Diplomatic Bluebook 2014 Summary

Chapter 3

Japan’s Foreign Policy to Promote National

and Worldwide Interests

1. Efforts for Peace and Stability of Japan and the International Community

Current Status of the Security Environment Surrounding Japan

The security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe. Amid progressively greater presence of emerging countries in the international community, the power balance has been changing, and this has substantially influenced the dynamics of international politics. The advancement of globalization and rapid progress in technological innovation have invited a change in the relative influence between states and non-state actors, increasing threats of terrorism and other crimes by non-state actors that undermine national security. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other related materials also remains a threat. In addition, risks, to the global commons, such as seas, outer space and cyberspace, have been spreading and becoming more serious. Global issues that cannot be dealt with by a single country—namely, poverty, environmental issues and humanitarian crises—are emerging as issues of human security. At the same time, the risk of the expansion of an economic crisis from one country to the entire global economy is growing.

While the change in the balance of power on a global scale provides opportunities for security cooperation in the Asia–Pacific region, it has also given rise to regional issues and tensions.

North Korea has continued nuclear and missile development, including uranium enrichment activities, in violation of the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions. Despite the fact that the international community has both demanded full compliance by North Korea with relevant UNSC Resolutions, and has repeatedly and strongly insisted that it exercise self-restraint, North Korea nevertheless proceeded to conduct its third nuclear tests in February 2013. North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile development further exacerbates the threat to security in the region, seriously undermining the peace and stability of the international community, and cannot be tolerated. China’s moves to strengthen its military capabilities without sufficient transparency, and its rapidly expanded and intensified activities at sea and in the air, are matters of concern for the region and the international community. In January 2013, there was an incident in which a Chinese warship directed its fire control radar at vessel of JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force), and in November, China unilaterally established and announced the “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.” These actions can be regarded as attempts to change the status quo by coercion and may cause further escalation of the situation.

Proactive Contribution to Peace

In order to respond to such security issues, defend its territorial integrity, protect the lives and property of Japanese nationals, as well as ensure the stability, the sustainable prosperity and development of the international community, Japan is determined to contribute even more proactively to peace and stability of the region and international community from the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” based on the principle of international cooperation. In December 2013 the National Security Council (NSC) was established and Japan’s first National Security Strategy (NSS) was adopted.

NSC-related organizational chart

4-Minister Meeting (new)
(Prime Minister, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister)
9-Minister Meeting
(Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, 5 other relevant ministers)
Emergency Situations Minister
Meeting (new)
(Prime Minister, Chief Cabinet Secretary, other ministers to be designated)
To function as the control tower of foreign and defense policy concerning national security To maintain the role of the current Security Council in ensuring civilian control To strengthen emergency situations responses
Convened on a regular basis and as necessary to decide fundamental policy orientation, including mid- to long-term National Security Strategy. Consider important issues regarding national defense, such as Basic Policy for National Defense Program Outline, or response to armed attack situations from more comprehensive and diverse perspective. Consider important issues which require highly political decisions and propose necessary measures.
  • * Other ministers may be asked to attend the meeting as required, based on the decision of the chairman (Prime Minister). A deputy minister may carry out duties as a proxy if an emergency situation demands a flexible response.
Reference: “Other ministers to be designated” (schematic image)
Ex. 1: Intrusion in territorial waters, illegal landing
Minister of Justice, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Minister of Defense, Chairman of the NPSC
Ex. 2: Radioactive terrorism
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Minister of Justice, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Defense, Chairman of the NPSC
Ex. 3: Mass refugee situation
Minister of Justice, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Minister of Defense, Chairman of the NPSC

Outline of National Security Strategy (NSS)

The NSS makes it clear that, as the fundamental principles of national security: Japan will continue to adhere to the course it has taken to date, as a peace- loving nation; as a major player in world politics and the global economy, it will ensure its own security, as well as peace and stability in the Asia–Pacific region, and contribute ever more proactively to securing peace, stability and prosperity in the international community, from the perspective of a “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” based on the principle of international cooperation.

In this context, Japan defines its national interests as follows: (1) maintaining the peace and security of Japan and ensuring its survival; (2) achieving the prosperity of Japan and its nationals, thereby consolidating its peace and security; and (3) maintaining and protecting the international order based on universal values and rules.

In order to safeguard its national interests and to fulfill its responsibility in the international community, Japan will seek to achieve the following national security objectives: (1) to strengthen the deterrence, thereby deterring threats from reaching Japan; (2) to improve the security environment of the Asia–Pacific region, and prevent the emergence of and reduce, direct threats to Japan through strengthening the Japan–U.S. Alliance and enhancing trust and cooperative relations between Japan and its partners; and (3) to improve the global security environment and build a peaceful, stable and prosperous international community.

