Diplomatic Bluebook 2015

Message from the Minister for Foreign Affairs

During the two and a quarter years or so that have passed since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have done my utmost to communicate with other foreign ministers and key figures worldwide, nurturing our ties with them, while pursuing diplomacy that seeks to expand cooperative network, as well as enhancing Japan’s presence in the international community.

I believe that 2014 was a year in which the international community became increasingly aware of the active contribution made by Japan to worldwide peace and prosperity as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, and that it was this that led to each and every one of our diplomatic achievements.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. As Japan will continue to pursue its path to date as a peace-loving nation into the future, I will devote my energies to diplomacy based on the three pillars of Japan’s foreign policy: strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, enhancing our relations with neighboring countries, and strengthening economic diplomacy. As this year also marks both the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations (UN) and the 70 years since the devastation of atomic bombings during war, Japan will further enhance its cooperation with the UN and will actively contribute to tackling global issues in a range of areas. These include initiatives aimed at achieving a “world free of nuclear weapons”, combatting climate change, realizing “a society in which women shine,” tackling international development challenges, and the strategic utilization of ODA under the new Development Cooperation Charter.

In light of its publication in the year that marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Chapter 1 of the Diplomatic Bluebook 2015 looks back over Japan’s development as a peace-loving nation since the end of the war, as well as providing a broad overview of the international situation and Japan’s diplomacy in 2014. The next two chapters present information on key events in 2014. Chapter 2 examines Japan’s foreign policy that takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map, while Chapter 3 focuses on Japan’s foreign policy to promote national and worldwide interests. Chapter 3 also highlights our efforts to further enhance Japan’s presence in the international community through the strategic communications with other countries Chapter 4 focuses on Japan’s diplomacy open to the public, explaining the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support Japanese society and people in deepening ties with the world. Furthermore, the chapter also discusses the strengthening of our foreign policy implementation structure. In addition, as well as taking care to provide commentaries using diagrams and maps to aid readers’ understanding, we have included sections aimed at making foreign policy feel more relevant to the reader. The “Special Feature” sections offer reader-friendly commentaries on specific themes, while the “Column” sections highlight views from those on the front lines of foreign policy.

Early this year, Japanese nationals were murdered by terrorists in Syria. As well as striving to ensure the security of all Japanese citizens, whether at home or overseas, the Japanese government will fulfill its responsibility to contribute to countering terrorism in the international community.

The understanding and cooperation of the Japanese people are essential in order to forge stronger, deeper, and safer ties between Japan and the rest of the world. I sincerely hope that this Diplomatic Bluebook will contribute to a deeper understanding of the international situation, Japan’s path as a peace-loving nation, and the latest developments in Japan’s foreign policy, and will help to broaden awareness of Japan’s efforts to put into practice its policy of being a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation.

Fumio Kishida