International Situation and Japan’s Diplomacy in 2011 | CHAPTER 1

Summary > CHAPTER 1 : Overview International Situation and Japan’s Diplomacy in 2011

2. Japan’s Diplomacy Making Use of Its Strengths

 In order to secure its national interests, it is important for Japan to minimize risks and maximize growth opportunities within the Asia-Pacific region in which it is located. Furthermore, as the world undergoes considerable transformations such as the emergence of various non-state actors and changes in the power relations among nations, it is essential to build a peaceful and stable world necessary to Japan’s prosperity, in light of the fact that Japan’s presence is supported by its ties with the rest of the world. In doing this, it is also necessary for Japan to overcome inward-looking tendency, to keep the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone of its democracy and to proactively challenge to address regional and global issues making use of its strength, instead of limiting itself to the Asia-Pacific region alone. Also, Japan can generate synergy effects and demonstrate greater power in its diplomacy through the participation of and cooperation with a variety of Japanese actors including not only the national government but also local governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals as well.

(1) Peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region
(A) Ensuring Security

 To ensure Japan’s safety and prosperity in an increasingly severe security environment, there is a need to build a favorable security environment through a variety of diplomatic efforts in addition to Japan’s own security efforts.
 First of all, as an effort of Japan itself, it is essential that it properly maintain its own defensive capability. In accordance with the new National Defense Program Guidelines approved by the Cabinet in December 2010, Japan will build a dynamic defense force3.
 Next, Japan will not only defend itself but also contribute to further improvements in regional security through further deepening and developing the Japan-U.S. alliance, which is a linchpin of Japan’s foreign policy and security as well as a public good for the stability and prosperity of not only the Asia-Pacific region but also of the whole international community. Specifically, it will continue to develop security and defense cooperation with the U.S. in a broad range of fields including cooperation in planning for Japan’s defense and situation in areas surrounding Japan, missile defense, and new fields such as space and cyber security. In addition, as the U.S. makes it even more clear that its policies will give a priority to the Asia-Pacific region, Japan will support the stable stationing of U.S. troops in Japan, which is a cornerstone of the U.S. commitment, secure regional deterrent force and actively work for the peace and security of the region in partnership with the U.S..
 At the same time, based on a strong Japan-U.S. alliance, Japan will strive to enhance cooperation with neighboring countries including China, the ROK, Russia, the ASEAN states, Australia, and India as well as resolve various issues of concern. In addition to advancing bilateral relations with states such as the ROK and Australia, it will also advance cooperation under such trilateral frameworks as between Japan, the U.S., and the ROK, Japan, the U.S., and Australia, as well as Japan, the U.S., and India, and will utilize multilateral regional frameworks such as the EAS, the ARF, and the expanded ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), and strengthen multi-layered cooperative relations between individual frameworks.

(B) Construction of Order in the Asia-Pacific Region: Open and Multilayered Networks

 For Japan to promote its diplomacy to build a prosperous, stable order supported by democratic values in the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to build open, multilayered networks in the region.
 These “networks” are defined as accumulation of various multilateral cooperation. These are various problems in this region such as political and security tense relations, insufficient legal foundations to support economic activities, and the vulnerable infrastructure to support physical activities. These problems cause the negative effects of increasing risks to activities in the region and atrophying a variety of activities including those of states. Construction of networks aims to stimulate flows of people, goods, capital, and information by resolving these problems through multilateral cooperation and coordination, increasing predictability, and creating an environment that makes stable activities possible to. For example, promotion of maritime cooperation leads to improvements in the security environment, promotion of economic partnership or protection of intellectual property rights leads to enliven regional economic activities, and infrastructure development and promotion of disaster prevention can allow the countries in the region to overcome physical vulnerability. Active of distribution of goods supports a prosperous and stable order, and this order is expected to further enliven distribution.
 The “multilayered” concept refers to building up regional cooperation in various fields while dynamically linking multilateral frameworks of dialogue such as ASEAN, ASEAN+3, ASEAN+6, EAS, ARF, and APEC, in addition to bilateral and trilateral frameworks of dialogue such as that between Japan, the U.S., and the ROK, Japan, the U.S., and Australia, and Japan, China, and the ROK, and between Japan, the U.S., and India that began in 2011.
 “Open” means that the networks are broadly opened to the countries of the region as a whole. A broad range of citizens including private firms, NGOs, and experts, are also included as part of actors of networks other than states. Therefore, the networks must be open to all and be attractive enough to encourage voluntary participation.
 In addition, rulemaking that constitutes the foundation of such networks and supports the new order must be consistent with international law. It is important to share common ideas and rules in accordance with international law in addition to building up regional cooperation in a various fields.
 The participation of China is essential for building up such networks. Only when Japan cooperate with China to create an order, while deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance that is the linchpin of its foreign policy and security, will it be possible to create networks in which the countries of the region, including both the U.S. and China, will spontaneously take part. For this purpose too, realizing dialogue among Japan, the U.S., and China, as leading nations of the region, is important.