In order to attain these objectives, the NSS states that Japan takes the following strategic approaches: (1) Strengthen and expand Japan’s capabilities and roles; (2) Strengthen the Japan–U.S. Alliance; (3) Strengthen diplomacy and security cooperation with Japan’s partners; (4) Contribute proactively to international efforts; (5) Strengthen cooperation based on universal values; and (6) Strengthen domestic foundations, and promote domestic and global understanding.

Ensuring Japan’s Peace and Stability

In order to ensure Japan’s peace and stability, first it is necessary to strengthen and expand Japan’s capabilities and roles. In particular, it is imperative that Japan strengthens diplomacy to realize a desirable international order and security environment. In addition, Japan will develop a highly effective and joint defense force. As part of this plan, Japan adopted the new National Defense Program Guidelines in December 2013 and decided to create an effective Dynamic Joint Defense Force that can respond seamlessly and, as occasion demands, flexibly to an array of situations based on joint operation.

Second, ensuring the forward development of the U.S. Forces, based on the Japan–U.S. Security Treaty, and thereby strengthening the deterrence of the Japan–U.S. Security Arrangements are essential not only for the security of Japan but also for the peace and stability in the Asia–Pacific region. The governments of Japan and the U.S. held Japan–U.S. Security Consultative Committee (2+2) in October 2013, and confirmed that they would promote bilateral security and defense cooperation in such wide-ranging areas as maritime security, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), cyberspace, outer space and extended deterrence, as well as the revision of the “Guidelines for Japan–U.S. Defense Cooperation.” With regard to the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan, in December 2013, the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act entered into force, which included a budget related to the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam, and the governor of Okinawa approved the landfill necessary for the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko. Both governments are determined to reduce the impact on local communities including Okinawa, while maintaining deterrence, by steadily implementing the existing agreements between the two governments.

president01 U.S. President Obama (left) and Prime Minister Abe took the opportunity at the G20 Saint Petersburg Summit to hold a Japan–U.S. summit meeting (September 5, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Source: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

Third, it is necessary for Japan to build trust and cooperative relations with its partners both within and outside the Asia–Pacific region, with which it shares universal values and strategic interests, and to create multilayered relations for security cooperation. It is crucial that Japan promotes bilateral cooperation with both the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Australia which, like Japan, are U.S. allies, as well as with ASEAN countries and India. It is also important that Japan advances trilateral cooperation under the Japan–U.S.– ROK, Japan–U.S.–Australia and Japan–U.S.–India frameworks. Moreover, Japan will further strengthen relations with European countries as partners that play an important role in ensuring the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community. Concerning its relationships with countries such as the U.K. and France, Japan has been pursuing cooperative relationships in the field of defense equipment. In addition, it is important to promote relationships of trust with China and Russia, which are major powers in the region through security-related dialogue and exchanges. Furthermore, Japan intends to promote collaboration and cooperation in multilateral regional cooperative frameworks, such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting–Plus (ADMM–Plus), and strengthen multilayered cooperative relations within these bilateral and trilateral cooperative frameworks.


The security and prosperity of Japan cannot be attained by simply improving the security environment surrounding Japan; they are dependent on the peace and stability of the international community. Based on this line of thinking, Japan is actively working to resolve different issues faced by the international community. In particular, seamless efforts toward peace-building are crucial for the peace and stability of the international community. These efforts range across the entire process: from peace-keeping and emergency humanitarian assistance, designed to prevent the reoccurrence of conflicts and achieve sustainable peace in post-conflict regions, to the promotion of peace processes, ensuring security and the advancement of reconstruction and development. Japan considers peace- building to be one of its key diplomatic agenda items, and is acting accordingly. Related concrete initiatives include proactive cooperation with UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs), on-the-ground activities utilizing Official Development Assistance (ODA), contributions in the UN, and human resource development.

selfdefense A Self-Defense Forces Engineer Company working together with local citizens to build a community road in the Na-Bari district of the capital, Juba, in coordination with Japan’s ODA project under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (South Sudan; Source: Ministry of Defense)

Threats to Security

Terrorism and transnational organized crime, such as trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, cybercrime and money laundering have become serious threats to the international community in line with advancing globalization and technological innovation as well as the increased movement of people. The terrorist attack in Algeria in January 2013, in which many people were killed, including 10 Japanese, demonstrates that terrorism poses a real threat for Japan. Transnational organized crime may provide a source of funds for terrorism, and also has a serious impact on Japan’s economic activities, including investment, tourism and trade. Following the incident in Algeria, Japan has strengthened its international counter-terrorism measures and since it is difficult to combat terrorism and transnational crimes by a single country, Japan has been cooperating with the international community at the bilateral level and through the UN, to actively support capacity building for countries where legislation and other systems are inadequate.

Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

Japan will continue to pursue initiatives to achieve the goal of “a world free of nuclear weapons.” As the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, these policies allow Japan to fulfill its mission of conveying to the world the devastation caused by nuclear weapons, and to improve the security environment surrounding Japan. Under the framework of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), launched by Japan and Australia in 2010, Ministerial meetings were held twice again in 2013. Japan submitted an annual draft resolution entitled “United Action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons” to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which was co-sponsored by a record high of 102 Member States, and was adopted with an overwhelming majority. In October 2013, Japan joined a joint statement on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons delivered at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, based on the fact that the content was revised so the intent of the statement overall is consistent with both the security policy and nuclear disarmament approach of Japan. In addition, Japan established the Youth Communicator for a World without Nuclear Weapons framework, which supports the younger generation in conveying the consequences of nuclear weapons at international conferences and other meetings overseas. Japan is making a great deal of effort to pass on these activities to the next generation.

Japan is also taking various measures aimed at reducing non-nuclear weapons. Since September 2013, the international community has been making efforts to have Syria abolish chemical weapons, and Japan has committed to cooperating in this regard by sending Ground Self-Defense Force officials and providing financial support. Moreover, in the field of conventional weapons, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which Japan has actively promoted as co-author, was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Japan signed the treaty on June 3, the day it was opened for signature.

Global Commons

“Open and Stable Seas,” which are upheld by maritime order governed by law and rules and not by coercion, constitute global commons for peace and prosperity of the international community as a whole. From this perspective, Japan is dedicated to ensure the freedom and safety of navigation and overflight of the high sea through various efforts containing piracy operations and cooperation with other countries. Especially for Japan, a maritime nation surrounded by sea, the international law of the sea based primarily on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is indispensable for securing its maritime rights and interests as well as for undertaking maritime activities smoothly.

In terms of outer space and cyberspace, Japan is promoting policy coordination with countries which share a common interest in realizing and strengthening the rule of law, and is actively contributing to developing international rules and confidence-building measures. In addition, Japan is striving to assist capacity–building in developing countries.

United Nations

The role of the UN as a universal and comprehensive international institution is growing in a continuous manner as the international community faces diverse challenges, such as global and transnational issues. In this context, it is essential for the UN to strengthen its functions in a manner that reflects the reality in the current international community. Based on this understanding, Japan is working for the early realization of UN reform, especially Security Council reform. Japan announced at the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in September, that the creation of “a society in which women shine” and the making of a “Proactive Contribution to Peace” are its core diplomatic policies for the future. In order to deploy Japanese diplomacy in line with these policies, Japan will collaborate with international organizations such as the UN, and excise leadership in the international community not only through financial contributions, but also through more active human resources and intellectual contributions.

ministersmeeting Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida at the G4 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (September 26, New York)

Rule of Law

The establishment of the “rule of law” in the international community is an important factor in promoting stable relations between countries, the peaceful settlement of disputes and “good governance” within countries. Opposed to unilateral attempt to change the status quo by coercion, Japan regards the establishment of the “rule of law” in the international community as one of the pillars of its foreign policy, and is actively making various efforts to this end. Establishing the “rule of law” is also important from the perspective of defending the integrity of Japan’s national territories, securing its maritime and economic rights and interests, and protecting its citizens.

Human Rights and Women

Human rights and fundamental freedom are universal values, and it is the basic responsibility of states to protect and promote these values. At the same time, it is a legitimate issue of concern for the entire international community. In order to lay the foundations not only for the peace and prosperity of Japan, but also for the peace and stability of the international community, it is essential that these values are fully guaranteed in each country. Currently, Japan is working more actively than ever in the field of human rights, by promoting “diplomacy emphasizing universal values.” Aiming at improving human rights and humanitarian issues around the world, Japan is making proactive contributions through multilateral initiatives that include the UN as well as through bilateral dialogues. As for women’s rights in particular, Japan has shown strong commitment to participate in international efforts in the field of women’s empowerment and the promotion and protection of women’s rights as a response to global issues.

An increase in international marriages and divorces in Japan, reflecting advancing globalization, has given rise to various problems concerning children, such as their illegal removal across national borders by one of the parents. Finding solutions to such issues has become a pressing task. Recognizing the importance of issues regarding the removal of children, the Government of Japan moved toward concluding the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention) and, after the 2013 Diet deliberation concerning approval of the Hague Convention and the Implementation Act, concluded the Convention in January 2014.