Diplomatic Bluebook 2017

Chapter 3

Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Worldwide Interests

Section 4 Efforts to Promote Understanding and Trust in Japan


(Strategic Communication in 2016)

In 2016, in light of the pressing issues of growing uncertainty in the global economy, and challenges to the international order through unilateral actions to try and change the status quo among others, Japan (as G7 presidency) expressed the importance of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, the rule of law and other fundamental values, as well as its intention to continue contributing greatly to the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Japan also sent a message to the world of realizing a world free of nuclear weapons during the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Moreover, at TICAD VI, which was held in Africa for the first time, Japan expressed its intention to implement public-private initiatives to realize peace and stability in Africa.

(Initiatives in Strategic Communications)

In FY2015, in order to implement strategic communications based on the three-pillar approach of (1) working to convey Japan's views, (2) sharing Japan's rich and varied attractiveness, and (3) cultivating understanding and support for Japan while strengthening the system of the diplomatic missions overseas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) allocated an additional 50 billion yen for the FY2014 supplementary budget and the FY2015 initial budget to strengthen strategic communication. The same measures were also implemented in FY2016, and initiatives in communications have continued being bolstered.

To convey Japan's views, in addition to direct communication from the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit and the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and proactive communication from the heads of the diplomatic missions overseas, MOFA promptly provided information to the media, offered assistance for press coverage and actively engaged in communicating with the public through the invitation of experts and media-related persons, and in collaboration with think tanks.

To share Japan's rich and varied attractiveness MOFA has been making preparations for creating “Japan Houses” to promote Japan's appeal by reflecting local needs through an “All-Japan” approach in London (UK), Los Angeles (U.S.), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). Also, diplomatic missions around the world have implemented cultural projects, while the Japan Foundation has taken initiatives such as the “WA Project”. Among these cultural projects was the 10th Japan International MANGA Award. Moreover, initiatives were implemented in cooperation with people in Japan and overseas to preserve tangible and intangible cultural heritage throughout the world, and promote inscription of Japan's cultural heritage on World Heritage List and the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

To cultivate understanding and support for Japan, MOFA drastically expanded facilities for Japanese-language education, promoted the exchange of young people with Asia, the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, held a U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange, and enhanced Japanese studies at universities in major countries including the U.S. in an effort to promote personal and intellectual exchanges and spread the Japanese language. Moreover, to ensure the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, “Sport for Tomorrow” was launched as a sports-based international contribution project.

To continue implementing these initiatives strategically and effectively, MOFA prepared a FY2017 budget for strategic communication maintaining the size of the previous fiscal year (FY2016). Effectively using this budget, MOFA will continue to enhance Japan's strategic communication by strongly communicating Japan's views, while cultivating understanding and support for Japan through sharing its rich and varied appeal, based on the three-pillar approach described above.