3 Dynamic defense refers to mobility that enables more effective deterrence and action and makes it possible to improve the security environment actively. It also refers to defense with the mobility to act dynamically to stabilize further the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and improve the global security environment, supported by advanced technological and information capabilities based on trends in the level of military technology, with readiness, mobility, flexibility, sustainability, and multipurpose capabilities.

(2) Japan’s Contribution in Order to Address Various Global Issues

 As the international community faces the various issues caused by changes in the international environment in addition to traditional issues arising from relations among states, it is important for Japan to proactively address regional and world issues by employing various political measures, instead of limiting itself to the Asia-Pacific region alone in order to make further international contributions.
 This section describes Japan’s approach on addressing global issues by introducing number of policy topics as examples. Specific content of individual policies will be explained in the pages following this to chapter 2 and later.

(A) Political and Security Issues

 Peacekeeping and peacebuilding are efforts that will help prevent reoccurrence of disputes between nations and increase the capacities of nations with fragile governance structures. Japan has been playing proactive roles through measures including dispatching from January 2012 a Self-Defense Forces (SDF) engineering contingent to UN peacekeeping operations in the Republic of South Sudan, which achieved independence in July in addition to its efforts in the Golan Heights, Haiti, Timor-Leste, and other places. In December, Japan formulated the “Guidelines for Overseas Transfer of Defense Equipment etc.”. It comprehensively enables to transfer of defense equipment and other materials overseas under certain conditions for purposes of contributing to peace and international cooperation and opens up the possibility of more proactive and effective efforts in cooperation on international peace and combating international terrorism, piracy, and other issues, by. Also, Japan’s continued support for the stable and sustainable growth of Afghanistan contributes to the stability of not only Afghanistan but also the international community as a whole. Furthermore, since Japan is providing proactive support to the Arab world that it is important to guide the historic upheaval there to a moderate and stable path based on the conviction that for the stability of the world.
 As the importance of global economic activities increase, freedom of navigation, particularly the safety of marine transportation, is a common interest to the entire world. International coordination and cooperation are essential to secure the safety of marine navigation particularly as the activities of non-state actors such as terrorists and pirates swell. To counter the threat of piracy, Japan dispatches Maritime Self-Defense Force (SDF) escort vessels and patrol planes to act against piracy off the cost of Somalia, as well as provides aid for improving the stability and maritime control capabilities of Somalia and other neighboring states. Also, considering that it is important to promote regional cooperation on the subject of the sea, as a public good of the Asia-Pacific region, Japan played a leading role in confirming the importance of international law of the sea in the EAS in November.
 Arms races and arms proliferation can harm the peace and security of the international community. In particular, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction increases not only tensions between nations but also the risk of terrorism by non-state actors. Japan plays an active role in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation through efforts including promoting the “Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative” (NPDI) and addressing nuclear issues concerning North Korea and Iran, as well as in the area of nuclear security, which is growing in importance for reasons including nuclear terrorism.
 Important issues for Japan’s foreign policy and security are arising in such new areas of outer space and cyberspace, where Japan will advance its individual efforts as well as international cooperation. While the pace of changes in the international affairs on these issues is fast, Japan will put to use its technological and conceptual powers to proactively respond through measures including creation of international norms.

