Diplomatic Bluebook 2014 Summary

Chapter 3

Japan’s Foreign Policy to Promote National

and Worldwide Interests

4. Efforts to Promote Understanding of, and Trust in Japan

Non-governmental actors have been playing an important role in shaping global order and the influence of public opinion on foreign policy has become more pronounced. In order to implement foreign policy effectively, it is essential for Japan to adequately provide information to the public on Japan’s fundamental stance and philosophy. In addition, it is vital for Japan to promote interest and affinity and build a positive image of Japan by providing information, not only to governments but also directly to citizens of other countries, and by encouraging interpersonal interaction at a general public level.

Japan utilizes a variety of methods to convey information, namely print media, electronic media, images and video, including social networking services (SNSs) and other means befitting the IT era, and works to extend its reach by providing content in a number of languages. In particular, in the field of territorial protection, Japan is striving hard to enhance understanding of, and support for, its position and the legitimacy of its claims, by creating materials (print media, video) in 11 major languages and providing information including through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. The Ministry invites international opinion leaders, journalists and other important individuals to Japan and supports the participation of Japanese intellectuals in international conferences interacting with foreign people through arranging lectures and other occasions.

In order to improve the image of Japan overseas, efforts are being made to introduce diverse aspects of Japanese traditional culture and pop culture, and to promote Japanese language through the Japan Foundation, in light of the increasing importance of soft power.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports international exchange activities through sports. At the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session held in Buenos Aires, Tokyo was elected as the host city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Consequently, the Ministry will cooperate with Tokyo Metropolitan City, the Organizing Committee and other pertinent ministries in handling preparations for a successful event in 2020. In addition, Japan intends to make an international contribution through sports by steadily promoting the Sport for Tomorrow program, details of which were announced at the session.

At the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO held in Cambodia, “Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration” nominated by Japan was inscribed on the World Heritage List.

“Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year” was inscribed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO held in Azerbaijan.

fujisan Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration
washoku Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year (Source: the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan)