Diplomatic Bluebook 2014 Summary

Chapter 1 : Overview

International Situation and Japan’s

Diplomacy in 2013

2. Japan’s Strategic Diplomacy

While exerting the utmost efforts to further its national interests, Japan is committed to contributing— even more proactively than has been the case to date—in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community, as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace,” based on the principle of international cooperation.

(1)The Role of a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” and “Japan’s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map”

Japan has consistently followed the path of a peace-loving nation since the end of World War II and has built up trust within the international community. Upon the foundation of this path, Japan, as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace,” based on the principle of international cooperation, will work more closely cooperating with its alliance partner, the United States, as well as other related countries and contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability, and prosperity of the international community, while achieving its own security and the peace and stability of the Asia–Pacific region.

In December 2013, Japan’s first National Security Strategy (NSS) was adopted. The NSS sets out Japan’s fundamental policies concerning diplomacy and defense in relation to national security, and presents the contents of the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” to the people of Japan and the international community. Under these fundamental policies, Japan will both protect its national interests and conduct proactive and effective diplomacy that fulfills the country’s responsibilities commensurate with its position in the international community.

Since the inauguration of the current administration led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has pursued a strategic foreign policy that “Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map,” upholding universal values such as freedom, democracy, respect of fundamental human rights, and the rule of law. During this period, the administration has implemented economic policies designed to lift Japan from a long- term trend of deflation and sluggish growth, and the Japanese economy has shown signs of recovery. Coupled with rising international expectations vis-à-vis the recovery of the Japanese economy, the past year has seen expectations increase toward Japan among the international community in relation to the country’s contribution to regional and global peace and prosperity.


In his address during the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Abe states Japan’s role as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace.” (September 26, 2013, New York; Source: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

(2)Japan’s Diplomacy

Based on the principles outlined above, Japan will pursue diplomacy that prioritizes the following four key policy areas: (1) strengthening the Japan–U.S. Alliance; (2) deepening cooperative relations with neighboring countries; (3) strengthening economic diplomacy as a means to promoting the revitalization of the Japanese economy; and (4) further contributing to global issues.

(i) Strengthening the Japan–U.S. Alliance

As the security environment surrounding Japan in the Asia–Pacific region becomes increasingly severe, the Japan–U.S. Alliance, the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy, has become more important than ever. Since the launch of the Abe administration, concrete results have been achieved that will contribute to the strengthening of the Japan–U.S. Alliance. This has been facilitated by frequent exchanges of top-level officials between the two countries, including the February 2013 visit by Prime Minister Abe to the United States, frequent Japan–U.S. foreign ministers’ meetings, and the historic convening of the Japan–U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting (2+2). Progress has also been made on the issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma. While cooperating with the United States’ policy of rebalancing toward the Asia–Pacific region,(*1) Japan will strive to strengthen the Japan–U.S. Alliance in all areas as the first pillar of its diplomacy.


Japan–U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting (2+2) (Tokyo, October 3, 2013)

*1 The United States is shifting the focus of its security and economic policies toward the Asia–Pacific region.
(ii) Deepening cooperative relations with neighboring countries

To improve the security environment surrounding Japan, in addition to strengthening the Japan–U.S. Alliance, it is also important to strengthen cooperative relationships with other partners in the Asia–Pacific region.

In 2013, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan celebrated the 40th year of Friendship and Cooperation. Significant progress was made in Japan’s relationship with ASEAN, which shares fundamental values and strategic interests with Japan. Prime Minister Abe visited all ASEAN member states, and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conducted bilateral meetings with all of his ASEAN counterparts. Based on the outcome of the ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit, held in Tokyo in December 2013, Japan is committed to further strengthening its cooperative relationship with each ASEAN member state.

In addition, Japan is deepening its cooperation with such countries as India and Australia, with which it shares universal values and strategic interests. This includes a wide range of fields, including security and economy.

In relations with Russia, in April 2013, Prime Minister Abe made an official visit to Russia for the first time in 10 years as Japanese Prime Minister, and held summit meetings with President Vladimir Putin on four occasions over the following six months. In November, the first Japan–Russia Joint Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations (2+2), was held. By promoting political dialogues, Japan intends to pursue its relationship with Russia so as to make a positive contribution to national interests. Within this relationship, Japan will persistently engage in negotiations with Russia in order to resolve the issue of the attribution of the four islands of Northern Territories and conclude a peace treaty.

The Japan–China relationship is one of Japan’s most important bilateral relationships. Both countries share responsibilities for peace and stability in the region and the international community. For the benefit of both countries, as well as for the interests of the region, Japan will work to improve bilateral relationship by reaffirming the basic principles of “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests.” However, with regard to unilateral attempts to alter the status quo by coercion measures, Japan will deal firmly but in a calm manner based on a determination to resolutely defend its territorial land, sea and airspace.

Regarding the strengthening of Japan’s relationship with the Republic of Korea (ROK)—Japan’s most important neighbor—although there are challenging issues to deal with, through deepening communications at various levels, Japan will make steady effort from a broader perspective to build a future-oriented and multi-layered cooperative relationship.

Japan has not yet realized summit meetings with the new heads of government of China and the ROK. However, it is imperative to develop a stable three-way relationship between Japan, China and the ROK, not only for the benefit of the three countries but also for the sake of achieving peace, stability and prosperity in both the region and the international community. The door for dialogue is always open on the Japan side, and in view of concerns between the countries, it is even more crucial to initiate frank discussions. Hence, Japan will continue to call for direct dialogue.

(iii) Strengthening economic diplomacy as a means to promoting the revitalization of the Japanese economy

The government is bolstering economic diplomacy that will contribute to the revitalization of the Japanese economy. In particular, to contribute to the realization of the government’s growth strategy—the so-called “third arrow of Abenomics”—it is important to take in the growth of foreign countries, including that of the fast-growing emerging countries.

Firstly, it is essential to strategically promote high-level economic partnerships with the objective of expanding export opportunities of Japanese companies and creating an environment that makes it easier to carry out foreign investment. In 2013, negotiations on economic partnership agreements were commenced on an unprecedented scale. They included the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Japan, China and the ROK, and Japan– EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Japan will strategically and swiftly promote high-level economic partnerships that contribute to its national interests. In particular, with regard to TPP agreement negotiations, Japan continues to work toward an early conclusion. To directly contribute to the growth of the Japanese economy, the Japanese government is also strengthening its support for overseas business development conducted by Japanese companies, including in such areas as the export of infrastructure and Japanese commodities. In December 2013, the Headquarters for the Promotion of Japanese Business Support was set up, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida appointed as its head. A range of strategic measures will be promoted under the direction of the headquarters. These include the promotion of infrastructure system exports through “top- level sales” initiatives, the strategic utilization of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and strengthening of safety measures for Japanese nationals and enterprises abroad.

Furthermore, since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Japan’s ratio of dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation has increased. Against this backdrop, it is imperative to undertake measures to ensure stable supply of resources at reasonable price— including energy—as a foundation for the viability of the Japanese economy. Hence, Japan is bolstering its strategic resource diplomacy, and will continue to strengthen comprehensive and mutually beneficial relationships with resource-rich countries, diversify its range of suppliers, and reinforce the security of transportation routes.

Simultaneously, Japan will utilize such international frameworks and institutions as the G8, G20, APEC, WTO, and OECD, as it seeks to actively contribute to the development and implementation of international rules in the economic sphere. With regard to the WTO, in December 2013, the “Bali Package” was reached—as the first agreement since the commencement of the Doha Round—involving trade facilitation, agriculture, and development. It is expected that this would help reinvigorate the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations.

Regarding the OECD, as chair of the Ministerial Council Meeting in 2014, Japan will work to contribute to the resolution of common challenges for the international community.

(iv) Further contributing to address global issues Working to realize a society in which women shine

The realization of a society in which women shine— by reaching their full potential—is an important issue not only for the further growth of the Japanese economy, but also for the dynamism of the international community. To date, Japan has built a track record in the support of women in developing countries. Based on this foundation of accomplishments, Prime Minister Abe put forward three pillars at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2013: (1) promoting women’s participation in society and of the empowerment of women; (2) engaging in greater efforts in the field of health and medical care for women; and (3) promoting women’s participation and protection in the areas of peace and security. Mr. Abe indicated that Japan will implement ODA in excess of US$3 billion over the next three years, targeting these pillars. Japan intends to strengthen its support for gender equality and the empowerment of women, and cooperate with the international community in such areas as the expansion of women’s roles in the prevention and resolution of conflicts as well as peace-building.

Further contribution toward international peace cooperation

Japan is also promoting measures in the area of international peace cooperation, and to date has dispatched a total of approximately 9,300 personnel on 13 UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs). The results of these contributions have been highly appraised both in Japan and abroad. To the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), Japan has dispatched a Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) Engineering Unit and other personnel, and in 2013 the decision was made to expand the area of operations for this unit.

In the Middle East Peace Process, direct negotiations resumed for the first time in three years. Japan is cooperating with the United States and other members of the international community as it plays an active role in this process. In February, a ministerial conference was held in Tokyo on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD), which has the aim of applying the knowledge and experience of Asian countries in the area of economic development to support for Palestine. In July, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida visited Israel and Palestine, and conducted peace diplomacy through such efforts as encouraging the leaders of both governments to work toward the realization of peace. On that occasion, a ministerial conference was held under the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” framework led by Japan, which was the first meeting to be held in approximately five years. These are the examples of significant results achieved through Japan’s support for Palestine.