(B) Economic and Social Issues

 Official Direlopment Assistance (ODA) is an effective means to solve the various issues that the international community faces today. It is important to use ODA effectively in cooperation with various actors including local governments, NGOs, the private sector including SMEs, and individuals. Cooperation through ODA in various fields in which Japan has accumulated achievements, such as health, education, agriculture, human-resources development, industrial promotion, disaster prevention, and infrastructure development, is a measure that support nation-building in developing countries and makes possible long-term stability in such nations. Japan has made significant contributions in aid for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or in the development of Africa with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process as an important foundation. Japan is also playing a leading role in discussions on the new international development goals beyond 2015, which is the deadline for achievement of the MDGs.
 Japan is also proactively addressing cross-border issues, such as environmental problems and climate change. Japan is contributing to discussions on realizing sustainable development and low-carbon growth as well as a global shift to a green economy, through means including its proposals that put to use its own technological and conceptual powers toward Rio+20 (the UN Conference on Sustainable Development) and COP18 (the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change),.
 Furthermore, ODA can also be used to address security issues, for example by using it to improve the capability to maintain security of recipient countries. Despite the damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the decline of global economy, the initial ODA budget proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for fiscal year 2012 has increased due to factors including an increase in the budget for grant aid creating a momentum to toward reversing the decline in the ODA budget, which had decreased by one-half over the past 14 years.
 Underlying all of these endeavors is the philosophy of “human security.” Basic idea of human security is to focus on the individual human beings who face various problems, to strengthen their abilities so that they can solve their problems on their own, and to advance the social development in which they can realize their own high potential. It is based on the idea that all actors should take part in nation building and development and enjoy the fruits of such efforts. This concept of “all on board” is an idea shared by the concept of open and multilayered networks introduced under part 2 (1) (B) above, and it can be said to be a fundamental concept in Japan’s foreign policy.
 As economic interdependence deepens, Japan has a significant role to play as the world’s third largest economy. First of all, Japan’s economic recovery and fiscal sanity will tow sustainable growth and stability of the world economy. The breakdown of supply-chain caused by the earthquake demonstrated that Japanese manufacture is indispensable to the world economy. In order to link growth of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region to its own growth, Japan will strengthen the aid for overseas business development by Japanese firms including SMEs, and promote high-level economic partnership with leading world trading partners, and overseas infrastructure deployment. Promotion of trade and investment is also an effective means for the growth of developing countries. For example, Japan considers that the private capital can play an important role in the case of development in Africa, which had been discussed in the context of aid through ODA alone. In the case of the European sovereign debt crisis, while maintaining the fundamental position that it should first be addressed by Europe itself, Japan is also cooperating through purchase of European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) bonds and international frameworks such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, Japan is also cooperating to prevent the spread of credit instability to Asia through means including concluding bilateral dollar swap arrangements with the ROK and India.
 In addition, as resource demand and supply conditions are being tight worldwide, Japan can secure a stable supply or resources to Japan and address climate change by contributing the formation of positive, transparent market conditions through dialogues between resource producer and consumer states and by internationally promoting policies of advancing the efficient use of fossil fuels, the spread of use of renewable energy contribute to not only.

(C) Cultural Issues

 In order to respond to new developing situations in the world, it is necessary for Japan to effectively utilize not only economic and military influence (so-called hard power) but also the influence of cultural attractiveness and high levels of technologies (so-called soft power) as well.
 Since ancient times, Japan has had flexibility to assimilate and integrate cultural influences from the East and the West. Precisely because Japan has been incorporating Western values while rooted in Asian values, and is among the first countries in Asia to adopt democracy, Japan has an important role to play in the international community. Japan
has received high levels of trust from the world. For example, Japan has been ranked at the highest level in an international opinion survey of the favorability of nations conducted by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), the British broadcaster, for many years.
 When Japan advances its foreign policies, it is important to deepen further mutual understanding between Japan and overseas by putting to use such trust toward Japan and ‘Japanese values’, as well as by increasing a broad range of exchanges through public-private partnership, including athletic and youth exchange.

(D) Sharing Japan’s Experiences of the Earthquake

 It is Japan’s responsibility to share with the world its experiences in the earthquake and the lessons it has learned from them. Japan should especially demonstrate conceptual power in the areas of nuclear safety and disaster prevention.
 In the field of nuclear safety, in response to the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Japan will cooperate to the utmost in international efforts toward enhancement of nuclear safety, centered in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
 Also, Japan will advance the mainstreaming of disaster prevention in the field of international cooperation. As seen in the flooding in Thailand, disasters tend to become serious recently than before worldwide, and improving disaster-prevention capabilities has become an important issue throughout the international community. Japan will contribute to the creation of a sturdy society against disaster through sharing with the international community the lessons learned from its experiences of major disasters including the Great East Japan Earthquake and supporting the efforts of individual countries.
 More than a year has passed since the unprecedented massive disaster. It is important that Japan overcome from inward-looking tendency with Japan’s potentiality and Japanese people’s resilience which are exercised during crisis and play an even greater leadership role in the international community toward its own revitalization and resolution of various global issues.