan in 1998 and agreed in talks with Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to leave the issues of the past behind. In the President's 2000 visit to Japan too, both countries agreed to further strengthen Japan-ROK ties toward the 21st century. Close coordination among Japan, the U.S., and the ROK is also developing in regard to policies toward North Korea. Firmly establishing Japan-ROK cooperative relations in the 21st century will hinge on promoting wide-ranging exchange and further developing relations of trust between the two nations.

The most significant factor with the potential to change the strategic design of the Asia-Pacific in the 21st century is perhaps the transformation of China. Embracing a vast area of land and a massive population of more than 1.2 billion, China has maintained a steep growth trajectory of close to 10 percent per annum thanks to its policies of reform and openness. Steady progress has also been made in modernizing the People's Liberation Army, which has nuclear weapons capacity.

China's presence in the region continues to expand, and it will be critical in terms of the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region that China further pursue its policy of reform and openness and develop into a trustworthy nation playing a constructive role in the region.

Japan has been working to build cooperative, trust-based relations with China from a medium- to long-term perspective, and has also endeavored to expand exchange and cooperation at all levels. During Premier Zhu Rongji's 2000 visit to Japan, both sides agreed to further bilateral cooperation toward cementing a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development. With regard to Chinese marine research vessels operating in waters close to Japan, which stirred strong sentiment among the Japanese people toward China, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono's visit to China in August saw both countries agree to the early establishment of a mutual prior-notification framework. (Later talks brought the framework into being in February 2001.) The stability and prosperity of China through reform and open policies and greater bilateral interdependence will contribute to the peace and prosperity of Japan itself, as well as the Asia-Pacific region. In recognition of that, Japan extends ODA funds to China. Given changes in the economic and social circumstances of both countries, in providing further economic cooperation to China, Japan will have to ensure a clearer focus on priority issues and areas to assist China in becoming a more responsible member of the international community.*3

Another country with a critical role to play in the future of the Asia-Pacific is Russia, currently pushing ahead with reforms as part of its transition to democracy and market economy. While Russia is still struggling with the management of its economy, President Vladimir Putin has persisted with the reform process, buoyed by strong public support. It is important for the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world that Russia complete its political and economic reforms and become a constructive member of the international community. Japan has been supporting Russia's reform efforts in this direction, while also working to strengthen bilateral relations in a broad range of areas, including conclusion of a peace treaty.

While the goals stipulated in the Krasnoyarsk Agreement were supposed to have been achieved by 2000, the 21st century has unfortunately begun without a peace treaty in place. Japan will continue to make every possible effort in line with its consistent policy of resolving the issue of the attribution of the Northern Territories and concluding a peace treaty.

Major developments took place in 2000 in regard to North Korea. Since his administration was inaugurated, ROK President Kim Dae Jung has pursued an "engagement policy" toward North Korea, which bore fruit with the first inter-Korean Summit in 2000. First Vice Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) National Defense Commission Jo Myong Rok subsequently visited the United States, with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright returning the visit. North Korea established or resumed diplomatic relations with Italy, Australia, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom,*4. rapidly deepening its contact with the international community. These promising developments were, however, accompanied by no evident change in North Korea's insular military emphasis, and the international community remains concerned over security, human rights, and humanitarian issues. It will therefore be important for Japan to continue pressuring North Korea to respond positively to the concerns of the international community.

In terms of Japan-North Korea relations, Japan continues to liaise closely with the ROK and the U.S. as it endeavors to restore normal bilateral relations for the first time since the Second World War in a form which will contribute to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia. Japan must continue to make every effort through dialogue with North Korea to resolve areas of concern, such as humanitarian issues, including abduction issues, and security issues, for instance, missile issues. In 2000 in particular, the first ever Japan-North Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in July at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), and another round of Japan-North Korea normalization talks was held in April for the first time in seven and a half years, to be followed by two further meetings as Japan maintained persistent efforts toward diplomatic normalization. In 2000, Japan also supplied 100,000 tons of rice in March and a further 500,000 tons in October through the World Food Programme (WFP) of the UN to relieve North Korea's food shortage.

Another distinctive trend in the Asia-Pacific at the opening of the 21st century which must be examined is the momentum of regional cooperation which is beginning to connect the entire Asia-Pacific region. Regional cooperation supplements efforts to strengthen bilateral relations, and a number of frameworks are already in place, promoting multi-level dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. In addition to the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (PMC), regional dialogues and cooperation have been gradually expanding through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the ARF, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, and the ROK), as well as Japan-China-ROK cooperation since the late 1980s. The Asia-Pacific is in fact moving steadily away from its old Cold War divisiveness toward dialogue and cooperation. Japan should carefully foster these regional dialogues as a means of supplementing the Japan-U.S. alliance and other bilateral efforts. In 2000, Japan participated actively in discussions in such frameworks and promoted multilateral dialogue and the creation of cooperation frameworks in the Asia-Pacific region.

Finally, in securing the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific, the importance of strengthening friendly cooperative relations with ASEAN members, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, and, from a broader perspective, of cooperating with the European and Southwest Asian countries should be noted. The European countries, the world's major advanced industrialized democracies, share with Japan and the U.S. an important role and responsibility in regard to ensuring the peace and prosperity of the international community. It is incumbent on Japan and the European nations as key members of the international community to take a global perspective on the issues facing each other's regions and extend cross-support. In early 2000, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono visited Europe, proposing that the decade from 2001 be designated the Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation and calling for the strengthening of political dialogue and cooperation between Japan and Europe. The Japan-EU Summit in July formally agreed to further strengthen Japan-Europe relations in the Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation.

Those countries located in the southwest of the Asia-Pacific region are also strategically important in considering the region's peace and prosperity from the perspective of, for example, the stability of sea lanes from the Middle East to Japan. In 2000, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori visited Southwest Asia as the first Japanese prime minister to do so in 10 years, strengthening friendly ties with the countries on his route. One particular achievement was reaching agreement with India to build a Japan-India Global Partnership in the 21st Century.

(* Note)

  1. Established by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the panel comprised key figures mandated to conduct a comprehensive review of UN peace activities, including not only PKO but also conflict prevention and post-conflict restoration of peace, and to clarify systemic issues and present recommendations for improvement. Tagged the Brahimi Panel, it released a report in August.
  2. Taiwan has partially lifted its ban on direct telecommunications, trade, and navigation with mainland China as of January 2001, applicable only to the two islands of Jinmen Dao and Mazu Liedao.
  3. See Chapter I, Section D-3 on ODA to China, including public relations in China regarding Japan's ODA.
  4. As at the end of February 2001, North Korea had also established diplomatic relations with the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Spain.

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