Diplomatic Bluebook 2014 Summary

Chapter 2

Japan’s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic

Perspective of the World Map

2. North America

Japan and the United States are allies sharing fundamental values and strategic interests. The Japan– U.S. Alliance is the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy and security, and plays an important role in maintaining the stability and prosperity not only of the Asia–Pacific region but also of the whole world. As the security environment in the Asia–Pacific region has become increasingly severe, the Japan–U.S. Alliance has become more important than ever. Japan welcomes the United States’ rebalancing toward the Asia–Pacific, since such policy will contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region. Both countries will cooperate closely in order to play a leading role in creating order in the region.

The year 2013 saw frequent exchanges of top-level officials between the two countries, starting with the visits of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida to the United States in February and the visits of Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Tokyo to attend the historic meeting of the Japan–U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting (2+2) in October. Through these and other opportunities, they achieved concrete results to strengthen the alliance, including progress with regard to the relocation of the Futenma air base in Okinawa and Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations. Moreover, Japan–U.S. cooperation is not limited to the Asia–Pacific region, as the two countries are strengthening their collaboration with regard to responses to the situation in the Middle East and global issues. Furthermore, as one means of promoting people-to-people exchanges, the “Kakehashi Project―The Bridge for Tomorrow,” a young exchange program, was initiated.

Japan and Canada are closely cooperating together on a wide range of fields including politics, economy, security and culture, as partners in the Asia–Pacific region, sharing fundamental values and as members of the G8.

Prime Minister Abe visited Canada in September 2013 for a Japan–Canada Summit Meeting. At this meeting the two Prime Ministers reached substantial agreement on the Japan–Canada Acquisition and Cross- Servicing Agreement and agreed to initiate consultations related to the start of daytime flights in and out of Haneda Airport. They also confirmed their intention to reinforce collaboration on issues related to the Arctic, and to promote discussions toward Japan’s import of low-priced and stable supplies of LNG from Canada. Furthermore, since April, three rounds of negotiations on the Japan–Canada Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) were held.