Diplomatic Bluebook 2017

Chapter 2

Japan's Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map


(1) Situations of Canada

The Trudeau administration inaugurated in November 2015 is running the government steadily backed by a stable approval rating.

With traditionally close relations with the U.S., Canada pursues its diplomacy in multinational venues, including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), G7, G20, and the Organization of American States (OAS). In the mid-90's, Canada announced a peacebuilding policy (conflict prevention, support for reconstruction and rehabilitation), while actively engaging in UN peacekeeping operations, the antipersonnel mine issue, and promoting human security. The Trudeau administration bases its diplomatic policy on multilateralism, and is implementing a return to the multinational diplomacy through active initiatives in the humanitarian and international cooperation areas, in particular the acceptance of Syrian refugees, ratification of the Paris Agreement on measures to combat climate change, etc. At the same time, a proactive attitude to bilateral diplomacy can also be seen, including new efforts to strengthen relations with each country through foreign visits and dialogues by the leaders, etc.

On the economic front, the basic polices of the Trudeau administration are to achieve economic growth and strengthen the middle class through expanded infrastructure investment, etc., and it is working on the establishment of new child allowances, tax breaks for the middle class, etc. Externally, its objectives are to expand trade and to attract foreign investment by expanding trade and investment with high-growth markets including China and India and focusing on deepening its trade relationships with traditional partners such as Japan and Western countries. Specifically, it is taking active steps such as signing the TPP agreement in February and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in October. In addition, in August it launched the annual trade policy dialogue for consulting with ASEAN regarding promotion of the liberalization of trade and removal of trade barriers, and at the Canada-China Summit Meeting in September; it agreed to commence preliminary discussions toward a Canada-China FTA.

(2) Japan-Canada Relations

Prime Minister Abe held summit meetings with Prime Minister Trudeau in March and May. The two leaders agreed to further develop their cooperative relationship bilaterally and in the international arena, and to create “A New Era for Cooperation between Japan and Canada,” while sharing the recognition regarding situations in the region including East Asia, cooperation in the international arena, etc.

On the economic front, in the summit meeting in May, Prime Minister Abe explained that an early entry into force of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is important for strengthening the economic relationship between Japan and Canada and the two leaders confirmed that they intend to make advances on discussions in their respective countries. Furthermore, both leaders agreed to promote evolution of the Japan-Canada Joint Economic Committee (JEC) in order to meet the current need, focusing on five areas of infrastructure, energy, science and technology, business environment and investments, and tourism and student exchanges, and Prime Minister Abe asked Canada to cooperate on the early realization of exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada, and the improvement of the business environment. Furthermore, the both leaders agreed to continue cooperation to respond to global issues, including climate change.

Foreign Minister Kishida had a meeting with Foreign Minister Dion in April, and the two ministers agreed to further strengthen their bilateral relations, including cooperation in the security area, in addition to contributing to both the peace and stability of the region and the world. Furthermore, in their November talks, which is their fourth talks in total, they agreed to further advance the implementation of the “New Era for Cooperation between Japan and Canada” agreed by the prime ministers of the two countries, and in addition, agreed to further advance discussions toward conclusion of the Japan-Canada Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (Japan-Canada ACSA) on the grounds that the ACSA is an important project for the deepening of security cooperation between the two countries.

Number of Japanese corporations in each province, and visits by the premier of each province to Japan

In addition, the third Japan-Canada vice minister-level “2+2” dialogue was held in April, where the participants reaffirmed that they would strengthen cooperation in the security area, and shared their recognition regarding the situation in East Asia, the situation in the Middle East, and the regional and international security environment, including the North Pole. Furthermore, in December the Japan-Canada Politico-Military Consultations (PM) and Military-Military Consultations (MM) were held and in addition, with both governments participating, the 14th Japan-Canada Security Symposium was held in Tokyo, where the participants vigorously exchanged views.

Prime Minister Abe shaking hands with Prime Minister Trudeau at the Japan-Canada Summit Meeting (May 24, Tokyo; Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)Prime Minister Abe shaking hands with Prime Minister Trudeau at the Japan-Canada Summit Meeting (May 24, Tokyo; Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)