With regard to the political process in Syria, Japan participated in the international conference on Syria (the Geneva II Conference) to facilitate discussions. To get back a beautiful Syria, Japan made clear, as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace,” that it would contribute both to humanitarian aid and political dialogue in parallel, like the two wheels of a cart.

Achieving the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons

As the only county to have suffered atomic bombings in war and a responsible member of the international community, Japan has led the way toward the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons. To maintain and bolster the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which forms the basis for the current international structure for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, Japan is leading the debate together with other members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)—a group of 12 non-nuclear-weapon states— aimed at ensuring the success of the 2015 NPT Review Conference. Japan is also continuing its diplomatic efforts targeting a comprehensive resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. Furthermore, Japan will also continue to strengthen international nuclear safety.

Regarding conventional weapons, in April 2013, as a result of an initiative taken by Japan, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which regulates the international trade in conventional weapons, was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Japan signed the treaty in June 2013.

Support for African Growth

In the early 1990s, when the international community’s interest in Africa diminished as the cold war came to an end, Japan established the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process to promote support for Africa. At the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), held in Yokohama in June 2013, there were 4,500 participants, including 39 African heads of state and government. Prime Minister Abe made a keynote address to the Conference, during which he announced an African assistance package that includes capacity building for business and industry as well as development and humanitarian assistance to the Sahel region. Backed up by Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Africa in January 2014, this assistance package will be steadily implemented.

Strategic utilization of ODA

Japan is committed to strengthening its cooperation with African countries, which it has cultivated through the TICAD process. Not only from this perspective, but also driven by the need to both respond to the changing situation surrounding Japan and promote Japan’s role as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace,” the importance of ODA is increasing. To realize a free, affluent and stable international community, Japan will pursue the strategic and effective implementation of ODA. For countries that share such fundamental values as freedom, democracy, respect of basic human rights and the rule of law, as well as common strategic interests, Japan will undertake assistance for the development of legal systems and democratization.

Measures in preparation for 2015

The year 2015 is set to be a milestone year for many global-level issues. Japan has been contributing to efforts aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are international targets for 2015 in the development field. With regard to formulation of the post-2015 development agenda (post-MDGs), Japan is taking a leading role in international discussions. In the discussions, Japan is aiming for the adoption of a framework that takes human security—on the concept of which Japan has, to date, expended significant effort, to promote its spread and practice—as its guiding principle. As issues directly tied to human security, Japan places particular emphasis on the fields of health issues and disaster risk reduction, where the country’s experience and knowledge can be applied. Specifically, in May 2013, Japan formulated a Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy, and will strive to contribute, through ODA and other means, to the realization of universal health coverage (UHC). Japan will also play a key role in promoting UHC in debate on the post-MDGs. Moreover, Japan is promoting international cooperation in the fields of disaster relief and disaster risk reduction. In this area, assistance provided in response to typhoon damage suffered by the Philippines in 2013 was Japan’s noteworthy contribution. Such cooperation will be further promoted at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), to be held in Sendai, Miyagi, in March 2015. Japan is also taking a proactive approach to reaching agreement on a new, post-2020 legal framework to address climate change.

The year 2015 will also mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. In that year, Japan will strive to be elected to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and if successful the country will have achieved the election on 11 occasions, the highest number of any UN member state. Japan will also conduct diplomatic efforts toward the early reform of the UNSC, to enable the country to contribute as a permanent member.

(3)Strengthening Public Diplomacy

To raise the profile of Japan in the international community, and to secure better understanding of Japan as a trusted partner, it is essential to adequately provide information to the public at home and abroad on Japan’s fundamental stance and philosophy. In addition, it is vital for Japan to promote interest in and affinity with Japan by communicating the diverse appeal of the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is conducting accurate and effective dissemination of relevant information, centering on objective facts. MOFA is also carrying out strategic public relations activities. In cases where overseas media conduct reporting on Japan’s history, territory, diplomatic policies or other matters based on factual errors or inaccurate understanding, MOFA swiftly submits rebuttals and offers responses based on facts. MOFA objectively and appropriately communicates Japan’s stance and philosophy. In particular, in the area of maintenance of territorial integrity, Japan’s position and assertions are presented for a better understanding in 11 major languages on the MOFA Web site. Explanations include a range of materials and media, including text and video.

Various programs are being implemented overseas: introducing a diverse range of Japanese culture, including traditional and pop culture; promoting people- to-people exchanges for young people and others; and supporting Japanese language education through the Japan Foundation. In such programs, MOFA collaborates with related organizations as well as Japanese diplomatic missions overseas to actively communicate the diverse appeal of Japan.